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Acupuncture for Managing The Side Effects of Cancer Treatment

by Yang Chong Chen, L,A.c, CDM

What is Acupuncture? Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique of inserting and manipulating stainless steel needles into various acupoints (energy/Qi focusing points) throughout the body to achieve effects.

There are more than 360 acupoints on the body, distributed along 14 major meridians or energy channels. Each meridian is connected to certain organs or functions of the body. The Practitioner determines the correct points to use depending on the condition being treated. The theory behind acupuncture is that when one or more of the body's energy channels is blocked, discomfort results.

How does acupuncture help in managing side effects of cancer treatment? Often cancer patients may experience side effects as a result of their cancer treatment. These may include nausea or vomiting from chemotherapy, peripheral neuropathy, or tingling, numbness or a burning sensation in the extremities; dry mouth from radiation therapy, or hot flashes from hormone therapy. Research has shown that acupuncture can be very successful in alleviating many of these side effects in many patients.

How is acupuncture delivered? A patient lies on a massage therapy table, while the practitioner inserts acupuncture needles into the appropriate acupuncture points. As many as 15 needles may be inserted at one session. Needles are left in place for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Each visit is usually 45 minutes, in total. It usually takes a few sessions to improve chronic conditions.

Which conditions or side effects of cancer treatment can be treated with acupuncture? I have seen many of my patients respond who were suffering from pain, neuropathy, burning sensation, nausea, dry mouth, fatigue, anxiety, and GI symptoms such as constipation and diarrhea, fatigue, hot flashes insomnia, and joint muscle pain and stiffness. Often cancer patients re referred by their oncologist or nurse. However patients can feel free to contact me at my office by calling 717-338-9777.

I am a third generation acupuncturist. I grew up in China working with my father and grandfather in their clinic, treating various diseases with acupuncture. I came to the United States, and graduated from New York University School of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. I am dedicated to treating my patients with the utmost respect and unconditional compassion and care.

My office is The Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Clinic at Gettysburg Holistic Health Center.

For more information, contact the Gettysburg Holistic Health Center at 717-338-9777.
The center is located at 2311 Fairfield Road in Gettysburg.

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