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              Chinese medicine . Acupuncture . Energy therapies          

april bui licensed acupuncturist houston


Chemo / Radiation Support

On this page you can find a brief discussion about chemo/radiation support according to Chinese medicine principles, the possible causes of this condition in terms of Chinese medicine diagnosis, and the treatment protocol at our clinic.


Please keep in mind that Chinese medicine is very different in principles, concepts, language, and treatment methods from western medicine. The information here is intended for the lay people who have no knowledge about Chinese medicine, therefore this discussion must be limited in scope and depth. The purpose is to impart the relevant information and to help you gain a general understanding, from your standpoint as a potential patient of Chinese medicine, how Chinese medicine views and diagnoses this condition of interest and what you can expect from a treatment if you decide to become a patient of our clinic.


Below are brief explanations of some common terms and concepts in Chinese medicine diagnosis that you would come across in a reading. This also helps you to understand better the discussion on this page.


  • Qi - means energy. Qi is the universal energy that pervades within and without us everywhere in this realm of existence. Strictly speaking in our body, qi is the vital force that causes all movements, activities, functions, growth, development, control, check and balance, nourishment, protection, and transformation.
  • Yin - pertains to the material basis of our body.
  • Yang - pertains to the energetic, functional aspect of our body.
  • Damp - refers to moisture in the body. The mentioning of damp in a diagnosis usually refers to an excessive accumulation that consequently produces problems.
  • Heat, cold - temperature in our body. The mentioning of temperature in a diagnosis usually indicates an extreme level of imbalance.
  • Wind - exists naturally in our body. The mentioning of wind in a diagnosis indicates an imbalance has occurred which causes the activity of wind to become excessive or in severe cases out of control.
  • Meridian – another term for energy channel.

Chinese medicine diagnosis

There are times when chemo or radiation therapy is unavoidable. The brighter side is that Chinese medicine is effective for providing support to the energy system, relieving the side-effects, and rebuilding the body after the treatment period. Chemo and radiation therapies cause significant:

  • Depletion of qi - Symptoms include fatigue, lack of appetite, loss of taste or smell, insomnia, bodily pain, depression, excessive sweating, reflux or nausea, decreased mental function, suppressed immune system, shortness of breath.

  • Depletion of blood - Symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, anxiety, fear, insomnia, depression, crying spells, suppressed immune system, decreased mental function, numbness.

  • Depletion of yin and yang - Symptoms include excessive heat or cold, excessive hunger or thirst, insomnia, depression, low energy, suppressed immune system, digestive disorders, tremors, tinnitus, anger, irritability, restlessness, muscle weakness.

Treatment Protocol

We use both acupuncture and herbs to provide support for chemo/radiation patients. During the treatment period, herbal therapy is given only with the approval of patient's doctor as during the on-going administration of chemo/radiation many doctors restrict herbal intake to minimize interference. After the treatment period and in good status, patients are allowed to consume most foods, herbs, supplements normally. At this phase of healing, Chinese herbal therapy is vitally important and effective in supporting the recovery. At least 90% of chemo/radiation side-effects are successfully eliminated with the help of Chinese herbs.

If patient stays on acupuncture and Chinese herbal support consistently, the recovery time takes up to one year although patients will start to feel significant relief in the first 2-3 weeks. Because chemo/radiation depletes much of the yin, qi, and blood, the replenishment and rebuilding of these foundational aspects of the body take longer recovery time.

An in-depth assessment and individually tailored treatment recommendation are conducted in person as there may be pre/existing factors of one's health that influence the condition of interest.