Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) in Zion, Illinois, the first hospital in the CTCA® family, is home to a robust supportive care services department. The many therapeutic services offered at the Chicago-area cancer center include acupuncture, an ancient branch of Chinese medicine that can help patients combat a number of cancer-related side effects.
Although its roots in the United States go back 200 years, acupuncture gained clout in the medical community when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved acupuncture needles as a medical device in the 1990s. It is now used to treat many cancer treatment related symptoms such as pain, insomnia, nausea and vomiting. Irina Aleynikova, Acupuncturist at our Chicago-area facility, helps patients stimulate a better energy flow via pathways throughout the body known as meridians. Like other acupuncturists trained in working with cancer patients, Aleynikova targets certain symptoms by inserting the fine, sterile needles to strategic locations, or acupoints, around the patient’s body. These acupoints vary according to the symptoms targeted.
It is believed that restoring healthy energy flow through acupuncture can have a positive effect by triggering natural healing processes and balance in the body. Our licensed acupuncturists at CTCA at Midwestern Regional Medical Center (Midwestern) help patients work through a number of physical and emotional side effects of chemotherapy, surgery or other cancer treatments. Serving patients from North and South Dakota, the Great Lakes and greater Midwest region, as well as from around the country, the therapies offered by the acupuncture team at Midwestern are voluntary, meaning patients can use them if and when they feel they are needed.
Midwestern patients experiencing pain, stress or anxiety due to treatment may find that acupuncture can help. The acupuncture team also works closely with other clinicians on the patient’s care team to design the whole-person care that is at the heart of the CTCA mission.