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Acupuncture Treatment For People With Lymphedema

Research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has shown that acupuncture is safe and effective as a treatment for lymphedema. Women often experience swelling of the arm or side of the body after breast cancer caused by lymphedema. The research showed that conventional treatment did little to reduce the swelling but acupuncture reduced the swelling by 30 percent or more which is considered significant.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture comes from traditional Chinese medicine. It involves inserting very thin needles at specific points, known as Acu-points along energy pathways, known as meridians. The needles in general stimulate the Acu-points which in turn help to adjust and balance the flow of energy and restore health.

Research shows that Acupuncture increases the release of natural pain-relieving chemicals called endorphins. It stimulates the pituitary gland, which in turn activates the adrenal gland to release anti-inflammatory chemicals.

Pain and Acupuncture

The ultra-thin needles used allow for a painless insertion. Most people are calm and relaxed during the procedure. In fact the sensation is compared to a mosquito bite which is essentially painless. Studies show that acupuncture is painless unless the needle is placed incorrectly which happens very rarely with trained acupuncturists. One study showed that out of 10,000 treatments there were only 671 incidents of either bleeding or minor pain from the insertion of the needles.

Safety Procedure

When administered by a trained professional acupuncture is very safe. The needles are pre-packaged one use only needles. Acupuncture has a very low risk profile and one study of 34,000 treatments showed no adverse effects with a large sample. When compared to drugs prescribed for pain acupuncture is extremely safe. Another study of 1139 treatments showed no infections resulting from the needle insertions.

Acupuncture Treatment for Lymphedema

Research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has shown that acupuncture is safe and effective as a treatment for lymphedema. Women often experience swelling of the arm or side of the body after breast cancer caused by lymphedema. The research showed that conventional treatment did little to reduce the swelling but acupuncture reduced the swelling by 30 percent or more which is considered significant. A second study showed similar results.

Acupuncture is now considered a good, safe and effective alternative treatment for Lymphedema.

By: Health Connect Zone

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