Monday, July 4, 2011

Chi-kung and chemotherapy

Chi-kung can boost up one's immune system as well as promote cell growth. Practitioners all agree to the above assertion. But can it cure cancer, as a treatment method? Some practitioners say yes, but I am highly skeptical towards such claims. It is true that there are many claims of chi-kung curing terminal cancers, and I have no ground to doubt any or all of them, yet, as a man of science, and as regulating agencies like FDA would agree, testimonials can only be treated as ideas to be studied. Having said that I do believe chi-kung can indeed help cancer patients in the road of recovery, like after a chemotherapy session.

The first line of attack of treating cancer nowadays is still operation. If operation cannot be done, or operation being done but result not considered 100% sure, other methods such as chemotherapy will be used. The decision to use which drug and the composition of each may be complex issue, but the theory behind using chemo drug itself is rather simple. Cancer cells grow rapidly. Chemo drug aims at killing all cells with rapid growth rate. But then the side-effect is Chemo drug also kill rapidly growing cells other than cancer cells, including cells in hair follicles, nails, the mouth, digestive tract, and bone marrow (bone marrow makes blood cells).

The trick is if all cancer cells can be killed, they can't regrow like other normal cells. Therefore for a patient undergoing chemo, the first difficult stage he/she needs to go through is the side-effect stage caused by the chemo drugs on normal cells, and the second difficult stage he/she needs to go through is the recuperation stage when the cells will take time to grow again. The length and severity of the first stage depends on the duration/type of chemo drugs being used well as day-to-day caring (both physical and psychological), while those of the second stage depends solely on the patient's body, or how we nurture the patient's body given its state of weakness.

The benefit of chi-kung is on the second stage. When chemo drug is off, a patient can pick up chi-kung practice immediately (together with nutritious food and good rest). No matter how weak the condition a patient may be, with good guidance, he/she can generate chi and nurture it throughout his/her waking hours (well, what else does a recovering patient need to do other than eating nutritiously, having good sleep and doing chi-kung?).

PS: My suggested chi-kung exercises for chemo patients: initially: zhan zhuang in both seated and lying down positions, with progress: zhan zhuang in standing position (optional transitional stage: with back resting on wall while standing).

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