Acupuncture For Palliative Care

The term Palliative Care was first used by Dr. Balfour Mount, in the St. Christopher's Hospital, London, in 1967, promoting the need for a holistic and comprehensive approach for caring patients whose condition is non-responsive to conventional therapies.

Ever since, cancer patients and their families also have taken initiatives and started actively searching for alternative therapies.

By the early 1990`s, 34% of patients in the United States used complementary methods. 25 % of them applied acupuncture to cancer symptoms.

40 % of breast cancer patients has been using acupuncture or other alternative methods.

Study reveals that 63 % of cancer patients participating in cancer clinical trials, also tried acupuncture.

Questionnaire submitted by 453 cancer patients reveals that 83.3% of them used acupuncture.

These studies suggest that patients diagnosed with malignant disease, frequently use complementary therapies to manage pain, discomfort, fatigue, or any other symptoms of their disease, including the side effects of their chemo-, and radiotherapy.

Does evidence based literature support the effectiveness of acupuncture for palliative care?

Well, there`s an increasing number of clinical trials reporting its benefits, published in highly respected medical journals.

Some examples:

  • Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation for the Management of Pain Secondary to Bony Metastasis.

  • Acupuncture found effective for long-term treatment of vasomotor symptoms in cancer patients.

  • Pilots study shows improvement of chronic post-chemotherapy fatigue following acupuncture treatments.

  • Electro-acupuncture vs. Amitriptyline for depression reveals that electro-acupuncture is equal to Amitriptyline in treating depression, with significantly fewer side effects.

  • Auricular acupuncture reported to effectively relieve the pain of malignant disease.

  • Acupuncture is beneficial to treat breathlessness directly related to malignancy, refractory to conventional medications.

    As part of the interdisciplinary and holistic efforts, as well as responding to increased patients interest, Western Cancer Centers, like the Mayo Clinic , the MD Anderson, the Sloan-Kettering, closest to us is the UPMC , opened Integrative Medical Departments, utilizing herbs, acupuncture, massage, tai-Chi as a complement to their conventional research and therapies.

    I would like to encourage you to consider acupuncture for palliative care, especially when...

  • "max"-ed out on narcotics
  • intractable nausea and vomiting
  • tumor lysis syndrome (multiple organ shut down due to rapid destruction of malignant cells by chemotherapy)
  • other side effects of chemotherapy
  • vasomotor symptoms, (night sweats, hot flushes, etc.)
  • coping and grieving
  • denial and depression
  • Obviously you should not wait until these serious symptoms occur...


    We’ll also advice you about other natural cures and practices that I found tremendously beneficial to implement in the management of certain cases...

    Following these recommendations, advanced stages of malignancies went into remission or improved...

    Please e-mail us to discuss how we can be at your service.

    No hopeless cases...

    Hints and Links More on natural cures in the How Never Get Sick chapter.

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