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Feb 28 2007
Taking a holistic approach to cancer treatment

Photo by Erin Beil

Deborah Marcantoni, an instructor at Holistic Healing and Health Center, offers Qigong classes to help individuals with cancer or other chronic diseases.

By Erin Beil
The Holistic Healing and Health Center in Silverdale has a new take that might help prevent or stunt the spread of cancer.
In a small studio with bamboo swags placed delicately above windows and a small gold gong in the corner, tranquility is only one sensation upon entering the room. A peaceful bamboo flute can be heard on the speakers as a small oscillating fan blows a gentle breeze in the background.

Through Qigong exercises, an ancient Chinese form of exercise to treat cancer patients, and various meditation exercises, patients can help to manage unnecessary stress which is believed to be linked to the possibility of cancer cells.
Deborah Marcantoni, an instructor at Holistic Healing and Health Center, is trained in three different exercises to help balance out an individual’s energy. 

The three different types of treatment are healthy touch, engergetic therapy and Qigong healing. Through movements, stretches and breathing techniques, different courses are offered to help individuals maintain tranquility in their life.
“Most of our cancer today is caused by stressful lifestyles,” Marcantoni said, adding that she is a survivor of cervical cancer. “I want to teach patients how to balance their life force to heal from their disease.”

Focusing primarily on patients who are suffering from either cancer or other chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, the Qigong treatments involve body movements and breathing techniques to change the internal chemistry of the body.

“We don’t want clients to become dependent on us,” Marcantoni said, adding that in her classes, she teaches meditation varieties and movements that can be done at home as well as in the studio. “We become distracted and don’t take care of our health until it’s too late.”

With a majority of her patients fighting breast cancer, Marcantoni said assistance in managing stress can help with emotions and aid in depression.
“The meditation gives you a tool to manage your stress,” Marcantoni added. “Then your body can heal.”

For Kathy Inboden, Qigong meditations are what helped her remain positive while fighting breast cancer. With a daily meditation at either her home or in the studio, Kathy’s husband Fred Inboden said it was the only remedy that helped her find peace.
“It returned her life to her,” Inboden said. “In a way that traditional means couldn’t have done.”

Upon being diagnosed with breast cancer, Kathy began meditation treatment in conjunction with chemotherapy immediately. Inboden said that he noticed a difference in her presence after the first class.
“It brought her a sense of peace and calm,” he added. “You would’ve never known she had something like this going on.”

During multiple exams and X-rays, doctors found additional spots on Kathy’s liver along with the abnormal lumps in her breast tissue. Marcantoni said that Kathy had three spots on her liver when she began her meditation classes. However, when she went in for another examination after a few months of the Qigong treatment, the spots had reduced to one and it had not grown since her previous appointment.

“She had a radiant smile and consistent courage, including a zeal for life,” Inboden said.
Unfortunately, Kathy succumbed to her disease and passed away on Oct. 12, 2006. Although his wife was unable to survive breast cancer, he said he would still reccomend the Qigong treatments to anyone because “it made such a difference.”
“(Breast cancer) is a very insidious disease,” Inboden added. “She was my soul mate and my best friend ... I am so thankful for the memories.”
The Holistic Healing and Health Center is located at 9301 Linder Way in Silverdale. For information, call Marcatoni at (360) 692-4325

© Copyright 2007 Central Kitsap Reporter

Fewer Deaths From Cancer – Are We Succeeding?
Integrated Medicine Expanding in Kitsap County

The American Cancer Society is reporting the second consecutive year in the decline of deaths due to cancer.  That is great news!  Although the death rate from cancer is declining due to new medical technologies, preventive screenings and pharmaceutical drugs, the incidence of cancer in our American society seems to on the rise.  

We all know that genetics and environment play a role in our risk to cancer, yet after a 20 year study the American National Health Institute now believes that 70% of the illness and disease that affects Americans is due to unmanaged stress.  Patients are listening to their physician’s advice on current medical treatments and taking action to understand what lifestyle choices may have encouraged abnormal cells to proliferate.  

Most medical experts agree that to successfully treat cancer we must take action to surgically remove and/or chemically treat or radiate the abnormal cells.  Successful medical procedures can eliminate the abnormal cells from our body and give us time to make necessary changes in our lifestyles, so we can insure total healing.  The body has great resources to heal itself if we make choices that positively support that healing process.

Integrated Medicine has become well rooted in the field of cancer therapy, for this type of holistic medicine recognizes that true healing requires patients to implement complimentary therapies for nutritional, physical, emotional, mental and energetic support, which all play an important role in strengthening the immune system. 

An ever growing area within Western Integrated Medicine is energy therapy, which has been an integral part of Eastern Medicine for thousands of years.  Although there are many forms of energy therapy practiced in America , the goal of energy therapy is to balance the energy system so that the body can continue to heal itself and strengthen its own immune defense against cancer and/or against any other illness or disease. 

Today throughout the world, Western and Eastern medicines compliment each other in a variety of ways in the treatment of illness, disease and pain.  Americans have become increasingly aware of energy therapy through Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture.  In China , hospitals treat cancer patients with both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western medicine, and add an ancient form of energy exercise called Qigong (Chi Kung).  Qigong is the patients own self-care exercise that strengthens the immune system while it rebuilds and balances the life force of qi, which gives life, vitality and health to all cells, tissues and organs.   

A form of Walking Qigong dates back thousands of years to the Han Dynasty and has been researched for over 30 years in China as a successful complementary therapy to treating cancer when combined with traditional Eastern and Western therapies.   Walking Qigong utilizes specific breathing techniques that strengthens the immune system and tonifies yang qi, to enable healthy cells to regenerate.  A healthy body needs to have strong yang qi and balanced with the right amount of yin qi.  

Chinese research has shown that the immune system is compromised when the body becomes too yin, and it is this over abundance of yin qi and decrease of yang qi which creates an environment where abnormal cells proliferate.   Stress and emotions plays a major role in disturbing the natural balance of yang and yin energies in our body.  With that in mind, it is no wonder that the incidence of cancer has risen dramatically in the last several decades.

Coming to Kitsap County for the first time is a complementary integrative therapy called Qigong for Cancer, which will teach Walking Qigong (strengthens yang qi and immune system) and a Heart Meditation (for emotions and stress).  Research has shown that this form of Walking Qigong has a positive effect on breast cancer, liver cancer, colon cancer and leukemia.  

Qigong for Cancer is simple to learn, can be practiced any time and anywhere, and gives the cancer patient a means to positively effect their own healing capacity.  Qigong for Cancer will be offered as a series of 2 classes over 8 weeks.  For registration and more information, click here.

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