The recent fusion of Eastern and Western medicine has produced interesting and beneficial results in patients throughout the country. Specifically, the integration of acupuncture as a relevant complementary treatment for mesothelioma is quickly gaining popular support. Unfortunately, the prognosis for mesothelioma victims is often discouraging. Because the disease remains latent in the body for so long (anywhere from 20 to 50 years), it is not usually diagnosed until it is in an advanced stage, and patients are in their advanced years. Prognosis, however, always improves when the patient’s overall health is better.
Acupuncture is the most frequently used treatment in complementary and alternative medicine. It is commonly associated with back pain and ailments such as headaches and other types of pain. Its applicability, however, is widespread, and it is even advocated by mesothelioma patients and others suffering from asbestos-related illnesses. Mesothelioma attorneys highlight the potential benefits of acupuncture, which has been shown to effectively control cancer pain and treatment side effects. Studies have also suggested that acupuncture may enable the immune system to work better and more efficiently.
This ancient Chinese practice was traditionally used to treat the wounds of warriors, and was first documented in Chinese medical texts dating back to 300-200 B.C. Acupuncture applies needles, heat, pressure, and other treatments to one or more places on the skin known as acupressure points. The practice causes physical responses in nerve cells, the pituitary gland, and certain parts of the brain. Some researchers found that acupuncture causes a release of serotonin, which are the ‘reward’ chemicals in the brain, releasing during feel-good moments such as consuming favorite foods and alcohol. This is why acupuncture is considered an effective treatment for emotional disorders, drug abuse, food dependency and alcoholism.
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Mesothelioma victims are often burdened with extreme emotional duress. Acupuncture philosophy is foundational on the belief that pain transmission can be altered at numerous points in the body, and that acupuncture effectively amend these transmitters. Theorists also suggest that acupuncture needles release endorphins in the body, which block pain and produce mild feelings of euphoria.
At the initial visit, acupuncture specialists ask patients detailed questions to determine the specific sites and severity of pain experienced. The specialist then examines the patient, tailoring the treatment plan to produce maximum results. It is important that acupuncture treatment be administered by a qualified practitioner who uses a new set of disposable needles for each patient. If administered correctly, acupuncture poses little risk for any adverse side effects. There is a very low potential for minor bleeding, dizziness, or bruising, which occur in less than 3% of patients.
Acupuncture came into American consciousness in the 1970s, when world travelers returned home and told stories of Chinese patients undergoing surgeries using acupuncture as anesthesia. Much like osteopathy and reflexology, acupuncture attempts to restore the body’s natural balance. Ancient Chinese beliefs cite four factors of physical harmony: yin, yang, qi, and blood. There are nearly 400 pressure points in the body regulating these four functions. During treatment acupuncturists insert extremely thin needles into the relevant pressure points, where they remain for several minutes.
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There is strong evidence from clinical trials and animal studies that acupuncture relieves nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. Mesothelioma is caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers, which then become lodged in the lining of the lungs. Advocates of acupuncture report that the practice relieves the breathing pains that are often associated with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses.
Mesothelioma attorneys encourage those suffering from severe breathing pain or chemotherapy side effects to consider acupuncture as an alternative treatment method. Medical professionals warn, however, that those with bleeding disorders and those taking blood thinners should avoid acupuncture treatment. Relief from pain caused by asbestos-related diseases is of top concern to our attorneys, and we will continue to research and report on potential therapy methods.