By inserting very thin needles at specific points on the body and passing a mild electric current between them, electroacupuncture can relieve some side effects and symptoms common during cancer.
How do experts use electroacupuncture?
Both medical groups and integrative experts provide recommendations for this therapy in treating people with cancer. Learn more about the approaches and meanings of recommendations.
Clinical practice guidelines
Acupuncture and electro-acupuncture can be considered for the management of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms in women with a history of breast cancer noting there is inconsistent evidence regarding their effectiveness (evidence is weak and recommendation must be applied with caution).
Shanghai Association of Chinese Integrative Medicine
These 2018 guidelines give a weak recommendation for electroacupuncture to relieve pain or reduce gastrointestinal reactions such as vomiting.
The 2017 guidelines regarding breast cancer patients states that electroacupuncture can be considered as an addition to antiemetic drugs to control nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy.
Published protocols, programs, and approaches
Electroacupuncture is used in programs, approaches and protocolsa package of therapies combining and preferably integrating various therapies and practices into a cohesive design for care from these integrative oncologists, drawing from both scientific research and observations from years or even decades of treating people with cancer.
Gurdev Parmar, ND, FABNO, and Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO
Parmar G, Kaczor T. Textbook of Naturopathic Oncology: A Desktop Guide of Integrative Cancer Care. 1st edition. Medicatrix Holdings Ltd. 2020.
This book provides information on the treatment of 24 cancers, plus the most effective treatments of the most common symptoms affecting cancer patients while they undergo chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery.
Uses of electroacupuncture: to reduce bone tumor growth and lung metastasis
Hong Kong Experts recommendations
A survey of 12 experts in Hong Kong did not reach a consensus for treating chemotherapy-associated nausea and vomiting with electroacupuncture in addition to antiemetics.
Electroacupuncture is used in traditional Chinese medicine. Recommendations from Chinese medicine expert groups for use of electroacupuncture are included above on this page.
Learn more about traditional medicine and how to find a practitioner.
Keep reading about electroacupuncture
|1||Lyman GH, Greenlee H et al. Integrative therapies during and after breast cancer treatment: ASCO endorsement of the SIO clinical practice guideline. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2018 Sep 1;36(25):2647-2655.|