Many scholars have studied the anti-cancer potential of acupuncture. Here is a brief overview:
Meridians are pathways through which qi is believed to flow. There are fourteen major meridian lines in the human body—one meridian for each of the twelve inner organs in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Blockages, impediments, and desensitization due to an infection or ailment impede the flow of qi through these meridians, resulting in disease manifestation. These impediments or blockages are removed with the help of acupuncture needles or by applying pressure at specific points.
Tibetan medicine concept of acupuncture is similar to that described in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Pressure on a specific acupuncture point stimulates the associated nerves that trigger the release of hormones and biochemicals. These provide relief to the affected part of the organ. In China and Tibetan medicine, acupuncture is used extensively to treat various ailments. It is said to be most effective in dealing with pain.
Scientific studies have been undertaken to validate the role of acupuncture in treating a range of ailments. Here below is a summary of these studies identified by me in the course of writing my book – Natural Solutions for Cancer.
A clinical trial to study the effectiveness of acupuncture on cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer patients has shown that acupuncture as an adjunct treatment to regular medicine helped improve their quality of life (Molassiotis et al., 2012).
A group of scientists screened 2151 publications on acupuncture treatment involving cancer patients. They also reviewed 41 random clinical trials involving eight symptoms (pain, nausea, hot flashes, fatigue, radiation-induced challenges, anxiety/mood disorders, sleep disturbance, and prolonged postoperative side effects such as vomiting, stomach distention, and other stomach-related discomforts. This review showed that acupuncture as an adjunct treatment yielded positive results for these patients (Garcia et al., 2013). Another clinical trial showed positive results for cancer-related fatigue in patients given acupuncture and traditional medicine (Balk et al., 2009).
Several patents on devices that provide alternate modes to acupuncture using acupressure have been filed. A US patent (No. US6366808B1, with Inventor Edward, A. Schroeppel, and Mark W. Kroll) uses an implantable electrical method and apparatus for treating cancer tumors. This device sends electrical stimuli to cancer tumors and claims to reduce the tumor size.
Another patent (No. US3938526A, Weston A. Anderson and Bruce Waller) is for an electrical acupuncture needle heater. This heater is attached to an acupuncture needle and delivers controlled heat to a specific body part.
Densen Cao claims, through his US20060095095A1 patent, an invention that helps kill cancer cells by exposing them to laser light emitted through fiber needles introduced into the body.