Updated: Sep 29, 2019
Pain is one of the most common and feared symptoms for cancer patients. Whether it's caused by the cancer itself or the treatment, the pain can be draining and debilitating.
With acupuncture, pain can be relieved naturally and without the negative side effects of painkillers.
Acupuncture for Cancer-Related Pain
Acupuncture regulates the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous system. It encourages release of serotonin as well as endogenous opiate release (b‑endorphin, enkephalin, endomorphin, and dynorphin), which alleviate pain naturally and increase the body's pain threshold.
Acupuncture also activates the immune system by stimulating the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, increasing production of leukocytes to fight infection and foreign objects in the body.
Radiation therapy can cause xerostemia (dry mouth) as well as nausea and vomiting. In clinical studies, acupuncture was shown to increase salivary flow rates to reduce dry mouth and effectively decreased nausea and vomiting.
Analgesics prescribed by Western medicine for cancer pain can cause joint pain and stiffness. Acupuncture works to decrease inflammation by increasing circulation and also has a relaxing effect on muscles, easing joint troubles.
Peripheral neuropathy is a commonly experienced chronic pain symptom that can appear during or after treatment. We've written about how acupuncture can relieve peripheral neuropathy in a previous blog post.
In clinical studies, acupuncture was able to reduce pain severity. Over 60% of cancer patients experienced a 30% reduction or more in their pain and its interference in their daily lives.
If you or a loved one have cancer and are experiencing pain, acupuncture can improve the quality of daily life without the side effects of painkillers. Call us at (321) 972-2940 to schedule an initial health consultation today.
Chien, T. J., C. Y. Liu, and C. H. Hsu. "Integrating acupuncture into cancer care." Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine 3, no. 4 (2013): 234.
HealthCMI. "Acupuncture Alleviates Cancer Pain, Fatigue, and Anxiety." (July 17, 2015). Retrieved from http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1498-acupuncture-alleviates-cancer-pain-fatigue-and-anxiety
Weidong L, D. Rosenthal. "Acupuncture for Cancer Pain and Related Symptoms." (2014). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4008096/