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What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a key modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine and has been practiced for more than 2,000 years. It involves the insertion of extremely thin needles through the skin into specific points on the body. It is generally considered to be a painless procedure, but some people may experience a dull ache or tingling sensation at the insertion points. Although the mechanism by which it works is still unclear, modern science is beginning to examine its effects. Effects of acupuncture may depend on many factors such as, which points are used, how they are stimulated and what symptom is being treated. 

Our Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center Integrative Oncology Program uses an evidence-based approach to understanding and applying acupuncture for cancer treatments appropriately, including focusing on acupuncture points for cancer specifically. Our acupuncturists are nationally board certified, licensed in the state of Arizona, and highly experienced in treating oncology patients.

Why Is Acupuncture Good for Cancer Patients? 

When used in combination with conventional cancer treatments, acupuncture may be helpful in managing: 

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Dry mouth (Xerostomia)
  • Hot flashes
  • Fatigue
  • Stress management
  • Tobacco use

Before you begin an acupuncture treatment program discuss with your health care team whether it would be beneficial and appropriate for you.