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Ear Acupuncture for cancer patients

Ear Acupuncture

We offer ear acupuncture to clients as part of the Centre’s holistic approach to care.  All practitioners are fully qualified members of a professional body.

What is ear acupuncture?
This is a particular type of acupuncture using very small, fine needles inserted into acupuncture points on the surface of the outer ear.  At The Olive Tree we use a very specific form of ear acupuncture, called the ‘NADA Protocol’

What is the NADA Protocol?
This protocol was developed in the 1970’s and is now used across the world to treat a range of conditions.  The protocol is delivered in a group setting with 8-10 clients receiving treatment at the same time.  This simple procedure uses up to 5 acupuncture points on the surface of the ear. The needles are inserted just under the skin and left in place for 40 minutes. During this time the group is encouraged to relax and enjoy the company of fellow patients.

Who can benefit from this treatment?
The NADA protocol is currently being used at The Olive Tree to treat those who are experiencing hot flushes and night sweats as a result of treatment for their cancer. There is considerable evidence, that in many cases, symptoms are significantly reduced with very few overall side effects.

What happens when I come for this treatment?
You will meet the NADA practitioner who is also a fully qualified acupuncturist. You will also meet the other patients who are receiving the same treatment. The practitioner will talk with you all for a few minutes, then move around the group inserting the needles.

The group will then be encouraged to sit and relax with minimum movement of the head, to avoid disturbing the needles, for about 40 minutes. The practitioner will remove the needles at the end of this period and you are free to leave the centre.

Why will I be treated in a group?
The NADA Protocol is designed this way. Past participants have reported that they enjoy being part of a group. They felt supported and less isolated.

How many treatments will I have?
The recommended number of treatments is 8 in a 10 week period. Consecutive treatments are preferred but the additional 2 weeks may- be used to cover unavoidable breaks in treatment.
Clients should plan to complete treatment in10 weeks.

All clients will be require to complete a consent form before starting treatment. There may also be other feedback forms required by the practitioner during the course of treatment.

What does it feel like?
Many people find ear acupuncture a relaxing experience. Some are more sensitive to the insertion of the needles and may feel a slight stinging feeling.  Any discomfort usually passes very quickly.  Most people enjoy the treatment and experience an increased feeling of well being.

Is the treatment safe?
Studies show that acupuncture is a safe form of treatment. The NADA Protocol has been used for many years with few reports of any problems.  All NADA practitioners observe the Code of Ethics published by the British Acupuncture Council, which seeks to ensure a high standard of safety and hygiene.  The needles are sterile and disposed of immediately following removal.

What should I do before or after treatment?
It is advisable to have something to eat before your treatment. It is not advisable to have acupuncture on an empty stomach. Hot and cold drinks are available at the Centre and it is fine to have one of your choice during treatment if desired.

Following treatment we would advise that you stay at the Centre if you are experiencing any light headedness or similar feelings. This is nothing to worry about and will pass.  We would also suggest that you avoid strenuous activity for the rest of the day.


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Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre
Registered Charity No: 1157386
Crawley Hospital
West Green Drive, Crawley
West Sussex RH11 7DH

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