Integrative Medicine

Integrative medicine reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic, lifestyle approaches, and healthcare disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.

Smilow Cancer Hospital’s approach to integrative medicine provides evidence-based guidance about complementary therapies commonly used by cancer patients and survivors. We work to complement your treatment and address the serious physical and emotional symptoms often experienced by patients before, during, and after therapy, and to avoid interactions with conventional cancer care. Our team has expertise in the practice and evaluation of complementary medicine, which can guide patients to make effective decisions on integrative therapies throughout their treatment program and beyond. We collaborate closely with your oncology care team to provide safe and effective care.

Our services include the following:


Integrative Medicine Consultations 
Integrative Medicine clinical consultations provide guidance for the safe use of dietary supplements/natural products, acupuncture, massage, meditation, and other complementary therapies. 

Art Expression 
Art Expression offers a variety of creative outlets that provide a unique therapeutic experience. A broad spectrum of engaging classes and workshops, taught by visiting artists, provide the opportunity to learn various art techniques and to participate in collaborative installations and projects.

Essential Oils
Plant-based oils are used to promote relaxation, relieve stress and anxiety, and help control insomnia, nausea, and pain. Essential oils can be incorporated into other complementary approaches. 

Massage
Experienced and licensed therapists are trained in oncology massage, focused on improving side effects from cancer and its treatment. Research has shown that massage therapy may reduce pain, promote relaxation, and boost mood in cancer patients. 

Reiki 
Reiki is a complementary health approach in which practitioners place their hands lightly on or just above a person, with the goal of facilitating the person’s own healing response. This is to promote relaxation and produce stress-reduction effects.  

Bedside Yoga
Yoga is a mind and body practice with origins in ancient Indian philosophy, combining breathing techniques, physical postures, meditation, and relaxation. You can receive individual bedside yoga therapy, adapted to individual needs and limitations.

GROUP SESSIONS

Community Choir 
Patients, caregivers, staff and volunteers are invited to join voices and experience the benefits of singing together.

Gentle Yoga
Group classes incorporate breathing techniques, physical postures, meditation, and relaxation, adapted to patient needs and limitations.

Qi gong
Qi gong is a centuries-old mind and body practice that involves certain postures and gentle movements with mental focus, breathing, and relaxation. The movements can be adapted or practiced while walking, standing, or sitting. Practicing Qi gong may reduce pain, reduce anxiety, and improve general quality of life. 

Labyrinth Walks
Walking a labyrinth is an experience that allows contemplation as well as a place to retreat, regroup and renew in support of each individual journey. Labyrinths provide a quiet walking meditation and take 5-10 minutes to complete. 

Meditation 
Meditation is a mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being. You can receive instruction from a trained practitioner or from guided meditation CDs that are available in the Patient and Family Resource Center.

Personal Story Writing   
Patients are invited to work with an experienced mentor on a writing essay of their choice. Individuals can contribute to an annual anthology of written works. 
                                                                                     
Zumba Gold
A gentler form of Zumba, designed for all populations and all fitness levels. It blends easy to follow dance rhythms with music. Chair based options are available.

   

Our Team
IM Gisela
Gisela Boxleitner, LMT, Integrative Medicine Coordinator and Practitioner
IM Dana
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Dana Shaffer, LMT, Art Program Coordinator and Practitioner

IM Lisa






Lisa Jarvie, Licensed Massage Therapist 





Linda Penn

Contact
For an Integrative Medicine Consultation, please call (203) 200-4325. For an appointment for any complementary service, call (203) 200-6129.

The program is located in the Complementary Services/Rehabilitation Services area on the first floor of Smilow Cancer Hospital, room NP1-402. As a patient, many of the services can be provided on your floor or in your room.  All Services are offered free of charge to patients undergoing cancer treatment at Smilow Cancer Hospital.
 
Office Hours
Monday - Friday, 8 am - 4 pm, closed all major holidays