It’s impossible to describe the pure, desperate frustration that is a fact of daily life when you have a child with cancer. As Theresa Niewenhuis said in her heartrending letter to all cancer moms, every piece of bad news breaks another little piece of your heart. I was an adult when my 11-year-old brother was diagnosed, and I know what my parents went through. When the bad news got too much they were willing to try absolutely anything that even vaguely promised a cure.
Naturopathic Medicine, also called Naturopathy, is a system of healing that focuses on supporting and stimulating the body’s ability to heal itself; it takes a holistic approach, which means that it focuses on the whole person rather than on a person’s illness.
Naturopathic Medicine, which combines modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural therapies, is performed by Naturopathic doctors (NDs) who are trained in and use a wide variety of different therapies.
Naturopathic Medicine Treatments may include special diets and nutritional counselling, fasting, enemas and herbal, vitamin or mineral remedies.
Naturopathic Medicine uses natural, non-toxic therapies to treat the whole person and encourage the self-healing process. Naturopathic clinicians treat a variety of conditions, including digestive issues, respiratory conditions, chronic fatigue syndrome and cancer.
Various organisations with Integrative Oncology Services offer Naturopathic Medicine where the focus is on reducing the risk of harmful effects from cancer treatments; to support normal metabolism and digestion during cancer treatment; to manage any side effects, such as nausea or fatigue; and to boost immune function. Read the rest of this entry
Essiac and Flor Essence are herbal tea mixtures sold worldwide as herbal dietary supplements or health tonics, and which are often used as complementary treatments for AIDS, Cancer, Diabetes, and Gastrointestinal Diseases.
Essiac consists of 4 herbs: Burdock Root; Indian Rhubarb Root; Sheep Sorrel; and Slippery Elm (the inner bark).
Flor Essence reportedly contains the same 4 herbs found in Essiac plus 4 additional herbs: Watercress; Blessed thistle; Red clover; Kelp.
As with most natural remedies, batches of these mixtures may differ and contain the above herbs in different quantities or may contain additional ingredients, so the effect may not always be the exact same in different batches.
Essiac has its roots in the Ontario Ojibwa Native American tribe where the formula has been used for centuries for a slew of health conditions, and came to the west via a woman fighting cancer in the 1920s who passed th formula on to a nurse when she was on her deathbed many years later, claiming that it had cured her cancer. Read the rest of this entry
Tai Chi (pronounced Tie Chee) is an ancient Chinese martial art that combines slow, focused body movements, meditation and deep breathing. The relaxed and deliberate movements of Tai Chi help develop balance, coordination and flexibility. Tai Chi is often referred to as “Meditation in Motion.”
Its name is derived from the philosophical term, “Tai Chi,” the first known written reference of which appeared in the Book of Changes over 3000 years ago during the Zhou Dynasty (1100-1221 BC). In this book it says that “in all changes exists Tai Chi, which causes the two opposites in everything.” Tai Chi means the ultimate of ultimate, often used to describe the vastness of the universe.
During a Tai Chi session, one moves slowly from one position to the next without stopping so that your body is in constant motion during the session. Because one must focus on breathing and the movements, tai chi helps focus one’s mind in a form of meditation.
The essential principles of Tai Chi are based on the ancient Chinese philosophy of Taoism, which stresses the natural balance in all things and the need for living in spiritual and physical accord with the patterns of nature. According to this philosophy, everything is composed of two opposite, but entirely complementary, elements of yin and yang, working in a relationship which is in perpetual balance. Tai Chi consists of exercises equally balanced between yin and yang, which is why it is so remarkably effective.
Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a plant from Central Asia that is grown in many parts of the world today.
The Cannabis plant produces a resin containing compounds called cannabinoids. Some cannabinoids are psychoactive (acting on the brain and changing mood or consciousness).
The use, sale, and possession of Cannabis (marijuana) is illegal in most countries, but even so, there are many individuals who believe in using cannabis medicinally in various forms to counteract the devastating symptoms of various medical conditions, including cancer.
Cannabinoids are active chemicals in Cannabis that act on certain receptors on cells in our body, especially cells in the central nervous system, the brain and spinal cord, which work together to control all the functions of the body; they are also known as phytocannabinoids.
The main active cannabinoid in Cannabis is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Another active cannabinoid is cannabidiol (CBD).
Terms applied to therapies not commonly included in mainstream medicine have repeatedly changed over time, evolving from a very negative “quackery” through “unorthodox,” “unconventional,” “questionable,” “unproven,” and “alternative.”
Current, but still evolving, terminology favours “complementary” and “alternative” medicine, or the acronym of both: CAM.
To understand how a complementary therapy may be used, it helps to understand what we mean by conventional cancer treatments and complementary therapies.
Conventional cancer treatments or mainstream cancer treatments are the treatments currently accepted and widely used in the majority of healthcare systems and include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Complementary Therapies are used as adjuncts to (together with) mainstream cancer care. They are supportive measures that control symptoms, enhance well-being, and contribute to overall patient care.
Alternative Therapies typically are promoted for use instead of mainstream treatment. Approaches that may be offered as alternative therapies range from visualisation to diet and prayer, and products such as vitamin supplements, herbal and homeopathic medicines.
Integrative Cancer Care is an approach that combines conventional cancer treatments and complementary therapies throughout the cancer journey. It’s based on the idea that as long as you’re watched carefully for what happens when the treatments are given at the same time, conventional cancer treatments and complementary therapies can work well together.