I have a number of patients who come to my clinic to get help with managing the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Without a doubt, the treatments required to battle cancer are strong and can be debilitating to quality of life. The diagnosis is emotionally devastating and then coping with the treatments which are physically challenging becomes a double whammy.

I was pleased to read the article below because for those of us who treat patients going through the rigors of cancer treatment, we know that acupucnture is a wonderful option. One of my patients came to me after her chemotherapy, radiation and surgery was finshed. She was exhausted, anxious, not sleeping, having hot flashes and night sweats. These symptoms were a result of the post surgery medications as well as finally connecting to the emotional trauma of the battle to fight cancer. What many people on the outside don’t understand, is that the healing only begins once the treatment and surgery is over. Most patients are just too busy and preoccupied with surviving the process of fighting cancer rather than really processing what it all means.

Another patient came to me after her second diagnosis with cancer. She had been diagnosed many years earlier, had gone through chemotherapy and surgery and had been in remission for ten years. Suddenly she was faced with the diagnosis once again. She remembered what the treatment did to her physically and emotionally and had heard that acupuncture could be an option to help her get through it better. As she started her chemotherapy, she came to me with the information given to her by her doctor about what side effects to expect from the drugs she would be receiving.

As would be expected these patients were nervous. Anxious about what would be. So much unknown but at the same time aware that they would be feeling worse than horrible as the chemotherapy progressed. All I can share with you is what not only these two but numerous patients have told me during the course of their various cancer treatments.

“I feel calmer now”
“My nausea and vomitting is less”
“My stomach doesn’t hurt”
“My bowel movements are better”
“I am sleeping deeper”
“My energy is improving”
“I feel I can get through this”
I don’t ache as much all over
“I’m not getting as many headaches
“My anxiety is better”
“My hot flashes are less frequent and/or less intense”

If any of these sound familiar for yourself or your friends and loved ones, it’s helpful to know that acupuncture helps. Based on what patients say, the tongue and pulse and an assessment, acupoints are chosen to address the constitiution of the patient as well as the symptoms. Please feel free to read this article that describes what many hospitals are now encouraging for their patients.


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