Integrative Medicine from the Traditional 

Chinese Medicine Perspective

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From the January 31, 2011 eblast from the National Cancer Institute's Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine:

Traditional Chinese Medicine Reduces Chemotherapy Induced Side Effects NCI-supported research from Yale University has studied the effects of an ancient four-herb Chinese Medicine formula called PHY906. PHY906 is derived from a Chinese canonical medicine which originated 1800 years ago for the treatment of different gastrointestinal symptoms including diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Researchers and clinicians are constantly searching for ways to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and this research attempts to use PHY 906 as an adjuvant to chemotherapy drugs (Irinotecan, 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin) for treating colon or rectal carcinoma. Results for the murine ( mouse) model study showed that PHY 906 decreased animal weight loss caused by irinotecan, promoted intestinal recovery from damage caused by irinotecan and several other outcomes. For further details please refer to the published article in Science Translational Medicine .

February 2008

Starting a 15-year effort to identify the constituents of herbal preparations used as medications for centuries in China.

The Herbalome Project is the latest-and most ambitious-attempt to modernize traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Herbalome will use high-throughput screening, toxicity testing, and clinical trials to identify active compounds and toxic contaminants in popular recipes.

Initial targets are cancer, liver and kidney diseases, and illnesses that are difficult for Western medicine to treat, such as diabetes and depression.

The Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP), one of the biggest and best-funded institutes of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, won a $5 million start-up grant to develop purification methods; the Ministry of Science and Technology is reviewing the project with a view to including it as a $70 million initiative in the next 5-year plan to start in 2010.

A planning meeting will be held at a Xiangshan Science Conference, China's equivalent of a Gordon Research Conference, in Beijing Spring 2008.

Our source:

6/03 a quote from Brian Benjamin Carter, Editor, The Pulse of Oriental Medicine (TCM for laypeople)

"... I'd like to make the point that there is a Chinese herbal tradition, but it's not frozen in time. Chinese practitioners write new formulas for new and old diseases. They are also innovating by combining knowledge from scientific studies with the principles of traditional Chinese herbal medicine. In this way, they've created formulas for serious modern diseases like cancer, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, glaucoma, diabetes, and sciatica."

Event at SHARE (a NYC-based self-help group for those with breast or ovarian cancer). Ann Fonfa used to run the study group on CAM.

The speakers were Kevin Ergil,MA, MS, LAc,Dipl.Ac(NCCA),F.N.A.A.O.M., F.A.A.P.M., Director of the Pacific Institute of Oriental Medicine and advisor to the TCM staff at Comprehensive Cancer Care for Women(this place has since closed). Also speaking was Sharon Taylor, a SHARE member and ovarian cancer survivor who actually came up with the concept for this group.

Integrative Medicine is conceived as a safe place for bridging the gap and supporting a patient's access to therapies of many types, combining both bio-medical(conventional) and Shiatsu, nutritional interventions, yoga, tai chi(for example) and Traditional Chinese Medicine. A critical element of this is communication. CCC offers case conferencing to discuss all the possible therapeutic approaches and their interactions, benefits and conflicts. Although TCM has been used for thousands of years and Western medicine for hundreds, we do not know much about how they can work together. Kevin Ergil spoke about some research that takes place in China where lots of combining of treatments both Eastern and Western is typically used.

The patient is empowered using integrative medicine and is a full participant in determining what will help themselves.

Kevin then spoke about Traditional Chinese Medicine, offering a slide show of information. He first mentioned that this is based on observations of physical function not on anatomical research and therefore is very hard to directly compare to Western medicine. He told us that the first written work on TCM dates back to 100BC and that the first principles of herbal medicines were written in 220AD.

Yang is the energetic or mobile aspects compared to the flame of a candle, while Yin is thought of as nutritive or nurturing and is the wax of the candle. The five principles are Fire, Wood, Earth, Metal and Water. Qi(Chi) is the vital force pervading the body, nourished with water, food and breath.

There are four diagnosis in TCM: Inspection-looking at facial color, lustre or spirit in the eyes, the tongue in particular Listening and Smelling-Sound of the voice is important Inquiring-getting a patient history Palpation-the pulses(there are three on each wrist) and some acupuncture points, especially the abdomen.

Kevin told us that in China, at least one medical center uses bio-technical equipment to diagnose and then prescribes herbs as treatment. He also mentioned that a very important aspect of TCM is the statement: One Disease=Different Treatment and Different Disease=One Treatment. This is explained by their method of treating a root problem which may manifest with various symptoms in different people but indicates one specific meridian. An example is the stomach meridian which goes through the chest and arms.

It is difficult to summarize his entire presentation which was filled with interesting information on TCM but one point he made was that the Chinese have a pharmacoepia of over 6,000 herbs. He did say that the general practitioner uses about 300.

Most cancer treatments consist of boosting the qi or life force which could be considered comparable to immune competency. Traditional Chinese Medicine is also used to help sustain the body during bio-medical interventions. In China, herbal agents are used in conjunction with chemo or radiation OR as treatment independently. In response to a question on the use of herbs with chemotherapy, Kevin responded that they have been used in conjunction for the last fifty years in China with no signs of conflict or interference.

The use of tamoxifen in China has largely been replaced by herbs. We did not find out what herbs though. He also mentioned that Oxford Health plans has a rider that covers acupuncture and the use of herbs. There is also a group called Wellcare in upstate New York with such policies.

TCM article 7/99

Herbs, fingernail/tongue diagnosis, QiGong, T'ai Chi Chuan

Integrating TCM Into Conventional Therapy

Traditional Chinese Medicine, for breast cancer patients

TCM Talk/Articles
Integrative TCM & Chemo
NCI Supports Research Into Chinese Medicine
Chinese Women w/Bca Use TCM, Supplements, Exercise, etc.
Patient Perspective/Lois

Use of TCM as complement to radiation

Acupuncture, Acupressure

Journal of American Medical Assoc. 2000

Acupuncture Calms Nerves, Improves Heart Function
University of Vermont Confirms Acupuncture
Acupuncture for Cancer Patients
Relief of Cancer-related Breathlessness
Integration of Acupuncture into the Oncology Clinic
Patient Perspectives on Outcomes After Acupuncture
Acupuncture for Meno-symptoms w/Tamoxifen Use
Acupuncture for Xerostomia (Saliva Problem)
Pediatric Pain & Acupuncture
acupuncture sensation correlates w EEGs & autonomic changes in human subjects
Availability of Acupuncture in (Boston) Hospitals
Adverse Effects During Acupuncture-Minimal
Phase I-II Study Acupuncture-like Nerve Stim:Head/Neck Ca
Ear Acupuncture Found to be Effective for Relieving Insomnia
Acupuncture Abstracts SIO 2006
Randomized Controlled Trial for Acupuncture?
"Acupressure for chemo-induced nausea & vomiting: a randomized clinical trial,"
Acupuncture & Anticancer Immunity via Natural Killer Cells
TCM Talk/Articles

March 12, 2001 at SHARE, NYC

Part II Herbal References
Chinese Herbs for Breast Cancer Treatment (California)
Ann Fonfa is his patient
Protecting Medicinal Plants/Animals & Oriental Med
Discussion of Chi Energy & TCM

Jason Elias inteviewed by Bonnie Jacobs Vitality Magazine 8/01, Chi-lel, Chi gong

Tai Chi
Tai Chi Boosts Immunity in Seniors

All the information to purchase (2000 English Edition) People's Republic of China

TCM and Pears-RTx/Chemo

Source: Traditional Chinese Medicine World, Fall 2001, Vol 3, No 3

Integrative TCM & Chemo:Survival Data

J San Francisco Med Soc, 2001

Integration of TCM into Supportive Ca Care
Meta-analysis: Astralagus/Chinese Herbs & Lung Cancer
Chinese Medical Herbs for Chemo 'Side' Effects:Colorectal
Tai Chi/QiGong

Article from Minnesota Wellness Directory

Tai Chi/Qi Gong Explained
Tai Chi: Physical, Psychological Benefits
Qigong & Energy Medicine Database
Influence of Tai Chi & Support Thrpy:Fatigue/QoL
CD in English: Zhineng Qigong lecture by Dr. Pang Ming
Chinese Medicine & Malignant Lymphoma

Bob Flaws, author Acupuncture Today


LINK to source & resources Click on top to get English version.

Pulse Med

LINK to article why Chinese Medicine is without 'side' UNWANTED effects

Globalising Chinese Medicine

ISIS, 4/03

Healing Remedy Formula:Tateishi Kazu, Taiwan

Tao Journal, May 2001 NYC HEAL newsletter, July/August, 2002

Institute for Traditional Medicine

LINK to site w/many articles on TCM

Pesticides in Medicinal Herbs

Thanks to Acupuncture Today Author: Neil Demarse

A World of Chinese Medicine

LINK to source for information, articles, etc.

Chinese Herbs Examined

Contains articles, studies, etc on specific Chinese herbs/components

p-Tyrosol: Element of a Chinese Herb
Gold Banded Lily
Chinese Herb Fights Cancer (in Mice)
Licorice and Cancer
PG490-88Na: Patented Drvtve:Chinese Herb
Huanglian, Chinese Medicinal Herb & Human BCa Cells
Lederbouriella(Shan Fang Feng)
Element of Tripterygium wilfordii Sensitized Lung Ca Cells
Chinese Herbs/Chemotherapy
Immuno-enhancement effects of Huang Qi Liu Yi Tang (MICE)
Chinese Herbs Grown in the U.S.
Antrodia camphorata extract inhibits absolute migration capability invasive bladder ca cells
Ka-mi-kae-kyuk-tang - Chinese cocktail
Dang Gui
Database of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Chinese Herbs of Shenghe Powder Reverse Multidrug Resistance of Gastric Carcinoma
Mushrooms/Vit C Bladder Cancer
Chinese Herbal Ingredients w/Liver Protection Activities
Adriamycin & Multiple Antioxidants Chinese Herbal Formula
Systematic Review: Chinese Herbs & Cancer
Haishengsu and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Chopsticks and Arthritis

AT Newsletter, 1/04

Doctor Misha Cohen

LINK to site for "Chicken Soup, Chinese Medicine. Ann F. has met this terrific practitioner

Cinnabar Swan

LINK to OR-based practitioner, lots of information on TCM

Chinese Medicine Times

LINK to UK-published "Free online Chinese medicine journal for practitioners, students & public."

Asian Health Secrets

LINK to information on Breast Cancer/Breast Health from Letha Hadady


LINK to Hong Kong-based site providing scientific research into TCM and much more.

TCM Healthcare UK

LINK to UK-based Clinic

Orient Hospital

LINK "Fighting tumors with TCM", Beijing, CHINA

Sharon Sherman, Acupuncture in Philadelphia

LINK: " I treat a lot of cancer patients concurrently with their chemo and radiation treatments. I also have a blog that has a couple of entries specifically on cancer".

World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies

LINK: This site has links and listings of Chinese medicine facilities worldwide.

Remember we are NOT Doctors and have NO medical training.

This site is like an Encyclopedia - there are many pages, many links on many topics.

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