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CAM: TCM

Vancouver
Posts: 16
Joined: Mar 2013

Hi there,

I am very interested in looking into Traditional Chinese Medicine to complement my mom's conventional treatment.  She is currently having a good response to xeloda, which we are supplementing with a variety of things (diet, exercise, high dose Vitamin D, celebrex, juicing, flax, grapeseed, L-Glutamine, fish oil, melatonin, etc). 

I really would like to learn more about TCM, but find that the usual internet searches come up short in terms of how to get started, what to take, who to consult, where to buy, etc.  I'd sincerely appreciate any advice, information or personal stories.

Many thanks!

CT

 

jen2012
Posts: 1186
Joined: Aug 2012

Weve been looking into this as well. My husband is having surgery soon and the docs want him to wait until after..but ive been talking to a doctor today and he may go into meet him saturday and maybe try acupuncture for the neuropathy. Im sure john will be along to give more helpful info!

It is hard to find someone that practices....i felt like i was viewing a dating site looking at some of the pictures of the pepple who offer this....head thrown back with their hair blowing in the wind :)....kind of weird. Finally came across a nice middle aged Chinese man who seems knowledgeable.

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 2744
Joined: May 2009

Check out any schools in your area.   My friend is an acupuncturist is in San Diego. Her instructor did acupuncture on me and preseribed me some herbs

 

jen2012
Posts: 1186
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks nana b. Making an appt with this guy i found online for tomorrow...we'll see how that goes.

jen2012
Posts: 1186
Joined: Aug 2012

Ct...i'll post our experience tomorrow...if we can still get into see this guy.

John...any idea what LAc OMD means after the name?

John23
Posts: 1832
Joined: Jan 2007

 

The acronyms can be found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_of_acupuncture

and here:

http://www.acronymfinder.com/OMD.html

 

LAC (licensed acupuncturist)

OMD (oriental medicine doctor)

 

I’ve posted links to information regarding Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) on my “profile page” here at CSN. You’ll have to go to the “blog section” and poke around for it, or use this link:

http://csn.cancer.org/node/200670

 

There’s more information regarding other topics, including the herbs that I had used, here:

http://csn.cancer.org/user/75969/blog

 

Locating a qualified practitioner of TCM is no more difficult than locating a qualified surgeon or oncologist. One simply will not know what they’re getting into until they make a few visits and get the answers to their questions; a license is only a piece of paper, it doesn’t make one better than another.

 

With TCM practitioners, I would always ask if raw herbs are used in their practice. If not, I would move on. Some calling themselves TCM practitioners use what are called “Chinese Patent Medicine” in an effort to resolve maladies. The “Patent Chinese Medicine” are tiny herbal pills and are usually used for maintenance, not for the resolve of serious problems. For health maintenance, 10 or more of the herbal pills are taken three or more times a day. When used for an attempt to resolve a health problem, more than 50 herbal pills are prescribed to be taken three or more times a day. They are not expensive, but they do not seriously do much to resolve a serious and long-standing health problem.

 

Acupuncture works fast, but is not long lasting. Herbal broths work slower, but work deeper and their effects last longer. I prefer herbal broths, or herbal capsules over acupuncture. The Patent Chinese Medicine may have it’s place, but I personally do not bother with it.

 

The first (and every) visit will not be at all similar to a visit to a western medicine practitioner. The terminology is not the same and will sound foreign and possibly silly to you.

 

The exam will take place informally and with you fully clothed. Your eyes, tongue, fingernails and overall condition will be noted. The TCM practitioner will feel your three pulses on each wrist, and make his diagnosis based on all that he sees and hears.

 

And, the TCM practitioner will not care or be too interested in what terminology your western medicine physician may have used to describe your ailment. The Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner will attempt to find the true underlying cause of your symptoms, and address that, not caring about some term attributed to the symptoms you have.

 

Results may take time, and rightfully so, since you didn’t get the serious ailment overnight, and it likely won’t be cured overnight.

 

TCM attempts to get your own body to resolve the underlying cause of the symptoms, while western medicine only removes the symptoms, leaving the actual cause unresolved. There’s a big difference between the two modalities, even though the diagnostics often point to the same area of concern.

 

With western medicine, Atrial Fibrillation is considered to be a complicated affliction that requires either continual medical treatments, and/or surgery to get the heart to beat correctly. An imbalance of serotonin and melatonin is often noted.

 

TCM finds the heart’s rhythm is controlled by the chemicals serotonin and melatonin, both of which are regulated by the liver. TCM will treat the liver’s imbalance, and the AF will eventually be resolved.

 

Western medicine’s drugs are taken continually, and the problem returns when the medicine is stopped.

TCM’s treatments only continue until the problem is resolved, then no further treatments are necessary.

(My AF was totally cured within 9 months (that was back in 2003 or so), and I have not needed any further treatment for AF since)

 

TCM works.

 

Will it cure cancer? Who knows? I had taken only imported Chinese medicinal strength herbs instead of chemo and radiation in 2006, and I am still here in spite of my very bleak prognosis, but does my success “prove” anything?

 

Read about TCM. Information is often difficult to find, but it’s out there!

 

I have preferred to seek Asian practitioners that have honed their skills in the Asian culture, rather than western individuals that have studied in the US. It’s difficult to disregard western medicine’s ideology after hearing nothing but that for most of one’s life…… (just sayin’)

 

 

Good luck and better health!

 

John

 

devotion10's picture
devotion10
Posts: 642
Joined: Jan 2010

here.  And thanks to CT for following the CAM: subject line.  Maybe it will be any easy way for folks to reference these topics. -- Cynthia

Vancouver
Posts: 16
Joined: Mar 2013

Thank you all so much for taking the time to share your experience and advice.  It is truly helpful and appreciated.  I really feel I have a better sense now of how to get started and what to look for.  I know my mom will be receptive to this and believe it will be really beneficial to her overall treatment!  Thanks again.  It is wonderful to have the knowledge of this community as a resource.

jen2012
Posts: 1186
Joined: Aug 2012

Would be curious to know what the onc thinks....my husbands was against it while he was going through chemo.

John23
Posts: 1832
Joined: Jan 2007

 

Back in 2006, both of the Oncologists I had been consulting had said that they did not approve of herbal treatments during chemo. They felt that if the herbs can resolve the side effects of treatment, they may also destroy the power of chemo.

 

Amazingly, they both also previously said that herbal treatments could never do what chemotherapy could do, since the chemicals were so much more powerful than simple herbs.

 

Major cancer centers like MD Anderson, Sloan Kettering, etc., have been using TCM along with chemo, and many hospitals in Asia use both modalities for resolve of maladies, including cancer.

 

Sometimes we have to listen to our own survival instincts if we expect to survive.

 

“Trust thyself”

 

 

Best hopes for better health,

 

John

 

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4659
Joined: May 2005

As John pointed out, many cancer centers are using both treatments. Some like SK even have a dept. that does just that. The reason why I added the Talk with a good Oncologist after Trust Thyself is that sometimes mixing medicines (yes, TCM is medicine as well as chemo is medicine) can sometimes have deadly results. Look at what's-his-name who was in That Movie (a few stars fit this description). They mixed their meds/drugs and woke up dead.

A Good Onc (who is tough to find) would not try to stop you from trying a different approach. They may not be easy to find but it could make a huge difference.
Good luck
-phil

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