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Although Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been practiced for over 5,000 years in most Asian countries, it’s only recently started entering the western consciousness as a viable treatment method for various physical and mental ailments. When many people think of TCM, they picture large needles or strange concoctions with exotic ingredients. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, TCM is about making significant dietary and lifestyle changes that greatly benefit your overall health.

With so many unfounded misconceptions floating around about how TCM works, it’s important for people to know the truth, so that it can be seen as the viable treatment option that it is. Here are some of the biggest myths about Chinese medicine for cancer.

Chinese Medicine Is Only for Physical Pain Relief

While Chinese medicine practices are great for relieving physical pain and muscle stiffness, many treatments can also effectively address internal diseases and psychological disorders such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, digestive complaints, hormonal imbalances, cancer-related fatigue and the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. For people undergoing chemotherapy in particular, Chinese medicine is excellent for reducing nausea and vomiting, peripheral neuropathy (numbness/tingling), fatigue, dry mouth, poor appetite, diarrhea/constipation, other unpleasant side effects, and other mood-altering disorders.

Only Ancient Chinese Gurus Can Practice Chinese Medicine

Considering that the number of international Chinese practitioners is constantly growing, with proper training and accreditation, anyone can become a skilled practitioner of Chinese medicine. In Ontario, education of at least 3-4 years of full-time study is required to become a licensed Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner. Chinese medicine is beneficial for people of all cultural backgrounds and age groups and it can be used to treat a variety of physical and psychological ailments.

Chinese Medicine Is Exotic and Outdated

Just like western medical treatments, Chinese medicine has evolved tremendously over the years to suit the times and is far from being outdated. In fact, many modern TCM practitioners have a contemporary body of knowledge and there is ongoing scientific research into the benefits of Chinese herbs for cancer patients and other illnesses. Also, contrary to popular belief, holistic healing remedies don’t only use unpronounceable or unheard-of exotic ingredients. While some ingredients might be exotic to the western mind, many others used in Chinese healing remedies can be found in the typical Canadian pantry. These include cinnamon, ginseng, ginger, orange peels, etc.

Chinese Medicine Is Expensive

Many companies have actually started including Chinese medicine practices like acupuncture in their employee benefits packages to help offset the cost of these treatments. Talk to your benefits provider to see if you have coverage for acupuncture.

Are you looking for a Chinese medicine treatment for cancer in Toronto? Feel free to book a consultation at Hillgreen Oncology Acupuncture & Herbs. Pauline Sok Yin Hwang, an Ontario-licensed Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner (R.TCMP) and Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac.), founded Hillgreen Oncology Acupuncture & Herbs. Her objective is to provide support for people undergoing cancer treatment, recovery, and prevention by using a combination of acupuncture, herbs, nutrition, cupping, acupressure, lifestyle counselling, and mindfulness meditation.


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