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Can acupuncture help with treating glioblastoma?

Q:  Can acupuncture help with treating glioblastoma or swelling in the brain. Coming off the steroids has been causing seizures.

A:  We have to be honest and say that there is no research which we can trace which suggests that acupuncture can be of proven benefit, but given the aggressive nature of many glioblastomas that is not a surprise. You will find a number of case histories on the web, rather similar to this one

http://www.ivanhoe.com/SMARTWOMAN/p_swstory.cfm?storyid=10695

but it is always difficult to generalise from individual cases because there may be any number of reasons why this particular individual had such a good result. We tend to work on the adage that there is always someone for whom everything works but rarely something which works for everyone.

However, the essence of traditional Chinese medicine is that it is based on an entirely different way of understanding the body, mind and spirit as a complex flow of energy, called 'qi', whose rhythms. flow and balance determine the health and well-being of the person. The symptoms from which someone suffers are interpreted through a sophisticated conceptual grid which has developed over 2000 years, and are made sense of within this grid. On occasion this can present options for treatment which can reduce some of the secondary effects of serious conditions, and in a small number of cases affect the condition itself.

Glioblastoma has a rather bad reputation as an untreatable condition, but there are good reasons to believe that treatment, both conventional and complementary, can on occasion slow down the progression of the problem and reduce some of the effects caused by the presence of the tumour in the frontal and temporal lobes.

Our best advice in your particular case is to visit a BAcC member local to you for an informal chat about what may be possible. You will clearly have a great deal of case history which is not touched on in your e-mail, and which will guide the practitioner towards a better understanding of the progression of the problem and with that a better assessment of whether acupuncture treatment may be of benefit.  

 

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