Acupuncture for Chemotherapy Side Effects Providence, RI
Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment method that focuses on using chemical substances to target fast-dividing cancer cells in the body. While this treatment method has been effective in treating most types of cancer, the chemicals used can cause damage to healthy and fast growing cells as well.
The patient starts experience various side effects, which is due to chemical imbalance and lowered immunity. While most chemotherapy side effects clear up once the treatment is over, some effects may stick around for much longer.
Nevertheless, research shows that acupuncture and chiropractic therapy can help alleviate pain and side effects caused by chemotherapy.
Acupuncture is a form of therapy practiced in ancient China that involves using thin sterile needed at various pressure points to help alleviate pain and contain stress buildup. Acupuncture also helps improve blood circulation by restoring qi.
Only a well-trained and certified acupuncturist is allowed to oversee the therapy. This is mainly because each pressure point is used to treat various conditions, and the acupuncturist needs to get it right to help the patient.
While acupuncture is commonly used in mainland China as anesthesia during surgeries, researchers have realized that it can be used to alleviate chemotherapy side effects.
How Acupuncture Helps Contain Chemotherapy Side Effects
1. Blood Disorders: While chemotherapy targets cancerous cells, healthy cells too experience the chemical’s wrath. This has a significant impact on the patient’s blood count. Some of the common signs of low red blood cell and white blood cell count include shortness of breath, dizziness, and fatigue.
If this isn’t managed in time, then the patient is at a greater risk of contracting other serious infections such as leukopenia and excessive bleeding. Acupuncture, however, helps restore the body’s natural driving force (QI), hence promoting blood cell reproduction.
2. Cognitive Dysfunction: The chemicals used to kill cancer cells are very toxic even to brain cells. This is the reason cancer survivors may have concentration problems, or are unable to think clearly for some time, as their judgment is clouded.
While this may clear out eventually over time, acupuncture does help induce faster recovery. The main idea of acupuncture is to restore normal body functioning before these chemicals can cause any harm to brain cells. Acupuncture therefore helps the body eliminate these chemicals thus improving the patient’s cognitive functions.
3. Reproductive and sexual dysfunction: Chemotherapy can have adverse effects on a patient’s reproductive and sexual health. Chemo makes a previously sexually active person unable to enjoy sex, or even worse, unable to conceive or impregnate a woman.
Nonetheless, an acupuncturist can help with the condition pretty fast. All he/she needs to do is use acupuncture to restore hormonal and chemical balance, hence making you productive once again.
4. Hair loss: This is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy. These chemicals invade hair follicles from under the roots hence causing thinning and massive hair loss over time. Most patients start losing their hair in about a week into chemotherapy.
Taking on acupuncture alongside chemo can however save your hair. While chemo does its thing, acupuncture will be helping restore normal chemical balance all over the body, and especially the brain and scalp. This means you will not lose as much hair as you would have if you never used acupuncture.
5. Throat/Mouth Sores: Throat and mouth sores also appear a few days into chemotherapy. This is mainly because the chemotherapy is toxic to delicate mouth and throat cells.
These sores pose a greater risk of infection, especially when left untreated. While oral hygiene and eating a healthy diet can reduce the risk of infection, acupuncture can help treat the condition for good.
Most people prefer combining chiropractic therapy with acupuncture while undergoing chemotherapy. This helps manage the side effects involved and reduce the pain. Acupuncture can help you deal with chemotherapy without experiencing all the side effects involved.