Integrative Medicine

Integrative medicine 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.

Our goal in Integrative medicine at Smilow Cancer Hospital is to help you, our patient, to navigate the physical, mental and spiritual challenges that may arise during and after cancer therapy. We achieve this by complementing your existing treatment plan with evidence based, readily available interventions such as mind-body work, creative expression and nutritional interventions. We work closely with our colleagues at Smilow to find safe, effective, less invasive and evidence-based care to help ease your journey.

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Our services include the following:

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.

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.

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 is a Japanese energy healing technique in which practitioners place their hands lightly on or just above a person, with the intent of facilitating the person's own healing response. This is used to promote relaxation and stress-reduction.

Group Sessions

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.

Restorative yoga promotes deep relaxation as you rest in poses for an extended periods of time, fully supported by props (e.g. pillows, cushions, yoga bolster, yoga blocks, etc.). The emphasis is on releasing tension and stress using smooth, steady, even diaphragmatic breathing while resting in these poses. Classes may include the practice of Yoga Nidra, a meditation that helps soothe the nervous system and quiet the mind.

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 Qi gong may reduce pain, reduce anxiety, and improve general quality of life.

Walking a labyrinth is a practice that facilitates contemplation as well as gives the practioner a place to retreat, regroup and renew in support of each individual journey. Labyrinths provide a quiet walking meditation and take only 5-10 minutes to complete.

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.

A gentler form of Zumba, designed for all populations and all fitness levels. It blends easy to follow dance rhythms with music. Chair based options are available.


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, room 1402. 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