What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture with Alfred Man, RN. RPN. R.TCMP, R.Ac. Click here to read Alfred’s bio.
Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which treats patients using the insertion of needles into specific points on the body. According to TCM theory, a network of vital energy or Qi (Chi) circulates throughout the body along various pathways or meridians. The Qi flows like an electric current with different meridians regulating different internal functions of the body, such as the heart, liver, kidneys and lungs. Acupuncture points are located along the meridians, and enable a treatment for restoring the imbalances in our Qi.
In order for the body to function in a healthy manner, the Qi must be able to move smoothly, with the appropriate strength and balance. When the Qi is obstructed due to a variety of factors such as stress, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, external trauma, polluted environmental factors, use of drugs etc. –negative symptoms begin to appear.
Acupuncture treatment involves accessing the Qi by needling certain points. This increases the flow of Qi, gradually removing the obstruction and restoring the body to a healthy state.
The Role of Acupuncture in Cancer treatment.
Acupuncture has been recognised as a very good complementary treatment for cancer patients by the World Health Organization, and other Cancer Institutes and agencies in North America, Europe and Asia. It is not a replacement for traditional Western treatment but will complement these treatment methodologies. Improving a patient’s immune response can accelerate surgical recovery, can make chemotherapy and radiation treatment more effective, and can help patient’s better tolerate chemotherapy and radiation side effects.
Helping patients feel better by minimizing standard of care side effects can be a significant contributor to patient confidence and can inspire them to feel positive while managing treatment challenges. Studies have shown that early acupuncture treatment can better prepare patients for standard of care treatment and helps to overcome some of the aggressive side effects, hence enabling them to continue and complete the treatment in a more tolerable and satisfactory manner.
Boosting the immune response
Acupuncture supports our vital Qi which enhances the immune system to allow the body to withstand disease. Study has shown that acupuncture stimulates a significant increase in the production of several types of cytokines, interferon, and WBC, RBC and NK- cells. It minimizes immune and bone marrow suppression due to chemotherapy and radiation. It restores the weakened immune function and strengthens the internal organs such as the liver, kidneys and spleen. It is a very good preventive as well as complementary therapy in the fight against cancer and its effects.
Fatigue and lack of energy is a very common complaint for most cancer patients. Acupuncture helps to rebalance the distribution of energy and unblock the energy flow to boost one’s overall energy level. It gives the patient more strength and a more positive disposition toward fighting the disease.
Stress reduction and relaxation
It is very emotional to learn of a cancer diagnosis. People go through different stages of emotional disturbance following diagnosis. Worry and sleepless nights are a common theme. Acupuncture can help to make people more relaxed and reduce some of their stress. This will also inspire them to be more positive when facing the challenges ahead.
Narcotic and morphine based pain killers are very good at controling pain. However, they also have some unpleasant side effects such as constipation, nausea and sickness, drowsiness and even confusion. Acupuncture has effects on the mid brain, hypothalamic-pituitary center. It activates the release of endorphins, a natural pain killer, to reduce the level of pain. It helps to reduce the excessive need for narcotic drugs and will minimize their side effects.
Improves quality of life
Acupuncture rebalances the yin and yan of the body, creating harmony between the mind and the body. It makes our patients feels so much better with fewer side effects such as nausea, poor appetite, dry mouth, chemo-induced neuropathy etc. The quality of life will improve and our patients will be inspired to be more positive to deal with the disease.
We encourage you to visit Integrated Health Clinic to meet with our physicians and learn more about this treatment.