In the ancient Chinese healing discipline of acupuncture, thin needles are inserted at specific locations throughout the body along invisible channels called meridians. The needles are usually kept in place for less than one-half hour. Acupuncture can be quite effective for nausea, pain, or stress relief. Acupuncture has few side effects and is usually low in cost.
Contact the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at www.aaom.org.Safety. The acupuncturist must be properly licensed and needs to know the cancer diagnosis and identified tumor sites before treatment, as needles should not be placed in tumor sites. Acupuncture is inappropriate for neutropenic or thrombocytopenic patients, those who have recently started anticoagulation therapy, or those with active infection. Needles should be single use only.
Acupuncture should be avoided while the patient is on radiation treatment and for two days before and after chemotherapy treatment.
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