Our Services

medical oncology

Our oncology team provides evidenced-based modern oncology in a unique and supportive environment. Our oncologists personalize their treatment plans for each patient, utilizing the best of modern medicine in conjunction with an optimized integrative care plan from our multi-disciplinary team.

The philosophy of our medical team is patient-centered care that considers all aspects of the patient, including the body, mind, and spirit. “By addressing the whole patient we hope to positively impact our patient's response to therapy, quality of life, and survivorship while decreasing therapy related toxicity,” says Dr. Klimant.

Our oncologists and advanced practitioners spend ample time with each patient and ensure every patient has an understanding of their disease, the therapies recommended, and what the goals of treatment are.

Salish Cancer Center serves both native and non-native patients with cancers of all types, including hematologic disease. Common recommended therapies include chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, surgery and/or radiation. Utilizing the concepts of modern oncology, our oncologists genetically characterize cancers when indicated and personalize treatment plans based on the most cutting edge genomic medicine available. Our treatment plan incorporates patient preferences, cultural beliefs, and impacts of prior therapy to develop a truly personalized and unique plan.

Our dedicated team will work to ensure your cancer journey is as convenient as possible. We are accustomed to arranging out-of-town laboratories, cancer imaging modalities, and/or assistance with travel when needed.

The experience of cancer is often a frightening one. Salish Cancer Center is a place to receive modern oncology care in a supportive and nurturing environment that focuses on a positive and welcoming patient experience within a multi-disciplinary communicative team.

We look forward to meeting you and understanding you or your loved one’s journey. We hope to work together as a team to offer you the best of modern oncology and evidenced-based complementary whole-person care.

naturopathic oncology

Salish Cancer Center continues an 18-year tradition of fully integrating naturopathic medicine and conventional oncology. We have observed that patients who receive integrative treatments have fewer side effects and, many times, a better quality of life. Our naturopathic physicians are among the first in the nation to pass rigorous exams to become board-certified naturopathic oncologists. Working together with our medical oncologists, they are experts in providing individualized, science-based treatment plans for each patient.

Our goal is to improve patients’ whole health and well-being. Our naturopathic oncologists work to identify risk factors that facilitate cancer growth and correct them in order to reduce the likelihood of recurrence or progression. Your naturopathic oncologist will also provide support for each patient to achieve the following goals:

  • Reduce the side effects of treatment
  • Increase tumor death from conventional treatment
  • Support immune function
  • Improve overall health
  • Use natural tumor inhibiting herbs
  • Modulate tumor promoting hormones
  • Reduce risk of recurrence after completing treatment

The overall effect of our team approach is to make treatment more tolerable and more effective. Our naturopathic oncologists advocate using other support services provided here including acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

NATIVE AMERICAN TRADITIONAL HEALING

Traditional Healers come from many different tribes throughout the United States, offering help in their own unique way. Traditional Healing practices are founded on the understanding that health is our natural state. As we live in balance with Mother Earth, and our Creator, we too are in balance and live in good health.

Native American Traditional Healing practices are founded on our connection as human beings to the natural environment, natural cycles and our deeper connection to the spirit of all things. Health is our natural state and as we live in balance with Mother Earth and our Creator, we too are in balance and are healthy.

Traditional Native Healers come from many different tribes throughout the United States, offering help through their own tribe’s cultural beliefs and practices. The Native Healer’s deep connection to the natural environment and their understanding of the true spiritual nature of creation, including the human experience, takes many years to obtain and yet many are born with this innate wisdom. From this place of understanding, Healers help others obtain a connection to their own natural and spiritual selves, where healing can take place.

It is understood that health is our natural state and as we live in balance with Mother Earth, and our Creator, we too are in balance. A disconnect from the natural spiritual nature of all things, toxic environmental exposure and emotional trauma can cause an individual’s disconnect thus manifesting as illness. The modalities of treatment in the realm of traditional medicine varies as they are dependent on the person’s unique presentation and strive to create an opportunity for the individual to understand the nature and root of the illness in order to regain health and re-establish this connection.

Access to healing can be generated from the physical level in the form of herbs, foods, and music, or in ways that reconnect the individual to the natural environment. A combination of treatments from the emotional, and spiritual levels through prayer, meditation, song and ceremony are also commonly used. Within each of us lies the ability to heal ourselves. We all have equal access to this power and are capable of reaching our natural state of health however, assistance from a Healer, whether it be a Traditional Healer or other practitioners who practice Chinese, Naturopathic, Ayurvedic or Western Medicine are often needed to assist the individual through the path to recovery.

Here at Salish Cancer Center Traditional Healing Practices, Chinese Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine and Medical Oncology are essential to the healing process and are offered either separately or together synergistically supporting and accelerating the healing process.

Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine, also known as East Asian medicine or Oriental Medicine, is an entire medical system that has continually developed over thousands of years with its own medical theory, diagnosis, and treatment plan.

diagnosis:

An acupuncturist develops keen diagnostic skills to effectively evaluate the quality, quantity and balance of Qi flowing within the body.  Diagnosis may involve five main techniques:

  • Pulse diagnosis - Over 26 subtle variations in the quality of the pulse are felt at six different positions on each wrist.
  • Looking - A person’s appearance, demeanor and tone of voice, as well as the color, shape and size of the tongue, provide an acupuncturist with vital clues about internal health.
  • Asking – By asking questions, information is gathered about past medical history, present health, lifestyle and emotional state.
  • Physical examination – Palpation of specific areas and acupuncture points can reveal imbalances.
  • Diagnostic tools – By reviewing medical charts, imaging, and pertinent lab information an acupuncturist can further tailor treatment plans.

What is QI?

QI: Pronounced “Chee”

Inside of you is an intelligent, energetic system that maintains health and balance Einstein showed us that everything is made of, and radiates energy. This subtle form of energy supports, shapes and enlivens our physical body and activates our lives. For the past 5,000 years, practitioners of acupuncture have called this intelligent energy Qi (pronounced “chee”). Numerous cultures have described this energy and called it by many names: prana, baraka, pneuma, spirit, wakan, material force, vital force, orgone, ether and ruach. Qi is the vital energy in all living things, from the tallest tree to the smallest cell. It is a combination of energies, mixed together from our food, air and inherited constitution. Qi provides the power to accomplish everyday activities. It is necessary for growth, development, movement, maintenance of body temperature, protection against illness and disease, and overall regulation of the body. Our health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi. Ancient practitioners said, “When Qi gathers, the physical body is formed; when Qi disperses, the body passes on.”

Modalities offered:

Acupuncture – Tiny, disposable, sterile needles placed gently into specific acupuncture points.
Herbs – Chinese herbal medicine draws from thousands of herbs for specific conditions.
Moxibustion – Dried mugwort leaves are rolled into a stick or placed on the end of needles, then burned as a warming therapy during treatment.
Oriental nutrition – Specific foods used to strengthen, rebuild and balance the body.
Qi Gong – Specific movements and breathing exercises used to improve health and vitality.
Electro-acupuncture – Acupuncture points are stimulated using a safe, gentle electrical current.
Acupressure/Tuina – A massage technique that stimulates the meridians, facilitating the flow of Qi.
Gua Sha – A gentle scraping of the skin surface using a Gua Sha tool to increase circulation.
Cupping – Using glass or bamboo cups to create a vacuum to increase warmth and circulation.

What are Meridians?

Meridians:

Meridians are like rivers inside the body. Wherever a river flows, it carries water that provides nourishment and sustenance for life on our planet. Similarly, meridians are the rivers where Qi flows inside of us. Qi flows through meridians as an invisible current, energizing, nourishing and supporting every cell, tissue, muscle, organ and gland.

The stresses of daily life affect the quality and flow of Qi. Different stresses affect meridians and organ systems in different ways, disrupting or blocking Qi flow. If a garden hose is blocked, it cannot provide an adequate supply of water to a plant. Eventually, the plant will be unable to thrive, grow and blossom. Likewise, a blockage in the meridians will restrict the supply of Qi required to nourish and support the cells, tissues, muscles, organs and glands. This blockage can manifest into various signs and symptoms. Over time, the body as a whole becomes weakened, unbalanced, and its self-healing abilities are compromised. Eventually, it becomes susceptible to pain, disease, stress, anxiety and poor health.

how does acupuncture work?

augmentation of Immunity Theory

The immune system functions as a sensory organ informing the brain that inflammation and tissue injury are present. Because the brain and the innate immune system form a bidirectional network via neural and humoral pathways, the brain responds by initiating a limited and localized release of antibodies, white blood cells, immunoglobulins, hormones, and various chemicals that assist in self-defense (Kavoussi & Ross, 2007).

vascular-interstitial theory

When the needle is twirled, lifted and thrust, the winding of collagen on the acupuncture needle changes the interstitial microenvironment which produces mechanical stimulation. The stimulation causes degranulation in local mast cells and the release of biological mediators such as histamine, Substance P, Leukotriene C4, and so forth. These mediators can further activate mast cells and excite nerve endings, which may lead to “De-qi” (a local sensation of heaviness, numbness, soreness, or paresthesia, which is believed to be an important aspect of acupuncture treatment). Moreover, these mediators have a powerful effect in increasing capillary permeability and increasing interstitial flow. The increased flow not only increases the T cell to activate local mast cells but also transports biological mediators secreted by mast cells to activate other mast cells along the flow path (Yao, Li, Ding, 2012).

circulatory theory

The impact on the immune system of puncturing the skin can cause constriction or dilation of blood vessels leading to extravasations of immune components.

neurotransmitter theory

Acupuncture can affect neurotransmitters serotonin and noradrenaline, thereby producing calming effects during and after treatment. Additionally, this neurotransmitter adjustment can further influence the release of hormones.

Autonomic Nervous System Theory

Acupuncture stimulates the release of norepinephrine, acetylcholine, endorphins, enkaphalins, and other opioids, affecting changes in the autonomic nervous system via the nerve muscle connection thereby reducing pain.

electrical Theory

The body’s electromagnetic field constantly produces infinitesimal electrical discharges creating an electrical field that can influence cell growth, development, and function. Needling can stimulate this electrical field and alter levels of neurotransmitters via point locations of low electrical resistance.

gate Theory

The “gate” is part of the nervous system along the spinal cord in the region called the substantia gelatinosa, through which all pain signals travel. Acupuncture activates large nerve fibers that close the gate and keep all pain signals from reaching the brain. It is believed that gate control is due to a noxious stimulus from the needle “diffuse noxious inhibitory control” that is mediated by releasing endogenous opioid neuropeptides and or monoaminergic neurotransmitters.

frequently asked questions

is acupuncture safe?

Yes! It has been used for well over 5000 years to help billions of people to get well and stay healthy, without drugs and surgery. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved acupuncture needles for use by license practitioners in 1996. The FDA requires that acupuncturists follow strict safety guidelines and use only sterile, nontoxic needles that are labeled for single use only.

Do Acupuncture needles hurt?

Naturally, people associated needle pain with their past experience with hypodermic needles. You can fit close to 10 acupuncture needles inside the tip of one hypodermic needle. Acupuncture needles are tiny, thin and flexible, about the size of a cat’s whisker. Once the needles are inserted, some patients may experience a mild tingling or a sensation of fullness, along with an increased sense of relaxation. These are all quite normal and suggest that the treatment is working.

How many treatments will I need?

Each patient is different. The initial phase of the treatment plan is usually between 4-10 visits. The length of treatment depends on how long the condition has been present and how quickly the patient responds to treatment. Generally if a condition is more acute, patients respond faster than if it’s been a chronic condition. For patients undergoing cancer treatment, it is preferable to receive weekly acupuncture throughout the course of your treatment.

For patients undergoing radiation, best results are seen when patients can receive 2-3 acupuncture treatments weekly throughout the entire course of radiation. For surgical candidates, patients respond well if they receive acupuncture 24-48 hours prior to surgery, and depending on the type of surgery, it is recommended to begin acupuncture treatments while still in the hospital recovering from surgery and continue immediately upon release.

What education does an acupuncturist receive?

The education of acupuncturists can vary depending on the degree and license received. On average, most practitioners have a minimum of an associate degree prior to beginning acupuncture/Chinese medicine education. Practitioners that are licensed acupuncturists require a 3 year master program. Oriental medicine practitioners (acupuncture and Chinese medicinal herbs) require a 4 year master program. Specialist practitioners or Doctors (oncology, women’s health, orthopedics, psychology, etc.) require completion of an Oriental medicine program of 4 years and 2 additional years to receive a Doctorate degree for a total of a 6 year program.

understanding treatments and their side effects

treatments

Cancer is an overall term for a group of diseases that occur when cells begin to reproduce abnormally, eventually damaging or killing healthy tissue. Most cancers are named according to where they begin in the body, and there are more than 100 different types. The most common are breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. Your treatment plan will be based on many factors, including the type and stage (how far it has spread) of the cancer and your overall health. While cancer treatments have proven to be effective, they do have serious side effects to take into account. The most common treatments include:

  • Surgery: Performed to remove the cancer if possible. Surgery may be used alone or along with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or biological therapy.
  • Chemotherapy: The use of medications to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy generally lasts from 3 to 9 months, and can have side effect including fatigue, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, early menopause, and hot flashes.
  • Radiation therapy: The use of high doses of radiation to destroy cancer cells. Side effects generally include fatigue, hair loss, and skin darkening at the site of the treatment.
  • Biological therapy: This treatment works by boosting the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells. Side effects depend on the specific type of therapy, but they can include rashes or swelling, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, nausea, and loss of appetite.
It is important to remember that acupuncture is not a quick fix nor will it cure cancer.

How Acupuncture and chinese medicine can help

Acupuncture and TCM have been used for thousands of years to maintain health and relieve symptoms. Practitioners work to treat imbalances in the body’s Qi, or vital energy, by inserting fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints.

Since acupuncture has few side effects, it can be safely used as a complement to conventional cancer treatments. In fact, in many cancer cases it’s recommended as a way to soothe and reduce side effects. According to the National Institute of Health, acupuncture has been found to be effective in relieving:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Post-surgical pain

Acupuncture and TCM can also help relieve stress, depression, and anxiety, which can greatly improve your quality of life during this challenging time.

In addition to acupuncture, your practitioner may also provide massage, acupressure, nutritional counseling, or an exercise program designed to help you stay as healthy as possible. He/she may also recommend herbal medicines. Remember to always communicate with your health care providers about these and any other medication you take in order to avoid any known drug interactions.

insurance coverage

Most recently, acupuncture has been deemed an essential health care benefit to be included in all insurance plans within the states of Washington, California, New Mexico, Colorado and Maryland, with other insurance carriers at least offering supplemental plans to cover complimentary medicine. This, in combination with favorable studies showing the efficacy of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, and the military incorporating acupuncture into battlefield and hospitals, has led to a gain in patient demand. If your insurance plan does not include acupuncture, you can usually request this benefit be added on.

We do offer a cash rate.  Please contact our office for further information.

cancer care

Cancer. It’s a diagnosis that no one wants to hear. It can leave you feeling frightened, uncertain, and powerless. But if you or a loved one is facing cancer, it’s important to have hope. In many cases, cancer can be cured, especially when it’s detected early. There are more treatments available now than ever before to cure cancer or slow it from spreading, relieve its symptoms, and help you live a healthier life.

It’s also important to know that you have options in addition to standard medical therapies. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have been used for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of conditions. It can safely be used to naturally support your body and mind as you undergo conventional cancer treatments.

Cancer treatment according to Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on Fu Zhen Gu Ben principles. Fu Zhen means strengthening what is correct. It is an immune enhancing herbal regimen using specific herbs. The objective is to support and stimulate deep energy systems within the body to make it stronger and more resistant to degeneration. Gu Ben refers to strengthening and supporting the body to regenerate and repair.

Treatment may include:

  • Removing toxins that may contribute to cancer
  • Increasing the flow of blood and Qi
  • Removing accumulations of tissue that are believed to be the tumor
  • Restoring self-regulation and balance among the Jing, Qi and Shen

treating the person, not just the disease

Acupuncture practitioners take a holistic, or whole-body, approach to cancer care. This means that not only will your symptoms be considered, but also your lifestyle, emotional state, and overall health. Your whole being will be taken in to account, not just the cancer. When you work with your practitioner to improve your health and relieve your side effects, you are not only helping yourself get the most from conventional treatments, you’re taking back control of your own life, and adopting some simple lifestyle changes. You will be on your way toward a healthier, happier, pain-free life.

Your First Visit

Initial visits generally last from thirty to ninety minutes. Your acupuncturist will take a detailed health history, possibly perform a physical exam, and provide you with your unique treatment plan. During your first exam, your acupuncturist will spend time getting to know you and your health concerns. You may be asked a wide range of questions about your symptoms, eating, exercise, sleep habits, emotional states, and anything that may offer insight into your health. Your acupuncturist will also employ diagnostic tools that are unique to acupuncture and TCM such as tongue and pulse diagnosis.

your treatment plan

Once your acupuncturist has gathered enough information, you will receive a comprehensive diagnosis and a treatment plan that will explain:

  • Your underlying imbalances
  • Your timeline of care
  • What types of treatment you will receive

Your role in the healing process

Your actions are a key component of your treatment plan. Focusing on your health and committing to a healthy lifestyle are the best steps you can take for your well-being. Together, you and your acupuncturist can help heal your imbalances and help you achiever harmony and balance.

Even after your symptoms are resolved, acupuncture can assist you in maintaining your health, and possibly prevent future imbalances. The more you incorporate acupuncture and TCM into your life, the more you will learn to nurture your body, mind and spirit.

Getting the most from your acupuncture treatment

For the best treatment results, keep a few things in mind:

  • Please show up on time
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothes
  • Be sure to discuss any questions or concerns with your acupuncturist
  • Refrain from overexertion, drugs or alcohol for at least six hours after treatment
  • Follow your treatment plan between visits
  • Keep all of your appointments, as each visit builds upon the previous ones

Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of:

Addiction
Anxiety
Arthritis
Asthma
Bronchitis
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Chronic fatigue
Colitis
Common cold
Constipation
Dental pain
Depression
Diarrhea
Digestive trouble
Dizziness
Dysentery
Emotional problems
Eye problems

Facial palsy
Fatigue
Fertility
Fibromyalgia
Gingivitis
Headache
Hiccough
Incontinence
Indigestion
Irritable bowel syndrome
Low back pain
Menopause
Menstrual irregularities
Migraine
Morning sickness
Nausea
Osteoarthritis
Pain

PMS
Pneumonia
Reproductive problems
Rhinitis
Sciatica
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
Shoulder pain
Sinusitis
Sleep disturbances
Smoking cessation
Sore throat
Stress
Tennis elbow
Tonsillitis
Tooth pain
Trigeminal neuralgia
Urinary tract infections
Vomiting
Wrist pain

care coordination

We take a holistic approach to coordinating the physical, mental, emotional and practical issues of your cancer care. Our Nurse Practitioner is an integral part of your cancer care team and helps to ensure overall good health during your treatment.

integrative medicine dispensary

The supplements in our dispensary are available by prescription only. All of our supplements undergo extensive quality assurance and quality control testing to ensure they meet the highest standards for safety and efficacy.