Book health & wellness appointments instantly


Don't worry, the needles don't hurt. Find pain relief, calm your mind and regulate your qi.

I have been on chemo and it is affecting my IBS. I have been in spasm constantly. Can acupuncture help?

Frieda Mah (Irvine, CA) on Jun 21, 2012
Acupuncture can help spasm, IBS and relive side effects from chemotherapy.
Teresa Green (Ashland, VA) on Sep 5, 2012
What a horrible thing to go through! Acupuncture can help, although unfortunately it isn't guaranteed. Acupuncture works in part by taking the nervous system from a "fight or flight" response (the sympathetic nervous system) into a "rest and digest" response (the parasympathetic nervous system). Sometimes the "wires" that activate each system can be "crossed," and so your body cannot decide if it should relax and digest, or tense up in preparation for battle or flight--thus causing IBS symptoms. The direct effects of chemotherapy on your nervous system, the stress of dealing with serious health problems, and the strain to your digestion because of other side effects to the chemotherapy can easily cause this confusion in your body. Acupuncture could certainly help, although because of the tremendous effect of chemotherapy, it may take time and be only a gradual improvement.
Toni King (Port Chester, NY) on Jun 21, 2012
As a Crohns sufferer in complete remission I can attest to the fact that Acupuncture is a powerful tool in regulating the bowels. More importantly- Acupuncture can keep the body in a healthy state so that it can tolerate the assault of the chemo. Many times chemo patients have to stop because they cannot tolerate the chemo. A nurse once said to one of my patients who had breast cancer and was on chemo- that her blood profile was better than the nurses. We also addressed her nausea and fatigue and kept her platelet count up nicely, and her white blood cell count from climbing! Acupuncture is a great addition to any western medical protocol that is harsh or difficult for the body. Those who have bowel issues also tend to have food issues. Your acupuncturist will help you navigate those waters and find out what works best for you.
Sung C. Cho (Torrance, CA) on Jun 21, 2012
As you know, chemo is really a strong treatment. So there are a lot of side effects like nausea, vomiting, numbness, weakness, changing of bowel function, severe pain, etc. I have been practicing on cancer patients in conjunction with oncologists for some time. We first used acupuncture in the hopes of reduce nausea and vomiting after chemo for cancer patients but the effectiveness of acupuncture for them was amazing more than we expected. After acupuncture, they could take food without nausea and vomiting and cut back on the use of painkillers. I strongly recommend that cancer patients combine acupuncture with chemo treatment.
Jacklin Arastouzadeh (Beverly Hills, CA) on Jun 21, 2012
Yes. You also need to take herbs to help your digestive system. When your digestive system is strong, chemo works better and your results are better.
Adi Barad (Winnetka, IL) on Jun 21, 2012
Acupuncture in general can help relax the body and help with IBS.
Monica Roslow (Red Hook, NY) on Jun 21, 2012
Yes, acupuncture can be very helpful for IBS. It is also very helpful for chemo patients in general to help them tolerate the chemo, to help keep up immunity and strength, and to relieve tension and anxiety.
Crystal Dmytryk (New York, NY) on Jun 21, 2012
Definitely! Before, during and post-chemo, acupuncture can help you to manage side effects and symptoms. Digestive complaints are some of the most frequent complaints we deal with!
Simon Nelson (North Hollywood, CA) on Jun 21, 2012
Chinese herbal medicine is very helpful in detoxing the body after chemotherapy. Please contact your local acupuncturist. Or call my offices at 1(818)985-7889.
Dale Tope (Pflugerville, TX) on Jun 21, 2012
Acupuncture can definitely help with the intestinal discomfort and cramping that chemo has exacerbated. There are also a few noteworthy Chinese herbal formulas that can greatly reduce, and in some cases, eliminate, IBS symptoms. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (the body's energy) and blood. Stress causes liver Qi stagnation (think of a traffic jam in the area responsible for ensuring things run smoothly). Naturally, this is taxing on your system, and often, this overacts on the apleen, which in TCM is responsible for digestive health. The treatment focuses on relieving liver Qi stagnation and strengthening digestive health. TCM can also help with the nausea that often accompanies chemotherapy.
Jennifer Aubert (San Francisco, CA) on Jun 21, 2012
Absolutely! I myself had IBS for many years and sought acupuncture and herbs for treatment. I got such amazing results I decided to pursue TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) as a career. As I tell my patients, your symptoms may not all clear up after one session and it may require some lifestyle modifications on your part, but usually results do come rather quickly (depends on how often you go). If herbs are prescribed as well, relief usually comes more quickly.
Kim Vandeveer (Rohnert Park, CA) on Jun 21, 2012
Yes, very much so.
Katalin Csoka (Mission Viejo, CA) on Jun 21, 2012
Definitely yes!
Donna Cain (New Canaan, CT) on Jun 21, 2012
Acupuncture can absolutely help. It can relieve IBS whether you are having chemo or not. It helps to calm the side effects of chemo. Leaders in the cancer care field, including Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC, support the use of acupuncture during chemotherapy and radiation.
Richard Ki (Orange, CA) on Jun 21, 2012
Acupuncture helps the body to balance blood flow. Chemo and IBS impact blood circulation and damage the immune system. Acupuncture can help balance blood flow and improve IBS somewhat. For best results, combine acupuncture with herbal supplements.
Michael Moy (Willowbrook, IL) on Jun 21, 2012
Yes, acupuncture can help IBS. For best results, do acupuncture and moxa at the same time.
Andrew Rader (Lagunitas, CA) on Jun 21, 2012
Acupuncture is often used to ease the side effects of both chemo and radiation. Acupuncture can also treat IBS. Keep in mind that acupuncture is not a panacea. A good acupuncturist will also look at all the factors affecting the IBS, including diet, other medications, sleep, and other stresses. Acupuncture is often able to bring blood to a particular area of the body. Blood brings nutrients and removes metabolic waste. When certain areas are stressed, blood flow is reduced. By increasing blood flow to a region, function is improved. This is a short answer to a complicated situation. The cancer and the chemo are big stresses to your system. Anything that helps nourish and relax your body and mind will be helpful, including acupuncture.
Nicole Garcia (Fort Lauderdale, FL) on Jun 21, 2012
Acupuncture is very effective in reducing many chemo-induced side effects and for improving overall quality of life for cancer patients. Aa licensed acupuncturist can determine if you are a good candidate for acupuncture.
Marcey Rosin (Tucson, AZ) on Jun 21, 2012
Acupuncture is highly effective in the treatment of IBS. Acupuncture is also very effective in treating side effects from chemo. I can say without hesitation that acupuncture with a qualified practitioner will most certainly, help control your chemo-induced spasms. Many acupuncturists, myself included, have contracts with oncology centers. You may want to check with your doctor's office to see if it has an acupuncturist associated with it. If not, you can rest assured that most licensed acupuncturists are very skilled at treating IBS and you should have no trouble finding a qualified practitioner in your community.
Amy FitzPatrick (New York, NY) on Jun 21, 2012
I am so sorry to hear that the chemotherapy is creating these side effects. Acupuncture can help with IBS symptoms, as well as the nausea that is often associated with chemotherapy. Chemo can be a rough ride - and I hope you have a full and speedy recovery.
Maria Baraybar Lee (Denver, CO) on Jun 21, 2012
Acupuncture is great for reducing the side effects of chemo, and it is also very good for digestive problems like IBS.
Kim Yoo (Overland Park, KS) on Jun 21, 2012
Acupuncture helps with most side effects of chemo medications. Your results would depend on your overall condition and medications but ongoing treatment may be necessary to maintain your results, at least as long as you are receiving chemo.
Ta-Li Chang (La Habra, CA) on Jun 21, 2012
Yes, acupuncture can help, but how much help is really hard to say. It might be better if you also take Chinese herbs to harmonize your body and to counter chemo's side effects. Also, you will have to watch what you eat. Try not to eat "cold" foods (either in temperature or in properties.) Your body is already weak from chemo therapy, so having more cold food will cause more problems. Some cold foods include salads, ice cream, ice tea, ice coffee, soda, yogurt. If you can't avoid eating cold food, try to have a cup of soup with it. Other foods considered "cold" in Chinese medicine include bitter greens. However, since greens are very nutritious, what you can do is include other vegetables or spices that are considered hot. The most common hot seasoning is ginger. Young ginger is considered warm, while older ginger is very hot.
Fred Russo (Edmonds, WA) on Jun 21, 2012
Acupuncture, in my experience, is very effective in treating IBS. When I treat patients that are going through chemotherapy, GI health is one of the main things that I treat to support their immune system. My doctorate is in Integrative Oncology. Find an acupuncturist and Chinese medicine practitioner who specializes in working with cancer patients to get the best results.
Paul Kempisty (New York, NY) on Jun 21, 2012
Acupuncture and herbal medicine are incredibly effective methods for addressing both IBS and chemotherapy-related bowel dysfunction, as well as other side effects related to traditional cancer treatments. Be sure to chose a practitioner who is experienced in oncology so that your alternative and complementary treatments do not compromise the efficacy of your Western medical treatments.
Jason Bussell (Wilmette, IL) on Jun 21, 2012
Absolutely. I specialize in chemo and radiation support and acupuncture can reduce or eliminate the side effects. Everyone undergoing these treatments should utilize acupuncture as a complementary therapy. Patients who use acupuncture in conjunction with chemo and Radiation have fewer side effects, better quality of life and higher survival rates. You should start calling acupuncturists right away and find one that is right for you.
Sharon Rose (Portland, OR) on Jun 21, 2012
Yes! We can calm both the digestive system and the Shen (mental state), both of which effect IBS. I have had great success treating this condition.
Mindy Boxer (Santa Monica, CA) on Jun 21, 2012
Yes, Acupuncture is a gentle way to support you throughout your chemotherapy. it will address all issues, and any symptoms your are having.
Chantal Davis (San Diego, CA) on Jun 21, 2012
Yes, I believe acupuncture can definitely help with this problem. First of all, you are probably under mental stress, which would affect your digestion. Secondly, chemotherapy can create an imbalance in the body as it does its job of ridding your body of cancer. Acupuncture can help support your body while going through chemo treatment and help build your strength back up once treatment has come to an end.
Jill Levine (Hershey, PA) on Jun 21, 2012
Acupuncture can definitely help with IBS as well as with the side effects of chemo.
Aram Akopyan (Glendale, CA) on Jun 21, 2012
Acupuncture is one of the best ways to help support your body as you go through chemo or radiation therapies. Most chemo treatments first attack the rapidly regenerating cell structures in your body, which includes the intestinal tract. Acupuncture in our clinic helps with many of the side effects of cancer treatments. Pain, digestive issues, muscle weakness, immune deficiency, and insomnia are some of the side effects of typical chemo treatments that we treat. Talk with your acupuncturist to determine the best course of treatment for you.
Angelica Drum (El Dorado Hills, CA) on Jun 21, 2012
The short answer is yes. The more involved answer is acupuncture can help treat the side effects of chemo, which in turn will help to reduce some chronic illnesses that may arise from the chemo itself. Acupuncture is very effective in managing and controlling the symptoms of IBS. When choosing an acupuncturist for your condition, ask if they have experience in treating chemo side effects as well as with IBS. It can get complicated. Good luck!
Christopher Serrell (Westminster, CO) on Oct 14, 2012
Acupuncture is often used in conjunction during chemotherapy. It can help with your IBS spasms.