Integrative Cancer Care, Medical Acupuncture

Acupuncture as a Therapeutic Treatment for Cancer Pain


A Comparative Literature Review in 2017 found a potentially positive effect of acupuncture in treating cancer pain.3 The review included two systematic reviews, the older of which was unable to draw firm conclusions due to small sample sizes and clinical differences in the patients being treated. The more recent review included 36 trials and over 2200 randomised patients. They found a moderate effect size of acupuncture on cancer-related pain, and concluded that “acupuncture is effective in relieving cancer-related pain, particularly malignancy-related and surgery-induced pain.”4

Although this review did not report on risks arising from treatment with acupuncture, elsewhere studies have indicated that acupuncture is a feasible and safe treatment56 and may successfully be used to treat cancer patients for symptom management due to the low risks associated with its use.7


Acupuncture’s mechanisms for treating cancer pain are thought to be similar to those for treating other painful conditions, whether the pain is categorised as acute or chronic.

These mechanisms have been researched extensively for over 60 years, and while there is still much left to learn about acupuncture mechanisms and the human body in general, the neural pathways from acupuncture point stimulation to the spinal cord and then to the deactivation of the pain centres in the brain have been mapped.89Acupuncture has been demonstrated to activate a number of the body’s own opioids as well as improve the brain’s sensitivity to opioids.10 A number of other biochemicals involved in pain reduction have been found to be released and regulated by acupuncture stimulation, including ATP, adenosine, GABA and substance P.11 Acupuncture has also been demonstrated to reduce activity in the parts of the brain associated with the perception of pain and increase activity in brain areas associated with improved self-regulation.12



Acupuncture as a Therapeutic Treatment for Cancer Pain

Mairi Caughey, BSc and Mel Hopper Koppelman, DAc, MSc, MSc

Integrative Cancer Care, Medical Acupuncture

Systematic review and meta‐analysis of acupuncture to reduce cancer‐related pain

Systematic review and meta‐analysis of acupuncture to reduce cancer‐related pain

our findings support acupuncture as an effective treatment in alleviating pain among cancer patients and survivors, particularly malignancy-related and surgery-induced pain. To expand the application of acupuncture on cancer-related pain, investigators should clearly define the types of cancer pain (e.g. malignancy related pain) as inclusion criteria in the future studies.
Integrative Cancer Care, Medical Acupuncture

Acupuncture May Stimulate Anticancer Immunity via Activation of Natural Killer Cells

Acupuncture stimulation increases the cytotoxicity of NK cells by promoting cross talk between the neurotransmitter network and immune system.

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2011 (2011)

Integrative Cancer Care, Medical Acupuncture

Effects from acupuncture in treating anxiety

Effects from acupuncture in treating anxiety: integrative review.


among 514 articles, 67 were selected to be fully read and 19 were included. Among these, 11 were found to have strong evidence levels. (…) Its results showed positive and statistically significant effects from using acupuncture for treating subjects with anxiety.


acupuncture seems to be a promising treatment for anxiety; however, there is a need for improving the methodological quality of the research on this field.

Integrative Cancer Care

Effectiveness of acupuncture and related therapies for palliative care of cancer: overview of systematic reviews

“There is evidence for the therapeutic effects of acupuncture for the management of cancer-related fatigue, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and leucopenia in patients with cancer. There is conflicting evidence regarding the treatment of cancer-related pain, hot flashes and hiccups, and improving patients’ quality of life. The available evidence is currently insufficient to support or refute the potential of acupuncture and related therapies in the management of xerostomia, dyspnea and lymphedema and in the improvement of psychological well-being. No serious adverse effects were reported in any study.”

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Published online: 26 November 2015

Dr. Jihyuk Park

Dr. Jihyuk Park Clinic in NYC

Integrative Medicine service for Cancer, TMJ & Spine care.

Personalized Herbal Medicine, Medical Acupuncture.

39 E 78th St., Suite 304, New York, NY 10075

(Upper East Side, Manhattan, NYC) (Any questions are welcomed.)


Joint Conference: Acupuncture, Oncology and Fascia.

I am going to participate in this event in Boston.

Joint Conference Flyer Final

“Experts in the fields of acupuncture, integrative oncology, cancer biology and mechanobiology will share the stage, presenting the latest findings and exploring three key areas of overlapping research:

  • Acupuncture and oncology: The role of acupuncture in the care of cancer patients, including pain management, fatigue and sleep
  • Oncology and fascia: The importance of the connective tissue matrix in tumor growth and metastasis
  • Fascia and acupuncture: The transduction of mechanical signals from acupuncture needles to connective tissue”

On Saturday, Nov. 14, 8:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Joseph B. Martin Conference Center.