Clients “want to be considered whole human beings in the context of their world,” says Esther Sternberg, MD, a National Institutes of Health scientist.
Integrative care is a complement, not an alternative, to traditional medical care. It is often referred to as caring for the person as a whole rather than treating a diagnosis. The innate ability of people to heal, regardless of disease stage, is central to the approach, and there is emphasis on the therapeutic relationship between client and practitioner. Integrative care considers all factors that influence health, including the mind, body, and spirit, as well as the relationship to environment and community.
Several modalities work with the energetic aspects of the body. These practices allow for the natural opening of the Qi (or Chi) of the body's immune system, and promote a sense of well-being and relaxation. Clients experience a shift from feelings of anxiety toward greater calmness, steadiness, and self-confidence.
Counseling services are available for you, and your family, to help you learn how to manage the emotional adjustments to a cancer diagnosis, its treatment, and life beyond. Sharing your experience with a skilled and compassionate clinician, and learning emotional self-care techniques can be important parts of your healing journey.
Exercise and movement for the client dealing with cancer has the same benefits as for the general population, including increased level of fitness, greater muscle strength, leaner body mass, and better weight management. Exercise also releases endorphins, which improve mood and can help with sleep.
Different from "talk" therapies, expressive arts therapies encourage expression through multiple "channels" and mediums. Using art, music, dance/movement, horticulture, voice, and/or writing, clients explore their experiences and resources, become more present to themselves, and find new and meaningful expression of the challenges and triumphs of healing.
Horticultural Therapy is a methodology offered for managing stress, reducing anxiety and inproving quality of life through gardening activities, both indoors and out, providing clients with the benefits of physical activity, socialization, teamwork and personal satisfaction.
Mind-body approaches recognize the power of mind to affect healing. Clients who learn and use techniques based on mind-body dynamics often experience noticeable reduction in stress, improved capacity for relaxation, and greater resilience during (and beyond) their treatment.
Nutrition can be an important part of care and ongoing health. Nutritional education and/or counseling are available to help you optimize your health and minimize side effects from cancer treatments.