Specialty: Acupuncture Education/Training: Licensed Acupuncturist; Master’s in Acupuncture, New England School of Acupuncture Years in practice: 19 years Years at MGHCC: Since 2011
What drew you to your specialty? I was always interested in medicine. While volunteering for a health center in the early 90’s, patients told me that acupuncture was helpful in treating side effects from their HIV medications. I ended up going to graduate school and getting my master’s in acupuncture. I have always enjoyed helping people, especially those with chronic or serious illness. Acupuncture was a great fit for me in that regard. I view acupuncture as the perfect complement to medical care since it can alleviate both the emotional and physical symptoms that can occur during cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Favorite part of your job: My favorite part of the job is easing people’s anxiety as they go through a very difficult time in their life. I am lucky enough to be able to follow them from beginning to end of their cancer journey. Our program provides consistent care and support for them. I have learned a lot about patience, grace and resilience from the many wonderful people I have met.
What you’d like to tell patients/family members about integrative therapies/your specialty: Acupuncture (and acupressure) is offered to cancer patients free of charge. We provide treatments during their stay in the chemo infusion unit, radiation unit and/or inpatient cancer floors. We also provide self-pay outpatient acupuncture treatments as well. We recommend you start acupuncture as soon as possible, even if you are not currently experiencing symptoms. The treatment’s effects are cumulative. You will benefit most from consistent treatment. Our focus is on alleviating both emotional and physical symptoms and side effects that may occur during your cancer treatment. Symptoms may include anxiety, insomnia, nausea, hot flashes, constipation, pain and neuropathy. If interested, please speak to your oncology team about scheduling appointments.