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Integrative Therapies

General Information

We know that strengthening your body's natural defenses and easing mental apprehensions can greatly affect your health. And a strong body, mind and spirit allow you to more easily fight cancer. Here at Goshen Center for Cancer Care, you and your doctor may decide to combine treatments that attack the disease with therapies that focus on maintaining your physical, emotional and spiritual health.

Benefits of integrative cancer therapy

Blending noninvasive, natural therapies with conventional treatments helps you improve your well-being before, during and after cancer treatment. Rest assured, we use scientific evidence to determine the right combination of medicines for your specific condition.

Whether your treatment plan includes surgery or chemotherapy, radiation or watchful waiting, integrative cancer therapies are an important part of your cancer treatment. These therapies can help in the following ways:

  • Strengthen your body to attack the cancer
  • Cope with the side effects of cancer treatments, such as nausea, pain, and fatigue
  • Reduce stress and ease concerns about cancer treatment
  • Gain control over your well-being
  • Build your body's defenses to protect against cancer in the future

Types of integrative therapies

  • Acupuncture therapy – offers a relatively painless way to reduce the side effects of traditional cancer treatment and maximize the body’s response to treatment.
  • Mind-body healing – teaches you how to better cope with the rigors of a cancer diagnosis and treatment.
  • Naturopathic medicine – stimulates the body’s natural healing process, supports the immune system and identifies and removes obstacles that hinder recovery.
  • Nutrition therapy – helps you develop a nutrition plan specifically for your condition.
  • Supportive services – offer ways to cope with the effects of cancer on you, your caregivers and loved ones.

Mind-Body Healing

We understand patients diagnosed with cancer face mental and emotional health challenges that can influence moods, general attitudes and outlook on life. That's why our mind-body counselors at Goshen Center for Cancer Care offer counseling and support programs to patients, families and caregivers during their cancer journey.

Studies show that psychological processes, such as emotions, thoughts, mood and stress, affect us physically. Mind-body counseling takes this connection between the mind and the body into account. Our mind-body counselors focus on the whole person, recognizing that emotional, mental, social and spiritual well-being can impact overall health. Counselors can help patients and their family members learn how to:

  • Manage stress and improve coping skills
  • Cultivate and foster hope
  • Reduce anxiety and feelings of helplessness
  • Improve sleep
  • Support lifestyle changes that enhance treatment
  • Promote relaxation
  • Support healthy immune function
  • Develop or enhance support systems

Mind-body strategies

We use a variety of techniques to help patients cope with their cancer.

  • Talking about experiences
  • Journaling practices
  • Guided imagery and visualization
  • Mindfulness practices
  • Breathing techniques
  • Creativity/artwork
  • Prayer and meditation practices
  • Educational materials
  • Referrals to appropriate resources

Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine plays a major role in our comprehensive program at Goshen Center for Cancer Care. This system of medicine provides individualized support for the body’s natural healing process. Strategies may include:

  • Dietary interventions
  • Vitamins
  • Supplements
  • Botanicals
  • Lifestyle counseling

Our naturopathic doctors work closely with our patients to empower them to make healthy changes.

Noninvasive, natural therapies strengthen the body

We use naturopathic medicine before, during and after conventional cancer treatments to strengthen the body's internal disease-fighting abilities. During treatment, naturopathic medicine works to reduce side effects associated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Targeted nutrients also can help support the body as it recovers from surgical procedures.

Following cancer treatment, our naturopathic doctors work closely with patients in our survivorship program. Patients work one-on-one with the doctors to set health goals and learn lifestyle strategies to achieve those goals. Individualized wellness plans include diet and supplement use specific to each patient's personal history.

Types of natural therapeutics

NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

Nutritional supplements offer an effective, complementary approach to support wellness and address underlying causes of dysfunction. Usually, patients who use nutritional supplements have fewer complications and side effects from treatment. Although each patient's situation is unique, our naturopathic doctors may recommend supplements during chemotherapy or radiation treatment for their anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties, as well as their ability to support healthy cells and proper nerve function.

HOMEOPATHY

Homeopathy is based on the understanding that natural substances, prepared in diluted doses, can stimulate the natural defenses in the body and help restore health. Some symptoms that don't respond well to conventional medicine may respond to homeopathic therapies.

BOTANICAL PREPARATIONS

Many plant substances are powerful health-promoting agents when used properly. Where single, chemically derived drugs may address a single problem, botanicals are often able to address a variety of problems simultaneously. We may use botanicals in conjunction with conventional treatments to reduce side effects and enhance treatment effectiveness.

Nutrition Therapy

What you eat plays an important role in cancer treatment and prevention

That’s why our oncology-certified dietitians are an integral part of your journey through treatment and beyond. They can assist you in selecting foods that build and support your immune system, provide new recipes and answer questions about cancer diets, trends and fads. No matter if you were just diagnosed, are in active treatment or are in surveillance, our dietitians can help you make food choices to improve your health.

Diet changes to offset treatment side effects

Radiation, chemotherapy and medications used to fight cancer are powerful treatments that target fast-growing cancer cells. But they also can damage healthy cells, causing unwanted side effects and eating problems. Various cancer surgeries can also create unique barriers to adequate nutrition and healing. Our dietitians can provide suggestions to deal with side effects, such as poor appetite, sore mouth and throat, dry mouth, taste changes, swallowing issues, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation.

We can help

As a patient at Goshen Center for Cancer Care, a dietitian can work with you to make specific recommendations based on your unique needs. Some general nutrition suggestions that can help get you started on your way to better health include:

  • Increase your daily intake of brightly colored fruits and vegetables.
  • Include dried beans, peas and lentils in your diet several times each week.
  • Decrease the amount of red meat (beef, pork or lamb) you eat.
  • Avoid cured, processed meats, such as bacon, sausage, ham, hot dogs and deli meats.
  • Begin replacing white bread, white rice and pasta with brown rice, whole grain bread and whole grain pasta.
  • Decrease your intake of sugars, sweets, sodas and fruit drinks.
  • Drink plenty of fresh, clean water.
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