Acupuncture has been shown through clinical trials to help reduce and alleviate many of the symptoms experienced from cancer and its treatments. Patients of A Touch of Ginger who have a cancer diagnosis use Chinese Medicine in either one of two ways.
The first is using acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine alongside the conventional cancer treatment outlined by their oncologist (or team of doctors). Often, the focus of their care is centered around relieving the side effects of chemotherapy and/or radiation. After cancer treatment has been completed, the focus of their care shifts to restoring function to all organs effected by the cancer and its treatment.
A Chinese Medicine perspective on cancer and its treatment is that when the energy of the body’s organ systems are in balance it is difficult for disease to come about. But when there is dysfunction in an organ’s Qi (energy) flow along its channel and/or the Qi of the organ itself then disease can manifest. Conventional cancer treatments attempt to treat and eradicate the cancer. However, the root cause, the energetics of the organ system(s) that was out of balance that lead to the formation of the cancer in the first place, is not treated in this type of care. This is where Chinese Medicine excels because it can identify the imbalance and help the body restore physiological function, which by matter of proper function reduces the risk of reoccurrence.
The second use of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in the treatment of cancer is for those patients who have made the personal decision to not use conventional cancer treatment. Often, patients come to this decision for different reasons. Some patients have been given a low chance for survival with cancer treatment and wish to focus their time and energy on maintaining the best quality of life possible. Others have used conventional treatments, but they are no longer working. And some wish to pursue alternative options for treatment and care. It is very common for this group of cancer patients to be integrating a number of modalities in their effects to maintain their quality of life, such as high dose vitamin C injections, plant-based diet, moderate exercise, massage, meditation, Tai Chi, and yoga to name a few.
Our immune system is important and keeping it at peak performance with cancer is a priority for all patients. Helping the body maintain its functionality and strength is another benefit of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
This is a list of the most common symptoms related to the treatment of cancer, but it is not complete. A similar list, along with supporting research for the use of acupuncture with cancer treatment can be found at www.cancer.gov from the National Cancer Institute.
- Dry mouth
- Cancer pain
- Chemotherapy/radiation side effects
- Hot flashes
- Muscle and joint pain
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Postoperative pain
- Quality of life management
- Sleep disturbances
- Symptoms of cancer