Acupuncture & Chemo

How I came to acupuncture actually started with Aidan. I have always been a little skeptical of all alternative medicines and have leaned more towards western medicines when I am not feeling well. Matt is the opposite. He rarely takes any medicine at all, even when he is feeling awful.

Aidan would get sick pretty frequently as a baby. He had a lot of ear infections and eventually had tubes put in. He would also get really high fevers and wheezing coughs that would linger. We were frequent visitors to the pediatrician’s office for albuterol nebulizer treatments and oxygen checks. It was obvious that there was something going on but it wasn’t until Aidan turned 3 that his pulmonologist used the word “asthma”. Matt and I were not surprised to hear that word, but we were shocked at how the pulmonologist wanted to treat his asthma – with twice a day steroids and a rescue inhaler.

The thought of Aidan having to be put on regular medicine like that didn’t thrill me but I was willing to comply with the doctors orders in order to make sure that Aidan was able to breathe. Matt insisted that I look into an alternative approach before agreeing to let Aidan start the steroids.

The mom of a former student of mine suggested that Aidan try acupuncture and told me that she was able to control her two children’s asthma with diet changes and acupuncture. I was extremely skeptical but decided to give it a shot.

Since Aidan started acupuncture in January he has not had a single episode where I considered using the nebulizer or inhaler. He began going to acupuncture twice a week and now goes every other week for maintenance. He is not on any medication to control his asthma. He has had 1 cough that cleared up quickly. I was blown away. I believe that acupuncture works because Aidan has no clue why he is getting the treatments so there can’t be any placebo effect.

SO when I got diagnosed, my oncologist suggested that I try acupuncture to boost my immune system and help manage the side effects that come with chemo. I really appreciated that the doctor saw the value in incorporating acupuncture along side the chemo.

I started going to acupuncture at least once a week and have found it to be really beneficial. The actual treatments are very relaxing and I feel immediately better afterwards. Each session is different depending on how I am feeling that day. Kirsten, our acupuncturist, does a combination of acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, and Chinese herbs during the treatments. I believe that acupuncture is a huge part of why my side effects from chemo haven’t been so horrible.

One thought on “Acupuncture & Chemo

  1. Thanks for sharing your story, and thanks for sharing about this alternate method of treatment. Have just started to research it for a stiff neck issue, hearing positive stories makes me more likely to try it.

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