Acupuncture, a Chinese therapy, involves inserting very fine needles into specific body points. These points are located along invisible lines known as "meridians", each of which is believed to be linked to a system from different organs. By stimulating these points, acupuncturists aim to unblock the flow of vital energy (called "Qi") through the meridians and restore health to the body.
Acupuncture has been practiced in traditional Chinese medicine for over 5,000 years and is often used to promote healing of diseases such as back pain, migraine, sciatica, arthritis, and fibromyalgia, as well as to help people struggling by quitting or trying to conceive.
Although scientists have yet to determine how acupuncture works, it is suggested that therapy can help trigger the release of brain chemicals analgesics, the influence of the autonomic nervous system, and / or stimulate circulation.
Acupuncture and Cancer
While acupuncture can not treat the cancer itself, therapy can help patients overcome cancer-related pain and fatigue (as well as certain side effects of standard treatments for cancer). then observe how acupuncture might benefit people with cancer:
1) Cancer Pain Relief
In a 2003 study, researchers found that acupuncture helped reduce the intensity of cancer pain among 90 patients who underwent the treatment.
2) Facilitate the fatigue after chemotherapy
Acupuncture has great potential in the management of fatigue following chemotherapy, according to a 2007 study of 47 patients. After receiving six sessions of 20 minutes of acupuncture in the course of two weeks, study participants experienced a significant improvement in overall fatigue, activity, and motivation. The study results also indicated that participants who performed acupressure on their own also had an improvement of fatigue.
3) Treatment of chemotherapy realcionados with nausea and vomiting
In a 2005 report, researchers reviewed 11 clinical trials and found that acupuncture reduces vomiting after chemotherapy. The review also found that acupressure helped lessen the severity of nausea of chemotherapy.
4) Reduce the side effects of radiation
In a pilot study published in 2009, acupuncture was effective for radiation-induced xerostomia (dry mouth). Previous research suggests that acupuncture may help relieve the symptoms induced by radiation, insomnia and anxiety.
Safety Precautions for acupuncture
Although acupuncture is generally considered safe, may cause dizziness, local internal bleeding, dermatitis, nerve damage, and / or increased pain (especially when acupuncture is not well done).
If you are considering using acupuncture for the relief of cancer or other health related problems, please consult your doctor about finding a professional in acupuncture experience working with cancer patients.