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Acupuncture for cancer patients

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With complementary cancer care on the rise, more and more patients are discovering how acupuncture can play a beneficial role in their treatment

With complementary cancer care on the rise, more and more patients are discovering how acupuncture can play a beneficial role in their treatment.

"Acupuncture will not cure cancer, but it may improve immune function," says Joseph Chiang, MD, an anesthesiologist and professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, in the February 2004 issue of CancerWise.

Acupuncture is a part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM); the ancient discipline involves inserting small, thin, sterile needles into specific points on the body in order to facilitate the flow of qi (energy). According to TCM theory, blockages in qi contribute to sickness and disease.

Cancer patients who try acupuncture frequently report relief from side-effects of conventional treatment such as fatigue, nausea, headache, insomnia, muscle aches, and bowel problems.

The National Institutes of Health has endorsed the body of evidence pointing to acupuncture's ability to reduce nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy. Other research on acupuncture has jumped in recent years, with the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine recently awarding millions of dollars in grants to study how the modality works.

Consult your naturopathic physician or licensed acupuncturist to determine whether acupuncture may assist with your treatment program.

Source: cancerwise.org.

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