Why hospice acupuncture?

Acupuncture Alternative MedicineOriental Medicine, much like hospice, embraces a whole-person pattern approach of mind, body, and spirit. It is unique in that the system utilizes a multitude of therapies including (but not limited to) acupuncture, Asian bodywork (e.g. shiatsu, acupressure, tui na), Chinese herbal medicines, cupping, coining, electrostimulation, heat therapies, meditation, moxabustion, nutrition, qi gong, and tai chi. Most of these therapies are useful in terminal disease treatments, though there are some contraindications depending on the individual patient’s condition. In particular, acupuncture, using specific point combinations, can serve to calm and release emotional and spiritual concerns for hospice patients.

Many hospice patients experience physical discomfort along with the emotional reality of the dying process. Acupuncture is a safe and inexpensive treatment for physical conditions that are common among hospice and palliative care patients. Most Oriental Medicine research in the United States has been limited, using acupuncture as the sole modality. In one group of studies, acupuncture was found to be useful for treating xerostomia (dryness of the mouth), nausea, vomiting, dyspnea (shortness of breath), and most importantly pain, in a drug-free way, without side effects.