- Question from CADorothy: How can Chinese medicine help with the depression and anxiety I feel about being diagnosed with breast cancer?
There are Chinese herbs for treating depression and anxiety as defined in the West. Of course acupuncture also releases anxiety, and partially, Chinese medicine may help.
There is no Chinese psychotherapy. The root cause is in the mind, and the solution needs to come from self-transformation and not from something external like drugs or therapy. Somehow one needs to make a turn inside oneself and achieve a balance in the mind that way. Of course, this is not Chinese medicine but is an Asian tradition, the spiritual belief.
Meditation is very helpful relief for depression. I think the Asian traditions including India and Tibet (although not Chinese necessarily) include cultural beliefs of Buddhism, karma, and fatalistic beliefs. All these belief systems help patients cope with their diagnosis. Asians believe that anything that happens is not random. There's a reason something happens.
Patients are wondering where they get their breast cancer, and it makes them anxious not knowing where it came from. There's some reassurance from Chinese philosophy that things don't come from nowhere. People don't suffer from frustration from questions like that based on philosophical beliefs.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Traditional Chinese Medicine featured Raymond Chang, M.D. and moderator Beth Baughman Dupree, M.D., F.A.C.S. answering your questions about how to discuss Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with your cancer doctor.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in September 2005.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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