Blended Medicine: How to Integrate the Best Mainstream and Alternative Remedies for Maximum Health and Healing
Michael Castleman

Your Seven Energy Centers: A Holistic Approach To Physical, Emotional And Spiritual Vitality
Elizabeth Clare Prophet with Patricia Spadaro

Includes explanations of the spiritual energy centers (chakras) and how acupuncture and other therapies affect the flow of energy in these centers.

Acupuncture and other therapies


Scientific studies have confirmed that acupuncture can be very effective in helping to control nausea resulting from chemotherapy.[1] One fellow patient and a good friend relied heavily on acupuncture during her course of chemotherapy for breast cancer. She would leave the doctor’s office after her injection and go straight to her acupuncturist. She swears that she had a much easier time during her chemotherapy because of his treatments; she certainly noticed the difference if she missed a session.

The ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture uses fine needles inserted at specific points on the meridians of the body. According to the theories of acupuncture, the meridians are pathways through which vital energy, known as ch’i, flows to the organs and the whole body. While the meridians do not correspond to any known physical system of the body, they do mirror, energetically or spiritually, the flow of blood in the circulatory system and electrical impulses in the nervous system. In fact, a diagram of the meridians in the body looks very similar to a chart of the vascular or nervous systems, even to the untrained eye. If there is abundant and unobstructed flow of energy through the meridians, then we have a healthy body and increased vitality.  The aim of the treatments is to remove blocks and normalize the flow of energy on the meridians.

I had several sessions of acupuncture, and, like many patients, I would often feel a sense of well-being and relaxation during and after a treatment. It was an interesting feeling of being relaxed and energized at the same time. The treatment also brought a pleasant feeling of warmth to the area being treated, a sign of increased flow of circulation and energy to that area. Insertion of the needles usually causes very little pain, since they are very fine. Like many holistic treatments, acupuncture also seems to affect the mind and emotions as well as the physical body.

Acupuncture, like most forms of medicine, is an art as well as a science, so it pays to seek out a skilled and intuitive practitioner. Certification requirements for acupuncturists vary widely in different jurisdictions, so look for one who is certified by a recognized national body, such as the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. And of course, make sure that they use only disposable needles.


Other therapies

I have mentioned here some of the complementary therapies that worked for me in my cancer treatment. There are other complementary therapies I have used in the past and that I have found effective (for example, reflexology and Ayurvedic medicine) which I did not choose to use for this particular illness. I could not do everything, so I simply chose the methods that felt right for me at that time. You or a loved one may choose other therapies that you feel will work for you.

There are a multitude of different complementary therapies available. Be selective—you cannot try them all. Take your time—for you do have time to do your homework. Get help if you need it, but ultimately the choice is yours. There are a number of comprehensive and well-researched books that outline the many different options. I looked for ones that had solid scientific data to show what really works. Do your research and follow your heart.


1. Castleman, Blended Medicine, Ibid., p. 175.


Excerpted from A Journey through Cancer, by Neroli Duffy