ACUPUNCTURE AND TCM IN DOWNTOWN NELSON HELPING YOU UNDERSTAND HOW TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE IS COMPLEMENTARY FOR ONCOLOGY CARE .
This article is designed to provide some very general examples of acupuncture points and Chinese Herbs that are used in oncology care, but that may not apply to every patient or clinical case. Think of the following information as more of an explanation how and why Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine work for cancer treatment and care, and less of what works for specific case presentation.
From the initial diagnosis and the ensuing ‘scanxiety’, to chemotherapy, radiation, operation and recovery, peripheral neuropathy, tissue adhesion from scarring or post operative pain and the development of seromas, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been found to be clinically effective in the treatment of cancer and chemotherapy side effects. The effectiveness is based on the fundamental concept in TCM of treating the pattern not the disease. In so doing the comprehensive approach of TCM balances the body’s energy and promotes overall health and vitality, rather than simply targeting the cancer cells. This approach combines acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to strengthen the body’s immune system and improve its overall ability to fight cancer.
Acupuncture points are specific points on the body that are believed to have a positive impact on the flow of energy in the body. When stimulated, these acupuncture points release information into the body to guide and conduct systems and relationships back into a state of health and harmony. An example of some acupuncture points used in the treatment of cancer and chemotherapy side effects are;
- PC6 (Neiguan): This acupuncture point is located on the inner wrist and is commonly used in the treatment of cancer in Chinese medicine. This point has a number of therapeutic effects including; a calming effect on the heart and mind, it helps to reduce nausea and vomiting, clears heat and fire, regulates qi, as well as improves the appetite, regulates the liver and harmonizes the stomach.
- ST36 (Zusanli): This acupuncture point is located on the leg and is also commonly used in the treatment of cancer in Chinese medicine. It is a very popular point and has several therapeutic effects including; nourishing the yin and blood, harmonizing the spleen and stomach, strengthening the body, calming the shen, stopping pain, supporting the production of qi and strengthening weak and deficient constitutions.
These two points are commonly used in combination with functions that create an immune-boosting and energy-balancing influence in the body, mind and spirit. Together they help the body support and strengthen the actions of the Stomach and Spleen to promote digestion and stimulate the appetite. They promote production of qi and blood to strengthen immunity and boost vitality. They work together to calm the heart and mind and soothe the liver to relax the body creating an inner atmosphere of adaptability and tranquility.
Chinese herbal medicine is also commonly used in the treatment of cancer and chemotherapy side effects. Chinese herbs are used to balance the body’s energy, support the jing/essence and promote overall health paying specific attention to each person’s constitutional needs. Some examples of Chinese herbs used in the treatment of cancer and chemotherapy side effects are;
- Huang qi, Astragalus Root: This herb is commonly used in the treatment of cancer in Chinese medicine. It has several functions including: tonifying qi and blood, strengthening the spleen and stomach, raising yang qi, generating fluids, expelling toxins and relieving pain and numbness. Together these functions help strengthen the immune system, improve digestion, prevent collapse and promote adaptability improving the body’s ability to fight cancer and inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
- Gan cao, Licorice: This herb is another particularly useful herb in the treatment of cancer in Chinese medicine. It has several important functions including; tonifying the spleen to support qi, moderating spasms and alleviating pain, clearing heat and fire-toxicity, it is an antidote for many toxic substances and it has also been found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Together, these functions improve digestion and immunity, reduce inflammation and support the production of qi, they improve adaptability and prevent cancer proliferation and mediate toxic side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Overall, the benefits that patients receive from treatment with TCM for cancer and chemotherapy side effects are many, varied and are felt on all the levels of the human condition; body, mind and spirit. TCM is proven to be a very effective and complementary medicine because of the ability it has to reduce symptoms such as digestive distress, mental and emotional stress, physical pain and fatigue and feelings of anxiety and fear, while at the same time promoting vitality, adaptability and emotional regulation, improving appetite and energy, increasing vitality and supporting the spirit.
The unique and comprehensive approach of Traditional Chinese Medicine helps to improve overall health and strengthen the body’s immune system, which can aid in the fight against cancer. If you or someone you know is facing any part of a cancer diagnosis, please get in touch and see how Dr. Pileski can support you on your journey to wellness.
Dr. Julia Pileski + chat gpt
Blue Heron Traditional Chinese Medicine