Acupuncture is not only an ancient methodology of pain control but is also an avenue toward healing changes with respect to hormones, digestion, brain function, immune response, etc. Acupuncture was first implemented thousands of years ago in China. Acupuncture consists of the very strategic insertion of tiny needles into predetermined "acupoints" on the body. The placement of needles is very specific in an effort to ease physical pain and restore balance and calm to the soul. The ancient Chinese believed that the appropriate placement of these tiny needles could provide a variety of medical benefits.
Although acupuncture may seem to be an unconventional method of pain management, it is very popular in the United States. Acupuncture is so widely used, in fact, that the Food and Drug Administration has classified acupuncture needles as "medical devices" and has approved acupuncture as a treatment method for various health conditions.
Individuals turn to acupuncture for various health concerns, and many cancer patients, including mesothelioma sufferers, rely on acupuncture to manage the discomfort that is a result of their debilitating disease. Mesothelioma cancer inflicts great pain on those who suffer from the disease, and acupuncture is often a very effective method of lessening and controlling this pain. Several clinical studies have been conducted during which malignant mesothelioma patients receive a combination of traditional cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, along with acupuncture. The patients that have participated in such studies report that the inclusion of acupuncture as a means of pain management was quite successful, as many of these individuals were able to forego some of their traditional pain medication.
In addition, studies have shown that cancer patients who incorporated acupuncture into their mesothelioma treatment strengthened their immune systems and also experienced a decrease in the uncomfortable effects of chemotherapy. These patients felt less fatigued, maintained a healthy weight, and experienced less nausea during the chemotherapy sessions.
In general, alternative treatments, like acupuncture are safe for the majority of people. Common side effects associated with acupuncture include soreness at the insertion site or a feeling of lightheadedness after an acupuncture session, but these symptoms were quite minimal. The vast majority of cancer patients who experienced acupuncture believe that they benefited greatly.
National Cancer Institute - Acupuncture (Overview)