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Using Traditional Chinese Medicine to Relieve Cancer Symptoms

With the dangers and hardships of going through an intense chemotherapy treatment, many cancer patients are looking for alternatives.  One such is traditional traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which uses a combination of herbs, fungi, and certain animal parts in addition to physical work on the body. 

Chinese medicine focuses on problems with the flow of your body's energy, which is believed to cause disease.  The flow is known as "Qi" and a concoction of organic material, massage and acupuncture is prescribed to the patient depending on the ailment to help restore the body's two life forces, yin and yang.  Yin and yang are opposite forces but must work together in order to to have a healthy body and state of mind. 

Yin is the complacent, restful, somber trait and is often associated with cold.  Yang is the active component that is busy, in movement, needs stimulation and is associated with heat.  The combination of both of them when working together creates a balanced, whole-functioning, healthy individual. 

A traditional Chinese medicine doctor will assess you in an initial hour-long interview where you will discuss diet, medical history and relationships, before they look at your tongue, eyes, skin, body language, checking your pulse and temperature, and breathing.  With this information they can prescribe you a treatment.  When treating cancer patients the doctor takes a slightly different approach and tries to comfort the patient more than look for a cure.  Cancer is a largely difficult disease to treat but the flow of energy can be worked on by balancing the yin and yang.  This is usually done through acupuncture, massage and herbal medicine.  

Herbal remedies can help soothe some aches and pain, but may also be dangerous when taken with prescribed medications.  Some herbal treatments can hinder a doctor's treatments, medication, and radiotherapy and can also affect the way that drugs are absorbed into your body.  If you are interested in traditional Chinese medicine, consult with your medical doctor first and see if it will help with your existing treatments.  

 

Image from flickr.com

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