Acupuncture for the Digestive Tract Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Honora Lee Wolfe, L.Ac., FNAAOM (USA)
Keywords: Chinese medicine, acupuncture, oncology, chemotherapy side effect
On page 49 of issue #4, 2005 of Shan Xi Zhong Yi (Shanxi Chinese Medicine), Han Jian-hong published an article titled, “The Acupuncture-moxibustion Treatment of Post-chemotherapy Adverse Reactions.” A summary of this article is presented below.
There were 11 males and nine females aged 35-68 years enrolled in this study. Ten of these had esophageal cancer, five had ovarian cancer, three had lung cancer, and two had cervical cancer. Ten cases were one week post-chemotherapy and the other 10 cases were two weeks post-chemo. All suffered from nausea, vomiting, and hiccup.
The main points consisted of:
Nei Guan (Per 6)
Gong Sun (Sp 4)
Zhong Wan (CV 12)
Zu San Li (St 36)
The auxiliary points included Tai Chong (Liv 3) is there was a liver-stomach disharmony, Guan Yuan (CV 4) if there was stomach qi vacuity weakness, and Ge Shu (Bl 17) if there was hiccup. Nei Guan was treated with twisting and turning draining method. Then Gong Sun, Zhang Wan, and Zu San Li were treated with even supplementing-even draining technique. If Tai Chong was added, it was also drained. If Guan Yuan was added, moxibustion was added as well. If Ge Shu was used, it was bled and then cupped. Treatment was given once per day and the needles were retained for 40 minutes each time. Five treatments equaled one course.
Cure was defined as complete disappearance of digestive tract symptoms. Marked effect was defined as a marked reduction in post-chemo symptoms. However, the patients decided to use medication until their symptoms gradually disappeared. Some effect was defined as a decrease in post-chemo symptoms. Similarly, these patients also decided to use medication which, after the dose was increased, markedly decreased their symptoms. No effect was defined as lack of improvement and the necessity of using large doses of medicinals to control their symptoms. Based on these criteria, 10 cases were judged cured, six got a marked effect, and four got some effect. Therefore, the total effectiveness rate was 100%. Among the patients one week after chemo, nine were cured and one got a marked effect. Among those two weeks post-chemo, one was cured, five got a marked effect, and four got some effect. This suggests that the sooner the acupuncture is started, the better effect it is able to achieve.
Copyright © Blue Poppy Press, 2006. All rights reserved.