Acupuncture in the Treatment of Upper-Limb Lymphedema

Results of a Pilot Study by Barrie R. Cassileth.
Cancer 2013 July 1; 119 (13): 2455-2461.
Acupuncture for BCRL appears safe and may reduce arm circumference. Although these results await confirmation in a randomized trial, acupuncture can be considered for women with no other options for sustained arm circumference reduction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need a referral from my doctor to see an acupuncturist?

A: No. According to the New York State Education Law, Article 160, acupuncturists are independent health care providers; patients do no need a physician referral to receive treatment from a licensed acupuncturist.

Q: Does it hurt?

A: No. Meridians or energy channels are not nerve systems. Acupuncture points on the meridians avoid major arteries, veins, and nerves. Patient may feel a little pinch, heaviness, distention, or tingling.

Q: Are the needles clean?

A: We use disposable needle only. Needles will no be saved and reused for later treatment. This eliminates the possibility of transmitting a communicable disease by a contaminated needle. Acupuncture needles are solid, no coating and no injection.

Q: Is there anything I need to do before receiving an acupuncture treatment?

A: Yes, the following suggestions will help you get the maximum benefit from your treament.

  1. Maintain good personal hygiene to reduce the possibility of bacterial infection
  2. To prevent loss, do not wear jewelry. Wear loose clothing. Women should not wear one piece dresses. Avoid wearing tight stockings.
  3. Avoid treatment when excessively fatigued, hungry, full, or emotionally upset.

Q: Is there anything I need to do while receiving acupuncture?

A: Yes. You need to relax, relax, relax!

  1. Anxiety may interfere with the energy flow and reduce the effect of the treatment
  2. Do no change your position or move suddenly. If you are uncomfortable, tell your practitioner