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Acupuncture improves quality of life of patients exhausted by chemotherapy

People exhausted by chemotherapy felt better and had the energy to walk to the shops and to socialise, so their quality of life improved significantly after six sessions of acupuncture in a study conducted by Alex Molassiotis, professor of cancer and supportive care at the University of Manchester.

In this randomised placebo-controlled trial, the chemotherapy patients were randomly assigned to one of three groups to receive either (1) acupuncture or (2) acupressure or (3) sham acupressure.

The acupuncture group (1) received six 20 minute sessions spread over three weeks.

Patients in the acupressure group (2) were taught to massage the same acupuncture points.

The sham acupressure (3) patients were taught the same massage technique, but were told to massage points on not associated with energy and fatigue.

Patients receiving acupuncture (1) reported a 36% improvement in fatigue, whilst those in the acupressure group (2) improved by 19%. The sham acupressure group (3) reported a mere 0.6% improvement.

Reference: Complementary Therapies in Medicine (DOI: 10.1016/j.ctim.2006.09.009)

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  • Abby

    I came across this because I was ego-surfing. I like to see how my pictures are used. This was taken when I went with my friend Kathryn one day when she got chemo. What’s interesting is that she is also getting acupuncture and credits it with making life MUCH better, particularly the nausea and overall pain.

  • vitalis.co.nz

    Thanks for your beautiful picture, abby!

  • This sounds like it could be a great start.  I didn’t really know that accupressure was only half as effective as legitimate acupuncture…   I wonder how big the sample sizes were?