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Palliative Care - for cancer patients - a day at Marie Curie Hospice, Hampstead

I spent last weekend at the Marie Curie Hospice in Hampstead. The British Medical Acupuncture Society were running a course in palliative care for health professionals who have also trained in acupuncture. None of the acupuncture points we covered were new to us, but we were presented with the latest clinical evidence in how effective they are in managing common complaints such as pain, nausea/vomiting, breathlessness, dry mouth, hot flushes. The course was run by two palliative care specialist doctors - Dr Graham Leng and Dr Juliet Spiller. The course moved at a pace and was a great opportunity to revise acupuncture points for specific ailments, meet others doing similar jobs, wake up the grey matter and have a lot of laughs along the way. Bizarrely this course came at just the right time, as this week I've had two new patients present with nausea - one pregnancy related, the other due to chemotherapy. They both left with in-dwelling needles and were already beginning to feel less sick.

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