Chinese medicine is a healing philosophy that is complementary to naturopathic medicine. It offers an important understanding of the unity of the body and mind and adds to the Western understanding of physiology.

Herbal or botanical therapies are used in Chinese medicine. Where single chemically-derived drugs may address only one problem, botanical medicines are able to address a variety of problems simultaneously. Their organic nature makes most herbs and botanicals compatible with the body’s own chemistry. That means they can work gently, and with few toxic side effects. Our Chinese medicine practitioners and naturopathic physicians consult with our oncologists to use herbs, minerals and vitamins to complement your traditional cancer treatment options.

Acupuncture is a form of ancient Chinese medicine in which fine, sterile needles are applied to specific areas of the body, or acupoints, to stimulate energy flow (or “chi”). The needles are usually left in place for a few minutes (skilled acupuncturists cause virtually no pain). Energy is believed to circulate throughout the body along specific pathways called meridians. When energy is flowing freely through the meridians, the immune system is stimulated, which is thought to bring on a healing response and balance. When the flow of energy is disturbed or off-balance, pain or illness may occur.

A goal of acupuncture is to restore balance and healthy energy flow to the body to control pain and other symptoms. Worldwide, acupuncture is sometimes used for conditions in which conventional approaches have failed, or as a complement to traditional medicine. In the United States and Europe, acupuncture is primarily used to control pain and relieve symptoms of disease, but not to cure the disease itself.

Some people find acupuncture useful for helping to stop an addictive behavior, such as smoking or alcoholism. Others may find it useful for relieving ailments such as headaches, low back pain, fibromyalgia, asthma or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Acupuncture is not used by itself as a treatment for cancer. Rather, it is used in combination with medical oncology to help relieve symptoms related to cancer and cancer treatment. In some cases, acupuncture may help to alleviate treatment-related side effects such as nausea and vomiting, as well as other common symptoms such as stress. Some individuals also find that acupuncture helps relieve fatigue, pain and neuropathy associated with cancer and its treatment.

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