Integrative Oncology

"I'm not afraid of storms for I'm learning how to sail my ship."
~ Louisa May Alcott

What is it?

Integrative oncology offers healing practices above and beyond surgery and pharmaceutical treatments. It uses the best therapeutic options from conventional Western medicine and combines them with complementary therapies and healing practices such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, biofeedback, yoga, meditation and stress reduction techniques. It offers a broad approach to healing that is patient-centered and focuses on the whole person - mind, body and spirit.

What are some specific healing practices?

There are basically five categories of healing practices:

  1. Alternative Medical Systems - are complete medical systems developed outside of Western medicine i.e. Ayurveda (Indian) and Traditional Chinese Medicine
  2. Mind-Body Interventions - such as Meditation, Support Groups, Behavioral, Psychological and Spiritual Approaches, Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong
  3. Biologically-based Therapies - such as Herbal Medicines and Aromatherapy
  4. Manipulative and Body-Based Methods - such as Massage and Chiropractic Treatments
  5. Energy Therapies - examples include Healing Touch and Reiki Therapy
Is it safe and is it effective?

All of the abovementioned approaches have regulatory bodies in North America governing their practice as well as accredited colleges and universities teaching these subjects. It is very easy to check the accreditation of a bona fide practitioner. Many hospitals and medical clinics now offer integrative medicine and/or are able to recommend licensed professionals.

As far as effectiveness is concerned, it always depends on the individual - their stage in their journey, their willingness to try new approaches and their follow-through - no different from conventional medicine - but very much with the whole person in mind, not just the disease.

Effective means that the therapy works in the way it's supposed to. It requires assessing the risks, determining if it will contribute to your overall well-being, and investigating if there is scientific evidence to support its use.

volunteerOn a personal note, I continue - with my doctor's blessing - to practice one or more of the therapies mentioned in each of the five categories in the healing practices. I can confidently say that these integrations into my cancer treatment have totally and positively changed my mental attitude toward this disease, helped minimize its side effects and vastly improved my day-to-day life. I would strongly encourage all visitors to this site to investigate how integrative medicine can help you in your journey.

volunteer My Related Blog Posts:
9/11/11 Intention of the Heart
7/17/11 Names
7/10/11 Just Because
4/18/11 Bahamas Bush Medicine


volunteer Might I Suggest:
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We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information contained in this website is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute for medical advice.