Complementary health care is an approach to health and well-being that uses methods not considered part of traditional Western medical practices. As the name implies, complementary health care should be used with, not in place of, the medical care provided by your physician.
Complementary care covers a wide range of approaches, including various philosophies of healing and many types of therapies. They are often referred to as holistic, meaning that good health involves the well-being of all aspects of a person including emotional, physical and spiritual (mind, body and spirit). These methods stem from the belief that health can be improved if all aspects of a person’s life are addressed. Many of these therapies are termed preventive, meaning that the complementary care provider educates and provides the tools to keep health problems from arising.
Tell all your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care. For tips about talking with your health care providers about CAM, see NCCAM’s Time to Talk campaign.
Science has shown that one’s emotional state can affect health. By taking a more active role in his or her health care, not only with conventional medical care, but by learning about and utilizing additional supportive healing therapies, a person tends to feel more empowered and engaged in their health care . This tends to foster a more positive attitude and sense of well-being, and coupled with the complementary therapy, often results in relief from symptoms of the medical condition itself.
These methods are designed to enhance the mind’s capacity to affect bodily function and symptoms. These therapies can bring clarity of mind, build the immune system, and promote strength, endurance, flexibility and balance. The mind-body practices offered at the center include:
- Meditation and guided imagery
- Qigong and Tai Chi
- Wellness coaching
- Expressive therapies (art, dance and music)
- Stress Management
Manipulative and Body-based Methods
These methods focus on the musculoskeletal system. Massage therapy is the most ancient of all healing practices. The benefits of massage therapy include pain reduction, increased relaxation and reduced muscle tension. Massage can be beneficial in easing pain and lessening nausea and fatigue. Massage promotes better sleep, improves concentration, circulation of blood and lymph, reduces anxiety and creates an overall sense of well-being.
The manipulative and body-based practices available at the center include:
- Swedish massage
- Deep-tissue massage
- Craniosacral therapy
- Lymphatic Massage
- Muscle Release Technique™
These techniques affect one on the energetic level. Some of the benefits people experience includes stress reduction, relaxation, and pain reduction.
Energy therapies in practice at the center include:
The modalities mentioned above are currently offered at the center either by appointment or as scheduled classes. In addition, a variety of fitness and nutrition classes are also being offered. Contact the center to receive a copy of the quarterly newsletter and calendar or to inquire about associated fees. Hand/foot massage, acupuncture, 1:1 Therapeutic yoga, Reiki, and more are also offered in the Simonds-Sinon Cancer Center for patients currently in treatment all at no cost.