Brain Tumours

Brain Tumors: by Tom Tam

Brain tumors account for one in every one hundred cancer cases diagnosed annually in the United States. Western medicine struggles to deal with brain tumors because often times the prescription of the “Big Three” is restricted. Some areas of the brain cannot be operated on, or is too risky to be operated on. It could be hard for chemotherapy to get into the brain. Radiation may help, but it cannot be used over a long period of time. The most common method used in this case is the prescription of steroids. However, steroids cannot completely get rid of the tumors; it merely prevents the brain from swelling.

When we treat brain tumors or any brain problems such as stroke, ADD, memory loss, Parkinson disease, or cerebral palsy, the first thing we should pay attention to is the circulation of the brain. With abnormal circulation, there will be abnormality in the functioning of the brain. This is common sense. The brain needs more blood supply than other organs in the body. It is a small organ, constituting only 2% of the total size of the body, but its blood circulation accounts for 20% of the entire body’s blood supply. Blood supply to the brain comes from two major arteries - the vertebral artery and the common carotid artery.

Vertebral and Common Carotid Arteries

There is a left side and a right side to the vertebral artery. The vertebral artery passes through the foramina of the transverse process of the cervical vertebra and enters the skull through the foramen magnum to reach the inferior surface of the brain. This and the common carotid artery both go up to the brain forming the basilar artery. The common carotid artery branches into the right and left. We can touch these two arteries in the frontal neck area. The common carotid artery splits into the internal and external arteries. The internal common carotid artery and basilar artery form the cerebral arterial circle, which is called the Circle of Willis. The Circle of Willis cannot be treated by external physical stimulation since it is protected by the skull. However, all of the arteries supplying blood to the brain are from the aortic arch in the heart area. This area is also well protected and does not benefit from external physical stimulation. In Tong Ren healing, we can open the blockage in the Sky Window area through indirect stimulation to the vertebral and common carotid arteries. In the Tom Tam Healing System, the Sky Window is the pathway for blood circulation between the body and the brain. With any brain problems, including tumors, we have to pay special attention to opening any blockage in the Sky Window area, which is located around the Sternocleidomastoid (SCM). Along the length of the anterior SCM is the Large Intestine Meridian, and the posterior section of the SCM is where the Small Intestine and Triple Warmer Meridians are located.

In Tong Ren healing, we usually start with using the Sky Window points ST12 and ST11 located in the collarbone area to open up the brachiocephalic artery. Then we open the Sky Window further at SI16, LI17 and LI18. The Tiandong point, TW16 and TW17 are for opening up blockages on the vertebral artery. In TCM practice, these points are rarely used for the treatment of brain diseases because they are very close to the arteries and would be an easy cause for malpractice if one uses acupuncture needles on the patient in this area. In western medical practice, no one pays attention to the arteries because MRI’s show that the tumor is located inside the brain, not in the arteries. Yet, while treating brain tumor cases, we usually find blockages in the Sky Window area. When experts treat brain tumors, no one would pay any attention to the Sky Window blockage or malfunctioning of any artery, making the treatment of a brain tumor extremely difficult.

The brain itself generates bioelectricity. This bioelectricity connects the entire nervous system. The medulla is the connector between the brain and the spinal nerves, while the cerebellum regulates the medulla. For any type of cancer, we must check the BL9 and GB19 area first. The blockage in this area may be caused by injury at C1. We should also check C1 on the same side of the tumor (e.g. if the brain tumor is on the right side, check C1 on the right side) to open any blockage. Very often people who have brain tumors may have blockages at BL9 and GB19. We find that in different areas of the brain, whether the tumors are benign or malignant, the major blockage is from C1 and C2. C1 covers the top of the head, the part with hair growth. C2 covers the frontal lobe area. If a brain tumor patient has problem with movements, it is because of malfunctioning of the motor cortex, which is connected to C1. If the patient has loss of memory or speech problems, a blockage at C2 is the cause of the malfunctioning within the frontal and temporal lobe. When a patient feels there is an eye problem, it is C3, which is blocked. If the tumor is big or if there are multiple tumors, all the above symptoms may be present. Since a brain tumor or brain tumors may cause problems all the way down to C7, we have to check C1 to C7 and open any blockages.

Sky Window and Neck Points

Blockages at C1 and C2 may be caused by injury of the neck; therefore to treat a brain tumor, we need to check the muscle from the area behind the ear extending to the collarbone.

Brain tumors can be classified by the type of cells involved, such as meningioma, astrocytoma, and lymphoma, or by the location in the brain. Metastasized cells may grow in one or several areas of the brain. The type of brain tumor is insignificant, whether it be a late stage benign meningioma or a more aggressive glioma. Furthermore, whether it is located deep inside the brain or on the surface of the lobe is irrelevant. For all brain tumor cases, the Tong Ren treatment is the same, to first open the Sky Window for blood circulation, then to stimulate the Ouch Point where the tumor is found. The success rate of healing brain tumors with Tong Ren is high because we pay attention to the blood circulation in the neck area rather than just on the tumor.

About one third of patients diagnosed with brain tumor experience seizures. Seizures are caused by abnormal electrical signals. To keep the electrical signal in a normal condition, we must again consider the blood circulation inside the brain. Seizures can reflect the brain’s condition. Each time we treat brain tumor, we ask the patient about the improvement of the seizure condition to check the progress of the healing.

Tumors located in different areas of the brain will lead to different symptoms. For example, a tumor in the motor cortex may create problems in body movement, while a tumor in the sensory cortex may cause sensation-related problems. If it is in the language area of the brain, problem with speech may arise. Strokes resulting from brain tumors will similarly cause different dysfunctions depending on the area of the brain affected.

In the treatment for brain tumors, we focus on opening the C1 to C3 area. To know the Ouch Point or the location of the tumor, we need a medical report. An MRI can show the exact location of the tumor. If we do not have any information from a medical report, we can use our hand to scan the Chi in the head. The accuracy of locating the tumor can be very high if the scanning is done by someone who has a lot of experience. Alternatively, we can also try to decipher the symptoms to determine the affected area. For instance, if a patient has a problem with the right hand, the left side of the motor cortex in the hand area is probably blocked by the tumor. If there is a problem with speech, the tumor is probably blocking the Broca’s area on the left side.

There have been a lot of successful cases with Tong Ren being used for the treatment of brain tumors. Please note that neck exercises based on stretching are beneficial if the patient feels well enough to do them.

Most malignant brain tumors and brain cancers are metastasized from other cancerous organs in the body, including cancers of the breast, lung, malignant melanoma and cancers of blood cells such as leukemia and lymphoma. If the brain tumor is metastasized from cancers of other organs or blood cells, we must treat the primary cancer first. Usually when the primary cancer stops spreading, the brain tumor can be easily controlled or will disappear.

In a medical dictionary, we can easily find more than 120 different types of brain tumors, many of which even have subtypes. In our practice, patients often report the seriousness of their tumors, or tell us their specific names. However, in modern medicine, there is still lack of understanding of the brain itself; even brain tumor experts are struggling with this. To date, with modern medicine there is a low survival rate for patients with brain tumors.

When we treat brain tumors, whether it is benign or malignant or at any cancerous stage, we must first open the blockage in the neck, which is the pathway of blood supply to the brain. The next step is to open the cervical vertebra and Ouch Point (the location of the tumor).

In modern medicine, it is not understood how brain tumors develop. Western medical research focuses on the study of brain cells. In the Tom Tam Healing System, although we do not know exactly how the cancer cells form in the brain, we have observed a common trend with brain tumor patients: a blockage in the neck area, usually at C1, C2, C3, SCM or Sky Window area. To treat the brain tumor or prevent it, we need to release the blockage in the neck area through neck exercise, Tui Na massage, acupuncture or other types of relaxation. Anything we do to release the tension in the neck area will be useful in helping a patient with brain tumor heal.

Many argue that cell phones cause brain tumors, and this is still a controversial topic for discussion. The use of cell phones, computers and mini game stations can cause the increase of tension in the neck, which may slow down blood circulation and create a blockage, ultimately causing brain problems.

The brain governs the mind and body. Emotions are governed by the mind. Some refer to this as the mind/body connection. Therefore maintaining mental balance, which leads to a calm mind, plays a major role in the entirety of the healing process. While undergoing the healing process, most brain tumor patients naturally develop some kind of emotional imbalance. Therefore, we need to focus on treatment of the emotions as well. With Tong Ren Healing, we can use GB13 and C2 to help the patients relax their minds. Practicing Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Yoga, meditation, or any type of internal exercise can slow down the brain waves, which may help the healing and lower the chance of anybody getting a brain tumor.