Addressing the Body, Mind and Spirit with Traditional Chinese Medicine

Addressing the Body, Mind and Spirit with Traditional Chinese Medicine

By Sonja Whitemon

Approximately 64 percent of adults have experienced some type of childhood trauma, which can have lifelong health effects, according to the CDC.  In fact, the CDC reports that Americans who have experienced adverse childhood experiences are at higher risk of dying from five of the top 10 leading causes of death with heart disease and cancer consistently leading the list.

Among these experiences are exposure to violence as a witness or victim or emotional and/or physical bullying. Traumatic childhood experiences could also include the loss of a parent through neglect, abandonment or death.

In her book, “The Silent Suicide: The Link Between PTSD, Addiction and Breast Cancer,” author Margot Dragon — yes, Dragon is her real name— connects the dots between childhood trauma and cancer, particularly breast cancer, from the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Western medicine and emotional factors.

Among her many credentials, she is a licensed acupuncturist, a hypnotist and an NLP practitioner. She is a graduate of the American College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Houston, Texas. She participated in clinical research with Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Woman’s University and now owns Whitespire Center of Oriental Medicine in Concord, North Carolina.

“The Silent Suicide” primarily considers the causes of breast cancer.  “I chose breast cancer because it’s the [cancer that can best be traced to its emotional roots,” she said. “The breast is literally the nourishment between mother and child. And [breast cancer patients] have a disconnect with their mothers … adoptees and birth moms get a lot of breast cancers. People that have been left in orphanages, or if they had to live with their grandparents versus their mother, they have a lot of breast cancer issues.”

Margot Dragon was awarded a full scholarship to medical school but passed it up in favor of studying TCM, which considers more than just the physical condition associated with disease.

Unlike Western medicine, TCM involves the body, mind and spirit. “When we look at diseases, the physical will always be equal to the emotional,” said Dragon. “For example, the root cause of cancer runs deep within a person and can be connected to some unresolved emotional or physical experiences between a mother and child.”

Her own personal experiences drove her interest in the TCM approach to health care. She describes her upbringing as dysfunctional and fraught with medical issues that were not resolved with the Western style of health care.

A turning point occurred when a teammate on her softball team developed what turned out to be a xanthoma, or stye, on his eyelid. A few years later, he went to the hospital with back pain. Two hospital visits later, doctors discovered the cause of his pain — a grapefruit-sized tumor in his abdomen. That tumor ended up taking his life.

This experience led her to read “The Cancer Prevention Diet” by Michio Kushi. In the book, there was a diagram of the eye that showed the location of her teammate’s stye. Kushi explained that the stye on his eyelid was an indication that his organs were not functioning at full capacity and that there was a propensity for tumor growth in the abdomen. “So, I said, ‘You know, oh my gosh!’ So, I got the book thinking that I could have saved his life.”

Her journey with TCM started with studying the diet and the Japanese philosophy of Yin and Yang. She studied how foods function as medicine and they can rebalance the body and help it heal, even with cancer.”

Dragon believes that Western medicine should begin to look at cancer from a broader perspective than it currently does because the mind, body and spirit are all interconnected. “[Doctors could] radiate or cut out or chemo the cancer. But if [they] don’t deal with the emotional trauma that is unresolved, the inner child will go right back and pick the same foods that it picked before,” she said.

“I always say everybody is a drug addict. You know, everybody has their drug of choice, whether it’s food or some kind of addiction,” Dragon said. “And if we don’t sober up as human beings and take responsibility, we’re never going to learn how to heal cause our parents are broken parents. They’re broken inner children, and they can’t teach us two major things, and those two major things are not to abandon ourselves and how to learn how to love ourselves.”