Richard G. Petty, MD

Acupuncture and Acupressure for Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting

During the years that I served on the Research Council for Complementary Medicine, one of the most successful pieces of research that we funded was an investigation by the late Professor John Dundee into the use of acupuncture to treat and to prevent post-operative nausea, and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

Those early trials helped us learn a lot about how to do trials in acupuncture, and over the years this work has progressed in a number of enters around the world. The Cochrane Collaboration in Oxford has just published a systematic review of the use of acupuncture and acupressure for the treatment of chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting. Acupuncture was shown to reduce vomiting on the first day after chemotherapy compared with those who did not receive acupuncture: 22% compared with 33%. Acupuncture did not help with nausea but acupressure did. Though acupressure did not help with vomiting.

This shows once again that acupuncture and acupressure almost certainly work by different mechanisms.

For many years, the department of oncology at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London used an array of complementary practices. Not to treat the cancers, but to make it possible for people to tolerate the chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

I recently spoke to a woman who had an illness that would only respond to a certain antibiotic. She was very involved with natural medicine, and did not like taking it. But treatment by world-class homeopaths, naturopaths and acupuncturists had not helped her. My solution was to use the antibiotic, but to also use acupressure, homeopathy, a precisely designed diet and some qigong. With that combination she sailed through the conventional treatment, the organism that was causing her problems has gone, and she has re-built her resilience. That is integrated medicine in action.

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About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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