Complementary and Integrative Therapies for Supportive Cancer Care

Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind and Spirit

Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind and Spirit

Hospitals around the country are offering integrative therapies as part of comprehensive, collaborative cancer treatment. According to the National Center Complementary and Integrative Health Integrative Medicine is a total approach to healthcare combining standard (conventional) medicine with complementary therapies that have been studied and shown to be safe and effective.

Integrative Oncology

Integrative Therapies for Cancer Care

Complementary and Integrative Therapies – (include but are not limited to) – Acupuncture, Expressive Art, Hypnosis, Massage, Mediation, Mindfulness, Music Therapy, Reiki, Tai Chi, Yoga and Qi Gong.

Complementary and Integrative Approaches for Cancer Symptoms and Treatment Side Effects

“NCCIH-funded research has suggested that:

  • Cancer patients who receive integrative therapies while in the hospital have less pain and anxiety.
  • Massage therapy may lead to short-term improvements in pain and mood in patients with advanced cancer.
  • Yoga may relieve the persistent fatigue that some women experience after breast cancer treatment.”

(Source: https://nccih.nih.gov/health/integrative-health)

  • A study by Birocco et al. found that Reiki (ray-kee) sessions (one to four half-hour sessions in this study) provided to 118 patients receiving chemotherapy in an outpatient infusion clinic were helpful in improving well-being, relaxation, pain relief, sleep quality and reducing anxiety. Those that received the full 4 sessions had a significant (P <.000001) reduction in anxiety. (Source: The effects of Reiki therapy on pain and anxiety in patients attended a day oncology and infusion services unit. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2012 Jun;29(4):290-4.)
Reiki Sessions Promote a Relaxed State of Mind and Body

Reiki Promotes a Relaxed State of Mind and Body

  • Self-Hypnotic induction decreased pain and anxiety in women undergoing large core breast biopsy (Source: Adjunctive Self-hypnotic Relaxation for Outpatient Medical Procedures: A Prospective Randomized Trial with Women Undergoing Large Core Breast Biopsy. Lang, E., et al. Pain. 2006 December 15; 126(1-3): 155–164.
  • Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective and safe adjunct therapy for cancer care for: chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Studies also suggest acupuncture may be helpful in managing cancer-related pain, chemotherapy-related neutropenia, chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, cancer fatigue, and radiation-induced dry mouth (xerostomia.) (Source: The Value of Acupuncture in Cancer Care. weeding, L. et al. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2008 Aug; 22(4) 631-viii. NIHMSID: NIHMS65572
accupuncture shutterstock_244873000 FB

Auricular Acupuncture

Hospitals offering Integrative Therapies –  in Boston include – Beth Israel-Deaconness, Boston Medical Center, Dana Farber, Mass General, and Tufts Medical Center. North of Boston – Lahey Healthcare (Beverly, Burlington, Danvers, Peabody, Winchester,) North Shore Medical Center (Lynn, Salem) and Mass General North (Danvers.)

Communicate with your oncology doctors and nurses about your use of integrative therapies for supportive care during treatment. Tell all your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use to ensure coordinated, effective and safe care.

Important to Note: Some integrative therapies, over-the-counter medications, herbs and supplements may not be warranted or even be contraindicated because they may negatively impact your care during treatment for cancer. Check with you doctor, oncologist, and oncology nurse prior to using to assure safe, effective care.

What You Need to Know About Complementary and Integrative Therapies and Cancer Care – the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Therapies conducts and supports research, and provides information about complementary health products and practices. Rigorous studies are conducted to determine the safety and effectiveness of therapies, herbs and supplements. For More Information – https://nccih.nih.gov/health/tips/cancer

6 Things You Need to Know About Complementary Therapies – https://nccih.nih.gov/health/tips/cancer

How to Find a Complementary and Integrative Practitionerhttps://nccih.nih.gov/health/howtofind.htm

On Hope by Emily Dickinson

On Hope by Emily Dickinson

Sources and For More Information

National Center Complementary and Integrative Therapies

Integrative Therapies – Support and Provide Relief to Help You Feel Better During Treatment.

Dreamtime Wellness™ Offers Supportive Therapies for Relaxation, Pain and Stress Management, and Healthy Lifestyle Management. Contact me for more information. While employed in the integrative medicine departments at North Shore Medical Center and Mass General Cancer Centers, I saw and heard first-hand how helpful patients found their integrative cancer care. As part of a collaborative, integrative medicine team at the Pain Management Center, Lahey Outpatient Center in Danvers, I offer supportive care for those undergoing treatment for cancer, stress and pain management, and general wellness enhancement with the goal – ‘best outcomes.’ In a phrase, patients report “feeling better” after their sessions.  ‘Low cost’ options are available for patients undergoing cancer treatment and pain management. 

Feel free to contact me with questions about integrative therapies and for assistance in finding an experienced provider near you.

May you be happy, healthy and well,   ~ Karen

Karen Pischke B.S.N., R.N., C.C.R.N. Alumnus. Certified  Hypnotherapist, Tobacco Treatment Specialist, Reiki Provider and Teacher. Owner/Founder of Dreamtime Wellness™ Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind & Spirit www.DreamtimeWellness.com. Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dreamtime-Wellness-/348619611849199

 

Disclaimer: This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about health and related sub­jects. The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately licensed physi­cian or other health care worker. Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a med­ical emer­gency, call your doc­tor or 911 immediately. The views expressed on this blog and web­site have no rela­tion to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other insti­tu­tion with which the authors are affiliated.

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