Columbia St. Mary's Offers Acupuncture to Cancer Patients

Thursday, March 04, 2004

What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient health care therapy that has been used throughout Asia for thousands of years to treat disease and maintain health. Because of its effectiveness, safety, and affordability, acupuncture has been increasingly incorporated into modern medical environments over the past few decades. Today, the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) endorse the use of acupuncture as a component in the treatment of a wide variety of health conditions.

Acupuncture has been found to be of particular value to people struggling with cancer, and is rapidly becoming integrated into mainstream oncology programs around the world. It can help alleviate certain health problems caused by cancer, and is often used to minimize the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Following is a list of some of the conditions acupuncture is commonly used for among cancer patients:

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue / Anemia
  • Pain
  • Digestive problems
  • Recovery after surgery
  • Nausea and Vomiting

How does it work?
Through the gentle stimulation of specific points on the body with hair-thin needles, an acupuncturist can help a patient to establish homeostasis – internal balance. Acupuncture has been found to help regulate hormones, release natural pain killers (endorphins), relax the body and mind, strengthen digestion, and improve circulation.

Does it hurt?
Acupuncture is comfortable and relaxing. Patients often fall into a deep, meditative sleep during treatments. Many healthy people treat themselves to regular acupuncture sessions just to maintain a feeling of health, calmness, and well-being.

How frequent are treatments?
The frequency of treatments will vary depending on the individual needs of each patient. An average schedule is one to two times per week throughout the course of radio- or chemotherapy, or for several weeks following surgery. Some people choose to continue acupuncture long after they have finished with other cancer therapies in order to maintain their health and manage stress.

Adam Margolis, LAc
Adam Margolis is a licensed acupuncturist with Columbia St. Mary’s specializing in integrative cancer care. A graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Adam completed four years of postgraduate training in Traditional Chinese Medicine at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York City. After a year long internship at Yonker’s General Hospital, Adam moved to Israel, where he studied in a talmudic academy while treating patients at the Hospice of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

Since moving to Milwaukee in January of 2002, Adam has devoted much of his energy toward integrating acupuncture and other forms of integrative medicine into the Cancer Care Program of Columbia St. Mary’s. He provides acupuncture services and complementary medicine consultations in the Radiation Oncology department of the Columbia Campus, and is a frequent speaker at conferences, hospital in-services, and cancer patient support groups. Adam can be reached at (414) 326-1800.


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