Acupuncture and cancer care

By Yi Luo, Acupuncturist, LAC, NCCAOM, Dipl
Sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care’s Eastern Harmony program

Cancer. It’s a diagnosis that no one wants to hear. But there is more medical care offered now than ever before to cure cancer or slow it down, to ease its symptoms and help you live a healthier life.

Image courtesy of Flickr user NYCTCM.

Image courtesy of Flickr user NYCTCM.

It’s also key to know that you have other choices besides standard medical therapies. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have been used for thousands of years to treat a wide range of illnesses. They can safely be used to naturally support your body and mind as you go through usual cancer care.


How acupuncture and TCM can help

Acupuncture and TCM can help you stay healthy and treat illnesses. TCM specialists work to treat the lack of balance in the body’s qi, or vital energy, using fine, clean needles at exact acupoints. Since acupuncture has few side effects, it can be safely used as a complement to traditional cancer care. In fact, in many cancer cases, it’s highly recommended as a way to soothe cancer symptoms as well as the side effects of cancer treatments. As the National Institute of Health pointed out, acupuncture has been found to be useful in easing:

• nausea

• vomiting

• fatigue

• after-surgery pain


Acupuncture and TCM can also help lessen pressure, depression and anxiety, which can greatly improve quality of life during this tough time. In addition to acupuncture, your TCM specialist may also offer massages, acupressure treatment, nutritional guides or an exercise program designed to help you stay as healthy as you can. He or she may also suggest herbal medicines and vitamin supplements. Don’t forget to always consult with your healthcare providers before taking any new drugs or medications to decrease the risk of problematic reactions.


Treating the person, not just

the disease

Acupuncture specialists take a holistic view toward cancer care. This means that they not only treat your illness, but also deal with your living habits, state of mind and general health. Your whole being will be taken into account, not just the cancer. When you work with your specialist to better your health, you are not only helping yourself get the most out of your main medical care; you’re also once again taking charge of your own life.

Alternative medical care is used to help your body to heal naturally, but it is not meant to take the place of your main medical care. You should speak with your doctor about trying alternative medical care to see what is best for you.

To learn more about Yi Luo, visit or call (617) 792-2136. To learn about Harvard Pilgrim Health Care’s Eastern Harmony program, visit or call (617) 509-8015.


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  1. I have peripheral neuropathy in my feet. They feel very stiff just up to the calves. Will acupuncture help the damaged nerves or is there any better way to help my feet? I am on insulin.
    I have another question too. My friend had a breast removed 14 years ago, then the cancer came back and she just had the other breast off. She suffers with fluid under her arms and is forever going into hospital to drain it. She had radiation for the cancer but unfortunately was told that it did not work. Now the cancer can spread anywhere anytime. is there anything that she can do using alternate medicine? I would appreciate your reply at your earliest convenience please. Many many thanks.

  2. Your questions have been forwarded to the acupuncturist for further comments. It is best that you connect with the acupuncturist directly for further information. You may provide me with your email address and we will assist in connecting you. My email address is

  3. Sylvia, please see response from Acupuncturist below:
    (you can also access Ms. Luo via their website

    Dear Rose,

    Yes, our treatment and knowledge can help them both. They can contact me directly by email or phone of 617-792-2136. Thank you very much for all your help to the community and readers.

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