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Chinese Medicine and Comprehensive Cancer Care

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has one generic term for cancer, namely, Ai Shi, which may be translated as the "Proliferation of cells." Its ideogram implies that pressure emanating from a powerful internal or external source is causing the positive, healthy vital energy of a human being to stagnate and become transformed into a negative, pathogenic energy imbalance .There are also a number of different TCM syndrome designations pertaining to various types of cancer. Whatever the precise Cancer syndrome, each involves the severe deficiency of Qi(vital energy) and Blood which TCM theory defines as a distinctive oncological feature.

Etiology & Pathogenesis
In TCM terms, the initial stage of cancer is viewed in terms of reversible physiological imbalance, which means that Qi is not circulating smoothly throughout the meridian/organ system of the body. Optimal health implies the balanced flow of Qi throughout the meridian/organ system within the context of the overall harmony of Yin Yang. Disease and the associated discomfort imply the opposite, notably pathogenic energy imbalance. The initial, pre-symptomatic imbalance that may lead to cancer is generated by internal or external stress(the "mountain pushing up" part of the ideogram shown above). Endogenous emotional factors such as anger, fear,and anxiety lower the resistance£¬weaken the constitution and allow exogenous pathogenic factors, including Cold, heat and other TCM-defined factors as well as modern "carinogens," to invade the body.

Therapies
The three main TCM therapies utilized in cancer care are£º
(1)acupuncture
(2)herbal medicine
(3)Qigong exercises.

Acupuncture
This is the key therapy for sustaining physical£¬mental and spiritual Yin ¡Â yang balance for the preventing and treating of both emergent and virtual imbalance£¬Or disease£¯illness Put simply,acupuncture is a "balancing act" that helps unblock the flow of Qi by Moving it from locales where it is excessive to locales where It is deficient. My own approach to pain control maybe characterized in term is of the complimentary practice of medical acupuncture most of my patients are accepted only as medical referrals

I always attempt to control a patient¡¯s total cancer Pain. My general clinical protocol encompasses treating primary pain, andy related discomfort,anxiety and depression and lack of energy. There is a wide variety of acupuncture points that have continued to prove effective for these conditions

Herbal Medicine
TCM has an extensive materia medica, consisting of many hundreds of herbs - a smaller amount are ordinarily used. Most herbs are taken in the form of teas or pills made from the minimally-processed roots, stems, leaves, flowers or seeds of plants. However, herbal remedies may also be made from or contain minerals as well as parts of animals, fish, shell-fish, insects and reptiles. TCM features a large number of herbal combinations, moat having one principal herb and up to 15 ancillary herbs Herbal medicine is the largest sector of tbe TCM system in China. This contrasts with the situation in the West, where acupuncture has achieved much more recognition and legitimacy. Herbal remedies are generally prescribed to control serious syndromes affecting the major internal organs-notably the beart, lungs, spleen, liver, kidneys and pericardium - which are Yin in nature and which are responsible for synthesizing and storing Qi.

Qigong Exercises
These exercises may be referred to in terms of acupuncture without needles or herbal medicine without herbs. There are hundreds of different sets of Qigong exercises aimed at maintaining or restoring total physical, mental and spiritual health. In my own medical clinic, patients may be taught specific Qigong exercises, according to the type of cancer they have. Thus, patients suffering from lung cancer may be taught an Anterior Circle which entails the patient visualizing Qi as a glowing white light moving from point to point along the Lung meridian (white is the colour of Meta, the Element influencing the Lung; the Lung meridian has 11 acupuncture points running from the lateral side of the first intercostal space down to the lateral side of the thumb).

Concluding Remarks
The TCM approach to cancer care is holistic, involving three main therapentic modialitis, namely, acupuncture, herbal medicine and Qigong. These therapies should not be viewed as alternatives to biomedicine, but in terms of viable complimentary approaches. Cancer patients seeking TCM treatments should ask their physicians to refer them to a competent pracitioner, preferably one trained in both TCM and biomedicine.



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