"I had joint pain, my knees and my ankles and my my entire body just hurt," said Ariyo.
So her physicians recommended she take part in a trial study that looked at acupuncture as a way to relieve some of her pain. She says it worked.
Ariyo explained, "I was sleeping better and also the pain reduced."
Experts say more than 60 percent of women with early stage breast cancer suffer from hot flashes, joint and muscle pain and depression caused by their treatment. They thought if acupuncture could help these patients with some of their discomfort, it could eventually be used as therapy along with the medication.
What they found was both patients who were treated with acupuncture and sham acupuncture, which involves retractable needles, that are not placed in acupuncture pressure points, said they felt some relief.
"Our trial definitely shows there are minimum side effects, and this can potentially help them have significant symptom improvement, both in musculoskeletal symptoms and also hot flashes," says Dr. Bao.
Dr. Bao theorizes that the pricks from both real and sham acupuncture needles may stimulate the body which can relieve pain and sham or not, acupuncture may be a reasonable alternative to help these women.
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