Auricular acupuncture is a non-invasive treatment that focuses on up to 200 points in the ear. Small beads are attached to those acupressure points and stimulated by massaging the ear regularly. These points lead directly to specific parts of the central nervous system. It’s most commonly used to alleviate symptoms caused by addictive behaviors, however more recent studies are harnessing this treatment to address chronic pain (link to lower back pain article once link is live) and also the side effects of chemotherapy.
This latest research published in the Complementary Therapies In Clinical Practice journal used this treatment to alleviate nausea and vomiting in breast cancer patients after receiving chemotherapy. 48 participants were split into two groups. The normal group were administered regular treatments while the experimental group were given those same treatments and five days of auricular acupuncture.
Women who received auricular acupuncture noted a decrease in “the number and intensity of nausea and vomiting in both the acute and delayed phases.” This was “significantly lower” than the reactions by the other group. These encouraging results suggest that this type of treatment is a viable option that should be offered to those undergoing chemotherapy, as it is a low-cost form of pain management.
Researchers add that nurses should be using auricular acupuncture in tandem with other protocols as a “non – pharmacological, inexpensive, non-invasive approach.” While nurses could help to guide patients in using this treatment, the advantage of auricular acupuncture is that it enables people to take control of their own pain management without the need of outside help. It’s a simple practice that we here at the clinic fully endorse. If you’re interested in using auricular acupuncture, please call us today to schedule an appointment.
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