Acupuncture and natural healthcare during a cancer diagnosisGeorge Monkhouse2023-05-24T16:14:37+01:00
Acupuncture and natural healthcare to optimise health during and after cancer
One year ago yesterday, I was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer which had spread to lymph nodes. My life felt in total chaos. I was terrified, anxious and completely devastated. I went to see George, who immediately picked me up with his very positive view on all things that happen in life. He gave me something I had lost…Hope. Here I am literally one year away from that dreadful day and two scans show I am cancer free with no spread. George was paramount to my healing.
George specialises in providing acupuncture and natural health solutions personalised to each individual – depending on type and stage of cancer, current diet and lifestyle and overall analysis of imbalances and the resulting symptoms. His acupuncture clinic is on the border of East Dulwich and Peckham.
Acupuncture and natural health practices have gained great popularity as complementary therapies for cancer patients, with many individuals seeking these treatments to help manage symptoms and improve quality of life whilst working with cancer. At his London acupuncture clinics, George has specialised in supporting people with a cancer diagnosis for over 12 years. While the use of these therapies should be considered as adjunctive to conventional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, they have been found to also have benefits for optimising overall health and well-being.
What is acupuncture and how does it work from a biomedical perspective?
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body. It is believed to restore balance – or homeostasis, the body’s ability to self regulate despite changing external circumstances – and promote healing by activating the body’s natural healing abilities and regulating blood and nerve flow (called qi in traditional Chinese medicine) through the body.
While the mechanisms by which acupuncture may provide therapeutic benefits are not fully understood in research, research studies do suggest that acupuncture may stimulate the release of chemicals in the body, such as endorphins and serotonin, which can help to reduce pain and improve mood. Acupuncture may also stimulate the release of immune system cells, which may have a positive effect on the body’s natural healing processes.
What are natural health (self care) practices and how do they work?
Natural health practices, such as herbal medicine, nutrition therapy, and mind-body practices like meditation and yoga, are based on the use of natural substances and techniques to promote health and well-being and optimise your vitality. These practices may have a variety of mechanisms of action, depending on the specific treatment being used and the individual constitution of the person receiving treatment.
Herbal medicine involves the use of plant-based remedies to treat a variety of health conditions. Some herbs may have anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, or antioxidant effects, which may be beneficial for cancer patients and for optimising overall health. Nutrition therapy focuses on using food and supplements to support the body’s natural healing processes and manage the side effects of cancer treatment, as well as to optimize overall health and well-being. Mind-body practices, such as meditation and yoga, can help to reduce stress and improve overall well-being by altering brain activity and promoting relaxation.
“We searched high and low for the right person to treat my husband after a cancer diagnosis. George went out of his way even doubled up in treating me for the stress. We continue to receive integrated medicine from George combining it with the chemo to counteract the side effects, he has given us nutritional advise with a unique view to our individual health needs. Receiving acupuncture from George was a therapeutic experience, (despite the needles). We always left feeling calm and relaxed. What George offered us, in what, at the time, felt like a desperate situation, was a sense of calm confidence that we could overcome this. Today just 8 months since the diagnosis my husband is cancer free. We now consider him our personal go to with any health concern.”
What is the scientific evidence for the use of acupuncture and natural healthcare in cancer and for optimising health?
There is growing evidence to support the use of these therapies for optimizing overall health and well-being. For example, research has shown that meditation and yoga may have a variety of health benefits, including reducing stress, improving sleep, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and hypertension. Similarly, a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods may have a positive impact on overall health and well-being.
It is important to remember that acupuncture and natural healthcare should be used as adjunctive therapies and should not be used as a replacement for evidence-based cancer treatments.
In conclusion, acupuncture and natural health practices, when prescribed and applied correctly, can be masterful as adjunctive therapies for cancer patients in giving the body and mind high quality support whilst undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery by supporting overall health and well-being. It is important to work with an expert acupuncturist who specialising in cancer treatment (oncology) to determine the best course of treatment specific to your overall health profile.
These therapies should not be used as a replacement for conventional cancer treatments.
“George has become one of the few people I trust with the complicated state of my body. Having had cancer that spread throughout my body and particularly affected my bones, I have found only a few people with the sensitivity, depth of understanding and ability to be present of which George is one.”