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What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a key component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that is based on the theory that the human body is an organic whole that is connected by energy (Qi-pronounced “chee”) pathways called meridians (Jing Luo in Chinese). This practice involves the insertion of very fine, single-use needles into strategic points on the body. These points located long the meridians activate the body’s natural healing potential to help manage a variety of conditions.

What are the benefits of Acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been shown to ease the side effects of nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, fatigue, anxiety, depression and immune suppression that can often accompany cancer treatment.  Our goal is to help patients manage the side-effects of their cancer treatment, so they can stay strong throughout treatment and recovery.

A recent study of post-menopausal breast cancer patients demonstrated that acupuncture is as effective as drug therapy in reducing menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. Acupuncture has also been shown to relieve joint pain and stiffness in post-menopausal breast cancer patients who are taking aromatase inhibitors.

What should I expect during an Acupuncture session?

Your acupuncturist will take time to review your medical history and discuss your chief complaints with you. They will then place needles in specific locations to alleviate your main side effects. Typically, needles remain in the patient for approximately 30 minutes.

Most patients report feeling very calm and peaceful during acupuncture.  Some patients report a numbness, achiness or tingling, these sensations are normally an indication that your body is responding to the treatment. Some patients even fall asleep!

At the completion of the treatment, the acupuncturist will remove all needles and review your current physical, mental, and emotional state.

How can I make an appointment?

Discuss with your oncology provider to see if you qualify. Acupuncture is available to patients in active treatment at any of the WCI locations. If eligible, your provider will place a referral, and the IOC scheduler will give you a call. Appointments cannot be scheduled without a referral. The Pluta IOC is able to provide 4 appointments at no cost to the patient.

Who are the Acupuncturists at the Pluta IOC?

Visit our staff team page and meet our Acupuncturists!

Other Touch Programs

Person getting a shoulder massage


Oncology Massage Therapy is the use of modified, conventional massage techniques to better support a person with a current or previous history of cancer. Adjustments considered for an oncology massage session include, but are not limited to, massage pressure, patient positioning, site restrictions and session length.

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