Smilow Integrative Medicine Program
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 about 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.
Integrative medicine consultations
Integrative medicine clinical consultations provide guidance for the safe use of dietary supplements/natural products, acupuncture, massage, meditation, and other complementary therapies.
Experienced and licensed therapists are trained in oncology massage, focusing on mitigating 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 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. This is to promote relaxation and produce stress-reduction effects.
Yoga is a mind and body practice with origins in ancient Indian philosophy, combining breathing techniques, physical postures, meditation, and relaxation. Patients can receive individual bedside yoga therapy, adapted to individual needs and limitations.
Gary Soffer, MDPediatric Allergy & ImmunologyGary Soffer, MD, is an allergist-immunologist who treats food and environmental allergies, asthma, hay fever, and eczema in children and adults. Within the Integrative Medicine program at Smilow Cancer Hospital, Dr. Soffer provides cancer patients and survivors complementary therapies that complement, but do not replace, their standard cancer treatments. The program offers mind-body interventions, massage, and guidance on the safe use of herbal and dietary supplements. “Allergy and integrative medicine are both areas that require the doctor to look at the whole patient and not just a single organ or disease,” he says. “My specialties allow me to get to know my patients and build long-lasting relationships.” Any diagnosis can be difficult to navigate, he says. “I love working with my patients and their families to help guide them along their health journey.” “My favorite part of the job is being with my amazing patients,” he says. “Whether this is seeing kids with food allergies, or adults with cancer, each patient has contributed to my life in a meaningful way.”