Friday, June 19, 2015

Dealing with the C-Word: Cancer !

Surviving Cancer and Treatments with the Help of Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years and the last ten years of clinical studies have provided mounting scientific evidence that acupuncture, indeed, reduces specific symptoms associated with the side effects of cancer-related treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. 

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) actively funds and helps to facilitate ongoing research and evaluation to better appropriate the use of complementary medicine such as acupuncture

In fact, the United States Library of Medicine and the National Center for Biotechnology Information provide an online library and database through of completed scientific studies that show hundreds of clinical research projects that support the fact that acupuncture is a beneficial therapy for those undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments. A quick search of "acupuncture cancer" brings up over one thousand results. Not all of these results are relevant to acupuncture, but many are. 

One recent article published in the July 2014 edition of Annals of Palliative Medicine takes a look at several different complementary and alternative medicine modalities that were effective in alleviating side effects of cancer therapy and improving on quality of life during cancer treatment. 

In one study, acupuncture was found to significantly reduce the severity of the main symptoms suffered by cancer patients such as cancer pain, chemo-toxicity, lumbar pain, chronic postoperative pain. In another study, acupuncture was found to be a safe way to reduce arm circumference in breast cancer related lymphedema of the arm and reduce hot flashes and sleep disturbances in breast cancer survivors.

A recent medical journal study concluded that acupuncture is now considered an effective alternative treatment option for preventing delayed chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting and in promoting better quality of life for patients.

A common side effect during radiation therapy is severe dry mouth known as xerosomia. Acupuncture was found to be successful in reducing xerostomia in one study jointly conducted by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Shanghai University Cancer Center.

Being diagnosed with cancer and commencing treatment can be a scary event, but there are ways to control the unwanted side effects of cancer treatment by adopting a holistic perspective on the process. Finding a skilled acupuncturist who is well-versed in traditional oriental herbal medicines will help control the negative consequences of cancer treatment. 

Acupuncturists who enhance their education with information about 8-Body Type Constitutional oriental medicine will have an advantage when assessing cancer patients and formulating an acupuncture and herbal treatment plan to prevent common cancer treatment side effects.

By incorporating acupuncture and traditional oriental herbal medicine in a cancer treatment plan, doctors and patients will be pleasantly surprised to find that cancer patients are better able to endure chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

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