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It is often said that the cancer is not what killed someone, but the treatment!  While western medical advances have proven to increase the odds of survival with most cancers, it is also true that the treatment tools are intensely taxing on the body.  Enduring cancer treatment to not only survive but also return to a high quality of life afterward is an important aspect of supporting the journey.

The purpose of cancer treatment is cellular destruction.  Killing the tumor, and only the tumor is the challenge scientists face when developing pharmaceutical chemotherapeutic agents.  The best of both worlds is to support the cancer destruction while simultaneously protecting and strengthening the rest of the system.

Interestingly, there are tools from the natural world that have an affinity for cancer cell destruction that may facilitate the targeting of the therapies.  The foundation of natural medicine is to assist the body’s return to balance and health.  Natural medicine products used with appropriate prescribing will facilitate the body’s innate wisdom to correct.  While pharmaceutical agents will force physiology in a particular direction, natural medicine tools have the potential to improve and assist physiology normalizing to a higher state of health.  Just as when the body receives adequate rest, hydration, nourishment and exercise, there is a greater ease to healing.  Natural medicine tools promote the body’s own capabilities.

Chinese herbal formulations have been utilized for thousands of years to encourage the specific balance of an individual’s health.  With the recognition of stagnation in a particular region of the body, these formulations can be directed toward that body region in order to assist the transformation.  Other formulations may be directed to improve detoxification, which reduces the negative side effects of pharmaceutical drugs.  The wisdom behind Chinese Herbalism is the specific knowledge of herbal dynamics and the matching of their effects on the balance of an individual’s organ activity.  This addresses the unique ways a cancer and other aspects of a disease are affecting an individual.

One of the body’s most powerful innate mechanisms for cellular repair is fever.  Through the immune system’s activity that increases body temperature, a variety of intricate steps unfold that can improve the overall state of health.  Heat shock proteins are activated by both extreme heat and extreme cold.  These components of physiology facilitate genetic transcription and facilitate the removal of errors in genetic coding.  There have been a variety of experiments done to demonstrate this effect on cancer with the most successful methods being promoted as hyperthermia.

Hyperthermia treatments range from sauna therapy, which increases the temperature of the whole body, focal treatments with applications of heat to the skin surface, intravenous administration of agents to activate the immune system and many more.  While the developments in this realm of medicine are slow to provide data on large numbers due to the limitation of financial support, it is broadly acknowledged that supporting the immune system is a key to cancer survival.

By the time a patient receives a cancer diagnosis, the internal system is already so compromised that it is indeed a health crisis.  Utilization of tools from all systems of medicine provides the best potential for the path to survival.  While there is great controversy around the use of antioxidant tools, circulatory support tools, and other natural medicines, the Cancer Treatment Centers of America continues to present a model of integration that works.  These hospitals across the US employ both Naturopathic Doctors and Medical Doctors to embrace the dynamic differences in approaches.  For any illness in the modern era, making use of the broad spectrum of medicinal tools provides great advantages and potential for cure.

For more information on cancer treatment support with Natural medicine and traditional medicine tools from many traditions around the world, visit Stillwater Healing Arts Clinic in Lyons.  In addition to individual support, we offer a Holistic Cancer Care Retreat weekend.  The upcoming Retreat is June 30th and July 1st.  Visit http://www.stillwaterhealingarts.com.

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Integrative treatment models in health care offer a great deal of synergy by treating the whole person, both in the immediate and long term.  Regarding cancer treatment, there are many tools that can come together in countless ways to help the journey to healing.

Modern cancer treatment includes a wide array of drug therapies that work toward destruction of the cancer cells.  Despite relative success, this treatment strategy offers nothing in support of the patients organ systems that allowed for a cancer to grow in the first place.  Incorporating hydrotherapy into cancer treatment may well provide the much needed support for a multitude of reasons.

Hydrotherapy is a treatment modality used around the world to varying degrees.  From the morning shower, to a steam room followed by a roll in the snow, it is something we are all familiar with.  The therapeutic application is something far greater than most consider.  Using water with varying temperatures causes effects throughout the body.  Targeting specific organs of the body and shifting the temperature creates a cascade of effects that can improve health overall by supporting circulation and detoxification.

Hyperthermia is a modality that is gaining popularity in the treatment of cancer patients for its ability to aid in tumor reduction and increase patient tolerance to chemotherapy and radiation.  Some physicians are finding that they are able to use much lower doses of drug therapies when used in combination with hyperthermia.  Hyperthermia works through heating the body in a variety of ways for a set period of time, stimulating a fever response.  The understanding for its effectiveness is through the simple physiology of increasing circulation and oxygenation of the tissues.  As with any fever the immune system is activated, particularly the heat shock proteins, which help facilitate cellular function and destruction.  The effect on cancer cells is the stimulation of their elimination.

Research in immunology has identified multiple triggers for increasing heat shock protein transcription and activation.  These compounds are found throughout the plant and animal kingdoms and have been studied extensively in agriculture.  In addition to heat; cold, light and other stressors also activate HSPs.  It has been suggested that the traditional hydrotherapy technique of alternating hot and cold applications to the body may activate HSPs better than heat alone.

The initial theory behind hydrotherapy relates to the traditional understanding that stagnation encourages disease processes.  Like a stagnant pond will support vastly different life than a flowing stream, stasis in the body changes the environment as well.  Cellular activities all require adequate oxygenation to maintain their healthy balance.  Areas of poor circulation are more likely to store metabolic wastes and environmental toxins that the body encounters constantly in the modern world.

Hydrotherapy treatments have known effects of increasing circulation to stagnant tissues.  This in itself may be curative to many disease processes.  Laboratory analysis of sessions contrasting hot and cold to the skin surface has shown increased production of white blood cells’s and reduced cortisol after a treatment.  Suspected benefits include activation of heat shock proteins.  Together, the effects have great potential in supporting health.

For in-home use of hydrotherapy for all ages and stages of health, enhance your daily shower by ending with cold.  After you have finished bathing, gradually turn the heat down until you can feel the invigoration of the cool water without being uncomfortable.  From your toes to your heart, the circulation will shift from the body surface to the core.  If you’re dealing with complex health issues, hydrotherapy treatments offer a non-invasive therapeutic tool to incorporate safely and simply into your life.

If you’re interested in more information, research articles or scheduling an appointment, please contact Dr. Hart at dr.sarahart@gmail.com.

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