What is acupuncture? How does it work?
Acupuncture is a therapeutic component of Chinese Medicine that originated over 2,000 years ago. It involves the insertion of thin filiform needles to stimulate certain points on the body to promote your body’s natural healing capabilities. In 1996, the FDA classified the acupuncture needle as a medical device. Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization.
What are the benefits of acupuncture for cancer patients and survivors?
- Reduce pain: Acupuncture can treat joint pain, muscle aches, headaches and neuropathic pain (burning or tingling in the hands and feet) that may result from chemotherapy, radiation or surgery.
- Reduce nausea and vomiting: Nausea during chemotherapy treatments can come in many different forms (anticipatory, acute and delayed), and acupuncture can help reduce all those forms of nausea.
- Improve post-radiation symptoms: Acupuncture treatments can help improve taste changes and mouth dryness (xerostomia) that can come after radiation.
- Reduce fatigue: Fatigue is a result of your body trying to repair all the healthy cells in your body, and acupuncture can assist in the healing process.
- Improve behavioral health: After a cancer diagnosis, depression and anxiety may come into effect. Acupuncture is a great tool to help regulate your emotions and keep you level when under stress.
Why acupuncture care at Ochsner?
Acupuncture helps alleviate a wide variety of symptoms simultaneously. For cancer patients and survivors, clinical studies have shown acupuncture can reduce cancer-related pain, nausea, post-chemotherapy fatigue and hot flashes as well as help improve overall sleep quality. Acupuncture services at The Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center are offered by a licensed acupuncturist. Each treatment plan provides an integrative and holistic approach to each individual’s needs in order to guide one on a greater path to wellness. Talk to your provider about an Integrative Oncology consult to see if acupuncture would be a good fit for your treatment plan.
What are alternatives to acupuncture?
If you have a fear of needles or would like to explore less invasive treatment options, auricular acupuncture (done only to the ears) and acupressure can be tailored to fit your needs.
How often should you receive acupuncture?
The acupuncturist will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan. For optimal benefit, treatment duration may vary from once weekly for 6-10 weeks to twice weekly for 4-6 weeks. You may require 4-5 consecutive treatments before you experience ideal benefit. There may be times where acupuncture can continue as a maintenance therapy for chronic conditions such as pain or fatigue.
Call 866-624-7637 for more information or talk to your provider about an Integrative Oncology consult.
Meet Our Acupuncture Team
Kaylee Vincent, L.Ac.
Kaylee Vincent is a licensed and board-certified acupuncturist. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture from Texas Health and Science University in Austin, TX in 2016. She completed her Doctorates in Acupuncture from Won Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2020. She has been practicing in a hospital-based systems since 2017 and specializes in oncology and pain management.
Dr. Elizabeth Lapeyre is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist. After completing her undergraduate education at the University of Virginia, Dr. Lapeyre obtained her medical degree at Tulane Medical School in New Orleans. She went on to complete her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Ochsner Health in 2003. She has been on the faculty at Ochsner since 2003 and served as both the Associate Program Director and the Program Director for the OB/GYN Residency Training Program. Dr. Lapeyre is currently completing a fellowship in Integrative Medicine. She specializes in providing a holistic and comprehensive approach to survivorship care. She is currently providing Integrative Oncology consults for acupuncture while incorporating other additional integrative wellness therapies essential to cancer care.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Lapeyre for an Integrative Medicine consult to determine if acupuncture is right for you and your treatment plan.