Let's talk about the 'C' word...

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Let's talk about the 'C' word...

3rd March 2016 06:11 PM

Author: Maxine Silk

Or, more specifically....Cancer and Acupuncture 

In the UK there are over 2 million people surviving after receiving a diagnosis of cancer. Early diagnosis and improved treatment options means that more people are receiving a favourable outcome.

However, the personal impact after all treatment has finished may be physical, practical or emotional. Traditional acupuncture may offer support to allow you to adjust to the changes taking place.  

With a focus on treating the person as an individual, acupuncture offers an alternative which can address the complex physical, emotional and mental needs of someone adjusting to living with a chronic condition.

Survivors face many challenges and on-going issues.  Acupuncture acts on areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress together with promoting relaxation and deactivating the area of the brain responsible for anxiety and worry.

Research has shown that acupuncture may lessen the side effects of cancer treatments by:

  • reducing fatigue
  • controlling hot flushes
  • decreasing nausea
  • reducing vomiting
  • reducing pain

Fatigue is the most common symptom reported by survivors (Johnston, 2007).  In a 2004 study at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, acupuncture was shown to reduce post-chemotherapy fatigue by 31% in people with various types of cancer.  

Similar results were shown with patients who received acupuncture for pain relief.  Patients treated with acupuncture had a 36% reduction in pain after 2 months of acupuncture treatments, compared with a 2% reduction in pain in the patients receiving a placebo type of acupuncture (breastcancer.org, 2015).  

Researchers suggest that treatments activate the nervous system to release natural painkillers and stimulate the body's own immune system.  Many people report that they feel deeply relaxed during a treatment.

So, what should you expect?  Diagnostic information will be taken including a full medical history, taking your pulses, your blood pressure, looking at your tongue and the local area of symptoms.  A personalised treatment plan will be devised and will include some needles.  The needles are pre-sterilised single use only and finer than a human hair.  If you are afraid of needles talk to your practitioner and they may offer acupressure as an alternative. 

Acupuncture is suitable for people of all ages including children, pregnant women and those undergoing western medical treatment.  Talk to your GP, Consultant or Macmillan Nurse for more guidance.  

The British Acupuncture Council’s website has more information about acupuncture in cancer care http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/a-to-z-of-conditions/a-to-z-of-conditions/cancer-care.html 

Maxine is a Five Element Acupuncturist who is able to treat a wide range of conditions and concerns. 

To discuss acupuncture further or to book in please call 01332 521 270






Treatments: Acupuncture

Practitioners: Maxine Silk

The views expressed in these blogs are those of the blog authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Bridge Centre for Natural Health.

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