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How Sanjiu Chinese Medicine treat cancer

Cancer is one of the major public health concerns in Canada and it is the second leading cause of death among Canadians. It has significant impact on patients' lives despite the fact that it is curable at early stages. Often patients are confronted with many challenges and the fear of dying. There is no doubt that mainstream cancer therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery are regarded as the best available treatments. However, the potential side effects of these treatments can be highly debilitating. Therapies used by Western medicine to kill cancer cells is effective, but they do not address the source of the problem.

Chinese medicine is particular effective in strengthening the immune system and the preventing recurrence of the disease.

Often, patients are keen to have effective alternatives or supplementary treatment especially during the recovery period after surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. Many practitioners also help the patient by providing facility and resources for them to obtain effective and reliable alternative or supplementary treatment.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has 5000 years of history and has been proven by time to be effective in curing many diseases. Many research projects and studies have been conducted to investigate the effectiveness of Traditional Chinese Medicine in cancer treatment. Unfortunately, this correlation still has not been fully explored.

Joint treatment combining Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine against cancer
Many researches worldwide believe that the best approach to fight against cancer is obtained by means of a joint treatment combining Western Medicine with Traditional Chinese Medicine, in addition to a suitable diet and therapeutic exercises.
To be able to adapt psychologically is also an important factor for the patient to deal with this chronic and severe illness. The philosophy behind Traditional Chinese medicine may help relieve the anxiety.

Traditional Chinese Medicine's Perspective of Cancer
In Traditional Chinese medicine, there is no specific concept for cancer but there is for tumors. Nutritive tonics and herbal medicine were developed to alleviate pain and prolong life by strengthening the body's defenses against tumor progression. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners believe that the causes of tumor development come in two folds. First, external factors include toxins and others from the environment. Second, internal factors include emotional stress, unhealthy diets, and damaged organs. Internal factors also include 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.

All illnesses, from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, is the result of energy imbalance, either in the form of an excess or a deficiency of the body's elemental energies. Qi, the life force, controls the bodily functions as it travels along the meridians, completing an energy cycle every twenty-four hours. The flow of Qi may be disrupted by a variety of causes including an imbalanced diet, lifestyle, stress, suppressed emotions, or lack of exercise. These factors cause imbalance in yin and yang - complementary forces in dynamic flux - and also disturb the normal flow of Qi.

Cancer is the manifestation of an underlying imbalance, and a tumor is the "uppermost branch" of the illness but not the "root". Each patient may have a different imbalance causing the same type of cancer, it may appear. When treating cancer, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners attempt to identify the individual patterns of Qi imbalance and prescribe treatments accordingly.

When treating cancer, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners make diagnoses based on imbalances in yin and yang, qi, and blood. Blood, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, refers to much more than the fluid. Instead, blood is the process of nourishing the organism; blood, Qi and moisture (fluids within the body) are intimately related as they regulate each other. When formulating treatments, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners are guided by 8 principles. In 4 sets of opposing principles, they are: yin and yang, chill and heat, deficiency and excessiveness, lastly, interior and exterior. The eight principles serve as the framework for the data gathered through physical examination, tongue and pulse diagnosis, and observation. Once the Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner forms a cohesive picture of the pattern of disharmony, he or she can formulate a treatment plan to restore balance.

The Components of Traditional Chinese Medical System
a. Herbal Medicine and Diet
b. Acupuncture and Acupressure
c. Traditional Chinese Medicine Therapeutic exercise - Qigong and Taichi

I. Herbal Medicine and Diet

The conventional method in taking herb medicine is to make a decoction - a strong "tea" made by simmering raw herbs in water. Herbs are used in combination in a formula, which may contain 10-15 herbs. Each formula is consisted of a chief herb, a few others to assistant, and a courier herb taking - the medicine to the site of the "lesion". Each herb in the formula has a different role. In prescription, a practitioner adapts a basic formula with proven effectiveness in treating a particular pattern of disharmony, and adds other herbs to suit the patient's distinct characteristics. The TCM practitioner has a choice of close to 6000 herbs, in addition, a few mineral and animal components. There are about 400 commonly used formulas. Traditionally, a specially glazed clay teapot is used to make the tea. Since the decoction method is time consuming, and the taste of the decoction is unpalatable to many, two alternative methods were developed - pulverized herbs in capsules, and concentrated Chinese herbal granules.

Concentrated Chinese Herbal Granules
Concentrated Chinese herbal granules are a representation of a new generation of Chinese herbal products, and offer a safe and convenient means of using herbs. They are extracts of herbs and carry the same potency. Please refer to Single Chinese Herb Extracts - Manufacturing Techniques and Quality Control for details regarding the extraction process.

Common Types of Herbal Therapy
Fu Zhen Therapy
Fu Zhen therapy is an immune-enhancing herbal regimen, and it is used as an adjunct to chemotherapy and radiation. The principal herbs in the therapy strengthen the body's nonspecific immunity and enhance the functions of T-cells.

Principal herbs: Astragalus, Ligustrum, Ginseng, Codonopsis, Atractylodes, and Ganoderma

Herbal Antitoxin Therapy
Herbal Antitoxin therapy is a regularly used type of therapy with proven effects in inhibiting tumor growth. Kelp and Pokeroot are amongst the herbs known to dissolve tumors.

Principal herbs: Isatis Root, Heartleaf Houttuynia herb, Barbated Skullcup Herb, Chinese Lobelia Herb, Honeysuckle Flower, Spreading Heading Hedytis Herb, Glabrous Greenbrier Rhizome, Giant Knotweed Rhizome, Vietnamese Sophora Root.

Blood Activating therapies
Blood activating therapy helps reduce coagulation and inflammatory reactions associated with immune response.

Principal herbs: Sanchi, Frankincense, Hisute Shiny Buglewood Herb, Daushen Root, Szechwan Lovage Rhizome, Red Peony Root, Safflower, Peach Seed, Common Burreed Tuber, Zedoray Phizome, Chinese Angelica. Cattail Pollen, Cowherb Seed.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, herbs and food go hand in hand in influencing the body's energy fields. A patient's diet must align with medications taken for maximum benefit. Dietary supervision in TCM is a sophisticated system that evaluates food according to its properties and therapeutic value. Whole-grain products, beans, fresh vegetables, and mushrooms are frequently recommended. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners, on the other hand, advise patients to avoid raw food, because it is too "cold"; white sugar because it is too rich and would over-stimulate the pancreas and liver; strong spices, for they disperse energy to the surface of the body. Cancer patients are also advised to avoid coffee, because it overtaxes the adrenals; cold dairy products, because they are too congesting; shellfish and citrus, because they are too "cold" and "moist".

II. Acupuncture and Acupressure
Acupuncture is another form of TCM therapy applied to change the flow or quality of the life force, and to restore balance in the body's energies. As mentioned earlier, Qi circulates in fourteen major meridians, or energy channels, traversing the body from the top of the head to the tips of fingers and toes. Each meridian is connected to an internal organ. Specific points on each invisible channel, when stimulated, affect the flow of Qi to that particular organ and in other channels or associated organs. By stimulating these points with extremely fine needles or through massage, acupuncture unblocks or adjusts energy flow. Also, by inserting and manipulating the hair-like stainless steel needles, acupuncture corrects the imbalances of Qi - the underlying cause of the disease.

Acupuncture is applicable in the treatment of persistent pain, arthritis, asthma, infertility, acute and chronic diseases. For cancer patients, it serves to alleviate pain and to address the associated loss of function. For instance, acupuncture helps improving the ability to swallow for patients with esophageal cancer. Acupuncture also reduces the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. As complement of herbal medications, acupuncture has been employed as a form of treatment for breast and cervical cancer in early stages. In addition, acupuncture also helps relieve stress and pain following surgeries.

III. Traditional Chinese Medicine Therapeutic Exercises
Another component of Traditional Chinese Medicine used in the treatment of cancer is therapeutic exercise. It comes in two forms: tai-chi and chi-gong. The purpose of both exercises is to enable a person to regulate and direct the flow of Qi within his or her own body. Students are taught to focus their Qi in a place two inches below the navel, called the dan tian, or vital center. From this center, Qi is said to emanate to distant regions of the body. Upon practice, students can sense the presence of Qi at the vital center in the form of localized warmth and can then direct the life energy to specific parts of their body. For cancer patients, practitioners prescribe exercises that specifically address the patients' illness.

The perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine on tai-chi and chi-gong differs from that of Western Medicine in that Chinese Medicine believes that these exercises energize the body's vital forces, balances yin and yang, strengthens blood circulation, and improves the patient's emotional and mental states. Western Medicine believes that the exercises, like yoga, increase the absorption and utilization of oxygen.

Through intensive practice of chi-gong, an entire set of beneficial psychological and spiritual state emerges. In promoting emotional well-being, chi-gong exercises help build confidence amongst patients in their battle against cancer. Many cancer patients, who have practicing chi-gong and tai-chi, reflected that having a positive attitude plays an important role in battling against the disease.

We wholeheartedly support you in the battle of against cancer. Please never surrender and remember that your friends, family, your family practitioners, your health care team, and Sanjiu Chinese Medicine Clinic are standing behind you.

(Note: it is recommended for patients to consult their family doctors or specialists before they taking Chinese medicine and associated treatments)

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Cancer Supporting Treatment Program
Cancer Survivor Preventive Maintenance Program

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