Acupuncture Cancer Support
Over a year ago, I started volunteering at the Macmillan Cancer Support Centre at East Surrey hospital, where I spend an afternoon a week offering acupuncture cancer support to those on their cancer journey.
Clients are usually those who are about to end a course of treatment, or who have recently finished. Typically, complaints range from fatigue and pain, to hot flushes, dry mouth, stress, anxiety, and just overall wellness.
So I thought I would take a moment just to share my experiences, as I believe acupuncture has an important role to play. It can be a great support therapy for those undergoing treatment, but unfortunately people just don’t know how it can help.
I should be clear though, I am not advocating that it should replace standard medical care. Rather, acupuncture works on the whole body and has a strong regulatory effect. As such, it benefits patients physically and mentally, and helps to manage the after-effects of chemo, radiotherapy or medication.
What it does
Acupuncture is a holistic therapy that aims to regulate the flow of ‘qi’, or vital energy, throughout the body. In acupuncture terms, poor health and illness occurs when this energy cannot flow freely.
Because symptoms are often varied, treatment is likely to focus on dealing with these underlying energy imbalances. This then helps to promote your body’s natural healing processes, as it is not just the cancer, but also the treatment process that takes its toll on your physical and mental health.
Ultimately, acupuncture can start getting you feeling more relaxed and grounded. Then, once treatment progresses, things slowly move back into balance. This will help you feel more comfortable in your body and ease symptoms by allowing things to start functioning properly again.
Have a look at our About Acupuncture section to learn more.
How it works
A few clinical studies have been conducted in acupuncture and cancer symptoms, but more needs to be done to build a consistent picture. However, some of the clearer evidence is around treatment of nausea and vomiting and pain, but other areas show promise, such as fatigue, dry mouth, or hot flushes.
In general, acupuncture is believed to regulate the nervous system and stimulate the release of chemical molecules which promote physical and emotional well-being. Other research has shown that acupuncture treatment may work by:
- acting on areas of the brain that reduce sensitivity to pain and stress
- by releasing beneficial hormones
- improving increasing local circulation to ease muscle stiffness and joint mobility
- increasing white blood cell counts.
If you or a loved one are progressing on your journey and would like acupuncture cancer support or would be interested in having a discussion about whether acupuncture would be suitable for you right now, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.