Auricular Acupuncture and Cancer
Auricular acupuncture (or ear acupuncture) is a form of complementary therapy that can help relieve many of the possible side effects of breast, prostate or gynaecological cancer and its treatments, such as hot flushes and insomnia, which can range from uncomfortable to debilitating.
It can help increase energy levels, encourage relaxation and give an improved sense of well-being, and there is significant evidence to suggest that auricular acupuncture can reduce both the severity and frequency of hot flushes.
Positioning very fine needles into the outer ear, each acupuncture point being treated is said to trigger electrical impulses from the ear via the brain, to a specific part of the body. It is known to have a calming effect on the central nervous and vasomotor systems, and seven out of ten people report a substantial improvement in side-effects; most significantly, hot flushes.
Susan Allen was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 41 and as a result, found herself battling with server and induced menopausal hot flushes, as well as broken and irregular sleep.
Susan “popped into” the Weston Park Cancer Information and Support Centre for information and advice in the wake of her diagnosis and subsequently, she apprehensively booked on to a complementary therapy course.
“I had only popped into the Support Centre to book on to a separate course when I was asked how my hot flushes were, and would I like to try an alternative therapy and have some acupuncture?
“I have never had acupuncture before, and hadn’t heard any good things about it, but out of politeness I agreed and booked in some sessions, that, if I am honest, I thought I could cancel after the first one.”
Following her first session, however, Susan’s outlook drastically changed:
“When I first went in for the session I asked the ladies in my group if they had benefited from the experience and every one of them said YES. I couldn’t quite believe that, but they were insistent, so I stuck with it.
“For me, it actually took away I would say about 70% of my hot flashes during the day, and it makes sleeping through the night bearable and not nearly as sweaty.
“FINALLY I had opened my eyes up to the alternative therapies that I had wrongly disregarded for so long.”
Susan’s introductory auricular acupuncture sessions have run to completion, but she plans to continue to visit the Weston Park Cancer Information and Support Centre for further information, support and advice, and is entitled to further top-up sessions should her symptoms and side-effects persist.
“My first four sessions are complete for now, but I will definitely look to continue with auricular acupuncture for the symptoms and side-effects I am experiencing.
“Before my diagnosis, I lead a very fit and healthy life; working for mine and my husband’s company and plenty of dog walking, and though I am still having chemotherapy and awaiting radiotherapy, I am nearing the end of my treatment and I very much look forward to having the energy to hit the gym again sometime soon.”
If you would like more information on our auricular acupuncture service, please contact the Support Centre team on: 0114 226 5666 or visit: www.cancersupportcentre.co.uk