TCM, or Traditional Chinese Medicine, is a beautiful science of curing ailments by using energy from the nature around us. This is a culmination of eternal medicine that can promote and support progress and development in any aspect of life: physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) contains several elements, including acupuncture, qigong, massage, Chinese herbs, and a five-element theory diet. While TCM has its stand-alone cancer care program, some of these elements are used as an alternative solution to compliment western cancer treatment, managing symptoms, and improving quality of life.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is probably the most commonly taken medicine by cancer patients in the US among all traditional therapies. Many patients claim proven effects of TCM as they undergo chemotherapy, radiation, or Surgery.
The basic principle is that an essential life force, called Qi, is gushing into the body. Some imbalance in Qi can contribute to illness and disease. Most generally, this difference is believed to be due to a change in the opposite and complementary forces that make up the Qi. These are known as yin and yang.
Ancient Chinese believed that human beings are microcosms of the greater world surrounding them, and are intertwined with nature and subject to its powers. The main principle is the balance between health and disease. TCM therapy aims to regain equilibrium by individual-specific care.
Regaining balance treatment involves:
TCM is an approach that covers a great deal of ground, and the results differ. The methods were not researched in the same manner as Western medicine was. There are more studies on plants and Acupuncture than other therapies. Studies, however, show a lot of promise:
Comprehensive scientific research on TCM confirmed that some TCM therapies are successful and safe to help or supplement traditional treatments. TCM treatment can reduce adverse side effects, such as these, during Radiotherapy and chemotherapy:
With less adverse effects compared to Chemotherapy alone, TCM combined with Chemotherapy has increased efficacy — decreasing cancer incidence or development and increasing survival. TCM demonstrates anticancer effects in small, preliminary trials, either alone or as an adjuvant treatment, with examples of the herbs provided for each effect:
Instead of recommending particular herbs, traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners usually blend a variety of herbs in recipes that are chosen according to the individual needs of the patient. Such formulations should be given as teas, tablets, tinctures, or powder.
Herbs widely used in traditional Chinese Medicine include:
That's more of a personal choice. People are using TCM for everything from carpal tunnel syndrome to Stress relief. It can be used with western medicine occasionally. It could be a smart idea if you:
Your safest choice is to find someone who is accredited by the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Accreditation Committee (ACAOM). They accredit TCM-teaching schools, so you can search their website to find anyone.
Another alternative is to contact an Oriental medicine doctor. Often, they will refer you to their alumni.
Do consult with your family and colleagues — just do your homework and make sure that you are talking and someone you can trust.
TCM should not be used as a substitute for traditional or allopathic medicine, particularly for serious disorders, but when used as a supportive therapy, it can be of value. Because certain herbal TCM medicines, when mixed with Western medicines, may interfere or be dangerous, you should tell your doctor if you are using TCM.