- Published: Thursday, 08 November 2018 17:26
- Written by Louise Stevens
Its Breast Cancer awareness month and as I was listening to Liz Hurley speak on the radio the other day, I thought I would write about how Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine may be helpful in managing different symptoms that are associated with this disease and its treatment.
She commented on research that shows how our stress hormone Cortisol plays a part in the development of such diseases and also how cortisol can slow down the effectiveness of chemotherapy in the treatment of breast cancer.
Acupuncture actually lowers cortisol levels in the body. As cortisol lowers so inflammation reduces and the whole system can begin to unwind. In fact any complementary therapy can be useful in reducing stress levels but ultimately we really need to address the reasons for stress in the first place. Acupuncture also releases endorphins and serotonin that both help to reduce pain and improve a sense of well being. Acupuncture and moxibustion may stimulate anti-cancer immunity and protect bone marrow cells. (Evidenced Based Complementary Alternative Medicine 2014)
Often after treatment for cancer, the drugs that are recommended as an ongoing treatment plan can illicit many side-effects. There’s research that shows acupuncture may reduce drug-related joint pain for these women, and may provide a way for them to continue taking these potentially life-saving medications. Other studies show that acupuncture may help relieve other side effects such as fatigue, control hot flushes (J Clin Oncologists 2016), help decrease nausea, reduce vomiting, reduce dry mouth (Cancer 2011) and lessen pain (Medical Acupuncture 2015).
During chemotherapy treatment the use of daily moxibustion (which can be self administered) can help prevent leukopenia, anaemia and thrombocytopenia. Patients can then tolerate these interventions better which can lead to a more successful treatment outcome (JCM 90:65)
Mushroom nutrition has also had some positive research in supporting the immune system during chemotherapy. They are routinely prescribed in Japan and China alongside a range of chemotherapeutic agents with multiple clinical trials confirming enhanced treatment outcomes as well as reduction in side effects (JCM 116:11) including nausea, hair loss and lowered immune satus, improved appetite, general condition and haematopoietic parameters. PS7 formula contains 7 types of mushroom that all help to maintain different aspects of the immune system (Powell 2014).
Feel free to make contact if you would like to discuss how Chinese medicine may be able to help you. 01305 759405
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