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 clinical consultations provide guidance for the safe use of dietary supplements/natural products, acupuncture, massage, meditation, and other complementary therapies.
Art expression offers a variety of creative outlets that provides a therapeutic experience. A broad spectrum of engaging classes and workshops, taught by visiting artists, provides the opportunity to learn various art techniques and to participate in collaborative installations and projects.
Plant-based oils are used to promote relaxation, relieve stress and anxiety, and help control insomnia, nausea, and pain. Essential oils can be incorporated into other complementary approaches.
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.
Patients, caregivers, staff, and volunteers are invited to come together to experience the benefits of singing together.
Group classes incorporate breathing techniques, physical postures, meditation, and relaxation, adapted to patient needs and limitations.
Qi gong is a centuries-old mind and body practice in which postures and gentle movements promote mental focus, breathing, and relaxation. The movements can be adapted or practiced while walking, standing, or sitting. Practicing Qi gong may reduce pain and anxiety.
Walking a labyrinth is an experience that allows contemplation, as well as a place to retreat, regroup, and renew. Labyrinths provide a quiet walking meditation and take five to ten minutes to complete.
Meditation is a mind and body practice that has a long history of increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, and enhancing overall health and well-being. Patients can receive instruction from a trained practitioner or from guided meditation CDs that are available in our Patient and Family Resource Center.
Personal story writing
Patients are invited to work with an experienced mentor on writing a personal essay. Individuals can contribute to an annual anthology of written works.
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.