admin, October 15, 2016
Breast cancer treatment can involve surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, all of which can bring on severe side effects. Did you know that today, complementary medicine such as acupuncture is commonly used in conjunction with traditional treatment to alleviate everything from nausea to fatigue? In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let’s take a look at the benefits of acupuncture if you or a loved one have been diagnosed.
Reduce Nausea and Vomiting
Radiation and chemotherapy are extremely powerful and destructive. It’s only natural that your body would have trouble handling the side effects of cancer treatment. In fact, anti-nausea drugs are often prescribed to cancer patients. Acupuncture has been proven in multiple clinical studies to minimize nausea and vomiting.
Decrease Lymphedema After Surgery
More advanced stages of breast cancer may require surgery, such as a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. If that’s the case, you may experience swelling in your upper limbs as a result. While exercise and compression garments can provide relief, studies indicate that acupuncture can safely reduce arm circumference and swelling after a lumpectomy or mastectomy.
Minimize Pain and Fatigue
Expert acupuncture centers, such as Acupuncture Balanced Health, offer acupuncture for the management of chronic pain and chronic fatigue. Cancer pain and fatigue occur due to surgery, hormonal imbalances and/or cancer treatment. In some cases, pain and fatigue carry on after the completion of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The result of one clinical study indicate that acupuncture and acupressure can effectively manage chemo-related fatigue.
Lessen Insomnia and Anxiety
It’s not uncommon for cancer patients to suffer from insomnia and anxiety after getting diagnosed. While these two symptoms can very well be related, insomnia can also be due to chronic pain. Regardless of the cause, a number of cancer patients at Acupuncture Balanced Health undergo acupuncture to cure insomnia.
Depression and anxiety can also occur due to the severity of a cancer diagnosis and the uncertainty that comes with treatment. Your oncologist may prescribe an antidepressant if you find yourself overly stressed and worried. You may also wish to consider acupuncture to alleviate the anxiety you’re feeling: clinical studies show that acupuncture is effective at relieving anxiety.
As a result of radiotherapy, you may suffer from peripheral neuropathy after treatment. This type of nerve damage can cause weakness, pain and numbness in your limbs and in other areas of the body. Physicians recommend pain relievers, anti-seizure medication and topical creams. If you’re interested in a more natural approach, acupuncture is proven to stimulate nerves and reduce symptoms of neuropathy.
Increase Your White Blood Cell Count
Chemotherapy can also decrease your white blood cell count, which can put you at risk for infection and disease. This condition is called neutropenia. It’s also why oncologists order CBC blood tests throughout the course of cancer treatment. While exercise can help preserve your immune system, ask an acupuncturist about how acupuncture can help you combat neutropenia throughout chemo.
Mitigate Dry Mouth, Night Sweats and Hot Flashes
Common side effects of cancer treatment can also include xerostomia (dry mouth) and vasomotor symptoms, such as night sweats and hot flashes. Both of these conditions can be greatly improved with acupuncture.
Acupuncture for Breast Cancer
As you’ve read, chemo and radiation side effects are harsh and can drastically decrease your overall quality of life. Controlling any debilitating symptoms is crucial for boosting your emotional and physical strength while in cancer treatment.
The practice of acupuncture aims to regulate the body’s own vital life force, called “Qi”. Eastern medicine theories attribute the growth of disease and pain to the disruption of Qi. By stimulating specific trigger points with acupuncture, your energy flow is regulated and your body returns to a state of balance and harmony, ridding yourself of ailments and sickness.
Alleviate Your Symptoms at Acupuncture Balanced Health
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. With our thorough cancer support program, Acupuncture Balanced Health is committed to alleviating all of your cancer treatment symptoms and restoring balance to your life. This may include learning to reduce your stress levels through yoga and meditation, adopting an anti-cancer diet and taking traditional Chinese medicine herbs. Contact us today to make an appointment and find relief from your breast cancer treatment side effects.