Neuropathy due to chemorherapy

forum post

Neuropathy due to chemorherapy

Published on 02-05-2022

"Laila" is a complemementary medicine provider who lives in South Africa - this is their first post.

Hello. I am in South Africa and there are no reputable Acupuncture specialists anywhere close to me.

I am receiving chemotherapy for stage 4 colon cancer and one of the most annoying side effects is neuropathy in my hands and feet, and Hand Foot Syndrome.

Please, please , please could you share with me which points I can use to get some relief? I know many patients in other countries go regularly for acupuncture to help with these conditions.

I am a Therapeutic Reflexologist and I have used so much I have learnt from your site and now I need some help for myself!

This post has the following associations:

Acupoints: li 11, st 36

Comments / Discussions:

comment by "ChadD" (acupuncturist)
on Feb 2022

Regular acupuncture can be extremely useful for chemotherapy induced neuropathy.  But as you already seem to be aware it requires frequent treatments - often weekly for months or longer.

From a self-treatment perspective, there is very little, in my opinion, that can be done with acupressure to help overall.  You could work on points such as LI 11 and ST 36 possibly even with moxabustion and then accompany that with general massage work to improve the blood circulation into the extremities.  Moxabustion, however, has to be considered with caution with neuropathy as incorrect usage or usage at all in some cases could worsen your situation.

Your best "self" treatment option may be herbally, but for that you would really be best served by seeing someone locally who is well versed in Chinese herbal medicine - there are a host of options and most have to be taken into context with your overall treatment from the western side as well.  This research study discusses some of the potential approaches and some outcomes - but, again, properly applied Chinese Medicine ideally requires a skilled practitioner who can follow you over your course of treatment as the formulas would need to be adapted and changed over time.  

Our neuropathy section has some potential approaches and the research article discusses many more.  

 I wish there were easy answers to your situation, but there are not unfortunately - at least within the context of trying to answer fairly broadly.

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