This information explains the health benefits of acupuncture and how to get acupuncture treatments at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK).

Acupuncture is a form of treatment in traditional Chinese medicine. It is done by applying very thin needles to certain points on your body. Research has shown that acupuncture can reduce some side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.

How Acupuncture Is Done

Acupuncture is usually done by a licensed acupuncturist, who is a person with special training in this field. During your treatment, you will lie on a padded table, and the acupuncturist will insert thin, disposable needles into your skin at specific points. The acupuncturist may use different points on your body, based on the problem that he or she is treating. Although needles are used, most people feel little or no pain.

Once the needles are in place, you will rest for about 30 minutes. Your acupuncturist will remove the needles at the end of your session.

People have different experiences with acupuncture. Some people feel relaxed after their treatment, while others have more energy.

Benefits of Acupuncture

Acupuncture can reduce the following symptoms:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Hot flashes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Nerve problems
  • Joint disorders, such as osteoarthritis
  • Dry mouth
  • Lymphedema (swelling of your arm or hand that may occur if your lymph nodes were removed)

Acupuncture treatments are available at MSK. Inpatients can receive acupuncture in their rooms at no cost. Outpatients can receive acupuncture in private sessions or small group sessions. Acupuncture treatments are available at the following locations:

  • Bendheim Integrative Medicine Center, located at 1429 First Avenue, on the corner of East 74th Street
  • Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center, located at 300 East 66th Street, at Second Avenue
  • Brooklyn Infusion Center, located at 557 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, NY

To make an appointment, please call (646) 888-0800.

To learn about other complementary therapies available at MSK, call the Integrative Medicine Service at (646) 888-0800 or visit our website: www.mskcc.org/IntegrativeMedicine.