Integrative Medicine Newsletter
Integrative Medicine Center physicians will provide guidance on a comprehensive and integrative approach to your cancer care covering a variety of areas including the risks and benefits of using herbs and supplements, acupuncture, oncology massage, meditation, and other non-conventional therapies.
Our integrative oncology physicians meet regularly with a team of professionals who have experience in conventional approaches as well as integrative treatments. This experience ranges from researching reliable information sources related to integrative therapies to providing expertise in non-conventional substances, including nutritional substances, vitamins and herbs and the interactions these substances may have with each other and with conventional medications.
Social, mind-spirit and physical aspects of health are all explored during your visit at the Integrative Medicine Center.
Acupuncture is a nearly 2,000-year-old form of traditional Chinese medicine. In acupuncture, thin needles are inserted through the skin at specific points on the body. In combination with conventional treatments, studies indicate acupuncture may be beneficial for several conditions, including chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, cancer and treatment-related pain, peripheral neuropathies, dry mouth, hot flashes, fatigue and stress management.
Exercise can help cancer patients suffering from fatigue, poor balance, depression/anxiety, loss of appetite and other symptoms. It may also play help prevent new or recurring cancers. But what exercise is right and safe for you? Our physical therapists can evaluate your fitness level and develop an exercise plan just for you.
Cancer can take a huge emotion toll on patients. Meeting with one of our licensed clinical psychologists can help. Starting with an evaluation, our psychologist will develop a treatment plan that will help you deal with symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. Interventions may include including cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, motivational interviewing, and other mind-body practices.
Meditation is a mind-body practice that can help you relax and access a deeper awareness by connecting your mind, body and heart. Research shows that mind-body practices like meditation have a positive effect on many biological processes and improve quality of life. For cancer patients, meditation may:
- Decrease anxiety and negative emotions
- Improve sleep
- Improve memory and cognitive function
- Increase spiritual awareness and sense of well-being
- Regulate blood pressure and relax the body
You can schedule an individual meditation consultation, where you’ll learn techniques you can practice in everyday life. No previous meditation experience is required.
Note: Music therapy services have been temporarily suspended while the Integrative Medicine Program conducts a search for a new music therapist.
Research shows that music interventions can help patients deal with stress, reduce pain, express their feelings, enhance their memory and improve communication. The Integrative Medicine Center provides music therapy for children and adult inpatients, outpatients and their families. No previous musical experience is required.
Though cancer and its treatments can make it hard to eat, good nutrition is important for patients. Eating right reduces fatigue and improves quality of life. By keeping up your weight and muscle mass, you’ll also recover more quickly once treatment is over.
The Integrative Medicine Center offers nutrition counseling from a dietitian certified in oncology nutrition. During these sessions, you’ll get a nutrition plan for treatment recovery along with advice for managing your weight. You’ll also learn how to change your eating habits and get information on topics like organics, “super foods” and special diets.
Oncology massage is massage therapy modified for cancer patients. It can help reduce nausea, anxiety and pain for patients at all stages, from active treatment to recovery to near the end of life. Research suggests that stress-reduction programs tailored to the cancer setting, such as massage, may help patients cope with treatment side effects and improve quality of life. The Integrative Medicine Center offers oncology massage for MD Anderson outpatients and inpatients. Outpatients may also self-refer for a brief chair massage, funded by Angie's Spa at our Mays Clinic location.
Patients with certain medical conditions must consult with their physician and the massage therapist prior to any massage session. Some patients are not eligible for massage therapy.