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Posts: 97
Joined: Feb 2010

I have posted on hear before trying to get some information on acupuncture. I like many others on here have fried saliva glands due to radiation. I am now three years and three months post treatment and basically have no saliva other than the thick ropy type. Yes chewing gum, tic-tacs, biotene gel for dry mouth and a couple other things I have tried create temporary saliva. I know there are a couple on here that have had some success with acupuncture and I know it may be a long shot but I am willing to try. What I would like to know is there certain ones who perform acupuncture that can only do this or can any acupuncturist do this. Also will your medical insurance pay for this and if not how expensive is the normal treatment? I know many doctors if not most probably look at this as a form of quackary but who cares, I belive my doctor still has saliva. Please if you can give me some help e-mail me a coachmandavis@yahoo.com. Thanks in advance for any information I can get.

MarineE5's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2005


I'll try to answer your questions about the Accupunture, as I tried it last summer. First, I was out of treatment roughly 4 1/2 years, and totally no saliva except for the relief that you had mentioned already. Sipping water, gum, and Biotene at night before bed.

A fellow cancer survivor called me one day to tell me that he was thinking of trying it as he was roughly 1 1/2 years out of treatment and had no saliva like me. He contacted an accupunturist that strickly dealt with cancer patients of the Head and Neck. He met with this Doctor and after just 2 treatments at a cost of $150 each, he had saliva and didn't go back.

This Doctor was located in Virginia, from what my friend told me, the name of the Doctor, I don't recall at this time. Fast forward to last summer. I decided I would try it as my wife checked to see if our insurance would cover it, and it did. So, I asked my Radiation Oncologist about it and he recommended a local cancer patient accupunturist for me. I met with this Doctor and he told me that I had a 60-70% chance of getting some saliva back, but no guarantees. He wanted to also view a recent Pet Scan or Cat Scan to decide if I was a good candidate for this.

He told me the first treatment would be $125 followed by $75 per treatment until I got saliva which he said should happen no later then treatment 6, if it was going to work at all. He said anything past number 6 would be a waste of my money. I informed him that my insurance covered the treatments and he said I was lucky as many don't.

I did the treatments and at number 6, I still had no saliva, but as it was covered, I thought I would give it one more treatment. So I went for number 7 and still had no saliva. So, instead of wasting the insurance companies money, I stopped. I am able to get through the day by sipping my water and chewing my gum. I do wish I had the saliva, but, I make sure I do my flouride trays each day as well.

So, after this long post, what does it all mean. Once again as mentioned before, we all react to treatments and recovery differently. What works for one, may not work for another. You won't know about the Accupunture until you give it a try. If you do, I hope you have great success.

My Best to You and Everyone Here

Posts: 51
Joined: Jul 2009

I did 12 sessions of acupunture last summer. Helped greatly afyter about 6 times. B/C Anthem cvovered 12 times. You should GOOGLE the term "acupunture for xerostomia". Lots of info there -good luck I have some saliva always now and it is far better than none at all.

Scambuster's picture
Posts: 973
Joined: Nov 2009


I am getting Acupuncture still and have had some improvement. probably from 0 to now 10-15%. Enough that I can easily wet my teeth and work up a bit. I still get dry at night as I breath through my mouth and if I am out with my mouth open. It is certainly a relief to get the bit back I have.

My acupuncturist had never dealt with it before but did her research. Most relevant points were in my ears so about 4 points in each ear. She also had points in the feet, shins, hands, stomach, face and head to restore balance and stimulate other vital organs.

I gather there is a traditional Chinese chart, and American, German and French Chart. My lady used all 4 Charts and also an electric probe that locates key points in my ears.

Hope this helps (PS My private insurance covered 100%)

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