The following article was published in the March 2006 newsletter by the Washington State Chinese Cancer Network Association (WSCCNA), a local non-profit organization dedicated to serve cancer survivors and their families in the Chinese community.
Chinese medicine practitioner and licensed acupuncturist Hugo Lau was invited to speak at the Cancer Network gathering on September 24, 2005 about acupuncture and optimal health Living in our present environment, each of us is bound to come into contact with some cancer causing factors. It has been reported that doctors had found cancer cells in people who died of car accidents even though they did not exhibit any cancer symptoms while they were living. How come? From the perspective of Chinese medicine, it was because the defensive qi (energy) of those people was not yet depleted. Acupuncture is useful to cancer patients because it can promote their defensive energy and regulate their internal organ systems, especially to the digestive, kidney, and liver systems. While it enhances the formation of defensive energy, it also enhances the circulation of such to all parts of the body. (Note: Defensive energy in Chinese medicine corresponds to the immune system in western medicine. Acupuncture when done correctly will promote defensive energy and not metastasis of cancer cells.) Regarding optimal health, there are mainly three aspects: lifestyle, diet, and mentality. Optimal lifestyle is to live according to the seasonal changes, have appropriate amount of exercises, try not to overwork or have irregular sleeping pattern. Optimal diet is to not eat too much raw, cold, or oily food, try to eat frequent small meals, not over-eat or starve one self. Optimal mentality is to be easy-going and calm, learn to be flowing and flexible to deflect external stresses, also try to re-evaluate and understand one self, the reasons of ones hopes and goals of staying alive, so as to reduce any existing or potential, invisible and unnecessary stress, worries and anxiety. According to Chinese medicine, thinking too much hampers the digestive system. Whats more important is to make a decision and a plan and follow through with it. At the workshop, Dr. Lau also taught the group a couple of easy and simple Qi Gong exercises designed to strengthen the digestive system and kidneys. [Please refer to the Cancer Website by World Health Organization for more information and understanding from a western medicine perspective. The site address is http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs297/zh/]