In the 2020 Cancer Wellness Symposium hosted by Karuna Precision Wellness Center, Dr. Donald Abrams speaks to the benefits of acupuncture. By pursuing a holistic approach to wellness, Karuna Precision Wellness Center integrates complementary methods for treating side effects of traditional cancer treatments. In using less invasive interventions, such as acupuncture, our goal is to help the body activate its innate healing response.
Originating thousands of years ago, acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that seeks to restore and balance the body’s energy, stimulate healing, and promote relaxation. By inserting thin, sterile needles into acupuncture points across the body, practitioners can address a variety of health concerns related to cancer treatment and recovery. Research on acupuncture has increased in the last 30 years, and scientists are gaining more knowledge about how it works to assist the body in the healing process. Acupuncture works to stimulate the release of natural pain-relieving chemicals (endorphins) in the body. Researchers also find that it influences the autonomic nervous system and the release of natural chemicals that regulate blood flow and pressure, reduces inflammation, and calm the brain. (1)
In his presentation, Dr. Abrams spoke to the many uses for acupuncture in his integrative oncology practice. There is wide support to show that acupuncture helps relieve the following effects of cancer treatment. (2)
- Hot flashes (men and women)
- Chemo induced fatigue
- Sleep disturbances
- Immune enhancement
There have also been studies done that support acupuncture as having a comparable effect for the treatment of side effects of some medications:
- Acupuncture results have been shown to be equal to venlafaxine in relief for hot flashes (3)
- Effective for hot flashes for men undergoing treatment for prostate cancer (4)
- Effective for cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer (5)
- Decreases chronic xerostomia symptoms (6)
- Safe in children with cancer treatment related thrombocytopenia (7)
We encourage all of our clients to explore how acupuncture can complement their current health regime. Acupuncture is an effective modality on its own as well. It will encourage your body to begin and/or continue its healing process.
- Chon, T.Y., Lee, M.C. (2013) Acupuncture. . Mayo Clin Proc.,88(10):1141-6. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2013.06.009
- NIH Consensus Conference. Acupuncture. (1998). JAMA, 280(17), 1518–1524.
- Levine, M. (2010) Conventional and Complementary Therapies: A Tale of Two Research Standards? Journal of Clinical Oncology 28:12, 1979-1981.
- Beer, T. M., Benavides, M., Emmons, S. L., Hayes, M., Liu, G., Garzotto, M., Donovan, D., Katovic, N., Reeder, C., & Eilers, K. (2010). Acupuncture for hot flashes in patients with prostate cancer. Urology, 76(5), 1182–1188. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2010.03.03
- Molassiotis, A., Bardy, J., Finnegan-John, J., Mackereth, P., Ryder, D. W., Filshie, J., Ream, E., & Richardson, A. (2012). Acupuncture for cancer-related fatigue in patients with breast cancer: a pragmatic randomized controlled trial. Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 30(36), 4470–4476. https://doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2012.41.6222
- Simcock, R., Fallowfield, L., Monson, K., Solis-Trapala, I., Parlour, L., Langridge, C., Jenkins, V., & ARIX Steering Committee (2013). ARIX: a randomised trial of acupuncture v oral care sessions in patients with chronic xerostomia following treatment of head and neck cancer. Annals of oncology : official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology, 24(3), 776–783. https://doi.org/10.1093/annonc/mds515
- Ladas, E. J., Rooney, D., Taromina, K., Ndao, D. H., & Kelly, K. M. (2010). The safety of acupuncture in children and adolescents with cancer therapy-related thrombocytopenia. Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, 18(11), 1487–1490. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-010-0926-6