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Integrative Medicine

Integrative medicine is a holistic medical approach that takes into account the lifestyle habits of a patient. The mind, body and soul are taken into consideration to promote healing and well-being, this approach reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic, lifestyle approaches, and healthcare disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.

Integrative medicine focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and seeks to complement cancer therapy with appropriate therapeutic and lifestyle approaches to achieve optimal health and healing. Smilow Cancer Hospital’s Integrative Medicine Program provides evidence-based guidance for a wide range of complementary therapies commonly used by cancer patients and survivors.

Our program aims to address the serious physical and emotional symptoms often experienced by patients before, during, and after cancer therapy. Our team has expertise in the practice and evaluation of complementary medicine and can guide patients to make effective decisions on integrative therapies throughout their treatment program and beyond. We collaborate closely with each patient’s oncology care team to provide safe and effective care.

Our services include the following:

Creative Expression

Creative Expression offers a variety of creative outlets that provide a unique therapeutic experience. A broad spectrum of engaging classes, workshops and virtual engagement provide the opportunity to explore various art techniques, creative writing and poetry, and contribute to collaborative installations and exhibits. This outlet can be helpful in expressing difficult emotions that may be associated with treatment.

Integrative Medicine Consultations

Our integrative medicine physician meets with you one-on-one to help formulate a plan to best complement your current cancer therapy. We are able to provide guidance on safe use of dietary supplements/natural products, acupuncture, massage, meditation, and other complementary therapies. Topics that are often discussed include mind-body medicine, optimizing nutrition, pain and symptom management and overall wellness.

Smilow Wellness Workshop

The program features free interactive Webinars led by integrative medicine thinkers and practitioners from around the country to help reaffirm the importance of caring for the person as a whole. While the talks are intended for those affected by cancer, many of the topics appeal to a wider audience facing the everyday stresses of life. Topics cover mindfulness, stress control, nutrition, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, meditation and releasing anxiety through physical movement or expression.

Individual Therapies

Massage

Experienced and licensed therapists are trained in oncology massage, focused on improving side effects from cancer and its treatment. Research has shown that massage therapy may reduce pain, promote relaxation and boost mood in cancer patients.

Reiki

Reiki is a complementary health approach in which practitioners place their hands lightly on or just above a person, with the goal of facilitating the person's own healing response. Patients often report relaxation and stress-reduction effects.

Group Sessions

Chair-Based Exercise

This mind/body modality is based on the spinal alignment and efficient joint and muscle movement to promote strength and flexibility. It allows for seated and standing movements in and out of a chair, and the use of a chair as needed. Participants will range from those with balance issues who may need the assistance of a chair to those able to move about freely.

Gentle Yoga

A yoga practice of basic asana (poses) to enhance strength, stability and balance. Poses are modified to accommodate each patients different capabilities. The class includes warm up stretches that support joint health, pain control, and balance. All classes end with a period of deep relaxation (savasana). Our emphasis is on healthy breathing. Simple, breath-focused meditation is also offered in this class. Classes are offered via Zoom.

T’ai Chi/ Qigong

T’ai Chi/Qigong is a centuries-old mind and body practice that involves certain postures and gentle movements with mental focus, breathing, and relaxation. The movements can be adapted or practiced while walking, standing, or sitting. Practicing Qigong may reduce pain, reduce anxiety, and improve general quality of life. Classes are offered via Zoom.

Meditation

Meditation is a practice to increase mental focus and clarity. The benefits of meditation include improved mental and emotional stability, physical relaxation, and enhancement of overall health and well-being. Both live and recorded meditations are offered to our patients. You can receive individual instruction from a trained practitioner.

 

Contact

  • To make an appointment for a service below, call 203-200-6129.
  • To register for a group session or class, visit Classes and Events.
  • To schedule an appointment with an integrative medicine physician,
    call 203-200-4325 (HEAL).

The program is located in the Integrative Medicine/Rehabilitation Services area on the first floor of Smilow Cancer Hospital, suite NP1-402. As a patient, many of the services can be provided on your floor or in your room. All services are offered free of charge to patients undergoing cancer treatment at Smilow Cancer Hospital.

Office Hours
Monday - Friday, 8 am - 4 pm. Closed all major holidays.