Many people in all stages of their journey with cancer seek acupuncture as a complementary aid to their oncology treatment and recovery from treatment. There is much ongoing research around the role that acupuncture can play in reducing the severity of certain cancer-related symptoms and oncology treatment side-effects.
Medical professionals will often suggest acupuncture treatment for patients who are experiencing:
- Cancer-related fatigue
- Cancer-related pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Depression, stress and anxiety
- Xerostomia (dry mouth)
- Hot flushes and similar hormonal symptoms
- Chemotherapy-related peripheral neuropathy or nerve pain
Acupuncture is offered not as a treatment for cancer, but as a way to alleviate the symptoms associated with oncology – particularly cancer-related fatigue and xerostomia.
Acupuncture is widely regarded as a method for symptom control among people living with cancer. It’s been proven that acupuncture can reduce xerostomia (the dry mouth sensation that patients can experience as the result of radio therapy treatment) as well as the symptoms of neuropathy (a pain and numbness in the limbs typically caused by nerve damage during cancer treatment).
What is the purpose of acupuncture in relation to oncology, xerostomia and cancer-related fatigue?
These are typically the key areas of focus for an acupuncturist providing treatment:
- Temperature regulation – acupuncture can help the body to warm and cool itself properly, which in turn can improve digestion, sleep and energy levels.
- Fluid control – acupuncture treatment may assist with the body’s ability to absorb and retain water, hydrate, cleanse and cool; thus easing symptoms like hot flushes, oedema and dry mouth.
- Stress and anxiety management – the idea behind acupuncture is to stimulate the central nervous system so that it releases certain chemicals into our muscles, spinal cord and the brain. It could assist to release serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals can alleviate stress and anxiety, which allows us to sleep better, digest food and fluids easier, and achieve more positive emotional wellbeing.
Please note that acupuncture is not provided to treat cancer. It is useful and safe to support you during oncology treatment as well as afterwards in regaining strength and wellness.
Would you benefit from oncology acupuncture treatment?
At the end of the day, acupuncture is a very safe treatment that’s often utilised as an adjuvant therapy during cancer treatment for its ability to:
- Release positive endorphins
- Improve blood circulation
- Reduce inflammation
- Filter out excessive messaging to the brain (which can reduce depression and anxiety while assisting with pain management)
At Eastern Therapies, we strongly recommend that you discuss acupuncture (and other forms of cancer treatment support) with your oncologist before booking a consultation. If you already have an acupuncturist, it might be a good idea to put them in direct communication with your medical team, for personalised treatments and support. Please also refer to our section on herbs for oncology.
Contact Eastern Therapies
Our Bondi Junction clinic is home to an exceptional team of qualified and experienced acupuncturists who tailor each appointment to our client’s individual needs – from oncology acupuncture to infertility acupuncture, pregnancy massage and laser therapy.
Our friendly and knowledgeable team is here to assist with any questions you may have about our acupuncture treatment services for oncology, xerostomia and cancer-related fatigue. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.