Holistic Cancer Therapy
Recently cancer has become the #1 killer of americans, surpassing heart disease. When a person is diagnosed with cancer, it is usually a traumatic blow to their mental state of equilibrium due to the seriousness of the diagnosis. Cancer, as with any disease needs to be addressed not only on the physical, but also on the mental and emotional levels as well. Here are two ways of looking at cancer (or other internal disease) and its treatment.
We believe that utilizing both systems of Eastern AND Western medicine to remove and kill the cancer, and to simultaneously strengthen the immune system, gives the patient the best of both worlds, and ultimately results in a stronger, more resilient, patient.
This perspective is based on the “germ theory” and looks for what the pathogen is (i.e. virus, bacteria, cancer cells, etc.) that is causing the disease- and the treatment is to attack & destroy it. In the treatment of cancer with Western medicine, attacking strategies take the form of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. The benefit of the attacking strategy in the treatment of cancer is it’s ability to powerfully destroy cancer tumor growth. While this paradigm is valid and beneficial, it is not the whole picture of healing cancer. In addition, it often leaves profound side effects in its wake. Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, immune system debilitation, extreme fatigue, digestive problems, and for many women immediate entree into menopause, are only a few.
While using the attacking strategy is often necessary and beneficial, one must not ignore the healing powers innate in the wisdom of the human being. There is an ancient saying in Chinese medicine which says “ To dig a well after one is thirsty, is like forging weapons after the battle has already begun”. This goes for the preventative strengthening of the immune system as well. Not just for cancer, but for any disease. This leads to another perspective on how one can look at treating a disease such as cancer.
When looking at the promotion of optimal health for an individual, the first thing we do is to see what the condition, or the “terrain”, of the person is in. What I mean by this is, to evaluate via traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis principles whether the body/mind is in a state that provides a hospitable environment for disease to flourish in or not. In ancient China a poor physician treats disease after it already appears, a good physician promotes good health, and a wise physician helps the patient not only to optimal health but to fulfill their destiny. While helping people fulfill their destiny is often a tall order it is a worthy one to strive for in the field where “doctor is teacher”. Therefore, cancer is a teacher in itself- it teaches you that you need to reevaluate your diet, thoughts and lifestyle choices to see if they are health promoting or not.
In our culture, a “wise” use of traditional chinese medicine in situations such as cancer, is to use it in conjunction with the attacking strategy of Western Medicine. Furthermore, one of the benefits of properly prescribed Chinese herbal medicine is that it can be used for its anticancer properties (attacking strategy) AND for it supportive benefit to the immune system. Both of which have been proven over thousands of years of Chinese medicine’s long history. Furthermore, while the attacking strategy of Chinese herbal medicine may not be as strong as chemotherapy, it also does not come with the side effects that weaken the immune system.
The powerful therapies of radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery for fighting the cancer often leave the immune system in a damaged state. Over the course of treatment, many people feel their energy getting zapped, and the cumulative effect of the chemotherapy and radiation can sneak up on the patient, leaving them feeling unable to get back to a normal routine post therapy. We often see that some patients tolerate the first modality well, whether it is chemotherapy or radiation, only to be taken down by the follow up therapy. Not only does this take them by surprise, it results often in depression and frustration that they can’t keep up, and a sense that they will never be “normal” again.
It has been our experience in working with cancer patients that the acupuncture treatments have been enormously helpful in reducing the often debilitating immediate side effects of the chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and in the long run helped them to resume normal functioning much quicker than without the acupuncture. Our patients have often reported that the worst weeks they had during chemotherapy were the off weeks that they had to miss acupuncture due to a scheduling issue.
Treat Children Naturally
Children are often very responsive to the gentle balancing and healing effects of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Many of today’s modern childhood complaints can be addressed very effectively without the use of needles or strong tasting traditional herbal formulas. Parents are frequently surprised and relieved to see symptoms that their child has had for years, disappear after using Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Some Commonly Teated Childhood Illnesses
- Colds & Flu’s
- Digestive problems
- Stomach Pain & Poor Appetite
- Sinus congestion/infections
- Sports injuries
- Skin disorders
Traditional Chinese Medicine can be an effective way to nurture children back to health, get them off prescription drugs, and have them out playing and healthy again.
“As a mom I would highly recommend Geoff. He is at all times professional but keeps the atmosphere light and fun for the child, and my son found his sessions to be fun. He builds a relationship first by talking at length with his little patient, never dismissing even the tiniest of complaints, and then eases into the exam. My son loves going so much that when his symptoms cleared up he came up with something new just to keep the appointment! You will not regret this gentle and very effective treatment for your children.”
- Diabetes & Pre Diabetes
Geoff has spent several years studying and developing a program to effectively reverse pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. It is an evidence based program that combines education, coaching, and diet and lifestyle to transform peoples lives! There are a few programs starting at 4 weeks and up to 16 weeks, with added options for ongoing coaching support.
For more information on his programs, click the link for IM Health:
- Digestive Conditions
Digestive Conditions & Metabolism Strengthening
Digestive diseases are a very common occurance in the high stress, eat on the go culture we live in. Fortunately, when the digestive metabolism/function is weakened due to poor digestive habits, acupuncture & Chinese medicine have a profound effect on healing this.
A large number of diseases and conditions are caused by eating foods that are not ideal for an individual’s constitution. We see health imporve dramatically once digestive strength is restored via acupuncture, Chinese medicine and proper diet customized for them.
Though most people are doing their best to eat a “healthy” diet, they are often doing more harm if their diet does not support their constitution.
Some of the commonly treated digestive conditions we see in the clinic are:
Weight Loss & Metabolism Strengthening,
Irritable Bowel Syndrome,
Gas, bloating, indigestion,
Gallstones & pain associated with them,
Auto Immune disorders (Lupus, Ulcerative Colitis, etc.).
People struggling with low energy, fatigue, immune system imbalances and autoimmune diseases greatly benefit from energetic forms of medicine. These modalities tend to be much less invasive in general and more supportive as they gently build up the system. We have had great success treating a variety of immune system problems, adrenal and thyroid weakness, and other related issues with acupuncture, diet, lifestyle adjustments, supplements, and Chinese herbal medicine.
The treatment of gynecological conditions is something we specialize in at Root & Branch.
In Oriental medicine, there is a root imbalance that is causing the underlying gynecological disease. By treating this root cause, the symptoms (branches) can be taken care of and health returned.
Chinese medicine has much stricter standards of what a normal, healthy cycle should look like. Our goal is to help you achieve a symptom free cycle. This may seem like a lofty goal for many women who have suffered their whole lives with problematic periods, but understanding how our own bodies are working, and how diet, stress, lifestyle, and exercise impact its functioning, and making the appropriate changes can lead us to a smoother cyclical pattern.
Below is a list of some of the commonly treated conditions we see in the clinic (this is only a partial list)
- Amenorrhea (No Periods)
- Cervical Dysplasia
- Fibrocystic Breasts
- Menorrhagia (Heavy periods)
- Menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, etc.)
- Painful periods
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- PMS (including emotional symptoms: irritible, moody, weepy, depressed, etc.)
- Long or Irregular periods
- Certian genetic bleeding disorders
Please call us to ask how we may help you correct your gynecological disorder.
The mind has a powerful effect on one’s sense of well-being. In Chinese medicine, there is no separation between the emotions an individual has, and the effects those emotions have on one’s health. This relates to not just emotional health, but PHYSICAL health as well. Chinese medicine has seen the correlation’s of certain types of emotions and documented these relationships for centuries.
In modern science they are just starting to understand the relationship between emotions and health. For example, there have been studies showing the positive benefit to the immune system when one is happy and enjoying the company of friends. Science has “discovered” chemicals such as endorphins, for example which are released when one exercises. This “discovery” of these chemicals is just the tip of the iceberg. Chinese medicine has gone as far as categorizing each emotion, and which organ system it relates to. Therefore if a person has excessive amounts of a certain negative emotion (i.e. worry, fear, anger, grief, etc.) we as practitioners of Chinese medicine can evaluate and determine which organs will be negatively affected by these emotions.
Emotions can be severe and intense or low grade and chronic, and the effect on the body will be proportional to the amount of negative thought. The beautiful thing about this medicine is our ability to strengthen areas of weakness and unblock areas of stagnation so as to re-teach the body how to function properly again.
One of the other areas that we at Root & Branch specialize in is our ability to discern what types of new perspectives or teachings will benefit the person most in changing their mindset and perspective on their life situation. This can be invaluable in the healing process in helping one attain peace of mind and optimal health.
Acupuncture in Pregnancy
Acupuncture is a very safe, and effective way to treat any number of things that can arise during pregnancy, whether they are related to pregnancy or not. We have years of experience treating pregnant women during all stages of pregnancy. We can effectively treat the following:
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Pain: sciatica, upper or lower back pain, headaches, joint pain, hip pain, etc.
- Asthma, allergies, respiratory infections
- Fatigue, sleeplessness
- Constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids
- Minor leg swelling and retention of fluids
- Placenta Previa
- Subchorionic hematoma
- Stress, Anxiety, emotional changes
- And many other issues that arise in the course of pregnancy.
- Acupuncture is safe during pregnancy, and can be very soothing to both mother and baby.
Although there are contraindications, most licensed acupuncturists are fully trained in the use of appropriate points for pregnancy, and which points to avoid.
At Root & Branch, we are extremely cautious with conditions which may not be appropriate for us to treat, and are well educated in pregnancy related conditions which require medical attention. Though many Chinese Herbs are totally safe to take during pregnancy, we do not advocate their use unless you are completely comfortable with this choice, and your care providers are aware of their use. We are here to support your pregnancy and your choices and will not recommend any therapy with which you are not comfortable.
We also recommend the use of mind body programs to ease pregnancy and set the stage for a healthy delivery:
- Stress & Anxiety
It is estimated that somewhere around 80% of illnesses these days are directly related to chronic stress. We are so used to our lives being overwhelmingly busy that we consider it wrong when it isn’t. Chinese medicine has a beautiful ability to nourish the nervous system by resetting it to the parasympathetic, the part of the nervous system that allows for regulatory function. This is the opposite of the sympathetic nervous system, that which is necessary when fleeing from a very real threat. Unfortunately, many of us exist in a sympathetic dominant state, and most of our time is spent in a heightened state that doesn’t allow for our organs and tissues to get the nourishment they need. This is when we see many of the physical symptoms that cause distress, and send people to their doctors, only to get no answers.
Chinese medicine is a wonderful way to relieve the effects of stress and anxiety on the body, and to retrain the system back to health.
- Weight Loss
Dr. Geoff DePaula – Drawing from his 15 years of clinical experience, you will find your holistic path to enjoying delicious food, having fun being active, optimizing the function of your organs and energy, to create the life of optimal health you want!
- Using an individualized approach and drawing from both western and eastern medicine and nutrition, your care will utilize a whole person approach.
- Learn how to switch your body into fat-burning mode to lose weight easily, while eating rich, delicious foods
- Learn how you don’t have to spend hours in the gym to lose weight and attain your ideal weight.
- We will help you accomplish your vision & goals, using a collaborative, tailored approach customized to your unique situation.
- You will receive an optimal weight loss program, utilizing the latest and most effective evidence-based scientific research on weight loss, and a comprehensive Traditional Chinese Medicine approach, so you can synergize the best of both worlds.
Programs include both in office, individualized clinical plans, as well as virtual programs which include personalized telephone/skype coaching, and optional coaching packages for ongoing support.