Acupuncture treatment involves choosing different acupuncture points and stimulating those points with either hand or electrical current manipulated needles which are placed along various meridians in order to unblock stagnant energy flow. According to clinical research, acupuncture treatments can restore the balance of biological chemicals such as serotonin, endorphins, dopamine, and many others in the central nervous system. In addition, acupuncture can balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems so that the body can relax rather than be in a constant stress-inducing fight-or-flight state.
Because acupuncture has been shown to enhance the regular movement of the stomach and intestines, cancer patients can achieve better digestion, free of nausea, diarrhea and constipation. Once digestion has improved, patients’ bodies absorb nutrients more efficiently and repair damaged tissues better. Healthy digestion also leads to healthy immune function, so cancer patients can avoid infections during chemo or radiation treatment, especially when they have to use immunity-suppressing steroids.
Potential Benefits of Acupuncture for Individuals with Cancer
During chemo and radiation therapy, mental and physical stress can compromise adrenal gland function, increasing inflammation and allergies. Scientific research shows that acupuncture can strengthen adrenal gland function and help produce the optimal level of inflammation-quenching cortisol. Acupuncture can even prevent cancer patients from developing neuropathy. As certain acupuncture points can help the body produce more relaxing biochemical such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), serotonin and progesterone, patients can relax more during and after chemo or radiation therapy and, frequently, experience better sleep quality; sleep, good digestion, a healthy diet and happy mood are the four key factors crucial to achieving optimal health.
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