According to the National Institutes of Health, “integrative health or medicine” brings conventional and complementary approaches together in a coordinated evidenced-based approach to patient care.
Integrative medicine includes a variety of modalities:
- Stress reduction.
- Massage therapy.
- Art therapy.
- Music therapy.
- Tai chi.
- Qi gong.
- Physician consultations.
Upcoming cancer, wellness and integrative medicine classes and events this summer (you can register for some of these of them here):
Nationally, researchers are exploring the benefits of these approaches in a variety of clinical conditions, including cancer survivors. Others include pain management, treatment for stress and anxiety, sleep hygiene and rehabilitation.
For cancer patients and survivors, these programs may promote healthy lifestyle behaviors, help with symptom management such as nausea, fatigue, neuropathy, hot flashes and musculoskeletal complaints as well as provide support to family members.
In each issue of this cancer e-newsletter, we plan on providing updates on news you can use. This will include emerging research on specific modalities, safe trends in nutrition, benefits of movement and exercise as well as options to manage stress and anxiety.
For example, in a recently published paper by Heather Greenlee at Columbia University, “Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Use of Integrative Therapies as Supportive Care in Patients Treated for Breast Cancer,” it was determined that “the majority of breast cancer patients use complementary and/or integrative therapies during and beyond cancer treatment to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.”
The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute fully supports integrative medicine, aimed at maximizing the body’s innate potential for self-healing. Integrative medicine offers therapies and classes designed to meet the needs of both the general public and cancer patients and their families.
Eric R. Secor Jr. is Associate Medical Director, Integrative Medicine at Hartford Hospital.