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Acupuncture Shows Promise in Treatment for Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

By: Marcey Rosin L.Ac., MAOM, Dipl.Ac.

Chemotherapy induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN) causes pain and mobility problems and may be a contributing factor for patients to terminate or suspend chemotherapy treatment. CIPN may also contribute to discomfort and debilitation for months to years after completing chemotherapy.

Most medical pratitioners agree that there is not an effective medical cure for CIPN (Schroder S. Meyer-Hamm G., et. al., Acupuncture in Medicine (2011), p. 1). However, a promising pilot study conducted at the University Medical Center in Hamburg Germany suggests that "Acupuncture has a positive effect on CIPN," (Schroder S. Meyer-Hamm, Acupuncture in Medicine (2011), p. 1). The study cited here concludes that nerve conduction studies as well as patient report of symptoms showed positive responses in the patients who completed a 10 week course of acupuncture treatment for CIPN. "These findings are of special signficiance since PN [peripheral neuropathy] is otherwise almost untreatable but seems to respond to treatment by acupuncture" (Schroder S., Meyer-Hamm G., et al., Acupuncture in Medicine (2011), p. 3).


Schroeder, s., Meyer-Hamme, G., Epplee "Acupuncture for Chemotherapy-induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN): A Pilot Study Using Neurography, Acupuncture in Medicine (2011).

About the Author

Marcey Rosin L.Ac., MAOM, Dipl.Ac. has implemented the protocol used in the University Medical Center study cited above in the clinic at the Arizona Oncology North West Resource Center and in her private practice at the El Dorado Health Center. Because Ms. Rosin is a contracted acupuncturist with Arizona Oncology Resource Services she has the opportunity to encounter and assist many patients suffering from CIPN. Marcey has a 23 year career as a medical social worker/ case manager and has operated a private practice in acupuncture in Tucson since 2002; she was a volunteer acupuncturist with Clinica Amistad, a free integrative health clinic in South Tucson and volunteered with Acupuncturists without Borders in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  Additionally, Marcey was appointed for a term on the State of Arizona Acupuncture Board of Examiners

Ask The Acupuncturist

Q: I have always had a problem when it comes to my gag reflex. As a kid I even had a problem wearing a mouth piece and going to the dentist. but it still has not gone away, even today if i go to the dentist it is very hard for me to allow anything in my mouth without gagging and eventually vomiting. I also have a problem when shirts are tight around my neck. Is there any hope in acupuncture?

A: There are some very simple acupuncture points that have been proven to calm down the gag reflex. Acupuncture point: Ren 24 The first point i... Read More