Cancer Emotional Support

Emotional Support for Cancer Patients

Being diagnosed with cancer makes life tough, bringing with, it in most cases, feelings of fear and anxiety on top of the symptoms of the cancer itself. In addition, conventional treatment of cancer, whether by surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy, can be deeply challenging in itself. Up to 58% of cancer patients may suffer with depression, either during or after conventional treatment; indeed it is sometimes only after treatment is finished that you realise just how much stress you have been under.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Emotional Support For Cancer Patients

It is thus important to find ways of getting emotional support on the journey through cancer diagnosis and treatment – and beyond.  Most acupuncture patients will recognise the way in which acupuncture calms the spirit and relaxes the mind, almost irrespective of what is being treated. Beyond this, TCM acupuncture treatment works at restoring balance and harmony to the individual as a whole, mind and body; it understand the profound ways in which mind and body interact and that health depends on both.
For instance, anxiety can impair the free flow of what TCM refers to as Qi, something which in the traditional Chinese view of life flows through every aspect of a living being. When this free flow is impaired, perhaps by being anxious and ‘uptight’, it leads to symptoms as diverse as nausea and fatigue, depression and panic attacks. In such a case, acupuncture treatment aimed at liberating the Qi to flow more smoothly helps us feel better physically, so we can cope better with conventional cancer treatment for instance, but also helps to lift our mood and put us back in touch with ourselves.

Is Acupuncture Helpful in Supporting Cancer Patients?

A recent study1 using acupuncture to help cancer patients found it to be effective in reducing cancer related depression, as well as improving quality of life and helping patients sleep better. Similar research2 on breast cancer patients showed acupuncture to be helpful in improving quality of life and decreasing fatigue.

1Feng Y et al (2011) Clinical research of acupuncture on malignant tumor patients for improving depression and sleep quality. J Tradit Chin Med. 2011 Sep;31(3):199-202

2Molassiotis A et al (2012) Acupuncture for Cancer-Related Fatigue in Patients With Breast Cancer: A Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial. J Clin Oncol. 2012 Oct 29


The Sean Barkes Clinic does not claim to cure any conventional medical disease states.  Traditional Chinese Medicine seeks to re-establish and maintain the harmonious function of the human body-mind using tried and tested principles that have been discovered and matured over millennia.  A Western medical diagnosis provides very little by way of insight in informing a Chinese Medical diagnosis.  Patients usually recognise their own condition in terms of the medical disease category that they have been given by their GP or other conventional medical practitioner.  The research presented here is merely an indication of the potential to draw parallels between Traditional Chinese Medicine and Modern Western Medicine.