Study finds acupuncture benefits for range of cancer related symptoms
Cancer patients could benefit from acupuncture and other forms of Chinese medicine, according to an expert presenting at the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting in Melbourne.
Dr Xiaoshu Zhu, from the National Institute of Complementary Medicine at the University of Western Sydney, has reviewed evidence that suggests acupuncture can help with cancer symptoms including pain, chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, hot flushes and numbness.
Dr Zhu says that while more research was needed into the mechanisms behind the effectiveness, it was thought to relate to sending signals to the central nervous system, activating neurological and hormonal responses in the brain.
"In the past, complementary Chinese medicine such as acupuncture hasn't been recommended or researched by conventional medical practitioners involved in cancer care," says Dr Zhu. "I want to challenge this view by presenting a range of evidence that demonstrates that acupuncture has a valuable role to play in patient care."
Dr Zhu, who is also the Director of the Chinese Medicine Academic Program in the UWS School of Science and Health, is currently working with researchers at the South West Sydney Local Health District Cancer Services exploring evidenced based approaches with integration of complementary therapies in cancer survivorship.
5 December 2014
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