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Acupuncture v/s modern medicines

In recent days, I have treated a few children for conditions mostly related to the misuse of modern drugs. I wanted to share my concerns with parents, so that they may have natural options and so that their children may end up with fewer health problems. I hope that this in turn will help children reach their fullest potential.

One nine-year-old girl with eczema who came to my office was particularly outstanding. She had almost no appetite. She felt bloated after eating. She could not sleep at night because of severe itching from skin and food allergies, and would only fall asleep in the morning. She felt thirsty and sweaty, as well as chills inside and heat on the surface of her body. She was treated with antibiotics for an ear infection before coming to see me. Her mother used an inhaler to help relieve her asthma and cough she had been suffering from at one time.

During an interview with her mother present, it turned out that the girl’s condition was due partly to the drugs’ side effects and partly to poor dietary habits: she was consuming a lot of fruit and drank very cold drinks. In modern thinking, we associate fruits with goodness and healthiness, but according to the view of traditional Chinese medicine, an overabundance of fruit and raw foods leads to an imbalance named “cold and dampness.” Just to give an idea of how “cold” her body was, I recall how she was shivering while lying on my treatment table, even under a blanket and with the heat lamp over her!

I gave the traditional Chinese diagnosis of “severe yang deficiency of the spleen, heart and kidneys, and accumulation of toxins in the liver.” The term yang represents the patient’s metabolic function. The organs named above do not correspond to the modern understanding of organic function but represent abstract diagnostic entities that help refine the diagnosis and guide the treatment. Herbal treatment was therefore prescribed to help recover the yang energy in those organs and clear the toxins from the liver. Acupuncture was also used, and after only a couple of treatments, she recovered.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, the balance of yin and yang is the most important condition for health. Modern drugs have a mostly yin quality. An excess of yin will damage the yang. Some drugs, such as antibiotics, damage the yang energy of the heart. The heart is associated with the fire element in the five-element system of Chinese medicine. Less heart yang means less warmth and liveliness in the body as if the weather were rainy, cold, and damp, a greater tendency to fatigue, and a lowered immunity. Only the presence of yang, like sunshine, would let those cold and humid conditions evaporate, enlivening the body again.

For many children, problems aren’t as serious, but of similar nature. Antibiotics and inhalers weaken their yang energy. As a result, they need a long time to recover from colds and flu, have a hard time falling asleep, and do not have much appetite. Often these children will present with cold hands and feet, which is another indication of weak yang energy. This is contrary to children’s general constitution, who, according to traditional Chinese texts, normally have abundant yang energy. When children have weak yang and reduced digestive capacity, they tend not to grow as tall, have thin frames, puffy muscles, poor memory, and a tendency to tire easily.

I once treated a teenager who suffered from scoliosis of the lumbar vertebrae. The curvature was caused by muscular atrophy on one side; thus the muscles on the other side pulled the spine disproportionately, causing a deformation. The treatment principle consisted of a special acupuncture technique that employs long and thick needles. This teenager did not seem to be otherwise suffering from any serious condition besides lacking energy and a bit of acne. When I interviewed his father, I learned that my patient had been on antibiotics off and on for about three years because of an ear infection when he was about five years old.

I reasoned that prolonged treatment with antibiotics depleted his spleen energy and blocked certain energy channels. Again, in Chinese medicine, the spleen represents the digestive system, food metabolism, and muscular development, rather than the modern biomedical notion of spleen function. Fortunately, after a couple of acupuncture sessions, his muscles started to grow slowly on the atrophied side. With acupuncture treatments and daily exercise, we can hope that his muscles will become more even and vertebral alignment can be ameliorated.

From these experiences, I wish to tell parents that children can be helped to grow healthy and strong, so as to develop a robust physical constitution into their adult years. In this way, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture can be of help. Instead of using modern drugs to cover up the manifestation of illness, thereby eventually weakening the immune system, Chinese medicine goes to the root of the problem. With appropriate diagnosis and treatment, children can be healthy and strong. This medical system has been in use for thousands of years and has an extensive track record of safety, effectiveness, and a near-complete absence of side effects.

Treatment of Chemotherapy

Acupuncture shows promise in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy

Chemotherapy-induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN) causes pain and mobility problems and may be a contributing factor for patients to terminate or suspend chemotherapy treatment. CIPN may also contribute to discomfort and debilitation for months to years after completing chemotherapy.

Most medical practitioners agree that there is not an effective medical cure for CIPN (Schroder S. Meyer-Hamm G., et. al., Acupuncture in Medicine (2011), p. 1). However, a promising pilot study conducted at the University Medical Center in Hamburg Germany suggests that “Acupuncture has a positive effect on CIPN,” (Schroder S. Meyer-Hamm, Acupuncture in Medicine (2011), p. 1). The study cited here concludes that nerve conduction studies as well as the patient reports of symptoms showed positive responses in the patients who completed a 10-week course of acupuncture treatment for CIPN. “These findings are of special significance since PN [peripheral neuropathy] is otherwise almost untreatable but seems to respond to treatment by acupuncture” (Schroder S., Meyer-Hamm G., et al., Acupuncture in Medicine (2011), p. 3).


Schroeder, s., Meyer-Hamme, G., Epplee “Acupuncture for Chemotherapy-induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN): A Pilot Study Using Neurography, Acupuncture in Medicine (2011). acupuncture today.

Acupuncture makes cancer treatment easier to tolerate

There are many forms of cancer, all forms of the disease begin with abnormal cells that grow out of control. Unlike other illnesses that are eradicated by the body’s natural defense system, cancer needs to be treated with powerful medical interventions.

Unfortunately, most of the current cancer treatments available have some debilitating side effects. This is where acupuncture can provide real help, by decreasing many of the side effects associated with conventional cancer treatments. 

Clinical Trials Indicate Acupuncture Provides Relief

Clinical trials have examined the effects of acupuncture on cancer and the symptoms caused by cancer treatment, including weight loss, cough, chest pain, fever, anxiety, depression, night sweats, hot flashes, dry mouth, speech problems, and fluid retention in the arms or legs. Studies have shown that, for many patients, treatment with acupuncture either relieves symptoms or keeps them from getting worse.

  • Relieves Pain and Stiffness during Hormone Therapy – In 2010, The Journal of Clinical Oncology published the results of a small study that concluded that acupuncture helped relieve pain and stiffness in breast cancer patients who were simultaneously being treated with hormone therapies.

  • Minimizes Dry Mouth – In 2009, the medical journal Head and Neck reported the results of a pilot study done at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Centre. The subjects were people suffering from head and neck cancer. The authors concluded, “This pilot study demonstrates that acupuncture can improve the subjective symptoms of dry mouth in patients with radiation-induced xerostomia as early as two weeks after starting treatment, and the benefits can remain at least one month after treatment ends,” Dr. Mark Chambers told Reuters Health.

  • Reduces Pain and Shoulder Dysfunction – In 2008, Dr. David Pfister, chief of the head and neck medical oncology service at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago. He reported that patients found significant reductions in both dry mouth and pain and shoulder dysfunction after neck dissection with the help of acupuncture. “Although further studies are needed, this does support the potential role of acupuncture,” said Pfister.

  • Reduces Hot Flashes – In 2011 A Yale University/University of Pittsburgh study of women with hot flashes brought on by conventional breast cancer treatment found that women who received acupuncture had a 30 percent reduction in hot flashes.

Endorsement of Acupuncture for Cancer Treatment

Acupuncture continues to receive enthusiastic testimonials from patients and health care professionals alike. Prominent names in U.S. society and the medical community have attested to the efficacy of acupuncture as supportive therapy for oncology treatment.

Many people are finding out that, although the treatments necessary to defeat cancer can be traumatizing and debilitating, they can get some relief through acupuncture.

Ear Candling

The use of ear candles is an ancient and natural therapy handed down by many cultures. They were traditionally used by Shaman healers.

Ancient wall paintings show their importance in initiation rituals and healing ceremonies.  The practice reached the modern world via the Native American Hopi Indians, thereby giving the candles their name. The candles are still made today on the basis of the old traditional formula originating from the Hopi Indians.

Hopi Ear Candles are hollow tubes made of cotton, soaked in beeswax, honey, and herbs. When lit, the candle acts like a chimney, causing the warm air inside it to rise and creating a vacuum at the bottom. This vacuum gently stimulates the ear, facilitating the removal of excess wax and impurities.

Hopi candles can be used for many conditions including deafness caused by excess wax, congested sinuses, irritation in the ears, ringing or noises in the ears, tinnitus, rhinitis, Sinusitis, colds, flu, headaches, and migraines.

A Hopi Ear Candle treatment includes a relaxing neck and head massage and is deeply relaxing.

Initially, a course of 3 treatments is recommended. 

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