Holistic Health Compliments Cancer Treatments
Healthy Living Blog
Dr. Rachelle Tetreault
Traditional cancer treatments have come a long way though still lacking in many areas. With the high rate of cancer seeming to continue to rise, it is assuring to know that there is a lot we can do both preventative and also in adjunct with traditional treatment to ensure the best outcome. The American Cancer Society reveals that in the United States alone, fifty percent of men and one third of all women will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime. There are many risk factors involved which some are much easier to control than some. Growing older, having a family history of cancer, being exposed to certain chemicals are ones that place us at high risk and not in our control. Other factors which are more preventable which also contribute to developing cancer are tobacco, alcohol, poor diet, overexposure to sunlight, and lack of physical activity. These later ones play havoc on our immune system but one major risk now with more recent research shows how stress itself weakens our immune systems greatly. There are now over 100 different types of cancer but most fall into carcinomas, lymphomas, sarcomas, or leukemias. Cancer is the second leading cause of death and standard treatment options for cancer consist of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. These treatments may be effective alone but are very invasive to the body and often cause severe damage to the organs and healthy cells. There are over 11 million cancer survivors nationwide according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Eastern Medicine is a great adjunct to compliment western cancer treatments by helping the immune system stay strong by both herbal therapies and acupuncture, decreasing side effects of treatment whether chemotherapy or radiation, and offering food therapy to best assist with nutrition and overall energy throughout the process. The goal with Eastern Medicine for cancer patients is to strengthen one’s overall constitution and minimize many side effects which accompany traditional treatment. Herbal therapy is one of the oldest forms of treatment in the world and is used to optimize the immune system thereby assisting to eliminate cancer cells. The actions of prescribed herbal therapy is to tonify the spleen and stomach, and the wei (defensive) energy of the body. In other words, based on need, these therapies act as a chemoprotective and radioprotective adjunct to prevent or greatly minimize adverse reactions associated with chemo or radiation therapy. They also play a hematopoietic function to increase the production of red blood cells and also have an immunostimulant effect on the body. There have been many studies showing astragalus as well as many mushrooms to increase your body’s production of T cells, natural killer cells, and macrophages. Studies have shown that certain herbal therapies can double the survival rate in those in standard therapy and greatly help restore immune function. The use of herbs is extremely effective to complement standard treatments. Eastern Medicine is also used to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and to boost the energy and vitality of the patient. The benefits are not only to alleviate many side effects but also strengthen the overall immune system so the patient can tolerate and complete the entire course of therapies set by the oncologist.
Acupuncture naturally strengthens one’s immune system and allows the body to work more optimally. Certain acupuncture points on the body are more specific for helping to improve the ability to fight cancer and keep an optimal immune system. Zusanli and Hegu are two major points used often in pairs to do just this. Other points often used for cancer patients help with nausea, relieve neuropathy, and alleviate stress.
A diet rich in nuts, seeds, and grains such as brown rice, millet, wheat, oat, and bran is highly recommended. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits especially garlic and onions. Berries should be a staple because due to their high antioxidant ability helping to fight cancer. Broccoli has a compound called I-3-C which can help destroy many types of cancer cells on contact. Therefore, food therapy is huge in this process and many broths and herbs are recommended for the best fight on this journey to eliminating cancer from the body. It is best to avoid meat, chicken, dairy products, spicy foods, sugar and any chemical additives. Tao nutrition recommends blending shitake or Ganoderma mushrooms and white fungus, boil and drink the soup three times a day. Eat a variety of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables of all colors. Organic juicing of greens and berries is highly recommended but at the same time nourish the spleen with foods which strengthen the middle jiao for improving appetite, digestion, and absorbing nutrients.
Avoiding stress and anxiety as much as possible is a staple for not only prevention but treatment of cancer. Stress can greatly suppress the immune system. This slows down the metabolic process and can play a role in the development of cancer. For optimal health, try to be asleep by 10pm. This allows the most cleansing and rejuvenation part of sleep which is between 10 pm and 1 am. Please call today for your evaluation and treatment. Let’s start you on your journey to optimal health and healing. 772-626-6419