When it comes to managing cancer, traditional treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery have been the mainstay.
However, more and more cancer patients are turning to complementary therapies to support their recovery and overall well-being during treatment and remission. Among these, acupuncture for cancer stands out as a gentle, yet powerful technique that has shown promising results through research and countless success stories.
Are you or a loved one managing cancer? Let’s explore the many ways acupuncture has been shown to provide much-needed relief during the cancer treatment journey.
Acupuncture for Cancer: The Oriental Medicine Perspective
Oriental medicine views cancer slightly differently than Western medicine. “In Oriental medicine,” says Dr. Ko, “cancer is seen as a common disease. The meridian we diagnose is treated according to the presence or absence of pain. For example, if there is pain in the lungs even with colon cancer, the lung meridian is treated first and then the colon is treated. In this situation, it is effective to treat the pain area first.”
Another important thing to consider when managing cancer with acupuncture and Oriental medicine is the importance of a strong immune system. “Illness comes when immunity is broken. Also, cancer comes from a broken immune system. Oriental medicine is the only thing on earth that can treat immunity,” explains Dr. Ko.
7 Ways Acupuncture Can Help You Manage Cancer Naturally
Acupuncture is a complementary therapy, which means it can work well in conjunction with conventional cancer treatments recommended by your oncologist. Integrating acupuncture into the treatment plan creates a synergistic effect that enhances the benefits of both approaches. Here are a few ways you can use acupuncture to improve your health and quality of life during cancer treatment and beyond.
1. Acupuncture helps manage cancer pain.
Cancer treatment often comes with its share of pain, whether it’s due to the disease itself or the side effects of medical interventions. Acupuncture is a natural way to alleviate this pain, so you can continue treatments more comfortably. As Dr. Ko explains, “There is nothing better than acupuncture treatment to treat pain. Acupuncture can treat or stop the pain.”
But how is acupuncture so effective against pain? Acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. These chemicals reduce pain and improve overall comfort levels.
2. Acupuncture helps reduce and prevent nausea.
One of the most common complaints of those undergoing cancer treatment is nausea, vomiting, and low appetite (usually as a side effect of chemotherapy). Acupuncture has been shown to reduce these side effects by interrupting the signals sent to the brain that cause the sensation of nausea and discomfort. With acupuncture, patients can tolerate their chemotherapy sessions better and maintain their appetite and strength.
3. Acupuncture improves sleep and fights fatigue.
Cancer-related fatigue and sleep issues are two of the most common symptoms during cancer treatment. The body is fighting hard to recover, and undergoing treatments requires a lot of energy. To make matters worse, many people with cancer find it hard to sleep, due to pain, stress, or other side effects of cancer. Acupuncture offers a passive way to restore the body’s deep energy reserves and combat fatigue.
4. Acupuncture boosts the immune system.
Although necessary for recovery, cancer treatment can weaken the immune system, leaving you vulnerable to infections. Acupuncture has been shown to enhance the body’s immune response – even during cancer treatment – by promoting the production of immune cells and helping the body better defend itself against harmful pathogens. Some studies also suggest that acupuncture may have anticancer effects, as it stimulates the body’s natural killer (NK) cells.
5. Acupuncture reduces cancer-related peripheral neuropathy.
Some cancer treatments, especially certain chemotherapy drugs, can lead to peripheral neuropathy. This is a condition that causes numbness, tingling, and pain in the hands and feet. Studies show that acupuncture for cancer is an effective therapy for reducing these symptoms of peripheral neuropathy because of its ability to increase blood circulation to the affected areas and promote nerve regeneration.
6. Acupuncture supports mood balance during cancer treatment.
Living with cancer is a challenge, no matter what type or stage. It’s only natural to experience stress, mood swings, anxiety, and depression through this journey. Acupuncture is a simple act of self-care that has been proven to relieve stress, promote a sense of calmness and emotional well-being, and enable patients and their caregivers to better cope with any emotional challenges they face.
7. Acupuncture promotes healthy recovery and remission.
Acupuncture’s benefits are not limited to the treatment phase of cancer care – it can also be a valuable resource during cancer survivorship. After treatment is complete, and even during remission, acupuncture offers a proactive approach for managing lingering symptoms and transitioning to a healthy post-treatment life.
Acupuncture Improves Quality of Life During Cancer Treatment
Managing cancer can be a challenging journey, but acupuncture can help.
Because acupuncture leverages your body’s own natural healing abilities, it is a safe and effective complementary therapy to conventional cancer treatments. But, it is crucial to work with a well-trained practitioner who understands cancer. Dr. Ko has over 30 years of experience helping people overcome cancer-related side effects and live healthy, balanced lives – no matter the diagnosis.
Ready to find relief? Book your appointment today, or call us at 1-818-980-7979 to learn how we can help you get the relief you need to heal.