A frequently asked question by patients undergoing cancer
treatment is, "Can acupuncture help
The role of acupuncture is in its adjunctive use in
anesthesia, in post-operative pain control, and in aiding and hastening recovery
from the side effects of the various therapies. Acupuncture is effective for
control of pain, of local swelling post-operatively, for shortening the
resolution of hematoma and tissue swelling and for minimizing use of
medications and their attendant side effects. Energetic acupuncture, an
approach consisting of the use of needles with electricity and moxibustion 。
That acupuncture is a powerful tool for general pain control
is widely known. . Less known is its success use in some cancer-related pain
and in reducing narcotic use and thereby minimizing the side effects confusion,
disturbed mentation, behavioral changes, nausea and severe constipation.
Needling a variety
of trigger and painful points, percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and
osteo-puncture, along with whole body energetic acupuncture support, .are
approaches available to the acupuncturists. In the acupuncture paradigm, any
chronic disease process depletes the energy level in the organism. Such
depletion can be ameliorated, at least temporarily, by tonification, a process
of imparting energy into the system. This is deemed necessary for more durable,
successful pain control. It can also add to the patients' sense of well being
and decrease the malaise associated with any chronic disease, especially
cancer. Nutritional support as an aid in boosting immune response in cancer
patients, along with minimizing the immune and white blood cell suppression
that occurs with most chemotherapeutic agents, Energetic
acupuncture repletes energy level to the organism as a whole, reestablishes
homeostasis by re-balancing energy distribution and un-blocking energy flow.
This systems approach to deal with system wide patho-physiology can be
complemented by distinct meridian acupuncture, which directs healing energy to
specific organ pathology and is a routine approach in treating diseased organs
such as liver, pancreas kidney, including those ravaged by cancers.
degree of beneficial results from acupuncture treatment is dependent on various
clinical factors such as presenting symptoms, clinical staging, timing of the
encounter in the course of the illness, areas of involvement, the answer to the
opening question "can acupuncture help me?" is, in all probability,
that it can help in the care of the cancer patient.
Many of us
have cancer cells or pre-cancerous cells in our bodies right now, even though
we may never get the disease called cancer. Why? Because our body's immune
system routinely quells renegade cells and would-be malignancies before they
ever take hold.
So why do
some people's defenses break down? Why, once someone has had cancer, are they
more prone to get it again than others? Can acupuncture re-engage the body's
natural defense system effectively enough to help prevent or even "cure"
answer that last question with a simple "Yes!" Some scientists
theorize that cancer thrives when the immune system's defensive action can't or
won't react effectively. This lack of immune response may be due to age; toxic
or viral damage; genetics; unique traits within the cancer cell that stymie
immune response; or other factors. The high incidence of metastases and cancer
recurrence, even after surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, attests that
although perhaps successful at wiping out the initial cancer, these treatments
fail to restore the immune system response to that of a non-cancer-prone
retrain the immune system and brain toward a natural and successful
antagonistic approach to dangerous cell growth? Chinese Medicine doctors are
now using acupuncture in new ways to help the body's immune system relearn its
original "seek and destroy" mission against cancer.