Lung Cancer and Five Elements

| September 23, 2012 | 0 Comments | 48 views

What Is Lung Cancer and Five Elements? How Is Lung Cancer and Five Elements Treated? How Does Lung Cancer and Five Elements Develop? Who Gets Lung Cancer and Five Elements? What Causes Lung Cancer and Five Elements? What Things Can Make Lung Cancer and Five Elements Worse?

Lung Cancer and Five Elements

Original L.A. Times article by Marlene Cimons

This page both explains the connection between mind, body and spirit,as well as illustrates it with an article found in the L.A. Times. If youalready understand five element theory, you can skip forward to TheL.A. Times Article. Otherwise, just keep reading and by the time youget to the article, it will make more sense.

Chinese medicine is a holistic medicine. This means that there is anawareness that what affects the body, will also affect the mind and whataffects the mind will also affect the spirit. Going in the opposite direction,an emotional disorder can manifest in the body as a disease or other disharmony.

Chinese medicine goes much further than simply admitting to the connectionbetween mind and body, it goes so far as to actually map out the relationships.There are a wide variety of diagnostic perspectives available to the practitionerof Chinese (or Oriental) medicine. One is called "Five Element Theory."It is within this perspective that we find the most popular system of psycho/spiritualconnections to physical healthcare.

The best way to understand Five Element theory is to understand thatorgans in the human body are associated with one of the five elementalbuilding blocks of the universe, according to Chinese cosmological theory.

But these elements are not necessarily physical, they are conceptswhich have a manifestations on physical and other dimensions.

Thesefive elements are known as: Wood (the green phase)Fire (the red phase)Earth (the yellow phase)Metal (the white phase)Water (the black phase) But as concepts, they have significance to both our internal organsand our mental, emotional and spiritual landscape. &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Allthe elements manifest on all levels. For instance, the wood phase of energyshows up in the following manifestations:

Yin organ: Liver Yang organ: Gall Bladder Season: Spring Emotion: Anger Direction: East Color: Green (or Blue-Green) Sensory Organ: Eyes

On an emotional level, wood is traditionally associated with the emotionof anger. Wood energy likes to expand and grow upwards. People like to"get ahead" because of their wood energy. When there comes anobstacle to our movement, we become angry. This is the response that woodenergy has to something in its way of growth and expansion. When our woodis supple and well-lubricated, the anger is short-lived and is replacedwith flexibility in much the same way that a young sapling can travel aroundobstacles to find a better place to grow.

Spiritually, it is said that the wood energy of the body is associatedwith the "Hun" or ethereal spirit. The Hun, I believe, is theso-called "higher mind." It is said that the Liver opens to theeyes, and so eye problems are often treated with points on the Liver Channelin acupuncture. However, I believe that it is this connection to the eyesthat proves the Wood element's association with the Hun, or "host"consciousness that Taoism speaks of. The "host" mind is simplyconsciousness, it sees things As It Is with no additional interpretation.It is the Zen experience. It is this part of us that provides the impetusfor our return to heaven, oneness with the universe, reuniting with God,Samahdi, Oneness, Nirvana, Grace, Feeling Groovy.

So, we have to remember that with any disharmony of an organ systemor element on one level, there will be fall-out at the other levels.

If we have a problem with the Lungs, we'll see pathology consistentwith problems of respiration. We'll see asthma, coughing, perhaps evenLung cancer. However, on other levels, we'll see sadness. This is the emotionassociated with the Metal element, the Lung element. Some of the associationswith the metal element are as follows:

Yin organ: Lungs Yang organ: Large Intestine Season: Autumn Emotion: Sadness Direction: West Color: White Sensory Organ: Nose

The soul associated with the Lungs is called the Po. The Po is calledthe animal spirit. This is the part of us that is instinctive and animalistic.The Po is not eternal, it dies along with our body. I believe that it isthe Po that harbors the fear of death, because for the Po, death is real.To the Hun, the spirit of the Liver, death is liberation, to the Po deathis final. That is why we grieve for the passing of loved ones. It is thePo's recognition of the end of life. The Po is quick to recognize the lossof anything important in our lives, and so "sadness" is the emotionassociated with the Metal element.

On another level, Metal energy not only regulates the breathing inand out of air in our lungs but the bonding and releasing of attachmentsin our lives. The woman in the following article started smoking at theage of 16. Likely to appear more grown-up, as is so often the case, howeverit is interesting to note that this age is the beginning of a period inour emotional development in which the group bonding experience is mostcrucial. Later on in life we chose to bond with just one partner, and thatis called marriage, however, as teens we bond with our peer group.

It might be interesting to see what happens if we were to offer teensan alternative to smoking in the form of yogic practices that incorporatebreathing such as Kriya or Pranayana Yoga. Being an ex-smoker myself, Iknow well of the response of relaxation associated with smoking, howeverhaving waded through a variety of yogic disciplines as well, I recall thatthe true therapy of smoking lies not in the ingestion of the smoke, butin the deep, mindful breathing that takes place while one is smoking.

So what's this all mean? It means that when we read an article suchas the following, which appeared in the Los Angeles Times in the Springof 1996, we can better understand the connections between this patient'sphysical pathology and emotional make-up. She is a textbook case of Metalpathology, which includes both sadness and Lung pathology.

Relentless Assaults Erode Cancer patient's Resolve

Profile: Illness and chemotherapy leave Claire Chasles weak anddepressed. But she vows to keep fighting.

By Marlene CimonsTimes Staff Writer

WASHINGTON-All Claire Chasles wants to do is have a good cry. But theunforgiving nature of her disease has denied her even this.

"I start to cry, and I can't stop," she says, her voice breaking."And then I can't catch my breath. I can't breathe. So what good doesit do?"

Claire, 42, a smoker since age 16, has advanced lung cancer. Since thedisease recurred last fall, she has been fighting it with all the defianceshe can muster. But her resolve has started to crumble in the presenceof an overwhelming feeling of sadness.

Some might say she has good reason to weep. After two cycles of powerful,toxic chemotherapy, she is extremely weak and gaunt, and she has lost almostall of her hair. The physical assaults have their toll, and she is depressed.

"When I was 16 and lighting up, I felt very, very glamorous,"she said. "Now I'm crying all the time and losing weight, and my hair'sfailing out piece by piece in huge clumps. You think that's glamorous?"

Her physicians had been hoping the chemotherapy would delay her advancingtumor and give her some quality time. Claire has been counting on this,but the treatment has been as ravaging as the illness.

In February, she appeared robust and healthy. But despite a remarkablypositive attitude, she then began a precipitous slide. And now her spiritshave followed.

"It's not unusual for very sick patients to get depressed whenthey finally start to see evidence of the disease in their lives,"said Dr. Paul Lanken, a bioethicist and medical director of the intensivecare unit at the University of Pennsylvania.

"It's hard for people to accept a bad prognosis when they're feelingfine," Lanken added. "But then the disease catches up to them,and it becomes real."

Doctor Concerned

Claire met Thursday with her oncologist, Dr. Naiyer Rizvi of GeorgetownUniversity Medical Center's Lombardi Cancer Center, and Katy Swanson, aregistered nurse who is the case manager for lung cancer patients. Theyare concerned about Claire's emotional outlook and her deteriorating physicalcondition.

"I'm sorry this has been happening," Rizvi says.

"I just want to get it (the chemotherapy) over with, and be onmy merry way," Claire replies.

Rizvi takes a deep breath.

"I think the odds are stacked against you, frankly, at this point,"he responds, not unkindly. "I think the fact that you are weaker andlosing weight is concerning.

"I would be deceiving you if I thought the chances were excellentfor you to make a recovery and get back to where you were before. It'sthe reality."

"OK," Claire says very slowly.

Rizvi leaves for a few minutes, and Swanson sits down, pulling her chairnext to Claire's wheelchair.

"This is the most down I've seen you," Swanson says. "Ithink you're now realizing how sick you are, and you're thinking aboutthe future and whether you're getting better. And we can't make any guarantees.

"It's tough to know what to do. That's what affects everybody with lung cancer. They start to think: 'Isit worth it?'

"This is something we know we can't cure, but maybe we can giveyou some quality time. Some beat it, but most don't. And I think that'sstarting to hit you.

"Start thinking of short-term goals," Swanson says gently."Not six months or a year in the future."

"I'm not," Claire insists. "I just want today."

"You should be thinking today or tomorrow and the next day,"Swanson says.

Swanson pauses.

"Do you want to give up the chemo?" she asks. "That'swhat you need to be thinking about."

"No," Claire says. "I'm going to finish it."

Rizvi decides. however, to postpone by one week the third chemo session,which would have marked the halfway point in the treatment. In the meantime,he hopes Claire will regain some strength, and he will do a series of teststo see what's happening with the tumor.

"Are you somebody who has thoughts of God? Are you religious? Isthere anything that keeps you going?" Swanson asks.

"Just my friends and my family," Claire says.

Swanson and Rizvi leave the room.

"I don't know what they were trying to say," Claire says."But I know they're not saying: 'Give up.' "

Bout of Depression

Claire's depression had begun in earnest several weeks earlier.

She began crying over little things and complained that she didn't knowwhy she was feeling so sad. Maybe it was her appearance and the crushingfatigue that had made minor tasks nearly impossible, she said. She hadstarted to use a walker because her legs buckle when she gets up.

"I can't do anything. I feel so helpless and lifeless," shesaid. "I have no energy to do anything. I don't take pride in myselfthe way I used to. The pride's there somewhere. But I just can't get toit."

Joe Kelly, her live-in fiancé, wants to get married. And a grandchildis due this fall. Claire wants to plan for these happy events. But, understandably,it is difficult now.

"I want to be able to run around. Play with my grandchild. Be awife to my husband," she said. "But I've got to get better. MaybeI'm scared that I won't, that it will get worse."

That's the closest she comes to acknowledging fear. If she is frightenedabout where her illness is heading, she doesn't talk about it. She repeatedlyinsists, even through the tears: "I'm not licked yet."

She talks about getting married and having a delayed honeymoon. "I'vealways wanted to go to Switzerland," she said.

Claire's 2l-year-old daughter, Christine-five months' pregnant and herselfunable to quit smoking-has been trying to stay upbeat. But both women feelthe strain: Claire because she hates being stuck in an armchair, unableto do anything but watch television, and Christine because she has hadto assume so much of her mother's care.

"I should be doing things for her, spoiling her. taking her shopping,"Claire said.

Christine works part time as a waitress in 12-hour shifts. She alsofetches whatever Claire needs, fixes her meals and coaxes her to eat. Clairehas lost more than 60 pounds since last fall, most of it during the lastthree months.

"It's stressful, but it's not Mom's fault," Christine said."She can't do anything for herself. She took care of me. Now it'smy turn to help her."

She teases her mother gently. "I think you look so cute, just likea baby." she says of the fine wisps of hair still on Claire's head.

And, as Claire gets up and slowly makes her way across the room, Christinejokes about her mother's skinny legs. "She looks like a stork,"she says, as Claire chuckles. Despite the humor, it is clear Claire isfrustrated.

"I've been so sick since Valentine's Day, I've been in bed constantly,"she said. "Now I just want to feel halfway decent. I'd just like tohave one week where I feel good, then maybe I can handle the next doseof chemo. I want to get my strength back so I can play with that baby whenit comes."

Reasons to Not Smoke

She wants something positive to come from her ordeal.

Indeed, she wishes that every young person preparing to light that nextcigarette could see her sunken cheeks and balding head.

"I don't want kids to ever start," she said as she coughed."I don't want them to ever go through the torture and the pain andthe scariness and everything that's associated with this disease. Believeme there's a lot of it."

New statistics about teenage smoking, however, show a sharp jump inrecent years. And the news has been especially ominous for women. Lungcancer now kills more women than any other kind of cancer.

The Clinton administration has proposed regulations to keep teens frombuying cigarettes and to shield them from tobacco ads. But the industryhas filed legal challenges.

Claire doesn't understand why the proposed regulations are so controversial.She wishes something, anything, had kept her from starting to smoke. Shedoesn't smoke anymore.

"Is this what the kids want--what's happening to me?" sheasked. "I'm sitting here and crying and taking all of these medicationsand watching my hair fall out."

Christine watches, and not without mixed emotions. Her pregnancy isprogressing well--she has gained 25 pounds-and she is delighting in thoughtsof her impending motherhood, hoping for a girl.

But she smokes. When Christine first learned she was pregnant, she sworeshe would stop. She felt she had to for the sake of the baby.

Christine also started smoking as a teenager, seeing her parents andgrandparents all smoke. Today, the best she can do is try to cut down.On some days, she smokes only a handful of cigarettes. On other days, shegoes through a pack. Her fiancé, Brady, and Claire's fiancé,Joe, also smoke.

"I keep telling Brady we have to do this (stop smoking) together."Christine said. "But he says he doesn't think I can stay with it."

They are all witnessing Claire's life-and-death struggle. And stillthey smoke.

"It's so damn hard," Christine said. "I want to stop.I have to stop. But just try to tell that to my mind and my body when itwants that nicotine."

She looks at her mother in the next room.

"Now that you can really tell she's sick. I do think about it,more now than I did before," she said. "When I didn't see it,it didn't bother me. If only I could've seen this before I started smoking."

Seeking Counseling

Last month while undergoing her chemotherapy, Claire met with Dr. GeorgeUy, a Georgetown staff psychiatrist. She was hoping that some counselingwould help.

With two intravenous lines hooked to her left wrist, she answers hisquestions.

"What do you think is one of the reasons you feel down?" Uyasks. Claire blames a still-unhealed wound in her side, where surgery toreinflate her lung was performed several months ago, the site of a subsequentserious infection.

"Any hopelessness?" She nods her head. "How's your concentration?"

Her answer is peculiar: "I used to love to read the obituaries.I can't read them anymore. They upset me."

"Any thoughts about wanting to end your life?"

"No, I haven't come to that." Uy asks about her family, andshe tells him about the coming grandchild--"That's another reasonI want to live-I want to spoil that baby"--and her plans to get married,possibly this summer.

"Do you know what your prognosis is?" he asks.

"It's probably not good, but I'm going to fight it. You never know.I talk to friends who say: 'I know someone with only one lung and he'sgone on for five, six, seven years.' So you never know."

Christine and other family members are worried about Claire's attitude,and they persist in urging her to fight on.

"If she can keep her spirits up and kick ass, she'll be OK,"Christine said. "She's not gonna live forever. But she's not gonnadie tomorrow either."

Of herself, Christine says: "I don't have time to feel sad. Idon't like seeing her like this. But I've got to make sure she stays happy,so she doesn't give up."

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