Chinese Medicine is a system dating back several thousand years. Many people consider Chinese Medicine their first line of defense in maintaining health and combating disease. Although acupuncture has captured our attention in the US, traditional herbal medicine plays a greater role in the Chinese health care system.
Cancer is a leading cause of death in China and the United States. Conventional western therapies such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are used in both countries to treat cancer. These treatments deplete the body's vital energy and often result in many side effects. In China, the routine use of Fu Zhen therapy, an immune enhancing regimen is common. Studies show that combining Chinese Medicine with conventional forms of cancer treatment help protect the body's immune system from damage and increase survival rate in cancer patients. Herbal formulas are also used to inhibit tumor growth.
In Chinese Medicine, illness is an energy imbalance, an excess or deficiency of the vital substances. Qi or vital energy controls the body's working as it travels along the channels or meridians. A person is healthy when there is a balanced, sufficient flow of qi, which keeps the blood and body fluids circulating and fighting disease. If qi is blocked for any reason or is excessive or deficient, disease may result. The flow of energy may be disrupted by an imbalanced diet or lifestyle, overwork, stress, repressed or excessive emotions, lack of exercise, external pathogenic factors, etc.
Cancer like other diseases is a manifestation of imbalance or disharmony in the body. The tumor is the "branch" not the "root" of the illness. Each patient may have a different imbalance causing what outwardly looks like the same type of cancer. The Chinese medicine practitioner determines the individual's pattern of disharmony rather than a condition such as breast cancer or colon cancer. The prescribed treatment depends on the individual's specific imbalance. The diagnosis is made in terms of yin or yang, qi, blood or organ imbalance. Once the pattern of disharmony is identified a treatment plan is formulated to restore balance.
Causes of cancer according to Chinese Medicine
Etiology of disease according to TCM:
Principles of treatment
Components of Chinese Medicine that are useful include: Chinese herbs, acupuncture, food therapy, Qi Gong or Tai Chi. Chinese herbs used in the treatment of cancer fall into three broad categories. Tonic herbs increase the body's energy and immune response. Toxin clearing herbs are used to attack the tumor. Blood activating herbs improve circulation of vital substances. Herbal therapy can improve appetite, reduce nausea and vomiting, and alleviate stress, for example.
TCM believes that it is possible to control the progression of health problems or fix them at all stages of disease. The earlier imbalances are recognized the easier and more quickly they can be corrected. It requires the active participation of you to get the best results.
Recommended Reading: A Woman's Guide to Healing From Breast Cancer by Nan Lu, OMD, LAc