Caution In The Use Of Acupuncture For The Treatment of Lymphadema

The usually successful techniques of lymphedema treatment include skin care, exercise, compression garment, and lymph drainage therapy. Still, many lymphedema patients are wondering if there are alternative treatments that can provide them relief from their debilitating problem. One such treatment that can be of use to them is acupuncture.

For lymphedema sufferers, the risk of contracting infections is a very high possibility what with a weakened immune system and lymphedema-related complications they have to endure. The wounds in the affected site usually leak fluids outside the body and since the fluid is extremely caustic, the leak can lead to scarring. Acupuncture involves the sticking of needles into preselected areas of the body and it seems therefore that this type of treatment is not recommended for a lymphedema sufferer.

People with lymphedema are advised by their doctors to avoid stressing the affected limb. Thus blood pressure tests, blood samples, or any other means that applies pressure to the affected area is out of the question. In the case of arm lymphedema, even blood pressure monitoring should be avoided. Applying an acupuncture needle into the leg or arm afflicted with lymphadema means providing the bacteria with an opening in which to enter the body resulting in even more worse complications.

However, there are still lymphedema patients who believe that acupuncture can be a helpful way to relieve some of their symptoms. They believe that the needles do not necessarily need to be to stuck into the affected limb but instead be applied into a part of the body remote from the affected area. Those willing to try acupuncture need to first talk with their doctor to evaluate their condition. They also need to make sure that vital safety measures are taken during the procedure if they do decide to proceed with the treatment.

Before going ahead with the treatment, the acupuncturist needs to take certain measures before and during the procedure especially when the treatment area is electrically stimulated to boost the treatment’s efficacy. After the end of the procedure, the treatment site is cleaned again in order to prevent the puncture holes from being infected.

To summarize, if a person suffering from lymphedema decides to undergo acupuncture treatment, the needles should be not be applied into the swollen leg or arm. Inserting the needles on remote points in the body can benefit the patient through the relief of certain symptoms and ailments that may or may not be related to the lymphedema. One other thing to remember that without the use of compression garments, acupuncture treatment will not lead to lasting effects. If the treatment leads to a decrease in the swelling then compression garments can help maintain this positive effect.

Ni Nan Healing Art Center
2579 Merrick Rd
Bellmore, NY 11710
(516) 442-7408

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