Acupuncture & Natural Health Solutions Newsletter
Providing Natural Health Care for the Entire Family
Cancer Care: How Acupuncture Helps
Cancer. It's a diagnosis that no one wants to hear. It can leave you feeling frightened, uncertain, and powerless. But if you or a loved one is facing cancer, it's important to have hope. In many cases, cancer can be cured, especially when it's detected early. There are more treatments available now than ever before to cure cancer or slow it from spreading, relieve its symptoms, and help you live a healthier life.
It's also important to know that you have options in addition to standard medical therapies. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have been used for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of conditions. It can safely be used to naturally support your body and mind as you undergo
conventional cancer treatments.
Understanding treatments and their side effects:
Cancer is an overall term for a group of diseases that occur when cells begin to reproduce abnormally, eventually damaging or killing healthy tissue. Most cancers are named according to where they begin in the body, and there are more than 100 different types. The most common are breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.
Your treatment plan will be based on many factors, including the type and stage (how far it has spread) of the cancer and your overall health. While cancer treatments have proven to be effective, they do have serious side effects to take into account.
The most common treatments include:
Surgery: Performed to remove the cancer if possible. Surgery may be used alone or along with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or biological therapy.
Chemotherapy: The use of medications to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy generally lasts from 3 to 9 months, and can have side effects including fatigue, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, early menopause, and hot flashes.
Radiation therapy: The use of high doses of radiation to destroy cancer cells. Side effects generally include fatigue, hair loss, and skin darkening at the site of the treatment.
Biological therapy: This treatment works by boosting the body's immune system to fight cancer cells. Side effects depend on the specific type of therapy, but they can include rashes or swelling, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, nausea, and loss of appetite.
It is important to remember that acupuncture is not a quick fix.
How acupuncture and TCM can help:
Acupuncture and TCM have been used for thousands of years to maintain health and relieve symptoms. Practitioners work to treat imbalances in the body's Qi, or vital energy, by inserting fine, sterile needles at specific acupuncture points.
Since acupuncture has few side effects, it can be safely used
as a complement to conventional cancer treatments. In fact,
in many cancer cases it's recommended as a way to soothe
and reduce side effects.
According to the National Institutes of Health(1),
acupuncture has been found to be effective in relieving:
* Post-surgical pain
Acupuncture and TCM can also help relieve stress, depression, and anxiety, which can greatly improve your quality of life during this challenging time.
Treating the person, not just the disease
Acupuncture practitioners take a holistic, or whole-body, approach to cancer care. This means that not only will your symptoms be considered, but also your lifestyle, emotional state, and overall health. Your whole being will be taken into account, not just the cancer. When you work with your practitioner to improve your health and relieve your side effects, you are not only helping yourself get the most from conventional treatments, you're taking back the control of your own life. By adopting some simple lifestyle changes, you will be on your way toward a healthier, happier, pain-free life.
- NIH Consensus Conference. Acupuncture. JAMA 280 (17): 1518-24, 1998. Acupunct Med. doi:10.1136/aim.2011.004069. A safety and efficacy pilot study of acupuncture for the treatment of chronic lymphedema. Cancer Biol Ther. 2010 Aug;10(4):397-405 Understanding CancerTreatment. WebMD. Accessed February 11, 2008. For detail article, click here.
- New Lung Cancer Guidelines Oppose General CT Screening - Lung Cancer Recommendations - Avoid Select Vitamins, Try Acupuncture. Chest, September 2007. Acupuncture. American Cancer Society. May 25, 2007. To access the web site, click here.
- Comprehensive cancer care: integrating alternative, complementary, and conventional therapies. Gordon JS, Curtin S. NY: Persus Publishing, 2000.
Cancer Care Quick Facts
Cancer treatment according to Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on Fu Zheng Gu Ben principles.
Fu Zhen means strengthening what is correct. It is an immune enhancing herbal regimen using specific herbs. The objective is to support and stimulate deep energy systems within the body to make it stronger and more resistant to degeneration.
Gu Ben refers to strengthening and supporting the body to regenerate and repair.
Treatments may include:
- Removing toxins that may contribute to cancer
- Increasing the flow of blood and Qi
- Removing accumulations of tissue that are believed to be the tumor
- Restoring self-regulation and balance among the Jing, Qi and Shen.
You say tomato, I say health!
Did you know, that a tomato can be a partner in health? Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, flavonoids and carotenoids, particularly Lycopene.
Lycopene is the substance that naturally occurs in a tomato. It is responsible for giving the tomato its red color, and protecting it from the harmful effects of UV rays.
Scientists have found that Lycopene can also protect the body. Concentrated in the prostate gland, it is used as a preventative against prostate cancer. It is also known to protect against mouth, lung, stomach, pancreas, bladder, colon and rectal cancers.
Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, is 100 times more effective than vitamin E as a free radical scavenger and 56% more powerful than beta-carotene. Antioxidants "neutralize", or render harmless, oxygen free radical molecules. These are highly reactive toxic by-products of biochemical reactions that occur
as a part of normal cell metabolism and when our bodies are exposed to smoking, pollution and other damaging environmental influences.
As long as we are alive, we will have to contend with free radicals. Antioxidants help reduce the impact and minimize the damage free radicals cause when their numbers overwhelm our body's capacity to deal with them.
Since Lycopene is fat-soluble, its use in tomato sauce improves the bio-availability of this beneficial carotenoid. The cooked tomatoes raise the levels of Lycopene in both the blood and immune cells. This suggests that eating small amounts can help protect the immune system.
According to Oriental nutrition, the tomato moistens the body by building Yin fluids, relieving dryness and thirst. It is also said to strengthen the stomach, cleanse the liver, purify the blood and act as an overall body detoxifier.
Page, N.D., L., Healthy Healing - a guide to self healing for everyone. Traditional Wisdom, Inc. 2002.
Porrini, M., Effects of Processing on Bioavailability of the functional components in tomatoes.
Kucuk, O., Evidence for reducing the risk of prostate cancer - a clinical trial. 90th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. 1999.
Pitchford, P., Healing with Whole Foods - Oriental Traditions and Modern Nutrition. North Atlantic Books, 1993.
- Tonifies the Kidney and strengthens the lower back and knees.
- Tonifies Lung and Kidney Qi.
- Lubricates Large Intestine and promotes bowel movement.
* 300 g (10.6 oz) shrimp, shelled
* 100 g (3.5 oz) sliced pineapple, canned
* 2 stalks scallions
* 500 cc + 2 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
* 10 g (0.35 oz) fresh ginger
* 200 g (7.1 oz) walnut, stir-fried
* 1.5 tsp chicken bouillon
* 1 / 2 tsp salt
* 10 g (0.35 oz) cornstarch
* 5 g (0.18 oz) fresh ginger
* 2 tsp white sugar
* 0.5 tsp salt
* 3 tsp rice wine
Makes 4 servings
Combine shrimps with the ingredients for the shrimp marinade in a bowl. Mix well and set aside to marinate (at least 10 minutes).
Cut pineapples into 1-inch pieces. Cut the scallions
Heat 500cc peanut or vegetable oil in a frying pan. With high heat, deep-fry the shrimps a few at a time (to prevent them from sticking to one another) until they are partially cooked. Careful not to over cook! Transfer the shrimp into a dish and set aside.
In a saut? pan, heat 2 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil. Saut? ginger over high heat for 30 seconds. Add the pineapple, walnuts, scallions, salt, and chicken bouillon. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp to the stir-fry and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Serve hot.
The information contained within the
newsletter is only used to educate and inform. This newsletter is
not a substitute for the advice of a licensed and registered health
care provider. Seek prompt attention for emergencies. Consult
a health care provider for specific health concerns, and before
starting a diet, cleanse or exercise routine.