Acupuncture helps “chemo neuropathy” symptoms ie peripheral neuropathy associated with chemotherapy treatment of cancer, according to researchers at the Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. A group of 168 participants were enrolled in a pragmatic trial, and treated in accordance with their preferences for either acupuncture and complementary & integrative medicine, or standard care alone as a control. Patients in the intervention arm were randomised to receive either twice-weekly acupuncture for six weeks, or acupuncture plus manual movement or mind-body therapy.
From baseline to six week assessment, the intervention groups improved significantly compared with the control group for criteria including overall chemotherapy-related quality of life, emotional wellbeing, hand numbness/tingling & discomfort, and physical functioning.
The researchers conclude that acupuncture, with or without complementary & integrative medical modalities, can relieve chemo neuropathy symptoms during oncology treatment. This is most pronounced for hand numbness, tingling, pain, discomfort, and for physical functioning.