13 benefits of Acupuncture in cancer care

Acupuncture is a therapeutic component of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It involves the use of very thin needles along with heat, pressure, or electricity to stimulate points on the body, promoting the flow and balance of internal energy.

Acupuncture is also the most popular complementary treatment in cancer care due to its proven safety and efficacy.

Hundreds of studies in the recent years have validated the benefits of Acupuncture in integrative oncology care and years of clinical experience showed that Acupuncture treatments are safe and well tolerated by the vast majority of the patients, including pediatric patients and the elderly.

Here some evidence-based benefits of Acupuncture for health conditions associated with cancer:

Cancer treatment-related symptoms

A number of clinical trials support the use of acupuncture in relieving pain, nausea and vomiting, dry mouth, fatigue, hot flashes, and peripheral neuropathy resulting from cancer treatments. In some studies, benefits have been noted to last well after treatment.


Several clinical trials showed that acupuncture is effective in alleviating pain, including joint or nerve pain associated with some cancer treatments.


Several clinical trials in cancer patients and other populations suggest that acupuncture improves sleep.


Several clinical trials show that acupuncture reduces fatigue, including cancer-related fatigue.


Several studies have shown that acupressure and acupuncture can help to relieve anxiety related to tests and procedures. It may also help with anxiety in general.


Acupuncture may reduce depressive symptoms, although results were mixed for major depressive disorder.

Nausea and vomiting

Current oncology guidelines recommend acupuncture and acupressure for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). A number of studies also support its use for postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV), and in pediatric cancer populations.


Some evidence suggests acupuncture may be helpful for constipation.


This use is supported by clinical trials. Fibromyalgia A clinical study finds acupuncture can reduce symptoms of fibromyalgia.


Although studies have mixed results, several large trials have not found acupuncture helpful for infertility.


A few studies have shown that acupuncture is useful in treating allergic rhinitis when used along with standard care. It may also be helpful on its own in pediatric populations.


Studies on whether acupuncture may help in smoking cessation are mixed. Additional studies are needed.