Can acupuncture cure cancer? This is a question I have been asked before, and with all my heart I wish I could answer yes, however, I can’t. Can acupuncture prevent cancer? Again, a question I have been asked. There haven’t been any studies to support acupuncture as cancer prevention, however, we know that the healthier someone is, the better their chances of not getting cancer.
What I can say about acupuncture and cancer is that I have treated quite a number of people with cancer. Acupuncture has effectively reduced the side effects of chemotherapy, promoted the immune system (shown by an increase of white blood cells directly after a treatment) and helped the patient’s spirit and mood (which we know is helpful in healing from anything.)
One of the great benefits of acupuncture is an increased awareness of one’s body, mind and spirit. Most of us walk around disconnected from our bodies, and if asked where an emotion is felt in our bodies, can’t answer. After acupuncture treatments over time, the awareness of where something is felt in one’s body increases. The majority of the people who I have treated who had cancer, expressed an awareness that the cancer helped them to awaken to their bodies. Add acupuncture to that, and the aliveness and awakeness they experienced was phenomenal. I say that my patients who had cancer taught me worlds about living, being fully present in the moment and about dying with grace. I was able to help them bare the experience with acupuncture, but they chose to be fully awake to the experience.
Some of my patients survived cancer, and some didn’t. Isn’t that true of life in general? None of us gets out of here alive, death is a significant and profound experience we all share. Those who have survived cancer have gone on to embrace life in a way those of us who have not been awakened this way could never understand. And those of my patients who didn’t survive, taught me about the art of dying.