Clinical services at the Integrative Medicine Center are designed to help our patients deal with the stress and anxiety of cancer treatment and improve their sense of well being. Our services also encourage patients to adopt lifestyle changes that can minimize the impact of the disease and may reduce the chance of recurrence.
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 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.
Our physical therapist
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 cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, motivational interviewing and other mind-body practices.
Engaging in evidence-based music therapy interventions can address a wide range of symptoms. Research shows that music interventions can help patients deal with stress, reduce pain, express their feelings, enhance their memory, and improve communication. A board-certified music therapist uses music to help relieve symptoms associated with cancer and treatment-related symptoms, support rehabilitation and enhance quality of life. The Integrative Medicine Center provides music therapy for adult inpatients and outpatient group music therapy classes for patients and caregivers. No previous musical experience is required.
Our music therapist
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.
Our massage therapists
Research shows that yoga can reduce the severity of cancer symptoms and improve patients’ quality of life at the physical, psychological and spiritual levels. Other health benefits include:
- reduced stress
- enhanced feelings of relaxation and calm
- increased flexibility
- improved balancereduced inflammation
- reductions in fatigue and sleep disturbances.
Yoga therapy sessions from the Integrative Medicine Center focus on techniques like gentle stretching, breathing, yoga postures and meditation. All programs are taught by a certified yoga therapist who specializes in cancer care. MD Anderson inpatients and outpatients can request one-on-one yoga therapy referrals from their care team.
The center also offers Yoga for Health group classes to patients and caregivers. Referrals are not required. View our group classes calendar for class times and how to register.
Our yoga therapist