Acupuncture Awareness Week

Look out for Ireland’s Acupuncture Awareness Week which starts tomorrow Monday 18th January. Acupuncture is a technique in which very thin needles of varying lengths are inserted through the skin to treat a variety of conditions. There are a number of different acupuncture techniques, including some that use sound waves, tiny electrical charges, and that may or not use actual needles.

There are purported to be twelve major meridians in the human body, which are thought to be channels for the flow of vital energy or life force called qi (also spelled ch’i or ki, and pronounced “chee” or “kee”) that is present in all living things. Meridians also represent an internal system of communication between specific organs or networks of organs. According to traditional Chinese medicine theory, illness may occur when the energy flow along one or more meridians is blocked or out of balance. The goal of acupuncture is to restore health and balance to the energy flow.

Although available evidence does not suggest acupuncture is effective as a treatment for cancer,  it appears it may be useful as a complementary method for relieving some symptoms related to cancer and other conditions. *

Acupuncture has been the subject of many clinical studies. A recent analysis of 11 studies looked at the effect of acupuncture in reducing nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy. The report suggested that acupuncture may reduce the vomiting that occurs shortly after chemotherapy is given, although it appears to have little effect on nausea. A small clinical trial found that acupuncture helped reduce the number of hot flashes men experienced during hormonal therapy for prostate cancer. There is also some evidence that acupuncture may lessen the need for pain medicine.

Like a lot of complementary treatment, the responses will vary in individuals. Many people have found acupuncture to be of great benefit in a variety of different situations. Although I didn’t use acupuncture during my cancer treatment, I am currently attending a practitioner in relation to my fertility problems and have seen powerful effects arising from the treatment.

(*American Cancer Society)

During Acupuncture Awareness Week, a number of open meetings will be held throughout the country. You can find details of these meetings by clicking on this link, which will also give you a list of registered practitioners. Click here to download a voucher for €10 off an acupuncture session with a registered member of the Acupuncture Council of Ireland.