Acupuncture uses fine sterile needles to stimulate specific acupoints to rebalance the flow of energy and improve health. Studies have provided strong evidence that acupuncture is can help to ease nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, reduce cancer related fatigue and joint pain, diminish hot flashes caused by hormonal therapies (men and women) and support patients living with cancer in many other aspects.
A randomized clinical trial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2020 looked at the effect of 8 weeks of acupuncture with chemotherapy compared to placebo and usual care without acupuncture. The authors of the study concluded that compared with usual care, real acupuncture resulted in significant improvement in chemotherapy-induced neuropathy symptoms. (JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(3)).
Acupuncture is often used in cancer care as a non-pharmacological therapy to mitigate:
- Hot flashes from breast cancer treatment
- Cancer-related pain
- Treatment-induced nausea
- Reduced appetite
- Sleep disturbances
- Dry mouth
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Sexual wellness issues