Cancer Treatment Support

 

Acupuncture Cuts Dry Mouth (Xerostomia) From Radiation

Acupuncture can relieve the symptoms of dry mouth (Xerostomia) after radiation for head and neck cancer, researchers reported.

 

 

The following is information from National Cancer Institute page on Acupuncture as CAM to cancer treatment.

 

Most studies of the use of acupuncture in cancer patients have been done in China. In 1997, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) began evaluating the safety and effectiveness of acupuncture as a complementary and alternative therapy.

 

Studies of the effect of acupuncture on the immune system

Human studies on the effect of acupuncture have shown that it changes immune system response.

Studies of the effect of acupuncture on pain

In clinical studies, acupuncture reduced the amount of pain in some cancer patients. In one study, most of the patients treated with acupuncture were able to stop taking drugs for pain relief or to take smaller doses. The findings from these studies are not considered strong, however, because of weaknesses in study design and size. Studies using strict scientific methods are needed to prove how acupuncture affects pain.

Studies of the effect of acupuncture on muscle and joint pain from aromatase inhibitors (Acupuncture may relieve joint pain caused by some breast cancer treatment) Aromatase inhibitors, a type of hormone therapy for postmenopausal women who have hormone-dependent breast cancer, may cause muscle and joint pain. A randomized study found that true acupuncture was much more effective in relieving joint pain and stiffness than sham (inactive) acupuncture in patients taking aromatase inhibitors.

Studies of the effect of acupuncture on nausea and vomiting caused by cancer therapies (chemotherapy)

The strongest evidence of the effect of acupuncture has come from clinical trials on the use of acupuncture to relieve nausea and vomiting. Several types of clinical trials using different acupuncture methods showed acupuncture reduced nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, surgery, and morning sickness. It appears to be more effective in preventing vomiting than in reducing nausea.

A study of acupuncture, vitamin B6 injections, or both for nausea and vomiting in patients treated with chemotherapy for ovarian cancer found that acupuncture and vitamin B6 together gave more relief from vomiting than acupuncture or vitamin B6 alone.

A study of acupressure for relief of nausea and vomiting was done in women undergoing chemotherapy. The study found that acupressure applied to an acupuncture point with a wristband helped to decrease nausea and vomiting and reduced the amount of medicine the women used for those symptoms.

A study of acupuncture for relief of nausea and vomiting was done in patients undergoing radiation therapy. Patients who received either true acupuncture or sham acupuncture were compared to patients who received standard care. The study found that patients in both the true and sham acupuncture groups developed less nausea and vomiting than those in the standard care group.

 

Studies of the effect of acupuncture on hot flashes in patients treated for cancer

Hormone therapy may cause hot flashes in women with breast cancer and men with prostate cancer. Some studies have shown that acupuncture may be effective in relieving hot flashes in these patients.

 

Study of the effect of acupuncture on fatigue in patients treated for cancer

A randomized study of patients with cancer-related fatigue found that those who had a series of acupuncture treatments had less fatigue compared to those who had acupressure or sham acupressure treatments.

Studies of the effect of acupuncture on cancer symptoms (other than nausea) and side effects of cancer treatment

The aim of most acupuncture clinical observation and clinical trials in cancer patients has been to study the effects of acupuncture on cancer symptoms and side effects caused by cancer treatment, including weight loss, cough, coughing up blood, anxiety, depression, dry mouth, proctitis, speech problems, blocked esophagus, hiccups, and fluid in the arms or legs. Studies have shown that, for many patients, treatment with acupuncture either relieves symptoms or keeps them from getting worse.

 

* information from the National Cancer Institute

 

 


I was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy on November 27th and immediately began acupuncture treatment at a clinic in south Austin. After 7 weeks of treatments I saw very little results and asked the acupuncturist for his recommendation. He said he had done all he could do and referred me to Dr. Liu. I was shocked that someone who was collecting almost $300 a week from me would refer me away to another doctor. I called and set up an appointment with Dr. Liu for the next week.

At the initial appointment Dr. Liu spent almost two hours working on my face. He started with an initial discussion of the Bell's and its onset, then treated the area with acupuncture and massage. I have been seeing him for almost 4 weeks and have seen drastic improvements in facial movement. He prioritized treatment by focusing on the eye area first so that I could begin to close my eye. He has moved onto the smile lines and has been able to bring back movement there as well. He is now working on the brow and forehead lines.

Dr. Liu is extremely well versed in neurological diseases and specifically Bells Palsy. He has great nurtitional advice as well. Dr. Liu teaches patients a multi-prong approach to recovery. He makes sure to spend adequate time examining tender facial muscles and treating specific areas of need during each appointment. He also taught me how to massage the muscles when I go home to encourage recovery in between appointments.

I am so thankful to have come in contact with him. My Bell's Palsy is definitely improving and I am positive his treatments are the cause. I would highly recommend visiting Dr. Liu for acupuncture treatments.

A. Jacobs