“Acupuncture and Moxibustion as an Evidence-Based Therapy for Cancer” by William Cho

Nowadays, with the growth of the popularity of alternative ways of treatment there is the great number of the researches devoted to the investigation of certain specific therapies and a lot of scientists do their best in order to discover their positive effects. The book “Acupuncture and moxibustion as an evidence-based therapy for cancer” by William Cho is one of the books describing this issue. It is devoted to the investigation of the effects of such popular nowadays alternative ways of treatment as acupuncture and moxibustion. The author. Dr William Chi-shing Cho is a credentialed scientist in this field. He is working at the Department of Clinical Oncology in Queen Elizabeth Hospital. That is why the background of his investigation of this treatment is rather obvious.

The book is organized in several parts in which the author tries to consider the matter in all its bearings. From the beginning of the book he shows us the horrifying statistics of the expansion of cancer and the possible negative effects occurring in the course of its treatment. After giving the outline of his book, the author describes the physical aspects of the acupuncture and moxibustion, explaining the ways they work and influence our body through the effectors. He also underlines the influence of the level of skills in acupuncture therapy, underlining the fact, that positive results can be achieved only with the help of the professional. Otherwise some severe complications are possible.

In the next part he starts analyzing the influence of the acupuncture and moxibustion therapy on the cancer pain and their possible usage as the emollient. The author comes to the disappointing conclusions – “the notion of the acupuncture as an effective analgesic adjunctive method for cancer patients is not supported by sound evidence”(Cho, 2014, p.11). Conclusions he made, are based on the reliable sources – the investigator shows the readers the results of the experiment, where the real acupuncture was combined with placebo ear acupuncture and the difference was not observed. That is why it is better for the patient, suffering from the cancer pain, to consult the doctor, using conventional medicine.

Another aspect, the author analyses, is the influence the acupuncture and moxibustion have on the hot flashes and the negative effects of the cancer treatment. In the first case, dealing with the hot flashes, the acupuncture shows the same poor results – the numerous experiments failed to prove the positive influence of this alternative treatment on cancer related hot flashes.

However, the next part of the book infuses with some hope. Basing on the same reliable sources and comparing results of various experiments, the author managed to prove the positive influence the acupuncture has on the negative effects of chemotherapy. It helps to reduce nausea and headache, as 88% of the test persons reported about its positive outcomes (Cho, 2014). Having taken these results into account, it is possible to recommend the acupuncture treatment for the patients suffering from the after effects of the conventional cancer therapy. In this case the alternative treatment comes in useful. Combining the acupuncture with the moxibustion, which “uses the heat produced by the burning of herbal preparations” (Cho, 2014, p.87), it is possible to achieve some lowering of the negative effects.

In conclusion it should be said that the book shows us both negative and positive sides of the acupuncture and moxibustion therapies at the same time suggesting some proven ways of their usage.


Cho , C.,S.,W. (2012). Acupuncture and moxibustion as an evidence-based therapy for cancer. London, England: Dordrecht: Springer

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