The Free Ear Acupuncture Service at Leeds Cancer Care Centre

This article was written by Jane Wood, Acupuncturist, and the team at Leeds Cancer Care.

Leeds Cancer Support is an established service offering direct access to a variety of supportive services for people affected by cancer and signposting to many other local, regional and national agencies. The service consists of The Macmillan Information Centre on Level 1 within Bexley Wing and The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre; both within the grounds of St. James’s University Hospital site.

The service provides a wide range of information resources, supportive listening services, complementary therapies, hair loss support service, Look Good Feel Better sessions for both men and women, various health and wellbeing group activities. It also hosts patient support groups and education programmes.

The majority of our services are delivered by a dedicated team of volunteers who give their time generously to help support those affected by cancer.  We have over 80 volunteers within the team and are very proud of the fantastic work that they do.

Quite simply, we could not run our services without them whether they are providing refreshments and a listening ear, information, emotional support and relaxing complementary therapies or out on the wards supporting patients who are unable to attend the centres.

Auricular Acupuncture for Prostate Patients

In October 2018, Phoenix Medical kindly donated 1,500 detox acupuncture needles and NADA five point protocol posters to help the volunteer acupuncturists provide care to patients free of charge. The acupuncture needles supplied are designed specifically according to NADA GB’s code of practice, so that acupuncturists can perform the five-point protocol safely and with full insurance coverage. Phoenix will continue to support this project as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.

Last year the Leeds Cancer Support service provided information and support to more than 16,000 people affected by cancer through services such as holistic therapies, counselling, supportive listening, hair loss support and group activities.

Leeds Cancer Support is committed to providing high quality services that meet the needs of people with prostate cancer.  One of the many services we offer is a 10-week course of Auricular Acupuncture, using the NADA protocol, to help control the all too common hot flushes and other side effects of the treatment, and improve general well-being following cancer treatment.

 

Acupuncture is delivered in a group setting, and for many men this is an important part of the treatment. Talking to other people in the same situation is invaluable. The session allows them to share their physical problems and, just as importantly, the rollercoaster of emotions they experience from diagnosis to treatment. This is no sombre group though; volunteer acupuncturists Judy Blair and Jane Wood sometimes plead for order to be restored!

 

As part of the feedback for the 10-week course, the men have been asked what they found the most valuable of enjoyable. Here are some of the things they said:

  • Everything was good. It cannot be improved. All the staff were excellent and friendly. People were put at ease
  • Meeting other men with similar problems and discussing them together with other general things on the side
  • Meeting fellow cancer patients and exchanging experiences. Developing a comradeship with others
  • With other people to talk and listen

They were also asked to rate their overall quality of life before and after the 10 week course.

The results collated from the Hot Flush Related Daily Interference Scale show a reduction in the impact the hot flushes were having on the men’s quality of life. A key observation shows that the prior to the acupuncture trial, 27% found their hot flushes completely interfered with the quality of their lives. Following completion of the trial, only 8% still felt this way.

The below pie charts represent the impact Pre and Post respectively. It can be seen that the reduction in hot flushes has provided a positive impact on the men’s quality of life.

 

This article was written by Jane Wood, Acupuncturist, and the team at Leeds Cancer Care, and published by Phoenix Medical.

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