Cancer care is a regular part of our practice. The practitioners of Integrative Acupuncture have implemented a strong acupuncture department at National Life Cancer Treatment Center in Berlin, VT over the past four years. They have gained extended experience using acupuncture to support patients going through standard medical care for cancer.
Many nationally recognized cancer treatment centers use acupuncture including Memorial Sloan Kettering, where our providers received additional training in using acupuncture cancer care. Other hospitals like Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Mayo Clinic, MD Anderson, and Cancer Treatment Centers of America all recognize acupuncture’s effects and include it in their cancer treatment.
Modern Cancer Treatment
In the US, cancer is one of the most common and feared illnesses affecting our population. Most of us have a relative or friend who has experienced some form of cancer. It is now the second leading cause of death. For men, the two leading causes of death from cancer are lung and prostate; and for women, lung and breast. There is an enormous amount of money spent each year on research to better manage and even prevent this illness.
When given this diagnosis, doctors will help the patient understand the illness and lay out the recommended treatment options. There are often uncertainties shared and potential side effects that are mentioned. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are the commonly prescribed treatments. Each person’s situation is looked at individually and specifics are calculated.
Integrating Acupuncture in Cancer Treatment
Chemotherapy and radiation can often create side effects that inhibit continuation of the full dose needed for optimal results. By minimizing the side effects, we can help maximize outcomes of these treatments. Anxiety is to be expected when given this diagnosis, both for the patient and spouse. Acupuncture is used each week to calm the mind in order to face the illness and treatment plan more confidently. It is important to care for both the body and mind as treatment proceeds.
Illness is Different from Disease
Aside from stimulating certain points to reduce anxiety levels and minimize physical side effects, the acupuncturists of Integrative Acupuncture understand that each person is a unique individual. When facing cancer and its treatment, each person does this in their own way, with their own attitude, individual family support, and spiritual perspective. Each of our unique lives has influenced how we approach challenges, how we accept help, how our bodies may respond to treatment.
Hence, we keep this awareness, treating each person as an individual, listening closely to how they are doing mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually through each week of care. We recognize that the disease is cancer, but how each individual experiences this is the illness to be addressed.
Seeking Expert and Experienced Help
There are many acupuncturists who can provide care for back pain and stress. When incorporating acupuncture into cancer care though, choose the providers at Integrative Acupuncture for expertise and experience. We are the only acupuncturists in central Vermont with hospital privileges to work directly with patients in the cancer center. We are familiar with the medications and associated side effects and how to most effectively treat them. And we are compassionate healers that meet our patients wherever they are on this journey.