Beyond Traditional Acupuncture: Dr. Wang, Fuda's Approach to Integrative Oncology
By Steven Vasilakis, LAc
Waysun Liao, my Taiji master, introduced me to Dr. Wang, Fuda back in 1997 and encouraged me to learn his special style of acupuncture. While at his clinic in southern Taiwan, I witnessed him successfully treat many complicated diseases, and realized the power of acupuncture was far beyond a mere therapy for temporary pain relief.
Dr. Fuda has dedicated his life to improving the lives of others, and specializes in treating tumors with acupuncture. He is probably the only acupuncturist in the world with such a vast experience treating cancer and cancer-related complications. As a 40-year veteran, he typically treats upwards of 80 patients a day, six days a week. This tremendous amount of clinical experience has enabled Dr. Fuda to develop a unique system of electro-acupuncture that systemically regulates qi and blood, using power input and grounding. With this special technique he is able to get excellent therapeutic results - beyond the capabilities of traditional methods.
Dr. Fuda asserts that his electro-acupuncture system restores the patient's weakened immune system and improves function of the internal organs. For treating patients with cancer, Dr. Fuda has explained that large tumors must first be surgically removed. Following surgery, he initiates a daily acupuncture regimen that activates the body's immune response and helps destroy any remaining cancerous cells. Using this method alone, Dr. Fuda's clinical results are nothing short of miraculous. Not only do his patients get relief from the side effects of chemotherapy, they also have a better chance of long-term survival. Amazingly, a large number of Dr. Fuda's patients have formed a "survivors" club, after outliving the death sentences handed to them by their oncologists.
In regard to point selections, Dr. Fuda mainly chooses major points along the yang channels. Some commonly used points are LI4, LI11, LI15, ST8, ST36, SP6, SP9, SP10, SJ5, GB20, GB39, UB40, and points along the DU channel. Dr. Fuda's treatment protocols basically consist of a pattern of five acupuncture points needled bilaterally, and attached to five channels on the e-stim device. Unlike other e-stim devices, Dr. Fuda's machine has an electrical grounding function, and operates at a set frequency that has shown to deliver optimal results in clinical trials. This approach varies greatly from the common practice of localized electrical stimulation for pain relief. Dr. Fuda said that before he developed his electro-acupuncture machine, one of his earlier methods was to directly ground patients to the Earth. Jokingly, he admitted that he changed methods after an electrical storm caused his patients to jump up off the treatment tables.
While interning at his clinic in southern Taiwan, Dr. Fuda heavily stressed the importance of the acupuncturist's state of mind. He taught me that sincerity and confidence were paramount in successfully treating patients. He said that the mind of the acupuncturist should be focused on the tip of the needle, with utmost care, as if grasping a tiger's tail. This way the acupuncturist's mind and qi fuse together at the tip of the needle to engage the patient's qi and deliver the healing message. He compared this to using a single lantern to ignite several candles. After needle insertion and obtaining qi, I never saw Dr. Fuda use the traditional tonifying, or reducing needle manipulations. He told me that his electrical stimulation was more consistent and easier to control.
During several visits to Dr. Fuda's clinic over the past decade, I had the opportunity to palpate pulses of patients suffering from conditions not ordinarily found in an American acupuncture clinic. I discovered that most cancer patients had pulses indicative of extreme deficiency, especially those actively undergoing chemotherapy. For deficient patients, a formula such as Shi Quan Da Bu Tang (Ten All Inclusive Tonifying Formula) would ordinarily be prescribed to build up the patient's "upright" energy (Zhen Qi). Dr. Fuda however, does not use herbal medicine; he relies solely on acupuncture. He states that his method supports and strengthens the patient's energy, contrary to traditional wisdom that acupuncture may be too depleting for weak patients.
Furthermore, Dr. Fuda asserts that his acupuncture is superior to herbal medicine both in terms of safety and effectiveness. He pointed out the fact that cancer patients who were already taking many strong medicines, had to be careful of drug-herb interactions and other herbal side effects. He also felt that the quality of herbal ingredients could sometimes be questionable.
For treating patients undergoing chemotherapy, acupuncture should be regarded as the therapy of choice. At my clinic, chemotherapy patients often report a cooling sensation moving over their bodies, as they begin to feel much more comfortable. After treatment, which usually lasts about 45 minutes, symptoms such as nausea, or neuropathy, often disappear or are greatly reduced. Patients also report a surge of energy that lasts for several days.
As acupuncturists, our calling is to empower patients, and assist them in overcoming the devastating effects of cancer and chemotherapy just like Dr. Fuda does on a consistent basis. Let us forge ahead in accordance to the principle Primum non nocere "first do no harm."
Steven Vasilakis LAc. is a graduate of Midwest College of Oriental medicine and practices acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine in Plainfield, IL. He interned at Dr. Fuda's research clinic in Madou, Taiwan and was certified by Dr. Fuda in 2008. Steven also studies advanced Tung style acupuncture with Dr. Wang, Chuan-Min, a direct disciple of Master Tung. He can be contacted via his web site at www.acucenter.net.