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Acupuncture Enhances Healing and Symptom Management

August 6, 2013
Christine Garner says that when she found out she had cancer, she saw a vision of the path she would take, and "I just knew I would be okay." So she followed that path, and along the way met Paige Wimmer, St. Luke's MSTI acupuncturist, who worked with her throughout her cancer treatment.

Christine's cancer was a type of ovarian cancer, but it was first found on her lungs. "When doctors were treating the cancer on my lungs, Paige used acupuncture to enhance what the chemo was doing," Christine says. Paige also used the practice to ease Christine's tension headaches, stimulate her appetite, improve her sleep, increase her circulation, and help her feel better so she could exercise.

Although no longer in active treatment, Christine continues to experience symptoms and side effects including fatigue, digestive issues, emotional issues, and pain. At each appointment, Paige uses acupuncture to ease Christine's continuing symptoms, as well as any specific issues happening that day.

Something about acupuncture just makes a connection between the brain and the body, Christine says. "It's like a 'tune-in,' making me more resilient and inspiring me to do all I can to help with my own healing. Paige and I are really partners in my healing."

Paige, who has a master's degree in traditional Oriental medicine, says acupuncture is a good fit for people with cancer. "I've found cancer patients to be tremendously receptive. They have the ability and the incentive to make a change. It's so scary to face your own mortality or great sickness, so I help them walk through this in any way I can. It's very fulfilling—I can't imagine doing anything else."

Christine has taken good advantage of several Integrative Medicine offerings at St. Luke's MSTI, including counseling, massage, and nutrition. "My whole experience with cancer has been an incredible journey," she says. "Everyone at MSTI is so supportive and caring. I truly believe my healing has been enhanced through the care I've received at MSTI."

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