Acupuncture is one of the things I wish Western medicine would understand better and respect more. My experiences as an acupuncture and cancer patient suggest that combining acupuncture and radiation could help cure addiction, and more generally, support patients seeking psychological and behavioral change. When undergoing 19 consecutive business days of radiation to the site of my breast lumpectomy, I could perceive the disruption the radiation created in the flow of energy along my body’s meridians. It is the goal of acupuncture to sense this flow and where it is blocked or off-course, and to use pressure points to redirect it into healthy channels and strengthen it. My theory is that radiation breaking up the habitual patterns of flow makes it easier for acupuncture to do this unblocking and rerouting. (I think this is also why many people feel tired from radiation: it is because their energy flows are disrupted and without a rerouting support such as acupuncture, feel dissipated.) I received weekly acupuncture during the time I received radiation and felt it had a stronger-than-usual effect, and I succeeded in changing certain habits to improve my home and work routines. I wish Dana Farber or another cancer institute would run a study of cancer patients who are slated to receive radiation and who also want to change some negative habit, such as cigarette smoking, and see if receiving simultaneous acupuncture helps. I suppose ideally you’d want to divide the would-be quitters into three groups to compare the results: those receiving only acupuncture, those receiving acupuncture and radiation, and those trying without either intervention. Of course one could also run an even simpler study to see whether receiving acupuncture lessens the fatigue of radiation for others as it did for me.