Cancer Recovery Program

The Cancer Recovery Program helps restore the body, mind and spirit with acupuncture, herbs, nutrition and supplements. The focus of the program is to provide proactive tools to activate the body’s own healing mechanisms and improve quality of life before, during and after conventional treatments.

The program is personally tailored to the individual based upon the type of cancer and its staging, the kinds of biomedical treatments the person is receiving and their side effects.

Complementary cancer care can be very important to improving quality of life. It supports the patient physically, mentally and emotionally. The Cancer Recovery Program is empowering because it gives the patient a nurturing tool to feel more energetic, less depressed and more in control.

Healing of a cancer requires internal emotional examination. From this perspective, personalized mind-body approaches can be taken along with dietary changes, and specific nutritional enhancement is designed to have a significant impact on vitality and wellness.

• Relieving side effects of radiation and chemotherapy

• Minimizing the use of medications

• Improving energy

• Improving pain control

• Post-surgical swelling

• Managing stress and post-traumatic stress

• Getting a good night’s sleep

• Imparting a sense of well-being

“I came for severe fatigue, insomnia, hot flashes and pain around my radiation site following breast cancer treatment. I was put on a program of acupuncture and herbs and nutritional supplements. After each acupuncture session I slept through the night, and felt incredibly energized the next day. I was helped to see that I was suffering from post-traumatic stress. All my symptoms are much better. I don’t know how it works, but it does.”

L. H. Stage 3 breast cancer survivor.

Acupuncture works by re-establishing homeostasis and unblocking energy flow. This systemic approach directs healing energy to specific organ pathology and is a routine modality in Chinese Medicine for treating diseased organs such as liver, pancreas, and kidney, including those effected by cancers or cancer treatment.


Can Acupuncture help me?

The diversity of diseases and treatments for cancer are vast, as can be the symptoms and side effects. While acupuncture is well known for pain control, we are continually learning more about its success in cancer-related pain and in reducing narcotic usage.

Dalia was a patient of mine in hospice care with metastatic bone cancer who was heavily medicated for pain. After doing acupuncture on her she was able to maintain the same level of pain control with a significantly lower dose of narcotic pain medication and its accompanying constipation. Instead of living her last days in a fog, she remained active and was able to travel to destinations she always wanted to see.

Nausea, vomiting and fatigue are common symptoms that can be treated well with acupuncture during active chemotherapy. Cancer treatment can be as hard on the body as the disease. This is a great time to include acupuncture treatment as part of therapy. Research shows acupuncture can be effective for chemotherapy symptom control, especially when administered the day before treatment begins, and between treatments.

Toni came to see me for nausea and fatigue related to chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She attributed to acupuncture her ability to eat better during the treatments, recover more quickly and miss less days of work.


What does medical research say about the use of acupuncture care for cancer patients?

The literature on the use of the Cancer Recovery Program is growing. It was not that long ago that the use of psychology for cancer patients was not valued. Now most cancer centers have staff therapists. In the same vein, the Cancer Recovery Program is at the forefront of the highest high quality empowered patient care with the use of acupuncture, massage, nutrition, herbs and mind-body therapies and exercises.

As an example, in September 2007 the American College of Chest Physicians updated their guideline for the treatment of lung cancer to include, for the first time, mind-body modalities as part of a multi-modality approach to reduce the anxiety, mood disturbances, and chronic pain associated with lung cancer.

“Massage therapy is recommended for patients who are experiencing anxiety or pain, while acupuncture is recommended for patients experiencing fatigue, dyspnea, chemo-induced neuropathy, or in cases where pain or nausea/vomiting is poorly controlled.

Electrostimulation wristbands are not recommended for managing chemo-induced nausea/vomiting, as studies show that they do little to delay nausea/vomiting compared with placebo.”  Science Daily Sep. 16, 2007

In a study of patients undergoing head and neck cancer there was a significant improvement in quality of life in the acupuncture groups vs. the groups receiving conventional care only.

“Seventy patients participated in the study and were randomized to receive either acupuncture or usual care, which includes recommendations of physical therapy exercises and the use of anti-inflammatory drugs. For all of the patients, at least three months had elapsed since their surgery and radiation treatments. The treatment group received four sessions of acupuncture over the course of approximately four weeks. Both groups were evaluated using the Constant-Murley scale, a composite measure of pain, function, and activities of daily living. Pain and mobility improved in 39 percent of the patients receiving acupuncture, compared to a 7 percent improvement in the group that received usual care. An added benefit of acupuncture was significant reduction of reported xerostomia, or extreme dry mouth. This distressing problem, common among cancer patients following radiotherapy in the head and neck, is addressed with only limited success by mainstream means.”  Science Daily June 5, 2008

These are 2 examples. Many more can be found on this blog:


Nutrition is essential to your Cancer Recovery Program

Please visit our Nutrition for Cancer page to leaner amore about  the health of the digestive tract and important ways to boost immune response:

Clinical Nutrition for Cancer Patients

Targeted Nutrition and Herbs


How Can You Help Me Recover From Surgery

Our Surgery Recovery Protocol will help you recover quicker with less pain and side effects. We use a homeopathic, herbal and nutraceutical protocol to help patients going through the rigors of surgery.

It is important to see a practitioner that is experienced and knowledgeable in the integration of natural medicines with conventional oncology care. There are ways that the two can work together. For example, some herbs and nutrients may be contraindicated while undergoing chemotherapy while others may prevent side effects and enhance treatment outcomes. If you have questions about how the Cancer Recovery Program can help you or a loved one please call for more information.

Cancer Support Blog