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Complementary Corner

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Breast Health

Renee Lehman

(3/2014) Have you noticed that we are gradually moving from the season of Winter into Spring? Spring is the growing season. It is a time of new beginnings, of renewal, warming temperatures, and increased daylight. Can you see that what is happening in nature is also happening within ourselves?

Overall, there is more activity, action, or movement happening during Spring when compared to Winter. We can all recognize that things are growing, the animals and birds are giving "birth," and there is more "activity" in nature. The gifts of Spring include flexibility, clarity and vision, creativity, new possibilities, and hope.

How can you create room for new opportunities and possibilities on a body/mind/spirit level? Do some Spring cleaning (on a body/mind/spirit level). This is a time for rebirth! Ask yourself, "What do I no longer need in my life?" or "What no longer serves who I want to be?"

While you are "cleaning house," it is also time to have hope! We often hear about having hope for a cure for breast cancer. Current statistics show that 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Why is early detection of breast cancer still considered a woman's best option? What hope is there for preventing breast cancer?

Traditional Chinese Medicine’s Understanding of Breast Cancer

For thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has understood and treated the condition we in our modern culture call breast cancer. TCM (the longest continuously practiced form of healthcare in the world) is focused on prevention and wellness (see previous articles on TCM). There is an often quoted saying in The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, The Nei Jing, (1000 BCE): "To fight a disease after it has occurred is like trying to dig a well when one is thirsty or forging a weapon once a war has begun."

TCM views all disease from an energetic level (deals with your energy or Qi, pronounced "chee"). Basically, all disease is considered to be stuck or out of balance energy (Qi). Because of this viewpoint of all disease, including breast cancer, TCM understands that there are invisible energetic issues that have a tremendous impact on a woman’s health and that underlies breast cancer. TCM can recognize and address the early warning signs before they manifest in the body as breast cancer. TCM can give hope to women, and help them to understand their own body, because it can be used to teach a woman to observe her body/mind/spirit and understand when her health and life is becoming unbalanced. Everything in your life – body/mind/spirit, can influence your body’s energy system; therefore, affect everything about your state of health. TCM teaches women to be proactive with regard to their own health, because true prevention does not focus specifically on the disease (breast cancer). True prevention focuses on creating good health and wellness.

So, how can TCM practices help you to prevent breast cancer?

TCM Practices for Prevention

Qigong, pronounced "Chee gung," is a Chinese self-healing practice (see previous article on Qigong). From the ancient TCM perspective, Qigong can help address internal energetic (Qi) imbalances. Therefore, when energy (or Qi) flows freely through the body, then disease, illness, calcifications, etc. cannot set in. Eating healing foods, participating in healthy lifestyle practices, and managing emotions also help round out a body-mind-spirit approach that gives all women the best possible chance to prevent this disease.

I am teaching a two-hour Qigong Class for Breast Wellness on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. In this workshop you will learn how to care for yourself using seven self-healing Taoist Wu Ming Qigong movements. Learning how to maintain the free flow of Qi through your energy pathways (meridians) is easy and fun to do. Do you, your mother, sister(s), or female friends have any of the following signs/symptoms of Qi imbalances: Menstrual issues (for example: PMS, painful periods, irregular cycle, breast tenderness, lumps or masses in the breasts), yeast infections, migraine headaches, anger or unstable moods, ulcers, hypertension, eye problems, nail issues (dull, brittle nails), digestive disturbances (indigestion, bloating, diarrhea/constipation), food allergies, lack of appetite, hypoglycemia, being overweight, hair falling out easily, vaginal discharge, sleeping problems, and constant worrying? If so, it's wise to be proactive and address them with these life-enhancing movements.

Open to the public, this class is for women everywhere who want to support their health through a guided qigong practice. So, tell a friend, sister, mother or wife today: TCM offers many alternative, natural solutions to preventing breast cancer and promoting breast health.

To learn more about the TCM approach to true breast cancer prevention, visit and (specifically

Renee Lehman is a licensed acupuncturist, physical therapist, and Reiki Master with over 20 years of health care experience. Her office is located at 249B York Street in Gettysburg, PA.  She can be reached at 717-752-5728.

Read other article on well being by Renee Lehman