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What is Acupuncture

What is acupuncture

Acupuncture Takes Her Pain Away

Watch Pinning Away the Pain With Acupuncture on PBS. See more from KCTS 9 Documentaries.

Acupuncture A Connective Tale

Watch Acupuncture: A Connective Tale on PBS. See more from Emerging Science.

Antibiotic Severe Side Effects

Watch Certain Antibiotics Spur Widening Reports of Severe Side Effects on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

Cancer – Chemo without the side effects

The conventional treatment for cancer is the familiar trio of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. The subsequent devastation to the immune system and the organs – especially the liver and heart – is significant. The reduced quality of life, including losing one’s hair, is also tough to take. In conventional treatment, chemotherapy drugs must be administered in doses high enough to kill a large number of cancer cells without killing the body’s immune system and intestinal tract. It’s a balancing act. Patients are given as much chemotherapy as their body can tolerate. It is like killing flies with a cannonball instead of fly swatter. You get rid of some flies, yes, but you have a lot of collateral damage. Good cells die along with the bad. Over time (and sometimes a fairly short period of time, days rather than weeks), this massive bombardment can lead to poor blood counts, organ failure, and death. Because an already poorly functioning immune system is subjected to radiation and toxic drugs, it is difficult to deliver a “cure.”[1]

A time-tested, modified form of chemotherapy has been used successfully and safely around the world for more than 70 years. It is called IPT, or Insulin Potentiation Therapy. Some people call it IPTLD, or Insulin Potentiation Targeted Low Dose therapy.

IPT uses about one-tenth the dosage of a conventional chemotherapy regime. IPT provides a safer, much gentler alternative to conventional chemotherapy, without the harsh side effects. When combined with complementary therapies to nurture the body, it is also more effective. It is a smart way to approach cancer based on what makes cancer cells vulnerable.

The name IPT (Insulin Potentiation Therapy) was changed in 2009 to IPTLD™ (Insulin Potentiation Targeted Low Dose).

IPT’s Positive Impact on Cachexia

The culprit behind perhaps half the cancer deaths is a wasting syndrome called cachexia (pronounced “ka-kek-see-ah”). Patients lose weight and literally starve to death.

Because cancer cells need even more energy than regular cells, the cancer cells gobble up the incoming nutrition first. Your healthy cells get what is left over which can mean the rest of your cells starve when conventional treatment leaves you too nauseated to eat. The tumor stays strong, but the patient wastes away.

The hypoglycemic pulse that occurs with the administration of insulin actually helps the body assimilate the nutrition in food – vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Because IPT is a gentler approach, patients do not get the severe bouts of nausea so common with conventional chemotherapy due to destruction of the rapidly dividing and always renewed cells lining the intestinal tract.

Testing for Cancer Drug Sensitivity

The Cellular Genetics Test

Which chemo drugs shall we use? Which complementary therapies are right for you?

Unlike conventional chemotherapy treatment, IPT is not a one-size-fits-all approach. You are unique, and your response to various drugs and complementary therapies is not necessarily the same as the next person’s.

Think back to a time when you had a bladder infection. The lab tested your urine sample against different antibiotics to find out which ones were most effective at killing the bacteria. We use the same concept when choosing therapies for IPT.

We take a sample of your blood and test it against the chemo drugs and the various complementary therapies to find out what will be most effective for you. We also look at the genetic makeup of your very own cancer. When we custom tailor your therapy, you have a better result. This test is called the BioFocus Analysis.

The best lab in the world for this test, the one that delivers the most consistent results, is in Germany. The test is not inexpensive, and insurance usually does not pay for this test. But we strongly feel it is the best money you will ever spend.

The BioFocus Anaylsis shows us the genetic fingerprint of potential metastatic cancer cells, what are called circulating tumor cells. These cells are in the bloodstream; they are the metastatic “seeds” that can break away from the primary site of cancer and spread to other parts of the body. Understanding circulating tumor cells (CTC) is critically important, since it is the spread of cancer to other parts of the body – and not the primary cancer – that is often responsible for the death of a person with cancer.

Also, metastatic cancer cells can vary genetically from the primary tumor. At least two studies with breast cancer patients have demonstrated that CTC can be HER2 positive while the primary breast tumor can be HER2 negative.[5,6]

The BioFocus Anaylsis can predict which men with prostate cancer are more or less likely to benefit from surgery by looking at the makeup of their circulating tumor cells.[7]

A landmark study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 compared women with lymph node-positive breast cancer who received the standard trio of chemotherapy drugs – Adriamycin®, Cytoxan®, and Taxol® (called ACT) to women who did not receive any chemotherapy. Their HER2 status was also determined – the genetic characteristic of the cancer. Researchers discovered that women who were HER2 negative and estrogen receptor positive did not benefit at all from taking Taxol®.[8] Because approximately two thirds of women with breast cancer fall into this category, the ramifications of this study are immense. So much for the ineffectiveness of the one-size-fits-all approach to cancer.

A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2008 measured the effectiveness of an anthracycline-based chemotherapy regimen in 5,354 women with early-stage breast cancer. Anthracyclines are a class of chemotherapy drugs of which Adriamycin® is a key member. Scientists determined that women with early-stage breast cancer who were HER2 negative derived absolutely no benefit from taking Adriamycin® or other anthracycline drugs.[9] Given that approximately 80% of breast cancers are HER2 negative, then only 1 out of 5 women with breast cancer can benefit from these drugs that have considerable toxicity associated with their use. In another study, 7% of patients treated with Adriamycin® developed congestive heart failure.[10]

An Acupuncturist Herbalist Cancer Fight, An Insight on Treatment

Suzanne was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer February 25, 2010.
Toby: Let’s start at the beginning.
How did you first know that something wasn’t right?
Suzanne: I knew something wasn’t right when I had a cough that wouldn’t go away no matter what herbs I took. Normally, herbs work on me within one to two days. This time, when I took herbs they didn’t help at all. I had a cough that started in early December which I thought was just the remnants of a cold. Weeks later, and a few formulas later, the cough remained.
This went on until January, when I saw my Western doctor who gave me antibiotics, which did nothing. He then gave me Advair (fluticasone and salmeterol) for two weeks, during which I became much worse. Advair is a steroidal inhaler, so the steroids must have depressed my immune system for that two-week period—not good. I coughed so much and for so long that I broke one rib, and then about a week later, I broke another.
I finally got an x-ray and then a CT scan, both of which looked horrible. They thought I might have had a massive fungal infection or some type of co-infection. A bronchoscopy confirmed Stage IV lung cancer.
Apparently my right lung had collapsed from the cancer (which made it difficult to walk and breathe and 1 could no longer go up steps comfortably without coughing).
They found cancer in the adjacent lymph nodes and left lung.
Toby: That’s intense.
Can we back up just a little bit?
When you were still in the just chronic cough stage, did you have any Chinese medical signs that this was serious?
I know that you’ve trained in the Shen-Hammer pulse reading system; did you have any pulse qualities indicating what might be coming?
Did you have any strong premonitions or did it appear just to be a stubborn cough?
Suzanne: Actually, my pulses did show what appeared to be a massive infection and even co-infections; likely fungal, which is usually very hard to treat. They did show it was serious, but they also were consistent with a bad fungal infection, as were the initial results of my CT scan and x-ray.
Both Eastern and Western possible diagnoses were fungal in nature. It was a tumultuous year filled with change, and so I figured that I was just run down. I had no idea how serious it was until slowly and steadily my ability to walk declined, and I became shorter and shorter of breath.
Toby: Let’s go back to the collapsed right lung and cancer in the adjacent nodes and left lung.
What did you do next? How were you emotionally?
Suzanne: After the CT scan showed occlusion of the right lung, my bronchoscopy was the next day. The following day, Friday February 25 at 12:04pm the pulmonologist called and told me I had Stage IV lung cancer. He also told me that he and my primary care doc agreed that I should see a particular oncologist they both respected. He was also kind enough to set up the appointment for me for 2 p.m. that same day.
I went with my partner to the oncologist at 2 p.m. He told us that I had 7-8 months to live if I didn’t do chemo, and up to two years if I did.
In other words, my cancer was terminal. He wanted me to come in that Monday for my first chemo. I needed time to think about it, as I did not want to do chemo, especially if it meant such a short survival time in the end.
• 1 essentially decided that it was likely I was going to die (and given the success rates of conventional treatment for lung cancer, the statistics pointed in that direction).
I left theoncologist’s office and called my friend Ed, a Buddhist chaplain, and told him that I was going to die and that I would be needing him. I then called my parents, who were already scheduled to fly out the next day, and told them that I was preparing for my death, and that they too should begin the process.
I wasn’t afraid, and I believe I was able to feel quite peaceful in the face of death because of my long-term qigong and meditation practice. However, I was terribly sad at the prospect of leaving my partner, whom I had been with for only about a year.
I decided not to do the chemo, and called two experts in cutting-edge cancer treatment; one local, one not. I had phone consults with both and each agreed that I should get my cancer tested for drug sensitivity by finding a surgeon who was willing to remove a lymph node and break hospital protocol by giving it back to me to mail to a doctor in Long Beach, California.
My pulmonologist told me that I could take up to a week before I started some type of treatment, and not to delay because he was afraid I could get sick and then be unable to get any type of treatment due to the fragility of my lungs. So, I had less than a week to find a surgeon, but I did find one, and we Fed Ex’ed my lymph node to get tested to see which drugs my particular live cancer responded to.
Toby: Not being afraid and feeling peaceful in that situation is a powerful testament to your long-term qigong and meditation practices.
Can you briefly describe your practices?
How did you find the two experts in cutting-edge cancer treatments?
Suzanne: My teacher once told me that the purpose of all meditation is to “learn how to die.” What he meant was that we get to a place where we are calm and centered in the face of any adversity or challenge, especially and including our own death. My qigong practice includes standing movement exercises (daoyin) and standing and seated meditations (neidan).
My focus is on both the breath and the visualizations appropriate to each exercise or meditation. The practice can run from 20 to 50 minutes, depending on the morning (and it is almost always morning). I noticed that after my diagnosis, I found myself doing qigong between 3-5pm every day without planning to do so, which made sense.
After the diagnosis I tailored my practice towards healing my lungs, and began to practice two times a day.
I knew of the experts because I’ve been treating cancer patients for almost ten years. Years earlier I completed a week-long integrative cancer training program with the Center for Mind Body Medicine, and I learned a great deal from that training.
Toby: What did the Fed Ex’ed lymph node tell the oncologist?
Suzanne: It told the oncologist that my live cancer responded best to a combination of Tarceva and Avastin, two non-chemo drugs. Turns out that my cancer was resistant to (in other words, did not respond to) the chemo that the first oncologist wanted to give me. This means that my decision to drop the first oncologist and not do his protocol
very likely saved my life.
I found a doctor here in San Francisco who was willing to give me these two drugs, even though Tarceva isn’t approved in this country as a first-line treatment medicine. A couple of days before I got the results, I was informed that I was EGFR positive, which means that I have a genetic mutation that makes Tarceva work 100 times better, so I was hoping to do the Tarceva even before the lymph node results, and the results confirmed my decision.
Meanwhile, I got a pulse reading from Brian LaForgia and herbs based on that reading from KW Botanicals, and they were starting to help me get my energy back.
Toby: That is amazingly fortunate.
What did your pulse reading show at this stage?
What herbs were in your formula?
Suzanne: My pulse showed massive heat in my lungs, especially the right lung (which had collapsed). The formula contained and still contains true Tibetan cordyceps, various other mushrooms, and luo bu ma as the chief ingredients.
Toby: How did you deal with the collapsing lung?
How did you respond to your herbal formula and the Tarceva and Avastin combination?
Suzanne: I didn’t know my lung had collapsed, although I was acutely aware of the fact that I could walk less and less comfortably without coughing or losing my breath. My ability to go up and down steps was also impeded. Still, looking back, because I couldn’t have imagined that it was more than a serious infection, I wasn’t even worried about it, as I figured I’d start to feel better “any day now.”
The herbs had already started to give me some energy back before I went on the pharmaceuticals. My oncologist told me that if I responded as well as my cells did to the meds, I should feel 50% better in two weeks, which would have been phenomenal.
I actually felt 50% better in days, and about 85% better in two weeks. It was amazing.
Avastin ‘s side-effects are high blood pressure and nosebleeds, both of which I have avoided due to my herbal formula. Tarceva’s side-effects are a rash and diarrhea. I had strong Spleen qi before this, so I’ve been able to maintain my digestive strength. However, I got the most intense rash imaginable on my face, back and chest. I essentially turned purple with thousands of whiteheads all over Not pretty.
The good news is that a study from a few years back showed that the worse the Tarceva rash, the better the prognosis. I kept focusing on that and staying away from mirrors during that time. The rash stayed bad for months, but now I am left with what looks like a sunburn.
Toby: Aside from the rash, how are you doing now?
Suzanne: Well, my energy has been amazing, likely due to the mushrooms in my formula and my very low carb diet, along with daily exercise and qigong two times a day.
My herbs have also effectively prevented the other side effects from the meds, such as high blood pressure, nosebleeds and diarrhea. That means my vitals are good and my digestion remains strong.
However, I believe the most important thing is my outlook or attitude, which can help or hinder healing, and I have been in a state of gratitude, humility and appreciation for a long while now.
Toby: I know you had a scan 2 months ago.
What were the doctors expecting?
What were the results?
Suzanne: My doctor knew that my chemosensitivity results showed that my cancer would respond exceptionally well to the medicines, so he said that if all went that well, then the absolute best I could hope for was between 40-50% of the cancer gone.
However, that didn’t take into account the Chinese medicine (qigong, herbs, acupuncture, diet, lifestyle) that I was also doing.
The scan results actually showed 70% of the cancer gone. My doctor told me that there is no Western cancer medicine that could have gotten such great results.
Toby: What are you doing at this stage to support your healing?
Suzanne: I spend all day every day with a focus on healing. I closed my clinic so that healing could become my full-time job. Every day consists of qigong twice a day, meditation, exercise, eating well, taking herbs and supplements, playing the shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute-great for the lungs), and being surrounded by loving, supportive people.
Essentially, I do something if it helps with healing, and I abstain from anything that I feel takes me further from healing.
In addition, I have received weekly acupuncture and medical qigong therapy treatments since my diagnosis, both of which have been amazing and invaluable.
Toby: Thanks for taking the time to tell your story.
Anything else you want to add?
Suzanne: Just that everyone’s cancer journey is unique. What works for one person won’t work for everyone. I’ve found that the key is to trust and follow your intuition and never compromise your integrity.
Western medicine has much to offer, just as Chinese medicine does. When used together properly, they are able to enhance each other. How lucky we are to have access to both!
On September 28, 2010, Suzanne wrote the following in an email to friends and supporters: “I just got the results of my PET scan, and they show that all of the stuff that appeared on the CT scan is actually dead tissue.
My doc said it was a PERFECT scan, and that I am in remission!
Dr. Friedman is the first non-Chinese to be inducted into her teacher’s Daoist family lineage as a qigong master. She is the Chair of the Medical Qigong Department at AIMC Berkeley, and the founder and director of the Yangsheng Center for Qigong at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco.
Suzanne was interviewed by Toby Daly, a fellow ACTCM alumni who is now pursuing a PhD in classical Chinese medicine at the American University of Complementary Medicine.
He maintains a private practice in Cloverdale, California.
California Journal Of Oriental Medicine, Volume 21, No.2
By Toby Daly LAc
August 2010.

How To Bounce Back Quickly Using Moxa


The last week has been a challenge for all of us. We all have to change our lives to accommodate a new reality. Some lost lives, homes entire neighborhoods, heat, water, businesses, and others suffered the of loss free movement around the tri state area. Whatever it was that you lost, we are suggesting that some very simple things you can do to add energy and emotional strength to your life. Moxibustion is a simple but recognized energy and calming treatment that one can do with a few basic instructions. Moxa is prepared from mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), which is a common perennial herb. The aromatic leaves are dried and repeatedly sifted until they are fluffy.
Moxibustion at Home
In all cases, moxibustion can be a very pleasant sensation, especially when the warmth spreads through areas that have pain and swelling due to cold. Indirect moxa is also easy to learn to do at home. Practitioners often show a patient the appropriate point for their condition, and the person can take a moxa stick home to perform daily treatments. Such treatment can be very empowering, since the patient then takes responsibility for his own healing. See
Moxa sticks are large cigar shaped sticks that are light on one end and held over a specific point. The heat is intense and is smoky, so a well ventilated area is best; bathroom with a vent or open a window. For these minor inconveniences the payoff is huge.
How to Moxa the Point “Leg Three Miles” (Zusanli, Stomach 36)
The point called Zusanli, or “Leg Three Miles,” was named after its legendary ability to boost the vital energy of the body, making it useful for preparing for long trips on foot. Although the point can be activated by pressure or needling, moxibustion is the preferred method when the goal is to build energy, or qi.
The point is located under the knee on both legs, approximately the width of four fingers below the bottom of the knee cap (patella), and one finger width away from the shinbone (tibia), in an outward lateral direction.
After lighting a moxa stick, hold the glowing end about an inch away from the point, maintaining as much heat as possible without discomfort. After 5 or 10 minutes on each leg, carefully extinguish the moxa in a bowl of salt or sand or with water. Never try to put it out by crushing it in an ash tray, since it will continue smoldering and be a fire hazard.
How to Moxa the Navel -Supreme Calming
Use the same method above, but circle around in small clockwise direction with the lighted moxa stick til a warm calming glow is achieved.
locate about a inch below the navel and again repeat directions above for the navel.

Acupuncture Fertility

In Chinese Medicine the menstrual cycle is segmented into five distinct phases. This is done
to help understand the natural process that is taking place within your reproductive system. The idea is to aid and assist what is naturally occurring and to help remove issues that reduce fertility.
Chinese medicine starts out by postulating that every women or man have a potential normal reproductive system. So any aberrations, like menstrual cramps, PMS, Delayed or missed cycles, excessive bleeding, and inability to conceive can be corrected by using a natural method. Of course this is if no structural damage is apparent. We often suggest that our patients see a specialist to confirm that no structural problems are present and hormonal related issues are cleared up.

I often tell my patients simple is good, so we begin by reviewing nature. I make an analogy of a birds nest and the uterus. In the spring the birds renew and reline the nest, making preparations for the eggs. The old nest is broken up and new materials are brought in to aid in protection and nurturing place for the eggs to develop. The spring would be each month in a women’s cycle. The lining is shed and new lining grown, this is new nest for the egg(s).

The eggs need to be nurtured in a stress free environment, acupuncture is probably the most effective method to do this. A great study done in Germany, called the Germany IVF study in which about 5 points were used and test in clinical trials that showed extremely effective results in women attempting to conceive.

Five Phases of Fertility

Detox Phase
Because Chinese Medicine is a nature based method, The concepts of Yin/Yang, Qi and blood are used to describe the natural menstrual cycle of women. Yin is cooling and nurturing, yang is heating and quickening, qi is expansive and blood is fructifying.
The 5 days of blood loss during menses is a detoxing event and sets the stage for regeneration process to begin again.

Blood Phase
The immediate effect is the body wants to replace the fructifying and life giving blood loss during the detox phase. So immediately the body replaces the loss of blood. The treatment focus here is to strengthen the body’s ability to regenerate blood and help set the stage for the lining of the uterus to be restored.

Yin Phase
After the restructuring process has begun with rebuilding of blood and tissue in the uterus, reproductive apparatus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, cervix, vagina and breasts all restart the process of cooling and nurturing for the potential new life. Again treatment focus is to help regenerate and restore by strengthening the kidneys which govern productive health.

Yang Phase
This phase is a quickening and heating process. Ovulation occurs during this phase. The body temperature quickly elevates and body overall energy ratchets up. We request that our patients keep a daily record of their basal body temperature. We often find that low basal body temperature correlate to poor ovulation activity. So to strengthen this process we focus our attention on Yang treatments to warm and heat the body. At times we find the opposite; extremely high temperature, so we use a method to equalize the body’s erratic fluctuations in temperature. As you could imagine to much heat in the cooling phase is also a sign of irregularity in fertility.

Qi Phase
This immediate precycle phase is where we find lots of telling signs that the body’s qi is blocked or stagnated. For the reproductive process to occur the free flow of qi is absolutely necessary. The channels of conception and reproduction now come on lines to allow all of the various prior phases to now culminate into grand finale. Well the orchestra is ready, the conductor has picked up the baton and is ready to wave the baton, but it is stuck. This is what happens when the natural resolution of the end of fertility is stagnated; bloatedness, abdominal cramps, mood swings, craving for foods, fatigue, headaches, low back & thigh pain, and a host of other symptoms. The focus of treatment is to unstuck the qi, by “coursing” stagnate qi.

Waist Size


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