Canine Cancer: Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a range of traditional medical practices used in China that developed over several thousand years. It is based on the concept that the human body is a small universe with a set of interconnected systems, and that those systems usually work in balance to maintain the healthy function of the human body. TCM views cancer as a slowing or stoppage (stasis) in the flow of substances in the body. It plays an auxiliary role in cancer treatment through the use of herbal medicine, acupuncture, and food therapy. Specifically, TCM treats the side effects of conventional therapies, helps control pain, and helps keep the immune system strong.

Food Therapy in Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends the popular Chinese cancer-preventing foods of green tea, cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, kelp, carrots, and cauliflower, has received much recognition in the research community. Check out this article by Dr.Wei Liu and Dr. Changzhen Gong on cancer-preventing foods.

Dr. Xie, founder of The Chi Institute (leading veterinary continuing education provider of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine), is the first clinician of Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine to ever be hired by a university in the United States. He tends to avoid the word alternative, however, when describing the role of this therapy in veterinary medicine. Instead, he prefers the term complementary since he sees Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) complementing Western medicine, and not as mutually exclusive medical systems. He teaches that the best medicine is integrated medicineWestern medicine integrated with traditional Chinese medicine, and says the following about such integration:

"Each has aspects that place them on the opposite ends of the spectrum, but there is a large area of overlap between them. In general, Western medicine believes in control, while traditional Chinese medicine believes in balance; Western Veterinary Medicine is more mechanistic, while TCVM is more energetic. Western medical practitioners are very familiar with analyzing a disease process to discover its specific, fundamental, physical cause, whether this be an infectious agent, an enzymatic defect, or a toxic insult. By fully understanding the functions of the physical body, all the way down to a cellular and molecular level, one can target the abnormality and better control the disease process. On the other hand, TCVM practitioners recognize disease as an imbalance in the body. They understand that the body is an integrated, energetic structure, and that disturbance of energy flow creates disease in the whole organism. When a disease pattern is identified, one can restore balance and health by helping the body regulate itself."

Learn more about Chinese Medicine through the following articles & podcast:

     Cancer and TCM: Treating Side Effects of Chemotherapy & Radiation with Traditional Chinese Herbs
     Traditional Chinese Medicine (from Dr. Marsden, Dr. Messonnier & Dr. Yuill)
     Methodological Aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine
   Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine: Food Therapy
   Dr. Wen Podcast: Traditional Chinese Medicine's integration into Traditional Veterinary Practices

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