Cancer remains one of the least understood and most researched diseases of Western medicine.
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 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, Qi, 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 Qi, which keeps the blood and body fluids circulating and fights disease. But if the circulation of Qi is blocked for any reason or becomes excessive or deficient, pain and disease can result. The flow of Qi 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 Qi.
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 Chinese medicine 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.
Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches that as long as your own healing ability is not completely destroyed, your body can be restored to balance and harmony and can therefore control or stop the progression of the conditions leading to cancer.
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- TCM is unique in that it places great importance on keeping the body in balance at all times in order to maintain health and prevent illness occurring.
- Today, TCM is used side by side with Western cancer treatments to give patients the best chance of healing and regaining their health.
- TCM is a holistic medicine and treats patients individually relying on their body type and genetics, their age, symptoms and medical history, physical condition and lifestyle.
- TCM is used to reduce the risk of non-cancerous tumors becoming malignant
- TCM is used to prevent cancer reoccurring
- TCM can build up healing energy to enable patients to successfully complete cancer treatment
- TCM is used to relieve the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy