Integrative Healthcare in the Cancer Institute is open to all patients and caregivers.
The Integrative Healthcare program at the Cancer Institute is designed to provide supportive and integrative therapies for cancer patients and their caregivers during all stages of cancer care from diagnosis, treatment, and beyond. The program supports our goal of healing the whole person–mind, body, and spirit.
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Integrative therapies and supportive services can be used along with traditional cancer treatments and can often enhance the effect of treatment by reducing mental and physical stress during the cancer journey.
Integrative Medicine Consultation
Integrative medicine combines cutting-edge evidence-based modern medicine with the ancient wisdom of long-established healing traditions. Biopsychosocial and patient-centered approaches are utilized to deliver a holistic and wellness-oriented mind-body-spirit therapeutic encounter.
Prized for centuries in Asian cultures, a modern understanding of this ancient discipline describes the insertion of needles at very precise points as stimulating to the nervous system thus promoting bio-chemical changes at the insertion site and throughout the body. This nervous system stimulation helps to regulate organ function, improve well-being and reduce pain.
A gentle, nurturing modality delivered by therapists specifically trained to work with those in all stages of the cancer journey. Designed to assist in the management of disease symptoms and treatment side effects, massage is delivered in a comfortable environment with specific consideration given to ports, radiation and surgical sites. Benefits often include a reduction in pain and discomfort, improved sleep and enhanced sense of well-being all leading to improved quality of life.
Music Therapy can enhance the well-being of patients and families who are dealing with cancer by supporting their physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs through live music and various elements of music. Music Therapy sessions might include playing instruments, writing songs, singing, learning to play an instrument, relaxation exercises or simply listening live music. Each session is facilitated by a Board-Certified Music Therapist. Research has shown that music therapy can help ease pain and discomfort, manage feelings of stress or anxiety, enhance creative expression, and promote positive coping strategies. Anyone can benefit from music therapy, and no previous musical experience is required. Music Therapy services are available free of charge to oncology patients receiving both inpatient and outpatient care.
Animals are often a source of peace, comfort, and a much-needed distraction by those experiencing illness and other stressful conditions. The Human-Animal Bond In Tennessee (H.A.B.I.T.) is a community group of volunteers working together to explore the circumstances and consequences of the human-animal bond and to promote this valuable bond between people and animals. The program is comprised of representatives from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, volunteers from the community, and private veterinary practitioners. H.A.B.I.T. sponsors programs that foster pet visitation to nursing homes, assisted-living residences, retirement centers, mental health centers, residences for children with special needs, rehabilitation facilities, hospital settings and other facilities. Patients and staff alike enjoy the rewards of knowing and visiting with these incredibly selfless, loving animals and people.
H.A.B.I.T. offers resources such as trained volunteers, medically and behaviorally screened animals, and guidance regarding pet visitation, program development and evaluation.
Psychotherapy (talk therapy) can address symptoms of depression, anxiety, and related life problems (chronic pain, marital stress, etc.). Psychotherapy is highly effective in improving quality of life for individuals with cancer, and approaches are tailored to each individual’s unique goals and needs. Treatment approaches include but are not limited to : relaxation training (helping reduce nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and depression), visualization (using guided imagery to reduce stress and improve well being), and behavioral activation (increasing involvement in new and rewarding activities and behaviors). These approaches are effective in strengthening your coping resources and decreasing the stress associated with being diagnosed and living with cancer. For best results, patients attend weekly, 60-minute confidential, psychotherapy sessions. These interactions are not part of your oncology medical record. The total duration of therapy is up to the individual seeking assistance.
As one of the subtle energy disciplines, the goal of Reiki is to improve the flow of life energy through the client. It is delivered in the same comfortable environment as massage therapy, though the client remains fully clothed. Reiki is an incredibly safe and gentle technique that is known for assisting in relaxation and relieving pain through focused, gentle touch.
Relaxation Facials and Skin Care
Relax and experience the power of compassionate touch at the hands of our specially trained skin care therapist. Using carefully selected products and techniques that are mindful of the cancer patient's unique needs and concerns, we can help you manage the chronic stress and skin-related side effects of treatment.
T.R.E. (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises)
T.R.E. is a series of simple stretches which are easily modified to any health or fitness level, that most often result in a completely safe and natural tremor within the body. This tremor is one of the innate mechanisms the body employs to naturally cast off stress and trauma. Come explore this fascinating, hour-long discovery of the body's natural wisdom while learning a most effective stress reliever. Help your body unwind from overwhelming circumstances and thoughts with this easy, self-regulated discipline.
Yoga is defined as “union.” The practice of yoga is known to bring about union of mind, body, spirit and breath. Classes for our cancer patients are specifically geared toward the unique needs of those on a journey through cancer. The session will offer a guided respite and assist the participant to deeper states of relaxation, clarity and personal strength.