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Complementary medicine
in palliative care

How naturopathy and other alternative treatments can help bring relief to those with serious illness

By Craig Cormack

Many years ago, I was working with a client dying from cancer. She was in hospital for the last months of her life. Her doctor agreed that it was okay to treat her with complementary medicine to comfort her in her last days. For example, I gave her astragalus in ginger tea (ginger, lemon and honey) to help keep up her strength. Reiki and colour therapy were given to her as well.

She was in Verdun General Hospital, which was rife with C. difficile and people dying every day. She seemed to be the only one unaffected by it. I believe that the herbs she was being administered daily gave her immunity an edge that the other patients did not have.

She seemed to be doing well considering the circumstances, however, one day, I received the news that she had developed sepsis. Her blood had developed a severe infection and she was suffering from all the usual symptoms such as chills, fever, rapid breathing and rapid heart rate.

She was in Verdun General Hospital, which was rife with C. difficile and people dying every day. She seemed to be the only one unaffected by it. I believe that the herbs she was being administered daily gave her immunity an edge that the other patients did not have.

She was moved to a private area because the doctors determined that she was close to death. A priest was contacted and asked to come in to give her last rights. I was determined to see if there was anything I could do to help comfort her. Her daughter and I went to visit her and we discussed obtaining some more natural products to see if they could help.

I contacted a naturopathic doctor and asked her for advice. She suggested that we give her a combination of grape seed, green tea and turmeric, vitamin C powder and glutamine, mixed in baby food.

We gave her a few spoonfuls of the mixture over a couple of hours. She seemed to like the mixture, became more relaxed, and was able to hold everything down. We gave her more of the mixture over the next few days. Much to the surprise of everyone, including myself, her daughter, her doctor and ultimately the priest, she started to improve.

After a few days, the sepsis seemed to subside and her doctor moved her out of the private room (the departure lounge) and back to her room on the ward. The doctor asked us what we gave to her and we mentioned the formula. He shook his head and said, “Keep up the good work!”

After she recovered, my client regained her quality of life with very little pain, considering the amount of cancer in her body. She enjoyed time with her daughter.

‘The doctor asked us what we gave to her and we mentioned the formula. He shook his head and said, “Keep up the good work!’

One day, we received the news that she had passed away. Her doctor remarked that she did really well, that she died from C. difficile and not from cancer. It was a pleasure and a privilege to work with her as my client.

Feature image: Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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Read also: other articles by Craig Cormack


craig cormack

Craig Cormack, BA, is a Chi Kung and Reiki master, a licensed Chinese massotherapist, and a senior Tai Chi instructor based in Montreal, Canada. He is presently working with seniors to help them stay healthy and keep their balance. He is a principal at Rising Tao Integrative – risingtao.ca




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