how acupuncture works for Cancer Care
Acupuncture can ease many side effects of cancer treatments, including pain, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, and depression.
professional, skilled, gentle
“My name is Linda Spray and I’m a retired Registered Nurse. I retired early about ten years ago because I had a recurrence of cancer in my left shoulder and I had had chemotherapy and radiation. After I was retired, I experienced the bad effects from an earlier on-the-job injury and heredity. I developed fibromyalgia, which worsened and worsened over the years. I felt helpless and hopeless with it.
“Fifteen months ago, I was at the point of complete despair and ready to completely give up. It seemed there was no hope. Fortunately, I got to the right medical people, got some different medications, and got to see Dr. James Morris at his pain clinic. In his consultation, he recommended that I try a number of different modalities, one at a time. I missed the one at a time and jumped into all of them. I’ve done massage and Feldenkrais for a lot of years and some reflexology and they kept me going. Then I added physical therapy and, very importantly, I added acupuncture with Tom Williams.
“I am so pleased with the progress I have made with Tom. One of the clearest things that’s happened is that when I came to see him, neither he nor anyone else could touch my left shoulder. That was the area that had brought me to despair. It would feel like somebody had thrown hot grease on me and they kept throwing it. As people with chronic pain know, there can be times when it’s just overwhelming. The very first time I saw Tom that pain decreased. I was blown away and so pleased.
“I’ve continued to see him weekly and that pain has never come back like it used to be. If he’d done nothing else for me, that is an incredible gift. In addition, he has helped me with my whole body structure getting stronger. He works very well with the other two or three modalities I do. He’s aware of things, very professional, very skilled, very gentle. I am extremely happy that I found Tom.”
-Linda Spray, Eugene, OR
“When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, a good friend strongly recommended acupuncture. Knowing that cancer treatment would be expensive, but feeling so strongly that this should be part of my wellness plan, she sent me money to cover several months of visits.
"For the duration of my chemotherapy, about 6 months worth, I visited Tom/Turning Point twice a week. Though many days were difficult, physically, to get there, every visit was worth the effort. I suppose the only way I could truly know that acupuncture helped would be to go through chemotherapy again without the support of acupuncture. But I can say that on most occasions I went home with immediate relief from the prevailing effect of the day, be it nausea, insomnia, bone pain, or other ailments.
"That was reason enough for me to keep acupuncture as an adjunct treatment, but I was also encouraged by my oncologist. Not only did he feel acupuncture was worth my time, but my tests and check-ups after each chemo session showed that I was faring better than most others taking the same drugs. Many possible side effects were either nonexistent or mild. Typical side effects that I did experience, such as nerve damage, last long after chemotherapy is done. Even though I’ve cut my acupuncture visits to once a week, I feel certain that the treatments have quickened my recovery significantly. Again, this is supported by the progress seen by my oncologist.
"I’m now on a 5-year drug regimen to keep cancer at bay, and new drugs mean new side effects. I will continue with acupuncture to address these. Two recent and extremely beneficial visits come to mind; one for stiff/painful neck strains and one for food cravings. After both visits, my results were immediate.
"Although acupuncture is new to me, my sense is that this would be a useful treatment even for the healthy individual. Given the way in which my particular breast cancer developed, it may well have helped me avoid it completely. Regardless, one of the beauties of acupuncture is that a treatment can be specific to one ailment while at the same time benefiting overall balance and wellness. I highly recommend acupuncture.”
To your health,
-Karen Schneider, Eugene, OR