How can acupuncture help cancer patients?
Acupuncture is particularly suited for the cancer patient because of its safety, lack of side effects and efficacy in dealing with common complaints associated with chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. In our clinic, acupuncture is used to complement Western Medical care. We model our cancer care programs on protocols developed at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC. We are able to assist patients in managing symptoms such as dry mouth, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, lymphedema, neuropathy, scarring, stress, anxiety and depression.
Numerous studies, including reviews by the National Institute of Health (NIH), have found acupuncture to be safe and effective for chemotherapy induced nausea. Acupuncture boosts the immune system, to keep the body healthy and strong. We welcome the opportunity of working with oncologists for the benefit of our patients.
How many treatments will be required?
In the beginning of care, it may be necessary to treat you several times a week. Many patients choose to time their acupuncture treatments around chemotherapy sessions in order to decrease symptoms of nausea and fatigue. Acupuncture can also be used pre and post surgery for immune support and stress reduction. Acupuncture is also helpful for post surgical or radiation scar tissue, pain, swelling and numbness. After your body starts regulating itself and gaining function, then your treatments will be gradually tapered so that there are longer intervals between treatments. Beyond cancer care, many patients choose to stay on a monthly or quarterly wellness program to keep their body in balance and reduce the effects of accumulated toxins, stress, wear-and-tear and the aging process.
When do I feel better?
Response to acupuncture treatment varies, however most patients report some improvement even with the first treatment. Chronic conditions will obviously require more care, with improvement experienced incrementally through a series of treatments over several weeks or months. Usually the effect of treatment will be noticed within twenty-four hours, the amount of time it takes for the body’s energies to make one complete circuit.