So many of us are touched by cancer, it has been referred to as the new epidemic of modern society. Treatments are improving all the time and many more people are surviving and living longer, but for many patients the treatments can be difficult in themselves with side effects which rob both patients and survivors of their quality of life. How can we help?
Symptoms acupuncture can assist with include:
- Pain and stiffness
- Nausea & vomiting
- Hot flushes
- Anxiety & depression
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty sleeping
- Diarrhoea and constipation
- Vascular Problems
How do we work?
At your first appointment we will do a full assessment to ensure we have your full health picture. We make sure we understand what your health goals are and, if appropriate, you will receive a relaxing acupuncture treatment. Following this initial assessment, we will tailor a treatment program to suit your individual circumstances. Your treatment goals will be set out and a pathway proposed based on evidence from previous studies and clinical experience.
We are always mindful of working in with your existing health care team and are happy to discuss any queries your oncologist, or any other member of your healthcare team, may have about your Ben&biao treatment plan.
How can acupuncture help?
Thanks to the explosion in acupuncture research over the past 20 years we are learning more about the mechanisms behind acupuncture and its ability to modulate neurological processes within the body. This “hacking” of the body’s own system brings about various effects depending on where the needles are placed, and the type of treatment administered, eg to trigger the release of your own opioid peptides (natural pain killers), stimulate tissue repair, regulate hormones and blood flow and blood pressure. It is important to note that our treatments do not cure the disease of cancer, but are designed to help manage side effects associated with it and the associated treatments. Our aim is to improve quality of life so that you can move forward and get back to doing the things your enjoy!
Acupuncture is not suitable for everyone – but check with us, as to whether it’s right for you.
How many treatments are required?
Your course of treatments will depend upon the nature of your symptoms and your health presentation. We base our treatment programs in the best available evidence and clinical experience. A course of treatment may be once or twice per week for six weeks and then may taper to less frequent appointments. This will all be set out in your treatment plan, along with reviews.
Is it safe?
In a review published by The British Medical Acupuncture Society (White, 2004), the risk of adverse effects from acupuncture is very low – below that of many common medical treatments. If you have any concerns we are happy to go through these with your or your oncologist.
Herbs and supplements?
We do not usually recommend herbs or supplements while patients are undergoing chemo or radiotherapy. However after these treatments are over, it may be beneficial to assist with things like building back your immunity. If we believe herbs or supplements may be appropriate we will discuss this with you.
All acupuncturists at Ben&biao are degree qualified in Chinese Medicine – that’s at least four years studying Acupuncture and Herbal medicine and we have all undertaken further training. We are governed by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency – the same agency which governs doctors, nurses, physios and psychologists and we keep our skills updated by attending courses regularly.
Need some help adjusting your diet?
We have an excellent naturopath and clinical dietician here at Ben&biao who can assist with dietary needs before, during and also after treatment.
Need some help with an exercise program and stretching?
We have an excellent physiotherapist and osteopath on the premises at Ben&biao. For more information please click here: Physiotherapy with Julie Chu and Osteopathy with Kathryn Ashcroft.
You may also be interested in our blogs on hot flushes, anxiety, depression and cancer related pain.
Acupuncture for fatigue
Acupuncture and your immunity
Acupuncture for post-surgical and chemotherapy related nausea and vomiting
Acupuncture for insomnia