What are the benefits of using acupuncture in conjunction with chemotherapy or radiation?
There are several benefits, some anecdotal and some recognized by current studies. The most notable studies have been done on acupuncture for post-chemotherapy nausea and vomiting. A meta-analysis of 11 randomized trials showed that acupuncture was superior to anti-emetic medications for post-chemotherapy nausea and reduced the incidence of acute post-chemotherapy vomiting. (J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Jun; 12(5):489-95). In addition to less or no nausea or vomiting, patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation report having more energy, better digestion, less pain or relief from chemotherapy induced pain or numbness, higher white and red blood cell counts and an overall sense of well-being.