How Writing Helps During Cancer Treatment

By Rebecca Berman During my ongoing treatment for metastatic endometrial carcinoma, I tried many different mindful activities, such as yoga and other integrative therapies, but I came to a point where I felt that I needed to up my game. In the past, creative writing had helped me express and better process emotions, so I … Continued

How Can Reflexology Help Cancer Patients?

When cancer patients face stress, fatigue, or nausea, they may turn to integrative therapies such as reflexology to help ease symptoms. Although each patient responds individually, reflexology can support relaxation and comfort during cancer treatment and offers an alternative to traditional massage. What is Reflexology? Reflexology uses pressure and touch on the feet, hands, and … Continued

What Are the Best Yoga Poses for Breast Cancer Patients? [Infographic]

Exercise and other integrative therapies, including yoga, can ease the  symptoms of breast cancer and its treatment, help patients feel better during treatment, and can be scaled to fit each patient’s unique needs and abilities. For patients who might experience lymphedema following surgery or radiation, yoga can help restore range of motion in the arms … Continued

Empowering Patients with Music

Whether it’s creating a work of art, taking time to meditate, or chronicling their experience through a blog, cancer patients find many creative ways to cope with their diagnosis and treatment. In many cases, music can also help patients express their physical and emotional challenges, and a new mobile recording studio at Dana-Farber is bringing … Continued

Cancer Conversations Podcast – Episode #1: Integrative Therapies for Cancer

While the medical treatments for cancer can help fight off deadly disease, these life-saving therapies can also cause physical and emotional side effects. For some patients, the use of integrative therapies can help ease or eliminate treatment-related symptoms. In this Cancer Conversations podcast episode – the first of the series – David Rosenthal, MD, former … Continued

How Expressive Arts Help Patients Cope with Cancer

“Fun” is not a term largely associated with trips to Dana-Farber, but that’s exactly how Yvette Colon describes the Expressive Art Therapy Program at the Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies. “Being sick, I forget what it is like to have fun because it’s easy to only think about cancer and treatment,” says Colon, … Continued

How Cancer Patients Can Benefit from a Lifestyle of Mindfulness

There are many ways to define mindfulness. In a recent talk given at Dana-Farber, ABC news correspondent Dan Harris said mindfulness is the “ability to know what’s happening in your head right now without getting carried away by it.” Patricia Arcari, PhD, RN, of Dana-Farber’s Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies, descibes it as paying attention … Continued

Rhythm Therapy: How Drum Circles Help Patients Cope with Cancer

Zeynep Aytekin, a 47-year-old management consultant, has always wanted to participate in a drum and rhythm class. Now, as a breast cancer patient at Dana-Farber, she has the opportunity to let loose her inner percussionist. After some encouragement from a friend, whom she met at the Gentle Hatha Yoga, Aytekin joined the drum circle group … Continued

ABC’s Dan Harris Shares His Journey to Mindfulness

Mindfulness meditation is a simple, effective technique for relieving stress and focusing on the present, whether you’re a current cancer patient, a longtime survivor, or even “a fidgety news man.” This was the message delivered by Dan Harris, correspondent and co-anchor for ABC’s “Nightline” and “Good Morning America Weekend,” during the keynote speech at the … Continued

How Integrative Therapies Can Help Lung Cancer Patients

Any cancer diagnosis and treatment can take a physical and emotional toll on patient. For many lung cancer patients, post-operative pain and muscle tension, as well as breathing and sleeping issues, are common side effects. To help ease some of these symptoms, patients can seek out integrative therapies, which can be used in conjunction with standard … Continued

Survivor Uses Reiki and ‘Button Therapy’ to Help Others Facing Cancer

As a girl, Paula Kaufman loved playing with the buttons that her grandmother, a seamstress, had in abundance. Later, while in treatment for stage III colorectal cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Kaufman – then a mother of three in her late 30s – gained strength from a jar of buttons her grandmother bequeathed to her. … Continued

How Reiki and Qigong Can Help Cancer Patients

Cancer therapy can take a toll on one’s body and mind. Thankfully, there are a variety of integrative therapies that, together with traditional medicine, can help patients feel better during treatment. Through the Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies, Dana-Farber offers therapies such as acupuncture, massage, meditation, yoga, and creative arts and music therapy, … Continued

Web Chat: How Integrative Therapies Can Benefit Cancer Patients

Whether it’s yoga, meditation, massage, or nutrition counseling, integrative therapies can offer a wide range of benefits for patients. “The whole concept of integrative therapies is about improving the overall quality of life for cancer patients,” says David Rosenthal, MD, medical director of Dana-Farber’s Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies. “Integrative and complementary therapies are helpful … Continued

Can Acupuncture Benefit Breast Cancer Patients?

By Robert Foley Increasing evidence through research at Dana-Farber and elsewhere supports the use of acupuncture as a remedy for some of the symptoms breast cancer patients experience. This integrative therapy can be used in conjunction with radiation and chemotherapy.

Can Acupuncture Ease Cancer Symptoms?

One of the oldest healing practices in the world, acupuncture is beginning to have a role in alleviating pain and discomfort associated with cancer and its treatments. Acupuncturists use fine needles to penetrate the skin and stimulate — manually or electrically — specific points on the body. Stimulation at these points, according to traditional Chinese medicine, … Continued