My experience of acupuncture

Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine. Fine needles are inserted at certain sites in the body for therapeutic or preventative purposes.  You can read more about it here.

It’s one of the complementary therapies we offer at Wessex Cancer Support.

Nat is a client of our Bournemouth cancer support centre. You can read her story here. Here, she shares her experiences of acupuncture. Please remember that this is Nat’s experience. Cancer, and treatments, affect everyone differently. If you’d like to find out about any of our complementary therapies and how they might help, please get in touch with your nearest cancer support centre.

“I’d like to share my personal experience of the acupuncture sessions I’ve been fortunate to have, courtesy of Louella. Louella has volunteered every Thursday morning since 2017, in memory of her Dad. Louella studied acupuncture for more than three years after working as a specialist cystic fibrosis physio at Poole Hospital, and also specialised in women’s health.

“I’d heard of the benefits of acupuncture – mainly for fertility and migraines – but never really considered it to help counter some of the negative side effects of cancer treatment and the other benefits it can bring, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

“To be honest, I didn’t relish the idea of being a ‘pincushion.’  The idea of having needles put into me willingly put me off in the past, but I’m now a convert because I’ve seen such a positive difference. The needles are as thin as a cat’s whisker, used once, and nothing at all like having a blood test. It can feel like a small pulling sensation, a whoosh of releasing energy or a bit tender when a needle is placed at a certain point in my body.

“I’ve had a range of symptoms that have improved as a result of acupuncture. For me, it can be different symptoms each time. Louella and I talk at the beginning of each session about what’s going on with me, and she makes a plan of the most effective ‘route’ the needles will take.

How it’s helped me

“I’ve had relief from nerve pain, fatigue and digestive issues. It’s also helped to restore my energy and reduce stress, and to recover from being run down after so many surgeries and from the trauma of some of the side effects of my cancer treatment. It’s given me a better sense of wellbeing and feeling relaxed. Acupuncture can also be used to rebalance after chemo treatment, and to aid anxiety and neuropathy.

“The way Louella describes acupuncture to me is like a London Tube map. The body is made up of different energy channels, not unlike the different train lines all going to different places, but working together as a whole to maintain the network. Some stations are a specific stop where the needle just works on one health issue or organ. Other areas might be like Waterloo, where the needle can be a conduit to help get the body in balance. Practitioners believe the human body has more than 2000 acupuncture points connected by pathways or meridians. These pathways create an energy flow known as Qi (pronounced ‘chee’), that is responsible for overall health.

“Acupuncture has made a big difference to my health and wellbeing, and Louella’s kindness, health knowledge and caring nature is incredible. Thank you.”


Would you like to find out more about complementary therapies?

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