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Acupuncture for Saliva, Pain and Nausea

6Cyn's picture
Posts: 29
Joined: Sep 2013


My husband is now getting acupuncture two days a week to help with pain, nausea, and to improve the chances of the return of saliva production.

I'm new to this site so not sure if anyone else has written about this - so far, the treatments have been a bright spot in his day. He has completed 12 of 35 rad treatments. 

I am always looking for ways to improve the long term outcome.



Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8299
Joined: Sep 2009

Acupuncture has been tried and mentioned a few times...., more so after Tx though I believe...

Usually associated with saliva production, but from most of what I have read it has minimal impact concernng the return of saliva... The more proven reproducer of saliva, unfortunately just seems to be time.

The majority here whether they had Amifostine as I did and a few others, or methods of protecting the salivary glands, or just nothing at all have their saliva return, or at least a percentage.

Myself and others have nearly 100% or very close... I still dry out at night during sleep.. But other than that it's as it was pre-Tx.

A large portion comes back within six months or so, but can continue to improve for a year or two.

My taste for example took all of two years to completely come back 100%...

As for the pain and nausea, I'd presume that the acupuncture should be able to help with that, although I might look for something more immediate via meds for nausea...



Bart T's picture
Bart T
Posts: 56
Joined: Mar 2013

About 6 months after treatment I started acupuncture to help restore saliva. After several treatments, there was a noticeable improvement, then the improvement stopped and I stopped treatment. I am about 16 months post radiation treatment now, and still have a problem with lack of saliva, and i'm going to start a new round of acupuncture. I was surprised that I actually found the acupuncture treatment relaxing. I'll pass along a note about how it works at this later stage of the game. 


I can't comment about any impact on pain or nausea because I was not doing it during treatment, but it can't do any harm. His symptoms will worsen the further into treatment he gets, so it will probably be impossible to make any comparisons between having or not having acupuncture. If he trusts the acupuncturist and finds the treatment a bright spot in his day, go for it. I'm all for doing anything to make the day a bit brighter. 




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