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COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES FOR CANCER CARE – ACUPUNCTURE

Acupuncture is one of the many complementary therapies available at the COUCH Wellness Centre in Cairns for people living with cancer and undergoing cancer treatment.  

Acupuncture is based on the theory that the placement of needles into certain points of the body unblocks and moves qi (vital energy) to strengthen and reduce physical and emotional symptoms. Research suggests that the needles stimulate the nervous system and the connective tissue in the body and help produce certain biomolecules such as hormones. 

The main areas of research into acupuncture for cancer are chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting, and it is included in clinical guidelines for dealing with side effects.  

Evidence suggests acupuncture may also reduce anxiety, fatigue, hot flushes and some types of pain. Research is continuing on the effectiveness in relieving dry mouth and chemotherapy-induced tingling in the hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy). 

 

What is Acupuncture, and is it painful? 

Acupuncture therapists put fine, sterile needles just under the skin into energy channels called meridians to stimulate energy flow. Each meridian has many acupuncture points along its path. Acupuncture is painless because the needles are very fine (around 0.2 mm wide). When the needles are inserted, you may feel mild tingling around the site, warmth or heaviness, or even nothing at all. 

We have Acupuncture appointments available every Friday at the COUCH Wellness Centre. 

What can I expect at my first appointment? 

During your first treatment, the Acupuncturist will ask you questions about your cancer diagnosis and treatments, and discuss with you how an Acupuncture program can be tailored specifically for your individual needs. The Therapist will focus on supporting any impacts or side-effects from treatment throughout the treatment.   

Acupuncture is also very supportive in promoting healing in the body and many people with cancer find benefit with ongoing treatments to help adjust the body after completing treatment.   

During your appointment, the Therapist will place fine needles at various points over the body.  These points may be stimulated through needle adjustment or the use of ‘moxa’.  Moxibustion is method of heating specific acupuncture points by burning a herb close to the skin. 

Will I be able to claim this through my private health? 

Private Health Insurance rebates may be available for acupuncture at the COUCH Wellness Centre. Check with your provider to see what coverage you may have. 

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