- Question from Beneteau: What is the best type of acupuncture or touch therapies to combat post chemo and radiation fatigue?
Beth Baughman DuPree, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Again, the best modality of treatment is often dependent upon the person receiving the treatment. I am a firm believer that so many complementary therapies will be able to work on combating the chemo and radiation fatigue. The exact therapy that is best I do not believe could ever be determined, as this is very user-dependent.
What works best for one patient may not work for another. My recommendation would be to talk to either your physician or someone from your support network in your area. If they can make a recommendation of what worked for them or other patients, that's a good starting point. You can always be open to trying a new form of therapy to get back to that safe place and a normal energy level.
- Tracy Walton Because different people tolerate radiation and chemotherapy differently, I would echo that there are no one or two kinds of massage or touch therapies that are best. However, I will say that modalities that involve strong pressure are usually contraindicated for people going through chemo and radiation. They can be, in and of themselves, fatiguing. This is a time when massage therapy should support the body and help it integrate the therapies, rather than place additional demands on it. This is why it's important to seek a massage practitioner who is trained and skilled with people going through cancer treatment so that they recognize and apply those adjustments in their work with people. The body needs its resources for healing at that time and managing the treatment, so massage should not place any additional demands on the resources.
- Mary Ellen Scheckenbach I'd like to reemphasize Tracy's point about being a practitioner who is well trained and skilled, because although many kinds of acupuncture could potentially treat the fatigue, it will be most effective done by someone who can do a good Chinese medicine diagnostic workup, which would attempt to understand the person's constitution and the particular effects that radiation and chemotherapy have exerted on that person.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Acupuncture and Touch Therapies featured Mary-Ellen Scheckenbach, M.Ac., Tracy Walton, L.M.T., M.S., and moderator Beth Baughman Dupree, M.D., F.A.C.S. answering your questions about acupuncture and touch therapies.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in March 2005.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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