Acupuncture for Cancer care

While standard medical care for cancer is effective, the treatments are aggressive and cause numerous unwanted side effects as well as a lowered immune system. Acupuncture has received much attention as an adjunctive therapy in cancer treatments for its use in pain relief, reducing side effects, accelerating recovery and improving Immune Function.

Benefits of Acupuncture for Cancer Care

Acupuncture can be used to address many of the concerns that come up during and after chemotherapy, radiation, biological therapy and surgery. There are three main benefits of acupuncture for patients with cancer: relieve the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy and radiation, enhance immune function and adjust body system functions.
Chemotherapy-induced nausea
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), there is strong evidence that acupuncture can relieve the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. While some oncologists recommend avoiding acupuncture after chemotherapy due to an increased risk of infection, acupuncture may be done before a chemotherapy session to prevent nausea.
Reduce Pain
Acupuncture help reduce the pain from cancer, it can help align and relax qi, equilibrium Yin and Yang, thus reduce the amount of pain medications needed, and consequently some of the side effects.
Reduce depression & anxiety
Acupuncture relieves both depression and anxiety of cancer patients.
Improve sleep
People with cancer who undergo acupuncture have an improvement in their quality of sleep.
Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy
People who receive acupuncture treatment have a lessened need for pain medications to control their symptoms.
Improve immune system
Acupuncture has a positive influence on immune system of people with cancer. After the acupuncture therapy, there is a great increase in the formation rate of Erythrocyte resetting and Lymphocyte Transformation. The total number of T lymphocytes increases and the macrophage phagocytosis rises.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture may work directly on nerve cells, altering the transmission of neurotransmitters. Acupuncture also works directly on the brain, it results in the release of endorphins which are pain-relieving chemicals produced in the brain.

What is a Typical Treatment Like?

Before acupuncture treatment, your acupuncturist will ask you about your current health. She will give you an examination, especially your tongue. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that many conditions and your general health can be evaluated by examining your tongue (called tongue diagnosis).
After the preliminary physical examination, she will have you lie down on a comfortable table. She will place between 5 and 20 needles in your body after wiping the areas with alcohol, sometimes twirling these slightly as they are placed. Normally, few people feel little discomfort. These needles will be left in place for 15 to 30 minutes. When the procedure is done, you need to relax and cannot eat or drink anything in 30 minutes.

Acupuncture points

Warmly nourishing Yangqi:

  • CV4 (Origin Pass)
  • CV6 (Sea of Qi)
  • ST36 (Leg Three Li)
These acupuncture points can help increase the total number of T lymphocytes and the macrophage phagocytosis , as a result, the immune function improve.

Nourishing blood:

  • GV14 (Great Hammer)
  • CV4 (Origin Pass)
  • GV4 (Life Gate)
  • SP6 (Three Yin Intersection)
  • KD3 (Great Ravine)
These acupuncture points can help nourishing blood, reinforcing kidney.

Reinforcing Qi and Nourishing Yin:

  • ST36 (Leg Three Li)
  • SP6 (Three Yin Intersection)
  • KD1 (Gushing Spring)
  • KD3 (Great Ravine)
These acupuncture points reinforcing Qi and nourishing Yin, help relieve side effects associated with chemotherapy and radiation.


Cancer treatment calls for special precautions to be taken when having acupuncture, and it is important to discuss treatment with your oncologist before your first visit.

Neutropenia (a lowered white blood cell count) may reduce your ability to fight infections. Your oncologist may suggest receiving the acupuncture treatment either before, or after you is at most risk for infection from the needles. We use sterile, disposable needles in our clinic to prevent the risk of cross-infection.

Thrombocytopenia (a lowered platelet count) may contribute to bruising or difficulty stopping bleeding.