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Acupuncture Question

NWGirl
Posts: 124
Joined: Jan 2008

I've heard from various people that acupuncture helps with nausea and fatigue caused by chemo. The chemo treatment I'm on seems to be hitting me pretty hard, despite using "Emend" for the nausea and getting extra hydration at the cancer center. These things do help, but it's still no party. Any 'red flags' I need to be aware of when choosing an acupuncture therapist or facility? Do most oncologists recommend this as another form of treatment to make the chemo more tolerable? Any suggestions on when I should have acupuncture - i.e. after I get my chemo or right after I've had the chemo(?) Any input on how frequent or for what time frame - i.e. during the entire chemo duration?

shmurciakova's picture
shmurciakova
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Are you in the Seattle area?

NWGirl
Posts: 124
Joined: Jan 2008

No - Battle Ground, WA, about 30 minutes north of Portland. I need to stay in the Vancouver area - Portland is just to far to drive on a regular basis; and to much traffic. :-) I have a couple of names for therapists in Vancouver, just haven't checked them out yet.

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi there. I know whereof you speak. I didn't do acupuncture, but I kept having the desire for massage, specifically a lymphatic massage. I didn't get any, but I felt that it would make me feel better and help pass the toxins out. Perhaps you could try that?

shmurciakova's picture
shmurciakova
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

OK, well, I was going to suggest you call the NW Natural Health Clinic. You could still do so anyway to see if they can recommend someone. As far as whether or not oncologists recommend acupuncture, I would say it entirely depends on the open-mindedness of the oncologist. I doubt any would MIND per se, but they might poo poo it. At any rate, who cares, it won't hurt you. So with that being said, I have had acupuncture over the years, including after my chemo etc. However, I mostly went for the "mental release" and to get my "chi" in order.
I am not sure when it is recommended during treatment, but I would think it would be after each infusion. You should probably do it the entire time you are going through your chemo as well as for a while afterwards. If you have never had acupuncture before I would recommend asking if someone can recommend a practitioner. Call Whole Foods even, or some other health food store if all else fails.
I know some cancer facilities such as MD Anderson now have alternative practitioners on the premesis. So if you have a major cancer facility near you, then you could call them. Isn't Cancer Centers of America located in Portland?
Anyway, best of luck. I do recommend massage AND acupuncture. I think both are very beneficial.
Cheers,
Susan H.

rmap59
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2007

Hi,
I had accupuncture during chemo treatments. I would go in the day before and the day after. It helped with the neuropathy best for me, the nausea responded well at first but then toward the end of my treatments nothing helped. I would still do it over again.
Good Luck, Robin

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