An eight-point formula — use as follows or add or delete points based on signs and symptoms or specific areas of the body affected.
1. Shenmen — common sequelae to radiation and chemotherapy treatments are the symptoms of anxiety, palpitations, weakness, and restlessness. Shenmen is useful for these discomforting feelings because it neutralizes toxins and reduces inflammation, which are also side effects of Western cancer therapy.
2. Sympathetic — pain is usually a symptom of cancer treatment therapies, especially radiation. Sympathetic, as we have discussed, is effective in reducing pain.
3. Lung (Upper and/or Lower) — as the Master of the Qi, the Lung points increase energy, strengthen Wei Qi functioning, and improve respiration and oxygenation by sending their energy to the Kidneys. Oncology patients usually report fatigue as their major complaint. The Lung points move the Liver (metal controls wood) and, thus, assist in pain relief. These points relieve depression that is common in patients with serious illness such as cancer. The Lung points aid in treating skin problems due to decreased wound healing capacity and relieve dry and irritated skin. The Lung points are especially helpful in treating skin problems that result from radiation therapy.
4. Liver — Liver promotes the free flowingness of Qi, maintains the internal patency of Qi, and regulates the relationship between the patient’s internal and external environments. Liver moves Qi and Blood (which may be Stagnant), and balances the emotions. Because cancer is such a devastating illness, the patient’s emotions are highly involved in the illness (vs. the emotional component of, say, having a common cold). Liver builds Yin and Blood. Radiation patients develop Yin deficiency and chemotherapy patients develop Qi and Blood deficiency.
5. Kidney — the Kidney point tonifies the root Qi of the body, the basis of immunity, and builds Blood and Yin. It assists in hair regrowth and increases libido. Cancer patients undergoing traditional Western therapies suffer from both hair loss and decreased libido.
6. and 7. Spleen and Stomach — Spleen and Stomach reinforce the Qi of the Middle Jiao; therefore, they are helpful in treating nausea and vomiting, aid digestion, and improve appetite. They reduce Damp/ Phlegm, thereby regulating thirst and abdominal distention. The Spleen and Stomach points control the Blood and the Blood vessels and promote the building of Blood, which is necessarily and inevitably damaged along with cancerous cells from Western cancer therapies. These points ground the patient and strengthen the muscles, which are controlled by the Earth element.
8. Brain (Subcortex) — the Brain point is used to treat the symptoms of Western cancer treatment, such as fatigue, anxiety, swelling, shock, pain perception, insomnia, and inflammation.
In my experience of working in an oncology clinic, I found pellets were more effective for cancer patients. Pellets are easy to use, provide continuous therapy at home, and reduce the need for repeated needling, which is contraindicated for weakened patients. Patients must have the pellets removed at the appropriate time in order to minimize the chance of infection. Remember, cancer patients have reduced wound healing capacity.
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