A growing number of cancer centers in the U.S., such as Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston are integrating acupuncture into cancer care. Once considered 'alternative medicine' the integration of acupuncture significantly improves patients' quality of life during cancer treatment and recovery.
Reduced Nausea, Vomiting, Fatigue
According to the National Cancer Institute
acupuncture can relieve nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. Therefore, regular acupuncture treatment can improve tolerance of chemotherapy by mitigating side effects.
The evidence base for pain relief from acupuncture is strong and has led to the use of acupuncture was a non-pharmacological option for pain management. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce the amount of pain medications needed which can reduce risk of dependency on or side effects from opioids. In addition to treating pain from cancer and post-operative pain, acupuncture may relieve or prevent nerve pain (neuropathy), a side effect of some chemotherapy drugs.
Acupuncture can help patients swallow, eat and drink normally by relieving pain and swelling in the mouth and throat when it occurs. Acupuncture can also help restore appetite, curb indigestion and regulate patterns of elimination.
Acupuncture results in regulation of the nervous system, is generally relaxing and can help with stress management, depression and anxiety. These changes can also lead to better sleep.
Acupuncture stimulates natural healing process of the body to aid in restoring health and balance. Combined with conventional oncology treatments, regular acupuncture can help mitigate side effects and stimulate the immune system. Acupuncture treatments can include nutrition, restorative exercises, and breathing practices to optimize mental, emotional and physical health.
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