Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for for Cancer Support

A frequently asked question by patients undergoing cancer treatment is, "Can acupuncture help me?" The National Cancer Institute says YES!.

For years, acupuncture has been successfully integrated with conventional cancer treatments strengthen the body, reduce pain, enhance quality of life, relieve side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, and rebuild the body's vitality after treatment. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center conducted an extensive human studies literature review of traditional Chinese medicine and found seventy-four human studies applicable to cancer. The review conclude that the statistically significant outcomes in these studies include increased survival rates, enhanced immune response, reduction in side effects from chemotherapy and radiotherapy, improved recovery from surgery, alleviation of pain and improved quality of life. Now premier cancer centers around the country such as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center are now incorporating acupuncture and integrative medicine into treatment for their patients. Acupuncture, once considered an "alternative" modality, has now become mainstream as a complementary therapy in palliative care and increased quality of life for cancer patients.

The traditional Chinese medicine perspective on cancer

From Traditional Chinese medicine perspective, cancer is a systemic disorder and the result of stagnation of Chi and blood. TCM believes that there are multiple causes of cancer and these are closely related to environment, diet, lifestyle and emotional strain. If factors that affect blood and qi (vital energy) flows occur over a long period, they can lead to a local accumulation of pathological waste products that induces abnormal growth of tissues inside the body. Acupuncture stimulates various points in the body to clear the pathways through which Chi naturally flows and cancer blocks.

The benefits of acupuncture Treatment

Acupuncture is a much more natural, alternative approach to achieving good health and an overall improvement in the quality of life in the treatment of cancer patients. It has been found extremely effective in the specific ways:

  • Pain Management: Acupuncture is very effective for managing pain related to tumors, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and inflammation. Many studies shown that Acupuncture treatments stimulate the nervous system, and induce the release of endorphins, which serve as natural painkillers in the body and reduce the need for narcotics.

  • Nausea and vomiting: Acupuncture has been shown to reduce the intensity and frequency of nausea and vomiting in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. A well-controlled study conducted at the University of Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine over two Years ago, shown the significant reduction of nausea and vomiting when pre-treated with Acupuncture. Acupuncture is now becoming a routine treatment before, after and in between chemotherapy treatment sessions for control or nausea and emesis. Its effectiveness helps in minimizing the use of standard, expensive multi-drug anti-nausea regimens with their attendant side effects, given along with the chemotherapeutic agents.

  • Severe dry mouth and throat: Cancer patients receiving radiation to the head and neck experience dry mouth due to the reduction in saliva production. Additionally, radiation treatments lead to pain and swelling in the mouth and throat making it very difficult to swallow. These patients often lose their sense of taste as well. Acupuncture has been shown to decrease these side effects allowing the patient to be able to swallow, eat and drink normally, protect the health of the teeth and gums and reduce the incidence of infections, pain and swelling in the mouth and throat during radiation therapy.

  • Anxiety and Sleep disorder: Cancer patients suffer sleep disruption and insomnia due to post-surgical discomfort, anxiety and depression and physical pain. By relieving these symptoms the cancer patient is able to get the deep sleep and rest required for recovery and healing.

  • Hot flashes: Hot flashes can be a debilitating condition for cancer patients who are being treated with chemotherapy or hormone therapy. Acupuncture not only cools hot flashes that occur as a result of breast cancer treatment but may offer a host of other benefits to boost women's well-being. A new study shows acupuncture was as good as drug therapy with Effexor (venlafaxine) at easing hot flashes in breast cancer patients, but it also improved sex drive, energy levels, and clarity of thought.

  • Immune System Modulation: Many cancers and many cancer treatments cause suppression of the bone marrow, the source of blood cells that are the army of the immune system. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can support and boost the immune by increasing the blood cell production and enhances Natural Killer Cells and Lymphocytes, which leads to increased immune response and decreased risk of infection, shorten recovery time, improved survival rates and quality of life.

  • Fatigue: Crippling and long-lasting fatigue is one the most common side-effects of chemotherapy. Acupuncture could boost energy levels and help relieve the crippling fatigue associated with chemotherapy treatment in cancer patients. That is the conclusion of scientists at the University of Manchester, UK, who say their preliminary results are so promising that further research needs to be carried out to study the effect in more detail.

Why Mr. Jiang

Mr. Jiang works with each patient individually, and designs comprehensive and personally tailored treatment plans based on type of cancer and staging, current biomedical treatments, and side effects. The treatment plans usually include acupuncture, Chinese herb medicine, along with the recommendations of physical exercises, dietary and lifestyle changes. His goal is not only to relieve complex symptoms, control cancer progression, helps to reduce complications that arise in conventional therapies and increase the body's tolerance towards radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and also uplift the general health condition that includes organ functioning, body resistance, immune functions, self-healing power and improve the quality of the life

Schedule an Appointment!

Brooklyn office

263 7th Avenue, Suite 2B
Spine & Arthritis Center
New York Methodist Hospital
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(Between 5th Street and
6th Street at 7th Avenue)

Office Hours:

Mon: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Wed: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri: 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
Sat: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
(By appointment only)

Staten Island Office

32 Beard Street
Staten Island, NY 10314
(Cross Street: Travis Avenue)

Office Hours:

Tue: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thu: 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Fri: 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Sat: 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
(By appointment only)