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Acupuncture for Radiation Burns: All about the Radiation Burn Protocol

Within every profession there are many of us who practice and the few luminaries whose insights and development of the field change it forever. Dr. Toshio Manaka was one of the latter for acupuncture. He not only elaborated upon theoretical underpinnings of the medicine but developed new protocols for practical use.

In Japan following the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Dr. Manaka was moved to alleviate the intense pain of radiation burn sufferers. As a result, he invented ion pumping cords, which have been used successfully for treating numerous other conditions since then. He believed that excess ions from destroyed tissue impaired healing. In healthy tissue, cell membranes keep some charged atoms inside a cell and others outside. When burned, these boundaries disappear leaving ions to mix and hang around in unintended areas and quantities. Dr. Manaka proposed that removing some of the ions by using these cords would allow for faster healing of radiation burned areas of the body.


At first, it may sound a little wacky. The radiation burn protocol involves putting aluminum foil over the burned area and connecting up wires (ion pumping cords), in addition to acupuncture needles. Essentially, the ion pumping cords act as a one-way valve to lessen the charge from one area of the body – the radiation treatment area – and send the excess ions to another part of the body that is deficient and/or meant to deal with excess, such as the extra vessels.




This radiation burn protocol remains relevant today not because nuclear proliferation is real but because radiation is one of the most common forms of treatment for individuals with cancer. Many improvements in the delivery of radiation have been made since 1945 to minimize the area exposed and to better target the tumor. Nevertheless, burns still occur, causing patients severe pain. This is just one way that acupuncture can support oncology patients through difficult treatments.


If you are in the Olympia, WA area and currently in active cancer treatment, interested in learning more about acupuncture for cancer patients or would like to discuss acupuncture for radiation burns and how it could help you, please call Acorn Acupuncture for gentle, compassionate care at 360-999-1683.


If you’d like to know more about Dr. Manaka and his theories, read on here.

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