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What is Integrative Therapy?The term “integrated therapy” is often used interchangeably with what is called “complementary and alternative therapy,” but there is an important difference between these two.
Professionals who practice integrative medicine blend their methods appropriately with mainstream methods of treatment. Integrative therapy is not used in place of conventional treatment, but as a part of your cancer treatment to promote well being and alleviate side effects of chemotherapy, surgery or radiation.
Types of Integrative or Complementary TherapiesAcupuncture: A technique of inserting and manipulating very ?ne needles into speci?c energy points in the body. The stimulation of these points may encourage the restoration of health and well being. Acupuncture is primarily good for treating pain.
Acupressure: A traditional Chinese medicine technique based on acupuncture. It involves stimulating the energy points with pressure using the hands and ?ngers. Acupressure may work by releasing endogenous opioids into the bloodstream.
Creative Therapies: such as art, music, creative writing, knitting and crafting.
Massage: Involves applying structured pressure to the soft tissues of the body to achieve a bene?cial response. Therapeutic massage therapy can be applied to parts of the body or the whole body to relieve stress, manage pain and improve circulation.
Naturopathic Medicine: A school of medical philosophy that seeks to maintain health and treat disease by assisting the body’s own capacity to recover from illness and injury. Licensed naturopathic doctors try to avoid surgery and synthetic substances in their treatments and strive to treat the patient as a whole person using natural foods and remedies, counseling and environmental medicine.
Movement Therapies: such as dance, yoga and tai chi.
Ask your doctor or a nurse navigator about access to these therapies and classes. Remember to contact your oncologist whenever you have questions or concerns regarding your treatment.