Acupuncture for Cancer – an Effective Alternate to Treat Cancer Symptoms

Updated on November 15th, 2019

Acupuncture for cancer is a natural cancer treatment. It stimulates the nerves that release endorphins (a morphine-like substance) and relieves pain. Acupuncture may also be used for making your ongoing cancer treatment more comfortable. For example, people undergoing chemotherapy or other forms of medication may use acupuncture to cure the illnesses resulting from these medication methods.

Acupuncture also helps to reduce cancer-related fatigue often experienced by cancer patients. Acupuncture can also reduce the feelings of nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy. Cancer(1) patients area is also vulnerable to depression and anxiety, which can be treated using acupuncture.

Insomnia is another condition that occurs in people undergoing chemotherapy. Acupuncture based techniques help reduce this sleeplessness. Thus, acupuncture helps in curing the adverse effects of cancer and cancer treatment.

Did You Know!

  • Did you know that there are over a hundred types of cancers that can form in different body parts?
  • In several parts of the world, acupuncture requires legal requirements.

Acupuncture for Cancer

acupuncture for cancer
Image: ShutterStock

It is sporadic for you to practice acupuncture on yourself, as there are many points on the body that can not be easily reached by you. As a result, the most common way of taking acupuncture treatment is scheduling an appointment with a trained practitioner. Most of the cancer centers today offer acupuncture services. Usually, the meeting has the following steps:

  1. For someone undergoing cancer treatment, the practitioner is likely to enquire you about your current health condition. If this is your first acupuncture session with the practitioner, make sure you mention all your medical conditions to him/her. Mention the medications you are taking or the state of your chemotherapy. This information is essential to consider situations that could aggravate the existing condition.
  2. The acupuncturist is likely to do a physical examination (tongue diagnosis).
  3. The acupuncturist will use needles that are inserted into specific acupuncture points for cancer. These needles are very thin, solid, and made from stainless steel. As a result, you won’t experience any severe pain. However, if you do experience pain, you must mention this to the practitioner. Usually, 5 to 20 needles are inserted in specific spots. Moreover, the area where the needles are inserted is wiped with alcohol.
  4. Needles may be twirled after insertion.
  5. It is important to remember that needles in acupuncture are only inserted in the upper layer of skin.
  6. Needles aren’t inserted directly into the organs.
  7. The session lasts for about 15 to 30 minutes.
  8. After the very first acupuncture session, you might feel disoriented. It is recommended to avoid any activities that require complete focus or concentration, for example, driving, lawn mowing, cycling, or cooking, etc.
  9. You may experience increased pain, mood swings, loss of sleep, and appetite after the first session. However, these feelings do not last long enough. You will notice an improvement after 3-6 sessions.

[Also Read: Acupuncture for Neuropathy Pain ]

With the advances in technology, there have been some variations made to the traditional methods of acupuncture:

  1. Electrostimulation – A modern form of acupuncture where electrical current is applied to the needles after insertion for more stimulation. This current can help reduce the pain even further.
  2. Moxibustion – It involves burning herbs that are applied to the specific points instead of the needles.
  3. Cupping – A method where a warm cup is applied to the specific acupuncture points to promote absorption.

You must remember; however, that cancer is a complicated disease. Make sure you consult your practitioner before starting acupuncture treatment for cancer-related issues.

Acupuncture for cancer(2) can be an excellent way for patients who have cancer and cancer-related issues. Acupuncture for cancer pain in adults can be helpful by reducing the associated pain. It helps in the reduction of pain, nausea, and vomiting, and increases energy and liveliness, making it easier to combat the disease.

Moreover, the treatment costs extremely low compared to the ongoing chemotherapy, making it extremely affordable. Thus, acupuncture can be a useful option for cancer patients to make the condition more comfortable to handle.


1. Can acupuncture reverse cancer?

It is highly unlikely that acupuncture alone can reverse cancer completely. However, it can help in the management of the condition and boost the effectiveness of other medications.

2. Can my doctor be an acupuncturist for cancer?

Some medical practitioners, who treat cancer, are skilled acupuncturists as well. You may check with your doctor regarding this.

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