A good percentage of my practice is with cancer patients.  Virtually all of these patients are seeing me in conjunction with their oncologist.  Over the 35 years I’ve been practising, I’ve developed a methodology that has been very beneficial for these patients.  I’ll say a bit about my approach here, and hopefully, it will encourage practitioners to consider attending the two-day seminar I am teaching on this topic next month  in Chicago.  The Illinois Association for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is streaming the seminar live for those far away from the windy city.

In my early years, I practised completely differently than I do now.  My initial training was not in a Chinese medicine based on the classic text, Shang Han Lun, The Treatise of Damage from Cold.   I had been encouraged to treat diseases rather than patterns, and there was no lack of modern Chinese literature to tell me how to treat cancer.  There were long lists of herbs that had anti-neoplastic properties and methods for dissolving tumours.  It took years for me to really understand that my poor results were not due to a limit in Chinese medicine or my lack of applying my study.  The problem was that the paradigm I had been taught and was working with was not appropriate for my work with cancer patients.

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For the last 15 years, my focus has completely shifted to, not just working with classic formulas, but working with the physiological and pathophysiological model of the classic texts.  When I say classic texts, I mean pre-Han dynasty texts such as the Shang Han Lun, Tang Ye Jing and the Neijing.  With this paradigm shift, my results began to change dramatically.

In the upcoming seminar, I will be teaching this paradigm using cases from my practice to illustrate the principles.  Each case will shed light on a different view of how physiology can go wrong and how to bring the body back into alignment with the healing life force.  It will also clearly demonstrate the often profound results of restoring this alignment.  In the last 15 years, I have not once tried to get rid of someone’s cancer.  My methods re-establish a right relationship with the life force that has been diverted.  The life force does the healing.  This perspective is the heart of what these classic texts have to teach us.  It’s quite beautiful and made more lovely by its effectiveness.

Chinese medicine can treat cancer without directly going for the cancer.  It can help treat the side effects of allopathic treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.  It can help the allopathic treatments be more effective and help people complete their courses of chemo and radiation and to come out of that much stronger than they would have.  This is all wonderful but it can offer even more than this.  Often, using classical diagnosis, a practitioner can identify some of the long term imbalances that may have contributed to the illness to begin with, greatly improving the prognosis.