While I was going through chemo, my acupuncturist timed my treatments so that I could get the most benefit for curbing nausea, and other side effects, while also boosting my immune system. It worked very well; after one chemo when I was unable to get an acupuncture treatment, I was much more knocked out, and without the acupuncture, the side effects of chemo lasted longer. During radiation, I also had regular acupuncture treatments. I felt like it was strengthening my body, and giving me more energy the whole time.
I decided to use acupuncture during my treatment for breast cancer because of my mother’s experience. She had breast cancer and went through 6 weeks of daily radiation treatment, during which time she was getting weekly acupuncture treatments. She felt quite good during the
radiation – contrary to her doctors’ warnings that she would feel very tired – until her acupuncturist went on vacation for 2 weeks. At that point, she crashed and felt exhausted. When her acupuncture treatments resumed, so did her energy level.
For myself, when I went through 16 weeks of chemotherapy and 7 weeks of radiation for breast cancer, I felt that acupuncture was extremely helpful. I had a relatively easy time with both treatments, particularly radiation, and I believe that regular acupuncture was an important factor. I believe it helped me maintain my energy and helped rid my body of toxins more quickly. The two worst weeks I experienced were the ones when I had to miss my acupuncture treatments. As important, acupuncture was a relaxing, supportive therapy, focused on my physical health and healing-something I really needed during this hard time. I recommend it to everyone I know who is going through cancer treatment (and so does my mother!).
In the fall of 2004, I was leading a extremely healthy lifestyle when, through a self-exam, I found a lump. From that moment on my entire existence was altered in an irreversible way. I transformed from being a woman with an independent will to a woman dependent on the guidance of others. The healthy non-traditional lifestyle (yoga, eating raw foods, eliminating alcohol, caffeine, etc.) I was leading was now going to be replaced by Western medicine. The toxins I worked so hard to rid of my system were now going to be replaced by other types of toxins or ‘medicine’ to ‘kill’ the cancer. I was extremely conflicted when I was told I would have to undergo a 16-week regimen of chemotherapy and steroid shots followed up by radiation. At that point I was in communication with a friend of mine, going through fertility issues, who had been attending acupuncture, with Eileen for a while. I decided that Acupuncture would be a way for me to balance my treatments – East meets West style. During that terrible winter of my discontent, acupuncture was my refuge. The treatment Eileen provided was the one of the most compassionate and gratifying experiences of my life. The combination of homeopathic medications and acupuncture eased the side-effects of my chemo treatments. My nausea was alleviated and my headaches seemed to disappear by the end of a session with Eileen. The effects of the treatments worsened each time and acupuncture helped my system to ‘filter’ the toxic ‘medicine’. I, also, suffered from joint pain which was treated as well. Overall, Eileen provided a service which made me feel of sound and body. By the end of the session I would feel euphoric. It was the one time a week I felt the ‘weight’ of the cancer was lifted off my shoulders and my body was actually truly working at ridding itself of this horrible disease. I honestly do not believe I would have been able to endure all of the side-effects of the chemo and radiation without acupuncture. Today I am completely healthy and completely convinced acupuncture is part of the reason why.