Has anyone tried acupuncture for lymph build-up ?

June1952 Member Posts: 1,781
I had a non-skin-sparing and non-nipple-sparing mastectomy in late 2014.  (No reconstruction was offered).  I have been seeing a masseur for the treatment of fluid build-up and she used the Chinese cups when it was really bad.  I have now moved and have not been able to find a reasonably-priced masseur with the remedial training.
An acupuncturist has been recommended.
If you have had acupuncture for this can you please let me know how often you need it to be done ?
Thanks in advance


  • BlackWidow
    BlackWidow Member Posts: 266
    Go for it - nothing tried nothing gained.  For a brief hour of pinpricks it may be just the thing.  I have had acupuncture over the years for a variety of issues (hot flushes, pain & inflammation and for weight gain/loss) and all have been successful.  I would recommend anyone give it a go.  Chat to the therapist and you will find he/she is open about the possible success.
    Good luck.  Keep us informed.
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,257
    Just ascertain whether the pinpricks carry any risk of infection into the fluid areas. I don't know enough about acupuncture to know how deep needles go and they may present no problem at all, but needle borne bacterial infection is a risk for aspirations of fluid build up and one of the reasons that massage is preferred. Best wishes.
  • Blossom1961
    Blossom1961 Member Posts: 2,268
    You can get acupuncture that is needle free now. I hate needles but am considering giving this new sort a go next time I need relief.
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    Me too @Blossom1961. After a brief flare of hope that curcumin was going to do the job, tonight my ankles are killing me. I'll keep going with them of course, but acupuncture will be my next experiment. My oncologist told me that a recent study reported some success with the bone pain associated with AIs. K xox
  • Lynn65
    Lynn65 Member Posts: 46
    Thanks for posting the update - that’s encouraging to hear that the acupuncture was able to help you with your swelling.  

    I’ve been seeing an acupuncturist for other issues.  Since breast surgery, I’ve asked her to not put needles in my left arm.  She’s been fine with that, saying that she can treat my neck or wherever by putting needles in other parts of my body.  Today for the first time I’ve asked her to focus on acupuncture for swelling/fluid retention in my left breast. It’s too soon to tell if it works well, but I’ll keep going with it for a few weekly sessions yet. 
  • Rosie_BCNA
    Rosie_BCNA Member Posts: 217
    edited April 2019
    Hi @Summerhill38, you may be interested in the most recent webcast about lymphoedema (if that is what the fluid build up is related to). https://www.bcna.org.au/understanding-breast-cancer/resources/webcasts/
    You need to complete registration details and can then watch the webcast which is 45 mins long. This is the first of 2 sessions on this subject. The details for part two can be seen through the same link and you can watch it live and submit questions during the broadcast. Best wishes, Rosie  
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    About to try it for AI joint pain.
  • Sarnicad
    Sarnicad Member Posts: 318
    @kmakm I have had about 4 sessions for joint pain and hot feet and swelling on the ankles with great success. My right knee rarely hurts anymore, after the last session I had relief from left knee and hip pain for about 4 days - totally pain free, came back after that but I have been over doing it.  My hot feet that were stopping me from sleeping every night are down to about once a fortnight

    i recommend giving it a go
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    @Sarnicad Oh that is good to hear. I'm looking forward to it. Many years ago acupuncture helped me a lot with a bad back.
  • BlackWidow
    BlackWidow Member Posts: 266
    Spoke to Summer the other day and she is continuing with the acupuncture as the benefits have been amazing.  The acupuncturist has been working to ''balance the fluids throughout the body'' - the lymph swelling has not returned to the usual painful extent (although after some heavy works she can see a small amount of buildup in one area), her arthritic knees have not been swelling and she suddenly realized she has not had the daily painful sore dry eyes.  Seems like a good thing to me to not have to take drugs through the stomach.  Anne
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,434
    Acupuncture can be beneficial in some instances.  Pleased to read Summer is coping better as a result of acupuncture. 
    My Dad has acupuncture monthly  for Meniere's.

    Best wishes 
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    edited May 2019
    I had a other session today. Crossing my fingers it works (though my issues aren't lymph).

  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,434
    Sounds better this session!  Fingers crossed 

  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    @iserbrown I'm definitely not in as much pain! They put me in a warmer, darker room and got the sound system working. I almost fell asleep!