Acupuncture can alleviate

Acupuncture for cancer pain

It turns out that a little bit of pressure may help relieve certain cancer symptoms and treatment side effects.

Acupressure โ€” a form of massage that reportedly originated in China before the Common Era โ€” can alleviate nausea, fatigue, pain and anxiety, research shows.

It involves applying pressure to points called acupoints throughout the body to stimulate healing. It is a form of self-massage. Even though acupressure is less widely known than acupuncture in the U.S., acupressure predates acupuncture.

Before needles were invented, ancient cultures used sharp stones for acupuncture. Before sharp stones were used, people used fingers to apply pressure to acupoints.

Most studies on acupressure and acupuncture in cancer care indicate the therapy is helpful at palliating certain symptoms.

Costs and Cancer Centers That Offer Acupressure

One of the perks of acupressure is that it can be self-administered at any time, in any location. Acupuncture requires a licensed practitioner and the use of needles, making it an invasive procedure, albeit a minimally invasive one.

The cost of acupressure is often lower than acupuncture, especially if you take the self-taught approach. An acupressure session with a trained practitioner can cost $50 to $95, while acupuncture sessions may cost $75 to $125. Once you learn acupressure points that work for you, it is easy and free to apply the therapy yourself.

Do It Yourself

Self-administering acupressure is easy and safe for people with cancer. You'll want to use your fingers to apply steady, prolonged pressure for at least three minutes per acupoint. Applying pressure in a circular motion may enhance effectiveness for some people.

The degree of pressure you'll apply will vary by acupoint. You want more pressure than light touch offers, yet not too much pressure to cause bruising or pain. Acupoints that reside around developed muscle tissue will require more pressure. Some points may feel more sensitive than others; apply less pressure to sore or sensitive points. You can apply pressure for as long as you want to control symptoms such as nausea, pain or anxiety.

Ideally, you'll want to sit or lay in a comfortable position when performing acupressure. Take several relaxing, deep breaths before you begin. Place your focus on breathing and try to relax.

Acupoint for Reducing Nausea and Vomiting

  • Position your hand so that your palm is facing you. Relax your fingers.
  • Place the first three fingers of your opposite hand across your wrist, aligning your ring finger with the wrist crease (Figure 1). Next, place your thumb below and slightly under your index finger (Figure 2). The thumb should be centered on the wrist and you will feel two prominent tendons underneath. That is acupoint P6.
  • Apply firm pressure to the acupoint for at least three minutes.
  • Repeat on the opposite wrist.
Nausea and vomiting acupoint

Acupoint for Nausea and Vomiting

Acupoint for Reducing Pain

  • Position your hand with your palm facing down. Gently spread your fingers.
  • Use your opposite thumb and middle finger to find the slight indentation between the base of your thumb and index finger (see figure). That is pressure point LI4.
  • Apply firm pressure to the acupoint for five minutes.
  • Repeat on the opposite hand.

Acupoint for Reducing Pain

Acupoint for Reducing Anxiety

  • Place your thumb or middle finger between your eyebrows at the root of your nose (see figure). That is acupoint Extra 1.
  • Apply gentle pressure to the acupoint for 10 minutes. Less time is fine if you don't have 10 minutes to spare.
  • For added relaxation, focus on your breathing and consider visualizing yourself in a peaceful place, such as in a garden, by a stream or on a cloud.

Acupoint for Reducing Anxiety

Complication Management

Side effects and complications from acupressure are extremely rare. If someone presses too hard on the acupoint, bruising can occur. That may happen more easily for people undergoing chemotherapy.

While studies have proven the benefit of acupressure and acupuncture for cancer patients, there are no standardized protocols for how to use the therapy for specific symptoms.

Different practitioners may use different acupoints to treat the same symptom, which could be further studied to see which points work best for various symptoms. Acupressure could play a more prominent role in the future of integrative cancer care as promising research continues to surface.

Source: www.asbestos.com
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