You're sitting in the doctor's office and they've just said it. The "C" word. Cancer. How can a single word represent such a devastating and life-altering diagnosis?
I want you to know that your acupuncturist is there to help get you through this incredibly difficult time in your life. Cancer treatments are often radical and rarely without extreme side effects. It's not uncommon for someone with cancer to be unable to even get through these potentially life-saving treatments because they can be so harsh. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you get through your biomedical treatments by reducing such side effects as nausea, dry-mouth, decreased energy and so many more.
I've had people ask if it's safe to do acupuncture while someone is going through cancer treatments. The answer is yes. Acupuncture alone will not interfere with radiation or chemotherapy.
When it comes to Chinese herbal medicine, the answer is a little more gray. To be honest, there isn't enough research on Chinese herbal medicine, particularly in combination with chemo or radiation to make a statement. It is thought that some herbs may interfere with radiation treatments. The most important thing is to ask your oncologist what they feel comfortable with. Feel free to have them speak with your acupuncturist about Chinese herbs and the potential for interactions as well as relief from side effects.
If you or a loved one has just been diagnosed, give yourself the best shot at survival and recovery. Consider acupuncture and Chinese medicine to help get you through your cancer treatments.