Healing Arts: How integrative medicine can help you heal

From massage to meditation, integrative medicine — which uses evidence-based, complementary practices in combination with conventional medicine — can help cancer survivors regain health post-treatment and build a lifestyle focused on wellness.

Types of integrative medicine found to be beneficial for cancer survivors include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Massage therapy
  • Meditation
  • Music therapy
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Stress management
  • Tai Chi
  • Yoga
  • Art Therapy
 
City of Hope offers several treatments to help cancer survivors regain their health.
 

Yoga

Yoga is a mind and body exercise that incorporates physical poses, stretching, breathing and relaxation techniques to improve health and wellbeing. Studies show yoga can reduce anxiety, depression, stress and fatigue in cancer survivors, while improving sleep and overall quality of life.

City of Hope’s Gentle Yoga: Mind, Body, and Meditation for Patients and Caregivers class teaches hatha yoga postures, relaxation techniques including guided meditation and deep breathing, as well as tips to develop a daily home practice.
 

Acupuncture

Acupuncture uses small needles, heat, pressure or electricity to alleviate a variety of physical, mental or emotional conditions.  

Research shows this treatment can help cancer survivors with different side effects including anxiety, stress, depression, mood disorders, fatigue, pain, nausea and vomiting, peripheral neuropathy, bladder issues and hot flashes.

If you’re interested, talk with your City of Hope doctor or nurse practitioner.
 

Meditation


 

Meditation refers to a variety of techniques that incorporate focusing attention and regulating breathing to increase inner calmness, relaxation and mindfulness.  

Studies show that meditation can help to improve overall quality of life for cancer survivors and has been found to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and mood disorders.

Our City of Hope Breathing and Meditation Class teaches simple meditation and breathing techniques to relieve stress and anxiety, enhance health and wellbeing, and promote a good night’s sleep.

No previous experience is required; patients and caregivers are welcome.

Watch more City of Hope breathing and meditation videos on YouTube.

 

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy has been shown to boost confidence and body image, ease pain and promote a sleep while relieving stress, anxiety and depression.  

Although massage is commonly used as integrative therapy, cancer patients should first consult with their doctor and make sure to only go to a qualified massage therapist for treatment.

At City of Hope, free 30-minute massage therapy sessions are provided to patients. Physician consent and preregistration are required. Ask your doctor or nurse practitioner how you can sign up.