Did you know that acupuncture may decrease cancer-related pain and could help in reducing pain medication in people with cancer? Pain is one of the most common and distressing symptoms among people with cancer, and can be caused by some cancer treatments or by cancer itself. Many people with cancer seek additional pain support, which could be acupuncture – a recent large study of over 2000 patients examining the effects of acupuncture and acupressure on pain in people with cancer found a significant reduction in pain intensity. The study also found that when treated with acupuncture or acupressure alongside conventional pain medications, participants were able to decrease their medication dose.
Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and uses fine, sterile needles at specific points in the body to help correct and direct the flow of energy. Acupuncture has very little side effects and overall, is very well tolerated. Here in Canada, many extended health benefit plans even cover acupuncture treatment.
If you have inadequately controlled cancer related pain, consider acupuncture treatment – it is an evidence-based, safe treatment that could help to effectively reduce your pain and pain medication use.
Author: Samantha Allen
Naturopathic intern at the CCNM ICC