Every year, hundreds of thousands of Canadians are diagnosed with some form of cancer, and although treatments have advanced to improve rates of remission, patients often experience a variety of negative side effects during and post-treatment or surgery. Patients who undergo cancer treatment or surgery, can experience a number of side effects including pain, inflammation and swelling, nausea and appetite loss, and sleep problems.
However, acupuncture has been found to help mitigate and manage these symptoms, and unlike cancer treatment, acupuncture poses little-to-no risk. In this blog post, we will cover 4 ways acupuncture can help patients post-cancer treatment.
Cancer treatments are incredibly powerful at killing cancer cells, but this comes at a price. One of which, being pain, such as aching muscles and joints, headaches, and stomach pain. In addition, post-surgery patients have to overcome an immense amount of pain during the healing and recovery process. Acupuncture has been shown to relieve and help cancer patients manage their pain post-treatment or surgery. Also, if you have an aversion to taking painkillers, acupuncture could help you lower your prescription.
Cancer itself as well as the majority of treatments for cancer can unfortunately cause excess inflammation. In addition to pain, this inflammation can also cause swelling. Typically patients are most susceptible to swelling in their limbs, hands, and feet. Acupuncture can help reduce the amount of inflammation caused by cancer and cancer treatments, and help offset the swelling that occurs.
Cancer and cancer treatments can ruin the quality of your sleep in a variety of ways. Whether it’s the stress and anxiety from diagnosis and hospital visits, or pain and discomfort from cancer treatment, losing sleep can greatly impact your happiness and ability to recover. To combat the mental health aspects that affect the sleep of cancer patients, acupuncture has been shown to help decrease your body’s natural stress response and signal the body to release feel-good hormones. Moreover, by helping manage your pain and inflammation, acupuncture can be used to help you get a better night’s rest.
Reduce Nausea and Vomiting
Cancer is hard enough to overcome, and it becomes even harder when treatments induce nausea and vomiting. On top of the discomfort, being unable to eat can also affect patients’ energy levels, their ability to naturally recover, and their subsequent mental health. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce both the intensity and the frequency of nausea and vomiting, therefore allowing patients to undergo treatments comfortably, and eat and drink enough to continue enjoying life while providing the body nutrients to combat cancer.
If you or someone you know is currently undergoing cancer treatments or will be in the future, we encourage you to consider acupuncture as it can improve your quality of life, while making the difficult road to remission more bearable. Contact us today to book an appointment and learn more!