Traditional Chinese Medicine for Supportive Cancer Care
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a complete medical system that originated thousands of years ago. It uses acupuncture, Chinese herbs, dietary, and lifestyle recommendations to treat and prevent illness.
Traditional Chinese Medicine can enhance quality of life for people with cancer. It complements Western medical care with a holistic focus on the mind, body and spirit.
More and more people with cancer are seeking Traditional Chinese Medicine to ease the side effects associated with chemotherapy and radiation, including: nausea, vomiting, depression, fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, dry mouth, hot flashes, and peripheral neuropathy.
Acupuncture is now being offered as part of supportive cancer care at major cancer treatment centers throughout the United States, including Stanford, UCSF Medical Center, Johns Hopkins, and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Preclinical studies have documented acupuncture's effects, but they have not been able to fully explain how acupuncture works within the framework of the Western system of medicine commonly practiced in the United States. It is proposed that acupuncture achieves its effects by regulating the nervous system, thus aiding the activity of pain-killing biochemicals such as endorphins and immune system cells at specific sites in the body. In Chinese medicine, health is believed to result from the free flow of energy, called chi, in the body. Illness is attributed to blockages in this energy flow, which can be relieved by the placement of thin needles at various points in the body.