Ear acupuncture service expands to help more cancer patients

The ear acupuncture service at Mount Vernon’s Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre (LJMC), which was first started to help relieve side-effects of breast cancer treatment, is now being offered to patients with prostate cancer.

Above: Beverly de Valois (centre) with members of the ear acupuncture service 

The service began after a research study in 2003 by the team at LJMC found that ear acupuncture helped relieve hot flushes and night sweats – often a side-effect of hormonal therapies taken to prevent breast cancer recurrence. The study was one of the first in the world and this type of treatment is now being used in countries across Europe. The service was expanded last year and is now being offered to patients with prostate cancer.

Beverley de Valois, research acupuncturist who led on the research at the Trust, said:

“Ear acupuncture is a great way to relieve many side-effects related to cancer treatment – such as hot flushes, musculoskeletal issues, fatigue and sleep problems. Sessions last for about an hour and take place in groups, which means that patients can feel less isolated when going through treatment. This can help with any anxiety they may have and improve their mood. The service is also available for staff to improve their wellbeing and help relieve stress.”