Supporting Cancer Patients Through Acupuncture and TCM

Shouchun Ma With Traditional Chinese medicine theory, Dr. Ma considers that cancer cells develop in weak or injured areas. There they may take hold, grow and spread to other weak areas. TCM’s goal in treating cancer patients is to balance and support the body’s normal processes so that it may heal itself.  This is in accordance with Western medical research that has shown that cancerous cells appear in a healthy body but are usually destroyed by normal bodily processes. TCM and western medicine work well together and complement each other. TCM cannot replace Western medicine techniques such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy in expelling and killing cancers quickly.  However, while undergoing Western treatment, it can be extremely helpful to utilize TCM.  Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can reduce the adverse effects of radiation and chemotherapy such as pain, nausea and vomiting, protect the normal healthy cells, strengthen the body’s Defensive Qi and help the body kill and rid itself of cancer cells that survived.  It may even be used when the cancer is growing rapidly or has already affected a large area of the body.  For patients unable to undergo surgery, radiation or chemotherapy because they are too weak or the cancer too advanced, TCM may reduce their pain and improve their quality of life or help them regain their strength and be able to undergo surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.
Acupuncture: Easing side effects from cancer treatment If you or a loved one has cancer, you know that side effects from treatment can be very difficult to cope with. What you may not know is that acupuncture may help ease some of the discomfort and pain. This ancient form of therapy may:
  • Reduce nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. Many studies show that acupuncture and related treatments — such as acupressure — offer relief.
  • Help reduce pain for cancer patients. In one study, participants who had acupuncture were able to reduce or even stop taking standard pain medicine.
  • Boost the immune system during cancer treatment. Some studies show an increase in white blood cell activity, which can help the body fight infections.
TCM views each patient as a separate, whole person. It emphasizes decision-making according to each individual’s history and symptoms. Thus, each treatment plan is created to fit a different person and takes into account the individual and his/her unique circumstances.  

Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine:

cam.cancer.gov

America Cancer Society:

www.cancer.org

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance:

www.seattlecca.org