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Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

05
May

(From HealthCMI.com)

Researchers conclude that ear acupuncture effectively reduces anxiety. The research team initiated the new investigation based on prior studies demonstrating that ear acupuncture reduces anxiety prior to dental treatments, surgery and during ambulance transport. The research team discovered that ear acupuncture exerts “a specific and measurable effect” on anxiety levels.

Ear acupuncture, formally referred to as auricular acupuncture by licensed acupuncturists, involves using either standard filiform acupuncture needles or special auricular acupuncture needles. In this sham controlled trial, auricular acupuncture needles of 1.5mm length were inserted and retained for a total of 20 minutes and then removed. Sham needles were applied to patients in the control group. Looking at the photos below, one can see that the sham auricular needle does not have a penetrating tip. The needles are so tiny that they are affixed to the outer ear with an adhesive backing attached to each needle. In this study, Dongbang Acuprime brand auricular needles of a 0.22 diameter and 1.5mm length were used. Electroencephalography, a recording of brain electrical activity, was used to measure the depth of sedation.

 

Sham Ear Needle

The researchers documented both anti-anxiety and sedative effects of true ear acupuncture. Sham ear acupuncture did not produce a significant reduction in anxiety levels or induce a sedative effect. Electroencephalograph (EEG) measurements taken using the Bispectral Index System (BIS) confirmed the results. The sham versus true acupuncture results confirm that the placebo effect was not responsible for the therapeutic anti-anxiety effects of the auricular acupuncture. The researchers note, “When comparing the effects of real and sham needles, it was noted that there was a significantly higher reduction of
anxiety in the real-needles group” for both the NRS (Numeric Rating Scale) anxiety score and the STAI-Y (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory) score. BIS values “were significantly reduced during the real-needles application” at the10, 15 and 20 minute measuring points. The BIS (Bispectral Index System) encephalography device used in the study is depicted below.

Electroencephalograph

In related acupuncture continuing education research, investigators concluded that acupuncture relieves generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), a condition characterized by excessively intense and debilitating chronic anxiety. The researchers note that acupuncture has a fast effective action and high compliance. In addition, acupuncture has a relatively minimal risk of side effects compared with drug therapy. The acupuncture points in this study were located on the ankle and forearm at acupoints KI6 and LU7.

Many studies focus on the ability of acupuncture to reduce anxiety for specific conditions or situations. One recent study concludes that acupuncture reduces anxiety in women undergoing IVF (in vitro fertilization). A randomized-controlled study of 43 women undergoing IVF measured changes in anxiety levels. A total of four acupuncture treatments over a period of four weeks at a rate of once per week were administered. The acupuncture group received acupuncture at acupoints Yintang, HT7 (Shenmen), PC6 (Neiguan), CV17 (Shanzhong) and DU20 (Baihui). The control group received needle stimulation at non-acupuncture points near the areas of the true acupuncture points (sham acupuncture). The true acupuncture group showed a significant reduction in anxiety while the sham acupuncture group did not. The researchers concluded that acupuncture reduces anxiety and psychological strain for women undergoing IVF.

Another recent study receiving a great deal of attention is one that demonstrates that acupuncture reduces anxiety over dental procedures. In a patient-blinded randomized controlled investigation, researchers compared 182 patients. One group received true acupuncture at auricular points. The second group received sham acupuncture and a third group did not receive acupuncture or any medical procedures for the treatment of anxiety. The researchers measured anxiety levels prior to getting acupuncture and 20 minutes after receiving acupuncture, which was immediately prior to the administration of dental work. Anxiety levels in the true acupuncture group reduced significantly and but only very slightly in the sham acupuncture group. In the non-intervention group, anxiety increased. The researchers concluded that auricular acupuncture is both minimally invasive and “effectively reduces state anxiety before dental treatment.”

Researchers conducted another double-blinded study and concluded that both auricular acupuncture and body acupuncture are effective in reducing pre and post-operative anxiety. Pre and post-perative anxiety has been identified in approximately 80 percent of patients, which prompted this investigation. The ear acupuncture group received needle stimulation at point ear Shenmen. The body acupuncture group received acupuncture needle stimulation at Du20, Si Shen Cong, Yin Tang, LV3 and ST36. The needles were 0.25-.30mm in diameter and ranged between 25-40mm in length. Needle depth ranged from 0.2cm to 0.5cm. Acupuncture therapy was administered for a period of four weeks at two sessions per week for a total of eight acupuncture treatments. The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment principles were to increase lucidity, tranquilize by nourishing the Heart, calm the nerves and regulate the Qi. Both ear and body style acupuncture were effective in significantly reducing anxiety.

References:
Gagliardi, Giuseppe, Mariarosa Meneghetti, Francesco Ceccherelli, Andrea Giommi, and Marco Romoli. “Auricular Acupuncture for Anxiety in Health Care Volunteers: Randomized Crossover Study Comparing Real and Sham Needles.” Medical Acupuncture (2014).

Observation on the mechanism of acupuncture treatment for generalized anxiety disorder using Lieque (LU7), Zhaohai (KI6) as the main acupoints. Lin, Chuhua; Zhao, Xiaoyan; Liu, Xing; Fu, Wenbin. Bioinformatics and Biomedicine (BIBM), 2013 IEEE International Conference on. 18-21, 12-2-13

Effect of acupuncture on symptoms of anxiety in women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: a prospective randomised controlled study. Daniela Isoyama, Emerson Barchi Cordts, Angela Mara Bentes de Souza van Niewegen, Waldemar de Almeida Pereira de Carvalho, Simone Tiemi Matsumura, Caio Parente Barbosa. Acupunct Med acupmed-2011-010064Published Online First: 12 April 2012 doi:10.1136/acupmed-2011-01006.

Michalek-Sauberer, Andrea, Gusenleitner, Erich Gleiss, Andreas, Tepper, Gabor, Deusch, Engelbert. Auricular acupuncture effectively reduces state anxiety before dental treatment—a randomised controlled trial. Clinical Oral Investigations.  Springer Berlin / Heidelberg; Issn: 1432-6981, 1-6.

Shengjun Wu, Jie Liang, Xia Zhu, Xufeng Liu, Danmin Miao. “Comparing the treatment effectiveness of body acupuncture and auricular acupuncture in preoperative anxiety treatment.” JRMS 2010; 16(1): 39-42.

28
Feb

Why would we put “relationship secrets” on our health-related website’s blog when it seems to be more a pr0pos to a Cosmo magazine placement?  Because so many of our patients place their primary relationship at the center of their lives, and the way they relate to their partner, the quality of that relationship, has so much to do with the quality of their health and their lives in general.  So here you go, Lamorinda Healing Arts’ foray into gooshy blog posts:  The Five Secrets to a Great Relationship (from Eric Barker’s Blog, “Barking Up the Wrong Tree.”

I’ve posted a lot about the research behind what makes relationships work — and not work. How can you remember what all these studies have to say?

Just keep the 5 R’s in mind:

1. Right
2. Real
3. Rapport
4. Relate
5. Review

 

Let’s break them down.

1. Fight right

You might think it would be great if you could have a relationship with zero arguing. But marriages with no arguments are 35 percent more likely to divorce.

Married couples who report they never argue with each other are 35 percent more likely to divorce within four years than are couples who report regularly disagreeing. [100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships]

Things need to be worked out and you may need to compromise. Being rigid and resistant to new ideas increases conflict by 38 percent.

When asked to describe the state of their relationship, those with a high level of rigidity in habits and thinking — that is, a resistance to new things, new ideas, and changes of any sort — named 38 percent more problems in their relationship than those who were more flexible in their thinking. [100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships]

Relationships with major disappointments followed by forgiveness are just as stable as ones without major disappointments.

Studies find that those who have experienced a significant disappointment from their partner and have successfully granted their forgiveness to their partner are as likely to maintain a satisfying relationship as are those who had never experienced a similar disappointment in their relationship. [100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships]

You can’t not argue and you can’t fight to the death. You need to fight right.

If you stay compassionate and show you care — even in the midst of a screaming match — you have a better shot at happiness.

People who maintain a compassionate spirit during disagreements with their partner, considering not just the virtue of their position but the virtue of their partner, have 34 percent fewer disagreements, and the disagreements last 59 percent less time…

When couples experience conflict, they are 45 percent less likely to feel pessimistic about their relationship if they can recognize feelings of caring from their partner during the disagreement. [100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships]

2. Keep it real

Do you expect a fairy tale relationship? That’s a prescription for disappointment.

Elements of fairy tales such as Cinderella were present in 78 percent of people’s beliefs about romantic love. Those people were more likely to have experienced disillusionment, devastation, and angst in their relationships than were those who gave less credence to fairy tales. [100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships]

The modern day equivalent of fairy tales is TV. And as you might expect, watching too much TV is correlated with unsatisfying relationships.

People who watched an above average amount of television per day were 26 percent less likely to be satisfied with their relationship status than were people who watched a below average amount of television per day. [100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships]

It’s all about the bar that’s set for you or the bar you set for yourself. So, as you might imagine, perfectionism does not make for a happy love life either.

People high in perfectionism, a hyperbelief in their own correctness and a desire to find a partner with similar traits, are 33 percent less likely to describe their relationship status as satisfying. [100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships]

Be realistic about what you can and should expect from a relationship. And realize that things change. A third of the time what attracts you to someone isn’t important to you six months later.

Researchers found that the traits that first attracted people to their partner were no longer relevant to 34 percent of them when asked six months or more after they began dating. [100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships]

3. Have rapport

Talking, sharing, being open — these are all highly praised, and for good reason. Couples who communicate are 62 percent more likely to describe their relationship as happy.

In studies of marriages of various lengths, couples with a high degree of intimacy between the husband and wife—that is, couples who shared their innermost thoughts—were 62 percent more likely to describe their marriage as happy. [100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships]

Expecting your partner to be a mind reader will just make you miserable. Want something? Ask for it.

Researchers found that those who are more direct in seeking support from their partner are 61 percent more likely to feel they received the support they wanted than are those who avoid explaining their needs. [100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships]

If you’re still shopping for a partner, look for someone with good social skills who has maintained friendships for a long time.

People with strong social skills, including an ability to maintain long-term friendships, were 32 percent more likely to be satisfied with their relationship. [100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships]

More laughing means less fighting.

When both partners in a relationship thought the other had a good sense of humor, 67 percent less conflict was reported than in couples where neither thought the other had a good sense of humor. [100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships]

Want your marriage to last more than 30 years? Just “being married” isn’t enough: You also need to be good friends.

In studies of people happily married more than three decades, the quality of friendship between the partners was the single most frequently cited factor in the relationships’ success. [100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships]

4. Relate

Opposites do not attract. Couples that are similar do much better. Pairs that lasted longer than five years usually had a number of interests in common.

In comparing couples who remained together more than five years with couples who split up, researchers found that the couples who stayed together were 64 percent more likely to be able to identify multiple shared interests. [100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships]

Having similar values offers a huge boost in the ability to communicate.

The degree to which couples have similar values does not change over the course of their relationship. Those with similar values, however, are 22 percent more likely to rate their communication habits positively. [100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships]

Believe it or not, even having similar fighting styles was a good thing. It was related to double digit drops in conflict and a double digit increase in satisfaction.

While people may employ many different conflict resolution strategies in a relationship, when both partners use the same strategy they experience 12 percent less conflict and are 31 percent more likely to report their relationship is satisfying. [100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships]

5. Review

Many people are probably reading this, identifying the good things they already do and feeling smug. Sorry, you can’t stop there. Relationships are not a “check the box and you’re done” kind of thing. You need to keep at it, monitoring and improving.

Which feelings and improvements matter most? Recent ones.

Satisfaction in a relationship is eight times more reliant on recent feelings and the ability to perceive improvements than it is based on the history of the relationship. [100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships]

Plenty of research shows that conscientiousness is a great quality to have in a spouse or partner. Having a partner who is consistently reliable often means a healthy relationship with less conflict.

People who consider their partner conscientious, a person who consistently does what they say they are going to do, were 26 percent more likely to rate their relationship healthy and reported 41 percent less conflict in their relationship. Dependability was rated among the most desired qualities in a partner. [100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships]

One more thing

Never forget that, in the end, all relationships are about feelings. Especially when fighting, we get caught up in the facts, the details, the words… And what’s funny is little of that ends up mattering. When surveyed about their arguments, people mentioned feelings and tone 10 times as much as the topic of debate. Twenty-five percent of people couldn’t even remember what the argument was about — but they all remembered how it made them feel.

Asked to describe three recent disagreements with their partner, people had 10 times as much to say about their feelings and the tone of the disagreement as about the topic of the disagreement. Twenty-five percent of people forgot the topic of a disagreement but could describe their feelings on the situation. [100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships]

As Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

26
Feb

More than 45 million Americans (one in six) suffer from chronic headaches, 20 million of whom are women. Scientific research shows that acupuncture can be more effective than medication in reducing the severity and frequency of chronic headaches.

The pain that headache and migraine sufferers endure can impact every aspect of their lives.  A widely accepted form of treatment for headaches, acupuncture can offer powerful relief without the side effects that prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause.

Headaches and migraines, as well as their underlying causes have been treated successfully with acupuncture and Oriental medicine for thousands of years.  Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be used alone in the management and treatment of headaches, or as part of a comprehensive treatment program.

Oriental Medicine does not recognize migraines and chronic headaches as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of of techniques such as acupuncture, tui-na massage, and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, your diagnosis and treatment will depend on a number of variables including:

  • Is the headache behind your eyes and temples, or is it located more on the top of your head?
  • When do your headaches occur (i.e. night, morning, after eating)?
  • Do you find that a cold compress or a darkened room can alleviate some of the pain?
  • Is the pain dull and throbbing, or sharp and piercing?

Your answers to these questions will help your practitioner create a treatment plan specifically for you. The basic foundation for Oriental medicine is that there is a life energy flowing through the body which is termed Qi (pronounced chee). This energy flows through the body on channels known as meridians that connect all of our major organs.  According to Oriental medical theory, illness or pain arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced. Acupuncture stimulates specific points located on or near the surface of the skin to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions that cause aches and pains or illness.

The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary. Typical treatments last from five to 30 minutes, with the patient being treated one or two times a week. Some headaches, migraines and related symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.

Headaches Dramatically Reduced by Acupuncture

Since the early seventies, studies around the globe have suggested that acupuncture is an effective treatment for migraines and headaches.  Researchers at Duke University Medical Center analyzed the results of more than 30 studies on acupuncture as a pain reliever for a variety of ailments, including chronic headaches. They found that acupuncture decreases pain with fewer side effects and can be less expensive than medication.  Researchers found that using acupuncture as an alternative for pain relief also reduced the need for post-operative pain medications.

In a study published in the November 1999 issue of Cephalalgia, scientists evaluated the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of migraines and recurrent headaches by systematically reviewing 22 randomized controlled trials. A total of 1,042 patients were examined. It was found that headache and migraine sufferers experienced significantly more relief from acupuncture than patients who were administered “sham” acupuncture.

A clinical observation, published in a 2002 edition of the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, studied 50 patients presenting with various types of headaches who were treated with scalp acupuncture. The results of this study showed that 98 percent of patients treated with scalp acupuncture experienced no headaches or only occasional, mild headaches in the six months following care.

In a case study, published in the June 2003 Issue of Medical Acupuncture, doctors found that acupuncture resulted in the resolution or reduction in the frequency and severity of cluster headaches, and a decrease or discontinuation of pain medications. It was concluded that acupuncture can be used to provide sustained relief from cluster headaches and to stimulate the body’s natural production of adrenal cortisol to aid in discontinuing corticosteroids.

According to the July 2005 issue of the British Medical Journal, a randomized controlled trial in Germany found that acupuncture cut tension headache rates almost in half.  Researchers divided 270 patients who reported similarly severe tension headaches into three groups for the study. Over the project’s eight-week period, one group received traditional acupuncture, one received only minimal acupuncture, and the third group received neither treatment. Those receiving the traditional acupuncture reported headache rates of nearly half that of those who received no treatments, suffering 7 fewer days of headaches. The minimal acupuncture group suffered 6.6 fewer days, and the non-acupuncture group suffered 1.5 fewer days.  The improvements continued for months after the treatments were concluded, rising slightly as time went on.

Do you or someone you know suffer from headaches or migraines?

Reach out to us to find out how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you!

 

Original article from staff of AcuFinder, here.

01
Jul

From NPR, by Blake Farmer (read original here or click here for the audio)

In a fluorescent-lit exam room, Col. Rochelle Wasserman sticks ballpoint-size pins in the ears of Sgt. Rick Remalia.

Remalia broke his back, hip and pelvis during a rollover caused by a pair of rocket-propelled grenades in Afghanistan. He still walks with a cane and suffers from mild traumatic brain injury. Pain is an everyday occurrence, which is where the needles come in.

“I’ve had a lot of treatment, and this is the first treatment that I’ve had where I’ve been like, OK, wow, I’ve actually seen a really big difference,” he says.

‘Let’s Give It A Shot’

Army doctors have been told by the top brass to rethink their “pill for every ill” approach to treating pain. For the 47,000 troops who’ve been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, some of the new options include less tried and true methods, like massage and chiropractic treatments. The military hopes to win over skeptics, many of them in uniform.

Wasserman is the top doctor for the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Campbell, Ky. To her own surprise, she’s also now the unit’s physician trained to do acupuncture.

“I actually had a demonstration of acupuncture on me, and I’m not a spring chicken,” she says, “and it didn’t make me 16 again, but it certainly did make me feel better than I had, so I figured, hey … let’s give it a shot with our soldiers here.”

In recent years, military doctors have turned to acupuncture in special pain clinics and for troops in battle zones. Last year, the Army surgeon general began making the alternative treatments more widely available.

Steering Away From Painkillers

Remalia says his headaches have disappeared, and he’s relying less on his cabinet full of pain medication. To Col. Kevin Galloway, that’s mission accomplished. He’s in charge of carrying out recommendations from the Army’s Pain Management Task Force, which focused heavily on unconventional therapies.

“You can throw fairly cheap pharmaceuticals at the problem now and push the problem to someone else later if you’re not really working on what the genesis of the pain is,” he says.

Galloway says if soldiers get hooked on high-powered painkillers, the Department of Veterans Affairs may be dealing with the side effects for decades to come. Already, at least 40 percent of veterans entering the VA system are coping with pain.

‘Quack-Ademic’ Medicine

New academic studies from places like Duke University back up acupuncture as an alternative to medication.

But Harriet Hall, a former Air Force flight surgeon, shares the skepticism found in many corners of the medical community.

“We call that ‘quack-ademic’ medicine when it gets into medical schools,” she says.

The way she reads the science, acupuncture does no more than a sugar pill. To offer a placebo, she says, is unethical.

“The military has led the way on trauma care and things like that, but the idea that putting needles in somebody’s ear is going to substitute for things like morphine is just ridiculous,” Hall says.

A Chance At Normalcy

As some top medical officers put it, though, there’s nothing like pain to make someone open-minded. Staff Sgt. Jermaine Louis says he’s tried it all.

“Physical therapy, occupational therapy, PTSD group, anger group, stress group … everything,” he says.

Louis is trying to overcome a traumatic brain injury that followed him home from Iraq five years ago. He’s still dependent on medication, and the soon-to-retire infantryman says he’s scared.

“[Scared] that I have to be on it for the rest of my life and [that] I will get accustomed just to taking them, and I don’t want to be that way,” Louis says. “I want to be normal like everybody else.”

But if being normal depends on regular acupuncture treatments, the Defense Department has more convincing to do. TRICARE — the military’s own health plan for service members and retirees — still doesn’t cover acupuncture.

24
Jun

Not long ago, Karl Pillemer had a revelation.

A gerontologist with close to 30 years of experience, Pillemer, who is director of the Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging, realized that his research was “entirely focused on older people as problems.”

“It’s something a little bit embarrassing for me,” Pillemer told a crowd at the Harvard Graduate School of Education on Wednesday, as he described his work in areas involving chronic pain, elder abuse, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and problems of family care giving. “I got to a point in this revelation that it seemed like I was writing the ‘Book of Job’ for old people.”

(For more, click here to read the whole article from the Harvard Gazette)

11
Jun

This article by Nancy Shaw is quite valuable and worthy of a repost…

There is something that every cancer patient should hear from their oncologist when they are first diagnosed.   They should be told that by making certain dietary changes, they could increase their chances of healing from cancer dramatically, no matter what course of treatment they pursue.

Cancer patients should be informed that nutrition is their first and best defense when starting down the path of healing from cancer.  Information should be provided about how to switch to an alkaline diet, composed of primarily vegetables, with a small amount of fruit, grains and protein.  This diet is similar to the ketogenic[ii] diet, which is much discussed in the oncology press, but with further reduction in total protein consumption as well as grains, processed fats and sugar, to help control inflammation in the body.

Instead, the dietary information provided to cancer patients is an afterthought, and amazingly, usually includes foods and meal preparation techniques that are known promoters of cancer progression.[iii]  Clearly, there is a disconnect between very well documented information on diet and cancer progression and those who communicate most often with cancer patients – the oncology teams.

The modern way of life, particularly in fast-paced Western countries, does not lend itself to an anti-cancer, alkaline diet.  Convenience food products, microwave meals, packaged snacks and fast food dominate many people’s daily menu.  It should come as no surprise that these foods are not optimal if you are battling cancer.

But what should a newly diagnosed cancer patient do, right away, to help themselves prepare for the treatments to come and increase their chances for healing?

Here are the six most important dietary changes every cancer patient should make.  While they seem daunting at first, really what the cancer patient needs to do is to go back to eating in the way that people have done since the beginning of time:  fresh food, in season, simply prepared.

  1. Eat an alkaline diet to reduce inflammation and improve intracellular pH

Most people in the Western world today eat a diet that promotes inflammation and increases intracellular pH, a condition called latent acidosis – understood to provide a perfect environment for cancer to proliferate.  A properly constructed alkaline diet will improve your intracellular pH over time, and is the best defense against continuous inflammation in the body.  It is composed primarily of organic leafy green vegetables, herbs and spices, root vegetables, onions, garlic, leek and chives, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbages, beans, lentils and peas and nuts and seeds, combined with a small amount (a cup or two per day) of non-gluten grains such as rice.  A serving of between two and four ounces of clean fish, organic poultry or grass-fed meat, several times per week, can be part of a healthy, alkaline oriented diet.  Two to three pieces of whole fresh fruit a day help balance your vitamin and mineral consumption.  The more of your vegetables and fruits you enjoy raw, the better.[iv]

  1. Eliminate sugar.[v]

Cancer cells use more glucose (sugar) per unit of time than other cells.  Sugar metabolism creates acid, which also supports cancer progression.  Further, a diet high in sugars, including fruits, triggers the insulin response.  If you frequently eat sugar or fruit throughout the day, you suppress your immune function while increasing the insulin levels in your body, creating insulin resistance.  Insulin resistance has been directly tied to cancer proliferation.   Processed sugar depletes magnesium in the body, another contributor to cancer proliferation.  High fructose corn syrup, because of its processing methodology, is high in mercury, a cancer-promoting toxin in the body.  The recommendation to eliminate sugar includes sugar in all its forms, even “natural” sugars like honey and agave, as well as white sugar and high fructose corn syrup.  Enjoy unsweetened applesauce, two or three figs or dried apricots, or a piece of fresh pineapple if you need a sweet treat.  Moderation with fruit is important, as fructose has been shown to increase the rate of cancer cell division as much as two-fold – more than other forms of sugar.[vi]

  1. Eliminate gluten.[vii]

Glutinous grains cause inflammation.  Inflammation promotes cancer progression.   This means avoiding high-gluten grains such as wheat, spelt or rye, including the whole grains.  Pastas, cereals, bread, muffins, cakes, crackers, cookies and other baked goods are excluded from an alkaline, cancer-suppression diet.  Cancer patients should enjoy whole, non-gluten grains such as rice, buckwheat, quinoa, millet and amaranth.  However, using “gluten free” prepared products is a mistake, as most of them have added sugar or processed oils and will therefore fall outside of the alkaline diet parameters for cancer.

  1. Eliminate dairy products. 

Cow dairy has been identified in a very large study compiled by Prof. (Emeritus) T. Colin Campbell, PhD, Cornell University as one of the most cancer promoting foods.[viii]  Strangely enough, it is the protein that is the culprit – casein protein.  High protein yogurts made with added powdered milk or whey are even more cancer promoting than plain milk, yogurt or cheese.  However, all dairy products should be eliminated from the diet when you are fighting cancer.  Dairy products create inflammation, cause bone deterioration (yes it is true, because of the high acid production during digestion of dairy) and promote cancer progression in a similar fashion to sugar.

  1. Use only olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil in your diet

Use only natural, cold-pressed olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil – organic where possible.  These oils are naturally anti-inflammatory, thus provide a soothing and healing benefit to inflamed and potentially cancerous cells in the body.  Coconut oil in particular has also been shown to have a mild antibacterial/antifungal effect, helpful for cancer patients with a lowered immune function, as well as direct anti-cancer properties.  Oils that should be eliminated from a cancer-suppression diet include corn, soy, canola, safflower or sunflower oils.    Not only are the commercial versions of these oils produced from genetically modified plants – believed to increase cancer risk – most of them are highly processed.  Processed oils, including hydrogenated (hard) oils and margarines, have been prepared at high heat to improve shelf life.  This changes the oil molecules so that instead of acting as a natural conductor for all the electrical messaging in your body, these molecules create “dead spots” in your cells because they cannot conduct electricity.  This interferes with healthy cell function and can promote cancer progression.  Essentially cancer cells are cells that no longer respond to intracellular messaging and proliferate without purpose, impacting other cells.

  1. Change what you drink 

Eliminate alcohol consumption.  Eliminate the consumption of bottled, canned or frozen fruit juice as they have high concentrations of sugar and many are highly acid forming.  Fresh vegetable and fruit juice that you make at home or from a juice bar is encouraged, however emphasis is on vegetable juice.   Reduce coffee consumption to one cup per day or less, and increase consumption of clean water, lightly brewed green tea (not black tea), sage tea, ginger tea and peppermint tea as both hot and cold drinks.  Drink the juice of a whole, organic lemon in hot or cold water several times per day.  Drink fresh carrot or carrot-beet juice daily, as these are healthy, alkaline juices for a cancer diet.

While this may sound daunting if you have enjoyed the convenience of restaurant or fast food meals or purchasing a prepared meal, this switch is easier than you think.  If you cook at home, it means eliminating a few foods and focusing on a few others to modify your usual recipes.

Salad is always a good choice whether at home or eating out.  Whether you are making your own salad or ordering a salad in a restaurant, include grated carrots, beets, cucumbers, endives, escarole, cherry tomatoes, fennel, cabbage and spinach in any combination, in addition to or instead of romaine lettuce or mesclun greens, then dress with extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon on the side at table, rather than tossing the salad with prepared dressing.  Add some garbanzo or white beans and you’ll be completely satisfied.

Japanese sushi traditionally features a large selection of fresh vegetable rolls.  If you are dining out, ask for gluten-free (tamari) soy sauce, order a few rolls and some Japanese green tea, and you can enjoy a quick, satisfying lunch or dinner.  A bonus comes in the seaweed wrappers – full of minerals from the sea.  Just avoid standard soy sauce as it has wheat in it (gluten), the Teriyaki sauce (gluten) as well as anything that is brightly colored or contains mayonnaise, as these are not on the list of healthy options.  For immune deficient cancer patients, best to stay away from raw fish sushi.

Indian food features many vegetarian choices, with plenty of spice and vegetables.  Unfortunately many Indian restaurants use a lot of rape-seed/canola oil in cooking, which is not recommended.  Enquire about how the food is prepared and if there are some ingredients that are not optimal, just eat carefully.  A good choice is channa masala (chickpea curry) with poppadum (lentil cracker-bread) and vegetable biryani rice.  Nann, chapatti, paratha, puri and roti breads are typically made from wheat flour and should be avoided.

Italian cuisine is a bit more difficult since the basis of Italian cuisine is pasta made from wheat with added cheese.  However, cooking at home you have endless options, and more Italian restaurants are offering a gluten free pasta choice.  Many Italian menus feature dishes based on marinara (vegetarian) tomato sauce.  Select preparations with no cheese and only eat a small appetizer portion of fish or meat, if any at all.  Steamed or lightly sautéed vegetable dishes such as broccoli rabe or spinach with garlic are superior alkaline choices, as are salads made with chopped and grated raw vegetables.  Since olive oil, garlic, tomato, vegetables, herbs and lemon are critical to Italian cooking, it is quite possible make excellent alkaline selections if you order thoughtfully or cook Italian food at home.

And of course, you have to just let the breadbasket and the desert list pass you by.

For more information on nutritional healing for cancer patients, visit www.thecanceralternative.org or contact the author, Nancy Elizabeth Shaw at enquiries@thecanceralternative.com

Additional cancer nutrition research can be found in GreenMedInfo.com founder’s book: Cancer Killers: The Cause Is The Cure


Resources

  •  J Environ Public Health. 2012; 2012: 727630.
  • [ii] Implementing A Ketogenic Diet Based on Medium-chain Triglyceride Oil in Pediatric Patients with Cancer LINDA C NEBELING, PhD, MPH, RD, EDITH LERNER, PhD; J Am Diet Assoc. 1995; 95:693-697; Targeting energy metabolism in brain cancer through calorie restriction and the ketogenic diet 

B Thomas N Seyfried, Michael Kiebish, Jeremy Marsh, Purna Mukherjee
 Department of Biology, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA; Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics, 2009/5/9/pp 7-15.
  • [iii] National Cancer Institute, “Eating Hints Before, During and After Cancer Treatment,” NIH Publication No. 09-2079, 9-09
  • [iv] Antitumor effect of medium-chain triglyceride and its influence on the self-defense system of the body. Cancer Detect Prev. 1998;22(3):219-24.
  • [v] Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2011 Sep;15(9):1049-59. doi: 10.1517/14728222.2011.588208. Epub 2011 May 31; Klement and Kämmerer Nutrition & Metabolism 2011, 8:75 http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/8/1/75
  • [vi] Fructose Induces Transketolase Flux to Promote Pancreatic Cancer Growth; Haibo Liu, Danshan Huang, David L. McArthur, et al.; Cancer Res; 70(15) August 1, 2010
  • [vii] The Dark Side of Wheat, Sayer Ji, GreenMed Info, 20143
  • [viii] The China Study, T. Colin Campbell, PhD et al; BenBella Books, Dallas, TX, 2006
Nancy Elizabeth Shaw is a full-time professional researcher, analyst and strategist and the founder of The Cancer Alternative Wellness Center, a patient advocate service which counsels with clients by phone, through e-mail and in person.
02
Nov

There are many reasons a mesothelioma patient may decide to pursue alternative treatment. Some patients wish to avoid traditional treatment and use alternative therapies as their sole form of symptom management; while other patients may use them as a supplement to a traditional treatment regimen. Regardless of their motivation, patients have a number of alternative medicine options. These can range from complete medical systems, such as Ayurvedic medicine, to stand-alone treatments such as therapeutic massage. Many patients pursue multiple methods throughout the course of treatment.

Patients should work with a holistic medicine practitioner to choose the alternative therapies that most closely align with their health goals. Many hospitals actually offer a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) department. Mesothelioma patients can take advantage of this option and add a CAM practitioner to their treatment team.

Most forms of alternative mesothelioma therapy are performed or guided by a trained health professional. These include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Ayurveda (a system of Hindu medicine)
  • Homeopathy (plant and mineral-based solutions)
  • Hypnosis
  • Naturopathy (a combination of natural and traditional medications with an emphasis on holistic treatments)
  • Therapeutic massage

 

Patients who explore these options should make sure their practitioner holds an up-to-date license with the accreditation boards associated with their field. Patients can also become involved in their treatment by exploring options with the guidance of a holistic professional. These include:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Juicing
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Supplementation (vitamins, minerals or natural cancer-fighting herbs)
  • Visualization and imagery techniques
  • Gentle yoga

 

While patients can engage in these therapies on their own schedule and from the comfort of their own home, it’s always a good idea to learn the basics from a professional before adding them to a treatment plan.

What Alternative Medicine Can Offer Mesothelioma Patients

Alternative therapies are gentle on the body and pose a very low risk of side effects. This makes them extremely appealing to patients who are already dealing with debilitating mesothelioma symptoms. Without putting the patient at risk for further complications, these therapies can help bring the patient’s symptoms down to a manageable level. Mesothelioma patients can use alternative medicine to address a number of different conditions, but alternative therapies are especially effective at reducing pain and anxiety.

Therapeutic massage is one of the most effective alternative pain-relief techniques. Patients should ideally find a massage therapist who is specially trained in working with cancer patients.  Done correctly, therapeutic massage can reduce the chest and abdominal pain felt by mesothelioma patients. One cancer study found that nearly 60 percent of subjects experienced a reduced level of pain perception after massage therapy.

Acupuncture is also effective at relieving cancer-related pain. Patients can explain which areas are producing the most discomfort – as well as which other symptoms they are experiencing – and the acupuncturists can choose the most appropriate pressure points to stimulate.

Mind-based therapies are also exceptionally helpful in mesothelioma treatment. These therapies allow patients to work through stressors such as anxiety about their future or concerns about their financial arrangements. Yoga, meditation, hypnosis and relaxation therapy are all effective methods of calming the mind without pills.

Despite these benefits, alternative therapies are not considered a cure for cancer. Instead, these therapies are considered palliative – the primary goal is symptom relief. Some patients feel as though their alternative medicine regimen has helped slow the growth of their tumors, but patients should avoid any alternative therapy that claims to be a mesothelioma cure.

—–
Author bio: Faith Franz researches and writes about health-related issues for The Mesothelioma Center. One of her focuses is living with cancer.

Sources:
Ferrell-Torry, A. T., & Glick, O. J. (1993). The use of therapeutic massage as a nursing intervention to modify anxiety and the perception of cancer pain. Cancer Nursing, 16 (2). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8477405

02
Oct

Cardiologist William Davis seems to think so, and has published a book supporting his findings. He says that a protein added to modern wheat, gliadin, acts like an opiate in the body, which can also make wheat and wheat products both addictive and poisonous.

For more, check out this video on CBS News, and/or Dr. Davis’  book here.

18
Sep

A new study of acupuncture — the most rigorous and detailed analysis of the treatment to date — found that it can ease migraines and arthritis and other forms of chronic pain. Though acupuncture has been studied for decades, the body of medical research on it has been mixed and mired to some extent by small and poor-quality studies. Financed by the National Institutes of Health and carried out over about half a decade, the new research was a detailed analysis of earlier research that involved data on nearly 18,000 patients. The researchers, who published their results in Archives of Internal Medicine, found that acupuncture outperformed sham treatments and standard care when used by people suffering from osteoarthritis, migraines and chronic back, neck and shoulder pain.  Read more about the study in the New York Times or the study itself in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

17
Jul

For those diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure), weight, amount of salt in one’s diet, exercise, and other physiological and genetic factors have usually been the foci for treatment strategies. Yet there is increasing evidence that the level of control one has in their work flow may be a key factor in hypertension. A study in the journal Occupational Health and Safety is intriguing in this regard, and may be found by clicking here


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