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Chinese Medicine & Cancer

In classic Chinese medicine, there is no specific concept of cancer, though there is of tumors. Many nutritive tonics and herbal medicines were developed to alleviate pain and prolong survival by strengthening the body's life forces and arresting tumor progression. Chinese doctors believe the causes of cancer are multiple, including toxins and other environmental factors, called "external causes," as well as "internal causes" such as emotional stress, bad eating habits, accumulated wastes from food, and damaged organs. Two main factors are stagnant blood and a blockage or accumulation of chi, or qi (pronounced chee), the vital energy said to circulate along the meridians, or pathways, linking all parts of the body.

Illness is an energy imbalance, an excess or deficiency of the body's elemental energies. According to the ancient Chinese, chi, the life force, controls the body's workings as it travels along the meridians, completing an energy cycle every twenty-four hours. A person is healthy when there is a balanced, sufficient flow of chi, which keeps the blood and body fluids circulating and fights disease. But if the circulation of chi is blocked for any reason or becomes excessive or deficient, pain and disease can result. The flow of chi may be disrupted by an imbalanced diet or lifestyle, overwork, stress, repressed or excessive emotions, or lack of exercise. Imbalances in yin and yang-complementary forces in dynamic flux-also disturb the normal, smooth flow of chi.

Cancer, like all other diseases, is regarded as a manifestation of an underlying imbalance. The tumor is the "uppermost branch," not the "root," of the illness. Each patient may have a different imbalance causing what outwardly looks like the same type of cancer. Each person is unique, so the Oriental doctor attempts to identify the exact individual pattern of excess, deficiency, or blockage that led to the disease. The doctor treats the imbalance rather than a condition known as "stomach cancer," or "breast cancer," or so on. The prescribed treatment will vary from one patient to the next, depending on the specific imbalances.

Herbs and foods in Chinese medical practice are viewed energetically, that is, in terms of their influence on the body's energy field. This is also true of Indian Ayurvedic medicine (Chapter 27). The diet must be aligned with the energetics of the prescribed herbs; otherwise, the foods eaten may inhibit the herbal preparations' beneficial effects. Conversely, a diet in harmony with the herbal therapy will enhance the herbs' healing powers. The Chinese healer recognizes that what we eat can either protect and rebalance our bodies or pollute our systems. Diet is a remedy of prime importance. Chinese food therapy is a sophisticated system that recognizes six different human constitutional types and evaluates foods according to their therapeutic properties. For cancer patients, Chinese doctors frequently recommend a diet based upon whole grains, beans, and fresh vegetables.

Another component of Chinese medicine used in cancer treatment is chi gong a 3,000-year-old exercise that combines the slow, symmetrical, graceful movements of tai chi with meditation, relaxation, patterned breathing, guided imagery, and other behavioral techniques. The aim is to enable a person to regulate and direct the flow of chi, or vital force, within his or her own body. The student or patient is taught to focus his or her chi at a point in the center of the body, roughly two inches below the navel, called the dan tian, or vital center. From this center, the chi is said to emanate to distant regions of the body. Students reportedly learn to sense the presence of chi at the vital center in the form of localized warmth and then to direct the life energy to specific parts of the body. Based on the experience of students who take chi gong courses for self-treatment purposes, it usually takes about three months for the exercises to show their effect. In cancer therapy, the Chinese practitioner prescribes exercises geared to the individual patient.

How chi gong achieves healing effects is not fully understood, though several mechanisms of action have been proposed. From the standpoint of traditional Chinese medicine, chi gong energizes the body's vital forces, balances yin and yang, strengthens blood circulation, and improves the patient's emotional and mental states. From the viewpoint of Western medicine, qi gong increases the absorption and utilization of oxygen from the blood, as does yoga. Nobel Prize-winner Otto Warburg found that oxygen deficiency is typical of cancer cells and that when the body is rich in oxygen, cancer cells die. Practicing chi gong exercises has a positive effect on certain enzymes that play key roles in the body's maintenance of health and in phospho~rylation, a basic biochemical process that supplies the energy necessary for cell work.12 Phosphorylation is central to oxygen provision for all of the body's cells and is vitally important to immune response.

Acupuncture is another Chinese therapeutic method for changing the flow or quality of the life force and rebalancing body energies. The Chinese say that chi circulates within fourteen major meridians, or energy channels, traversing the body from the top of the head to the tips of the fingers and toes. Each meridian is connected to an internal organ. Specific points on each invisible channel, when stimulated, affect the flow of chi in that and other channels or in the associated organs. By stimulating these points with extremely fine needles or massage, acupuncture unblocks energy or adjusts its flow. Inserting and manipulating the needles-hairlike slivers of stainless steel-is believed to correct the imbalances that underlie disease.

When seeking a doctor in the United States (or Canada) who practices Oriental medicine, cancer patients need to be aware of what doctors can do and what patients can learn to do for themselves. According to Dr. Roger Jahnke, "There are four basic things that the doctor of Chinese medicine can do for you: herbal prescriptions, acupuncture, massage, and external qi gong. At least as important, however, are the things the doctor can teach you to do for yourself. These include guidance in the use of tonic or wellness herbs, in proper nutrition, and in devising a suitable exercise program that may involve activities like swimming or walking. A competent practitioner can also teach the patient self-applied massage, meditation and relaxation techniques, and chi gong exercises. Finally, the doctor can offer guidance to help patients fulfill their unique spiritual purpose. Prospective patients should look for a doctor who provides all of these things, or one who can help patients network to all of these things, from body care up to the spiritual components of health." - Richard Walters, Options: The Alternative Cancer Therapy Book



Chinese medicine
Activate the Self-Healing Power Within You

Long Distance Healing

The Cure & Cause of Cancer is Within You Logo

Wei Qi or Superficial Defensive Energy,
The Immune System


Capital [F] rom my research and clinical experience on strengthening Wei Qi or immune system through TCM therapies for treating chronic immune (Wei) dysfunction syndromes, I came to the conclusion that because it is based from ancient Oriental medical concepts and new scientific foundation, my thesis has merits. The following excerpts from many TCM and nutrition authors should be enough to support my hypothesis.

From Dr. Luc De Schepper's book Acupuncture for the Practitioner, " The concept of Qi is essential in acupuncture: the whole TCM is based on it; hence TCM is often "Energetic medicine." (Read pp. 57-58)

"In the western world, this word Qi is rarely heard without being followed by an adjective: electric energy, atomic energy, thermic energy, all forms of energy that can be transformed into each other. These forms of Qi, of course, known by the Orientals, but they are only manifestations of an essential principle: energy. Naturally, there is only one energy, but it can manifest itself in different forms: the ancestral Qi or Hereditary Qi, the Iong (Yong) or Food Qi, and the Wei or Defense Qi.

The Yong - or food Qi is provided by exterior sources: the Alimentation, but also the Respiration. These exterior sources also provide Wei Qi (Defense Qi).

What seemed to be a chaos of ideas in the first place changed into a truly fine logical sequence of events when I had a better insight into the relationship of the various differentiation of syndromes. I decided to call it (probably in a moment of arrogance) the "key to the solution." We know that as long as the Yin and Yang are in equilibrium there is no disease. Every disease begins with an imbalance of Yin and Yang caused by the Seven emotions, the Six Excesses, food intake (irregular, too cold, too raw, too much, etc) and long term illness. (Read pp. 59-62)

This initial disease attack will decrease the Qi in general, and a certain part of the total body Qi will be consumed. The Qi showing signs of deficiency will manifest a weakening of its holding, transforming and moving functions. Since the Lung is the master of the Qi, many symptoms of Empty Qi in this early stage relate to the Lung.

If the attack progresses unchecked, the most mobile, and hence most vulnerable, part will decrease and stagnate: the Yang Qi. The situation then becomes more severe. A decrease of the Yang Qi is generally considered more severe than a decrease of the Qi. apart from the above symptoms, Yang Qi deficiency will cause a weakening of the warming energy and therefore, Cold symptoms (mainly involved are K and Sp Yang) will appear. The Su Wen says: "Decrease in Qi (Yang) will lead to decrease in Xue (Yin), and the stagnation of one will lead to stagnation of the other." Inevitably, the decrease and stagnation of Yang Qi will lead to a decrease and stagnation of Yin Qi. Another way of stating this is that stagnation of Fire (yang) leads to stagnation of Water (YIN). Stagnation of water is nothing more than a formation of Phlegm, a process in which the spleen plays a very important role. The Phlegm itself will obstruct the Primary Channels, injure and obstruct the organs and ultimately the Heart. (Please read pp. 12-14 about CFS showing his protocol)

The pathway below described the consequences of the stagnation of the Yin. Alternatively, stagnation of Yang Qi will develop into Endogenous Heat (too much Yang concentrated in one place gives the extreme Yang excess, Fire). Endogenous Heat will always stir up the Wind (formation of Interior wind), which will ascend to the head to give symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, hypertension, etc. The extreme Heat will injure the Yin and exhaust the fluids, leading to the formation of Phlegm. In this way the vicious circle is closed. 1

6 Excesses
|
V
7 Emotions
|
V
Long-term Illness
|
V
Food intake (source of Yong & Wei Qi)
|
V
Decrease and Stagnation of Qi
|
V
Decrease and Stagnation of Yang Qi
|
V
Endogenous Heat & Phlegm or Decrease & Stagnation of Yin (water)
|
V
Formation of Phlegm
|
V
Obstruction of the channels
|
V
Injury of the Organs & Ultimately the Heart

From Paul Pitchford's book Healing with Whole Foods, in chapter 5: Interior/Exterior: Building Immunity, he talks about Immunity and the Protective qi concept - "The model of the immune system used in the Chinese herbal and acupuncture systems presents a simple view that has proven quite functional. Whether a contagious or climate-induced condition is interior or exterior depends on the strength of one's immune system, which in turn is related to the concept Wei Qi or protective Qi. When the protective Qi is strong, diseases from viruses and weather influences entering the body are completely warded off; if it is less strong, diseases may enter onto an exterior level and bring about a cold, flu, or other exterior condition; if it is very deficient, disease factors may penetrate to interior levels, more profoundly affecting the functioning of internal organs.

Protective Qi is considered the most vigorous type of energy in the body. In daytime it is mainly distributed in the skin and muscles, warming and nourishing all the outer (subcutaneous) tissues. There it circulates, opening and closing the pores and sweat glands and defending the body against outside disease factors such as extremes of climate and the assaults of microorganisms. At night, protective Qi circulates deeper, within the organs of the body. According to traditional teachings, it is derived from essential substances in food and in inhaled air. This ancient model of protective Qi works well with our modern concept, since both maintain that the ability to absorb nutrients and oxygen is critical to immune function."

From Richard Walters book "Options: The Alternative Cancer Therapy Book," he said:

In classic Chinese medicine, there is no specific concept of cancer, though there is of tumors. Many nutritive tonics and herbal medicines were developed to alleviate pain and prolong survival by strengthening the body's life forces and arresting tumor progression. Chinese doctors believe the causes of cancer are multiple, including toxins and other environmental factors, called "external causes," as well as "internal causes" such as emotional stress, bad eating habits, accumulated wastes from food, and damaged organs. Two main factors are stagnant blood and a blockage or accumulation of chi, or qi (pronounced chee), the vital energy said to circulate along the meridians, or pathways, linking all parts of the body.

Illness is an energy imbalance, an excess or deficiency of the body's elemental energies. According to the ancient Chinese, chi, the life force, controls the body's workings as it travels along the meridians, completing an energy cycle every twenty-four hours. A person is healthy when there is a balanced, sufficient flow of chi, which keeps the blood and body fluids circulating and fights disease. But if the circulation of chi is blocked for any reason or becomes excessive or deficient, pain and disease can result. The flow of chi may be disrupted by an imbalanced diet or lifestyle, overwork, stress, repressed or excessive emotions, or lack of exercise. Imbalances in yin and yang-complementary forces in dynamic flux-also disturb the normal, smooth flow of chi.

Cancer, like all other diseases, is regarded as a manifestation of an underlying imbalance. The tumor is the "uppermost branch," not the "root," of the illness. Each patient may have a different imbalance causing what outwardly looks like the same type of cancer. Each person is unique, so the Oriental doctor attempts to identify the exact individual pattern of excess, deficiency, or blockage that led to the disease. The doctor treats the imbalance rather than a condition known as "stomach cancer," or "breast cancer," or so on. The prescribed treatment will vary from one patient to the next, depending on the specific imbalances

When seeking a doctor in the United States (or Canada) who practices Oriental medicine, cancer patients need to be aware of what doctors can do and what patients can learn to do for themselves. According to Dr. Roger Jahnke, "There are four basic things that the doctor of Chinese medicine can do for you: herbal prescriptions, acupuncture, massage, and external qi gong. At least as important, however, are the things the doctor can teach you to do for yourself. These include guidance in the use of tonic or wellness herbs, in proper nutrition, and in devising a suitable exercise program that may involve activities like swimming or walking. A competent practitioner can also teach the patient self-applied massage, meditation and relaxation techniques, and chi gong exercises. Finally, the doctor can offer guidance to help patients fulfill their unique spiritual purpose. Prospective patients should look for a doctor who provides all of these things, or one who can help patients network to all of these things, from body care up to the spiritual components of health."

From Udo Erasmus review of the book "The Immune System Cure," he said:

The immune system protects us against attack from without and within. It goes after viruses, yeast, fungus and bacterium. It seeks and destroys cancer cells. It involves itself in digestion when necessary.

It plays an important role in healing. It is intimately involved in inflammation, asthma, allergies and psoriasis. Evidence is growing that imbalances in the immune system are associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, fibromyalgia, prostate problems and many other conditions. When our immune system becomes overloaded through toxins, unrelenting daily stress, viruses and poor nutrition it may become confused and attack the body itself instead of the invaders. Today autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn's disease and more, are increasing. The immune system is programmed for health, not disease. Only in the face of extreme adversity will it turn upon itself and attack the body's own tissues. Putting the immune system back into balance is the focus of this book.

Never before in the history of medicine has the health of our immune system been so important. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria and strange and virulent viruses that have defied all of medicine's attempts to eradicate them are now a fact of our life or death. After decades of ignoring our nutrition and the state of our environment, we are now paying the price with the decline of our immune health. Good nutrition and a respect for nature cannot be overemphasized. Simple diet hints that anyone can adopt are recommended. Super-powered nutrients that optimize immune function are suggested. Plant nutrients, nature's true gifts, are also presented with food sources and recommended supplement dosages. Stress reducing techniques, detoxification treatments and alternatives to standard pain relievers are examined.

Our emotions, stress levels and our general outlook on life all play powerful roles in the function of our body's defense system. Psycho-neuroimmunology is now a well-researched field and every day we find out more and more information about the effects of our thoughts and emotions on our immune health. The Immune System Cure suggests stress-reducing measures that are easy to incorporate into your daily routine.

I am very familiar with nutrition and human disease but I learned many things I was not aware of in regards to the immune system. The authors have done a superb job of making the complexities of the immune system interesting to read and accessible to learn. Their reports on the research done with sterols and sterolins, the neglected story on fat-soluble phytonutrients, is as fascinating as it is important for health. This important research, published in world-renowned medical journals, will change the way we treat autoimmune disorders and infectious diseases well into the millenium. Current and well-researched clinical trials are quoted throughout the book, providing the evidence to substantiate all of the suggested immune system cures.

Chapters on cancer, prostate disease, autoimmune disorders, allergies, infectious diseases and exercise-induced stress provide indepth treatments. Vanderhaeghe and Bouic's immune system cures are thorough, specific and practical. Read this book and then put into practice what the authors recommend. You will feel better, be healthier and live longer!

Since most of our chronic patients have Yong and Wei Qi (immune system) deficiencies as the "root" cause of disease as stated above, their indications suggest building gradually their Wei Qi through herbs, dietary therapy and supplements, Qigong, massage, acupuncture, emotional healing, meditation, exercise. This is the clinical protocol I use with great success and that is the main reason why I'm sharing this integral Chinese Medicine thesis with my colleagues and everyone with CIDS for obvious reasons stated above thru this website and the Cancer/CIDS Support Group.

FOOTNOTES

  1. Luc De Schepper, MD, DAc, Acupuncture for the Practitioner, pp. 1-3, pp. 82-83.
  2. Paul Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods, pp. 31-40.
  3. Choa Kok Sui, Pranic Healing
  4. The Burton Golberg Group, Alternative Medicine, the Definitive Guide, pp. 45, 458.
  5. Richard Walters, Options: The Alternative Cancer Therapy Book
  6. Lorna VanderHaeghe & Patrick Bouic, PhD, The Immune System Cure
  7. The Immune System

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