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acupuncture for cancer care

Acupuncture for Cancer Care

Acupuncture cancer care has been integrated as a part of cancer treatment plan. In the United States, acupuncture cancer care supporting along with Western medicine is an important collaborative resource,  for increasing the effective care of cancer patients.  In addition, the National Institute of Health (NIH) fully supports acupuncture’s use as part of a “total treatment plan” for cancer.  Also, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has recommended acupuncture cancer care program for the treatment of cancer and treatment-related symptoms.

How acupuncture cancer care work

According to traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the cause of most cancers is Chi (vital energy) stagnation, or energy loss, which congeals phlegm and creates blood stagnation masses, in conjunction with heat toxins. External (toxins and environment) and internal (long-term emotional stress, overwork, improper lifestyle and diet) stimuli are the main factors blocking Chi flow. Acupuncture cancer care works by stimulating various points in the body, clearing these blocked pathways through which Chi naturally flows.

Acupuncture cancer care a natural approach

In the treatment of acupuncture cancer patients, acupuncture is a much more natural, alternative approach toward achieving good health and an overall improvement in quality of life. It has been found to be extremely effective in the following specific ways, because it:

  • Eliminates or treats nausea and vomiting , which related to chemo-radiotherapies. Studies from the UCLA School of Medicine showed that nausea/vomiting among chemotherapy patients was greatly reduced when the patients were pre-treated with acupuncture. Acupuncture is now routinely administered before, after and between chemotherapy sessions. It not only treats side effects from chemo-radiotherapies but also supports patients by enhancing their immune functions, which encourages them to remain on schedule with their treatment protocols.
  • Significantly controls malignant pain, resulting in a reduced need for narcotics. Acupuncture points stimulate the nervous system and release endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers) and activate the body’s innate ability to repair itself. Acupuncture plays a big role in improving the quality of life in late-stage cancer patients.
  • Helps ease severe dry mouth as a side effect of chemo or radiotherapies. Auricular treatment (needles placed on the ear) regulates the autonomic nervous system by activating the salivary glands. In addition, Chinese herbs replenish yin energy (body fluids) and restore organ function.
  • Enhances immune functions. Chemo and radiation treatments inhibit certain functions of the body’s own immune system. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs boost and strengthen the body’s immune system by increasing the number of white blood cells, natural killer cells, B-cells and red blood cells. This helps patients recover more easily and complete their chemo or radiation therapies.
  • Suppresses cancer growth, spread and recurrence. Studies show that Chinese medicine has great value in terms of prevention by inhibiting: cancer cell synthesis of DNA, RNA and proteins; cancer division; and cancer gene expression. This blocks cancer formation and recurrence.

Dr. Zhou works with each patient individually, designing personalized assessments and continuing acupuncture cancer care treatment plans throughout the healing process. In addition of acupuncture cancer care treatment, Dr. Zhou educates as she treats, recommending specific exercise plans as well as dietary and lifestyle changes/enhancements to promote healing and prevent cancer recurrence. Her goal is to integrate the use of acupuncture and Chinese herbs with Western treatments to increase the effectiveness of medical care and support her patients in their efforts to achieve complete well-being.   

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