Restored Harmony: An Evidence Based Approach for Integrating Traditional Chinese Medicine into Complementary Cancer Care
by Stephen M., M.D. Sagar, published by Dreaming Dragonfly Communications (2001-09)
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Amazon rating of 4.5 out of 5, Amazon sales rank: 397160
Restored Harmony weaves the science and art of Traditional Chinese Medicine into the conventional treatment for cancer. It takes the reader on a poetic journey through the diagnosis, therapeutic plan, and supportive care of patients with cancer. The author blends current scientific knowledge of mind-body medicine,psycho-neuro-immunology and quantum physics with the ancient wisdom of acupuncture, herbs, and energy medicine. The evidence for specific complementary therapies are clearly stated. A new model of holistic cancer care is presented in which the patient and all healthcare providers work together as a seamless system, focused on care of the body, mind, and spirit.
I am also a professor of Chinese Medicine in the United States and I totally disagree with the comments from the Chinese Medicine doctor from Canada. Restored Harmony is an excellent book for bridging the gap between cancer physicians and their patients and TCM doctors. I don't think it was ever intended to be a text book on Chinese Medicine. I have heard Dr Sagar lecture and he clearly has a fundamental understanding of what Chinese Medicine is all about and makes it clear that he is an oncologist with an interest in using Chinese Medicine to support patients during their cancer treatment. I recommend that all my students read this book. Dr. Kohn and Mr. Greenwood have written excellent reviews of Dr. Sagar's work, and I agree with both of them. "Restored Harmony" is an excellent introduction to the ways in which traditional Chinese medicine can be incorporated into a more holistic approach to cancer treatment. The fault of Western medical thought is that the whole can be understood as a sum of parts. In other words, life can be understood once the structure and function of each biochemical pathway and organ system has been elucidated. But our everyday experience contradicts this 'reductionist' viewpoint. For example in no case can the behavior of any element or molecular structure be accurately predicted simply from an understanding of the behavior of the subatomic particles from which they are all constructed. The reductionist model leads inevitably to a mindset that cancer can be conquered simply by eradicated the diseased cell clones. I agree with Dr. Sagar that this view is simplistic and incomplete. The bible of cancer medicine, "Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology", contains in its index not a singe reference to healing. All of traditional Western medical oncology is based on tissue destruction, not healing. My personal belief is that reorientation of our Western mindset is in order, and Dr. Sagar's book is a valuable step in that direction.
Michael Shea, MDThis book presents a very limited and somewhat simplistic approach to the integration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) & Western Medicine. Dr. Sagar, with limited training in TCM has attempted to over-simplify the integration of TCM into mainstream Western-style treatment/ integration of TCM into conventional Western-style management of cancer.....this is making the assumption that all patients undergoing treatment can be over-simplified into the discussion he utilizes in his book. For patients seeking to understand the integration of both systems of medicine and how they may possibly interface this book may provide a limited eye-opening limited view;-however for practitioners this book poses the dilemma of being overly simplistic and even a dis-service to those inexperienced in dealing with a disease of such a serious and complicated nature. It may provide a good starting point.......but let's face this is a serious condition and the content of this book barely scratches the surface of the potential of the interfacing of both sytems of medicine when "properly" applied. In a line " agood starting point, but definitely not definitive and limited". Let's hope this is this beginning of some quality books of this type that will follow.Harmony restored!
A captivating book. Thoughful and stimulating, skillfully weaving together Dr Sagar's scientific and creative insights.
This outstanding work is compelling reading. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in health and healing.
Dr Michelle Kohn
Medical Advisor in Integrative Cancer CareThe appropriate place of complementary medicine in the treatment of cancer can be hard to discern. For example, can acupuncture have a favourable influence? And what is the place of herbal therapy, therapeutic touch, or meditation alongside conventional regimens such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy? Restored Harmony addresses all these questions and more. Written by a respected oncologist with extensive experience with both traditional and complementary medicine, the book weaves science and ancient wisdom together in a lucid and engaging style.
The conventional medical view is that cancer represents a clone of cells which has outgrown its environmental constraints and control mechanisms. But as Dr. Sagar points out, this view is giving way to a deeper holistic view, which includes complexity theories, informational field effects, and the science of complex adaptive systems. In complex systems there is a dynamic balance point between chaos and order, the stability of which reflects the system's overall fitness. Cancer arises when this balance point shifts away from order toward chaos, which in turn reflects a disharmony in the information field. Because field disharmonies are the very stuff of acupuncture, herbs and therapeutic touch, the emerging holistic view bridges the gap between orthodox and complementary medicine.
Dr. Sagar's wide ranging discussion goes from mechanistic reductionism to quantum theory, from psychoneuroimmunology to the Chinese 5-elements, from chemotherapy to herbs and acupuncture, while remaining concise and to-the-point, and without getting caught up in hard-to-understand scientific verbiage of evidence-based medicine. In doing so he enlarges our view of cancer, demonstrating the underlying beauty of the human body and its responses to life challenges. Dr. Sagar is a rare breed of physician, a visionary oncologist and mystic, who has the ability to share his wisdom in the written word. Anyone interested in the place of alternative or complementary medicine for cancer will find this book immensely valuable.
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