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Integrative health care—now available for our Cancer Institute patients—is a holistic approach to health improvement that takes into consideration an individual's physical and emotional well-being. Integrative health:

  • Addresses the the physical and emotional aspects of a patient’s health, not just the symptoms
  • Includes conventional and complementary health care approaches
  • Complements standard medical care
  • Has been shown to improve patients’ quality of life

Our integrative health services include the following:

Acupuncture

Acupuncture—one of the oldest specialized medical therapies—has been used for centuries to help treat, manage and prevent health problems. During treatment, thin, sterile, disposable needles are inserted into specific parts of the body, known as acupuncture points. Acupuncture is:

  • Safe and effective, and appropriate for virtually everyone
  • Used to treat a variety of diseases and conditions, including stress, depression, hypertension and stroke, and to aid with pain management
  • "Self-healing" — it promotes the body's natural ability to heal by triggering the release of neurochemicals, which influence the body's internal regulating system

Aromatherapy

This treatment makes use of pleasant-smelling essential oils. Aromatherapy:  

  • Improves psychological and physical well-being
  • Promotes relaxation and stress reduction

Art Therapy/Journaling

This creative and self-expressive form of therapy can include painting, drawing, jewelry-making, scrap-booking, crafting and more, as well as the production of written & illustrative accounts of life experiences. Art therapy and journaling can:

  • Allow patients to express themselves and process their health care experience in a creative way
  • Promote relaxation and stress reduction
  • Use the imagination to help patients connect with their feelings and address challenging emotional issues
  • Heighten the senses of empowerment and well-being
  • Help patients process feelings of grief, trauma and loss
  • Provide a renewed sense of clarity and purpose

Emotional Support

Our team of trained specialists and peer counselors offer emotional and psychosocial support and access to resources during cancer treatment and beyond. We offer: 

  • Ongoing educational post-treatment lectures
  • One-on-one consultations with a Cancer Institute social worker
  • A partner support workshop, designed to provide spouses and family members with coping strategies and information to best support their loved one in treatment
  • For breast cancer patients, we can pair them with mentors--all of whom are breast cancer survivors, trained in all aspects of support

Healing Touch

This technique uses gentle hand placements to restore one's senses of harmony and balance.Treatments may include light touch and/or placing hands just off the body. Healing Touch:

  • Has been shown to reduce pain, anxiety and nausea 
  • Can help facilitate balance and promote mind-body-spirit healing
  • Works in harmony with standard medical care
  • Supports the body's natural ability to heal

Massage

Massage therapy involves manipulating the body’s soft tissues by stroking, kneading or with the application of pressure, to promote physical and emotional wellness. Massage:

  • Helps relax muscles and joints and relieve pain
  • Can promote recovery from fatigue
  • Is an effective mood booster
  • Works in harmony with standard medical care

Mindfulness

Achieving a state of mindfulness allows you to be fully aware of and open to what’s happening in your life. Mindfulness:

  • Can be cultivated when sitting, walking, standing, and moving
  • May be practiced with meditation and other activities, such as yoga or sports
  • Helps you live in the present and is an excellent way to increase a sense of calm while decreasing anxiety
  • Increases clarity of thought and feeling, leaving individuals feeling less reactive and more in control

Nutrition

Good nutrition supports good health, especially after a cancer diagnosis—and your diet can play a big part in your recovery. Our registered dietitian will help you understand the role that a good and balanced diet can play in your recovery, and provide nutrition advice and counseling for your best health during and after treatment. Nutrition counseling helps patients:

  • Understand the dietary impact of their cancer diagnosis and treatment, including any nutrition-related side effects
  • Plan an optimal diet for every phase of care—before and during treatment and throughout surgery, radiation and chemotherapy—for a healthy weight, increased strength and overall wellness
  • Address side effects—changes in taste preferences, appetite changes, weight loss and gain, swallowing issues, digestive changes, physical changes and more—related to treatment
  • Get answers to any questions or concerns related to their dietary health 

Rehabilitation Therapy

Physical and occupational therapy treatment can help patients maintain strength and vitality throughout all phases of cancer treatment, from acute care (during chemotherapy, radiation and post-surgery) through long-term survivorship. Rehabilitation therapy:

  • Helps reduce fatigue
  • Improves balance, reducing the chances of falls and injuries
  • Strengthens muscles
  • Improves functionality
  • Controls pain
  • Helps manage side effects of lymphedema
  • Improves ability to perform daily activities

Spiritual Support

Open and frank discussion regarding spiritual concerns helps patients and family members address issues of identity, hope, worth and purpose—and can positively influence quality-of-life and care options when one is faced with serious illness. Spiritual counseling encourages: 

  • Coping through religion and spirituality
  • The discovery of a new life perspective and appreciation for what one has
  • Religious/spiritual transformation and inner growth
  • An acceptance of what is, and life’s limits
  • The feeling of being part of a community of support, accompanied by prayer and sense of belonging

Yoga

Yoga is a form of exercise designed to create strength and harmony in the mind and body. Yoga:

  • Helps manage stress and improve mental well-being and clarity
  • Lessens chronic pain and stress
  • Reduces insomnia (sleeplessness)
  • Increases flexibility, muscle strength and tone
  • Improves respiration (breathing), energy and vitality