Manipulating Acupoints Constructively for Cancer Treatment

Manipulating Acupoints Constructively for Cancer TreatmentWhat is acupressure?

Acupressure is a type of alternative medicine that is carried out by placing physical pressure on different pressure points on the body surface. This technique is a traditional Chinese medicine practice, and it has the same principle as acupuncture.

Acupressure aims to bring relief by correcting imbalances in the flow of Qi. Qi (also pronounced as Chi) is the energy flow that is present in all living things. When there is an imbalance in the flow of Qi, certain medical conditions are manifested.

It is the art of massaging specific points on the body so as to bring out self-healing reflexes. Acupuncture and acupressure target the same anatomic positions. The only difference is the method of manipulation. Acupuncture involves the use of fine, thin needles whereas the latter one involves massage techniques by hands.

How does it work?

In acupressure, the flow of Qi is corrected by applying physical pressure to the main anatomical positions which are connected by channels referred to as ‘meridians’.  Hands, elbow, as well as various mechanical devices, are used to apply physical pressure to the pressure points. The location of the pressure points may be distant from where the symptoms are felt. Over-all, acupressure brings relief by restoring the balance and improving circulation of body fluids.

The theory belonging to Traditional Chinese Medicine states that acupoints are placed in the body in a manner that lies along the meridians. Certain exercises involving stretching may also form a part of this therapy.

What are the advantages of acupressure?

This traditional Asian method aims at restoring body’s energy and balance. Research has proven that this very Qi is disturbed in various ailments, including cancer. Acupressure aids in bringing the Qi back to its normal state, which is believed to help in healing and treating diseases. Acupressure for cancer is also emerging as a useful treatment modality, which is discussed later in the article.

For centuries, acupressure techniques are being used to treat tension headaches, pain (especially in the neck and the back), chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, healing wounds, infertility, impotency, sexual dysfunction, decreased libido, learning disorders, motion sickness, nausea and vomiting; addiction rehabilitation, mental stress, emotional disturbances, and gastrointestinal diseases. It is also useful to get rid of compulsive behaviors and for improving various skin conditions.

Acupressure for cancer:

With the growing advancements in alternative medicine, traditional Chinese medicine is also being applied for the treatment of diseases as deadly as cancer. Acupressure for cancer is an immensely interesting subject, since it is a promising mode of therapy for the disease, and involves certain unique ways to overcome the fatality of abnormal cells and tumor growth. Less data is available regarding acupressure for cancer. However, several studies and research works are available globally that support acupressure for relieving the symptoms cast by cancer treatment.

Acupressure for cancer and the deadly effects of chemotherapy and radiation:

One can treat cancer using toxic emissions and heavy chemical formulas. But these modalities produce a series of untoward effects in the patient, declining their quality of life further. As it already is discussed in the previous articles that severe nausea and vomiting are common side effects of chemotherapy. Moreover, fatigue increased the risk of infection, and normal cell destruction come as bonuses. Acupressure for cancer can help wane away these symptoms by much extent, at least so much so that the patient can live his life somewhat normally when being treated for cancer.

Did you know that your body has three pressure points which can fight off the unwanted symptoms of cancer treatment? No? Well, then we have unlocked the secret for you.

  • The vertical central portion of the front side of your wrist has a point that if massaged by certain techniques, can help alleviate nausea and vomiting by much extent. You can call this point as acupoint # 6. You can locate it by placing the first three fingers of your, let’s say, the left hand on the vertical central part of the wrist of your right hand. Align your left ring finger with the palmer creases of the right limb. Place your left thumb on your left index finger which is placed on the right wrist in a manner that you should feel the depression between the two tendons of your arm. Apply concentrated pressure at this point for at least three minutes. Repeat this exercise with the other hand as well.
  • The web that appears between your index finger and your thumb when you expand your fingers has a point named L14. Applying firm pressure over this area for at least five minutes can help in reducing pain.
  • A useful point, known as acupoint Extra 1, is located just between your eyebrows. Apply pressure at this point for 10 minutes to get relieved from anxiety.

A clinical trial carried out in the year 2007 for evaluating the effects of acupuncture and acupressure on cancer-related fatigue (CRF) revealed that acupuncture had offered a comparatively greater improvement by benefiting by 36% in CRF, whereas acupressure helped by 19%.

Acupressure and quality of life:

Various studies have provided evidence that specific points on the body surface are related to several internal body functions in many ways. Hence, treating these points by gentle massage techniques or by other methods can bring about a variety of health enhancements, which are yet to be proven on solid grounds. The quality of life and acupressure are directly related, since manipulation of acupoints can provide relief from a variety of symptoms such as a headache, fatigue, lower back pain, anxiety, stress, and even chronic ailments like arthritis. Moreover, it acts as a complementary treatment to those suffering from cancer.

Learn more about acupressure for cancer from the following web sources:

What is acupressure?

Acupressure

3 Unique Pressure Points That Reduce Cancer Symptoms 

Dr. Adem Gunes Dr. Adem Gunes has built the world’s largest database of scientifically tested natural substances with proven effects in cancer treatments. In 2009, he was appointed as the Chief Physician of ProLife Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria, and played a key role in the establishment of the research laboratory. He is also the co-founder of the first Austrian hyperthermia center. Now, Dr. Adem works closely with cancer patients from around the world (including Germany, Thailand, Dubai) to recommend them a complementary cancer clinic or to create a personalized care plan for patients to follow at home.

Massage Therapy for Cancer Patients

Massage Therapy For Breast Cancer PatientsWhat is Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy is a manual method of working on body’s soft tissues, deep muscles, various pressure points, tendons and ligaments using several techniques and applying fixed and movable pressure, to help relieve stress, promote healing and relaxation. The massage is performed by a professional who uses their hands and fingers to handle different muscles by making various movements like pressing and rubbing. All of these techniques are quite advantageous for the muscular, circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems of the body. Owing to these great benefits, massage therapy for cancer patients is now becoming common.

One of the oldest method of healing, massage therapy, is a clinically oriented health care option, now used widely as a complementary treatment for cancer patients. Massage therapy helps people suffering from cancer by eliminating anxiety, boosting the immunity, and diminishing tiredness and pain. Various modalities of massage therapy are employed for cancer care. Some of them are Swedish massage, aromatherapy massage, acupressure, and reflexology.

How Does Massage Therapy Work?

There are various varieties of massage therapies available, and the therapy offered will depend upon the patient’s individual needs and conditions.

In Swedish massage multiple strokes and moments are used to relax the muscles of the body while lubricating the skin with massage oil. While aromatherapy focuses on the physical, and mental well-being of the person. Various fragrant oils and scents are used to complement and naturally enhance the benefits of massage. Acupressure simply thought as acupuncture without needles, involves applying pressure to acupoints on the body. This Chinese technique is used to treat many diseases.  Reflexology, another modality of massage therapy, is the application of appropriate pressure, to the specific points on the hands, feet or ears that are linked to other parts of the body.

All these approaches and various massage methods emphasize on specific goals by restoring and calming the body and mind, muscles and soft tissues. When a massage therapist massages a particular area of the body, positive electrical activity is generated and transmitted from that region, which leads to increased blood circulation, low levels of pain, better capability to fight diseases, and an increased lymphatic drainage. Massage therapy helps in lowering stress levels and improves quality of life.

Advantages of Massage Therapy with Different Types of Cancer

As per above discussions, there are many different kinds of massage therapy and these have various effects on the body. There are different types of cancer, and their stages and treatment are also variable. All forms of cancer cause pain, it is very prevalent amongst cancer patients and often neglected by physicians. Massage therapy for cancer patients is used increasingly to relieve cancer-related pain and is considered useful and beneficial for their well-being, leading to decreased pain scores in cancer patients. It also helps in relieving other symptoms of cancer such tiredness, difficulty in sleeping, reducing stress and anxiety, decreasing lymphedema and several other side effects, providing healing and relaxation to the cancer patients. A research conducted with 230 cancer patients concluded that healing touch of massage relieves pain and anxiety levels and decreases the need to take painkillers. Massage therapy is also of great advantage in breast cancer patients. The therapeutic process elevates the level of brain chemical  “dopamine “in the brain,  which leads to elevated mood and feeling to goodness and wellbeing, a number of protective white blood cells also increase and help boost the immune system of these patients.

Does Massage Therapy Cause Metastasis?

Metastasis is the spread of cancer from one part of the body to other parts. Although there are various debates and myths present, linking massage to metastasis of cancer, there is no real evidence present to support, that massage therapy in cancer patients leads to or promotes metastasis. Massage therapy for cancer patients is considered safe and rather helpful for the those suffering from cancer. However, any modality of massage therapy, which the patient may plan to undertake, should be properly discussed with the doctor, as there might be potential risk involved for patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer.

However, it is the subject of debate that deep pressure massage therapy might be responsible for the spread of tumor and metastasis of cancer in various body organs. It is, therefore, crucial that one should not directly massage over the tumor area, and it’s surrounding soft tissues and muscles. Deep massage therapy should be avoided in people with bone cancer as deep massage and application of pressure applied over the affected area might cause a bone fracture.

Does Massage Therapy Decrease the Side Effects of Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is used to treat a wide variety of cancer. Chemotherapy, in addition to the killing of cancer cells, causes severe side effects like anxiety, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, problems with muscle and nerves, muscle pain, kidney and bladder problems. Massage therapy for cancer patients not only helps in dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy but also enhances the positive impact of chemo. The relaxation response caused by massage therapy helps relieve nausea and decreases muscle pain. In 2005, a research stated that acupressure, a type of massage therapy, reduces vomiting and nausea, induced by chemotherapy. Another research study conducted in 2007 stipulated that post- chemotherapy fatigue, physical fatigue, and anemia is reduced after massage therapy in cancer patients.

Does Massage Therapy Decrease the Side Effects of Radiation?

Radiation therapy, also known as radiation or radio, is another form of cancer treatment that relies on radio waves to treat the tumor and decrease its size. However its side effects are also massive and troublesome, they can include, for instance, insomnia, fatigue, hair loss, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, swelling, urinary and bladder changes, and sexual changes. There is an established role of massage therapy in fighting the side effects of radiotherapy. It counters the damaging effects of heat and radiation by healing and soothing through touch. In 2009, a pilot study that included 14 cancer patients receiving acupuncture for four weeks, concluded that massage therapy in these patients relieved Xerostomia, a condition caused by radiation in which salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva that can in turn lead to severe dryness of mouth.

Does Massage Therapy Stimulate the Immune System?

Massage therapy boosts the immune system by increasing the circulation of blood throughout the body. The enhanced circulation of blood leads to delivery of nutrients throughout the body, along with the circulation of lymph, which promotes movement of fighter cells of immune system. The extra boost in immune system through massage helps body fighting potential and speeds up recovery from infection and injury.

Does Massage Therapy Increase Quality of Life?

Massage therapy for cancer patients enhances the quality of life. Massage therapy increases circulation of blood and metabolism, hence activating every cell of the body, increasing immunity, and in the rejuvenation of body and mind. It was proven in 2003 by Department of Mental health science in the UK.

Does Massage Therapy Increase the Survival Rate?

Physical symptoms of cancer are quite distressing for the patients battling cancer. These symptoms include nausea, vomiting, pain and increased fatigue levels. Proper massage therapy along with exercise and change in diet positively affects up to 75 to 95% of cancer patients. Massage therapy for cancer patients leads to improved fatigue levels. The research was conducted by cancer rehabilitation institute at the University of North Colorado.

Featured Photo Source: American Massage Therapy Association

References:

Dr. Adem Gunes Dr. Adem Gunes has built the world’s largest database of scientifically tested natural substances with proven effects in cancer treatments. In 2009, he was appointed as the Chief Physician of ProLife Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria, and played a key role in the establishment of the research laboratory. He is also the co-founder of the first Austrian hyperthermia center. Now, Dr. Adem works closely with cancer patients from around the world (including Germany, Thailand, Dubai) to recommend them a complementary cancer clinic or to create a personalized care plan for patients to follow at home.

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