A holistic approach to improved health
Holistic or integrative approaches to care focus on how the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual elements of a person are interconnected to improve and maintain health. Holistic approaches focus on the whole person rather than just on treating the disease.
The Helen G. Nassif Community Cancer Center encourages the use of these holistic approaches as complimentary to your treatment plan. We work closely with all of your providers to assure that these offerings support your treatment plan—ultimately improving your quality of life.
We recognize that your cancer experience impacts your family and friends—your support team. We encourage everyone on your support team to utilize the services of the Community Cancer Center. Their quality of life is very important to your care experience.
More than just relaxation and stress relief; it can actually improve your health. Our licensed Massage Therapists can help alleviate common side effects of chemotherapy and radiation; such as neuropathy, fatigue and post-surgical muscle pain. Massage is also a great way to combat the emotional strains of cancer and its treatment.
Acupuncture is a traditional form of Chinese medicine in which thin needles are used to stimulate pressure points throughout the body. The procedure is safe and painless and has an extremely low risk of complications when performed by an experienced practitioner.
Medical acupuncture is used to describe acupuncture performed by a doctor trained and licensed in Western medicine who has also had thorough training in acupuncture as a specialty practice.
Although medical acupuncture does not target tumors or prevent cancerous cells from spreading, it can be a beneficial part of the patients overall care. Studies have shown that acupuncture may:
- control hot flashes
- help reduce pain and anxiety
- help relive fatigue
- help decrease nausea and reduce vomiting
- be used for smoking cessation
What to expect in a typical acupuncture session
The practitioner will ask you questions about your health and lifestyle. At your first acupuncture session, you’ll answer questions to let the practitioner know about any medications you are taking, including herbal supplements, any other medical treatments you are currently under (chemotherapy, radiation, hormonal therapy) and symptoms and side affects you are currently experiencing. Your treatment will be tailored to your individual lifestyle and health issues.
If you decide medical acupuncture is the right treatment for you, the practitioner will discuss the number of treatments needed for your particular condition. An acupuncture session will begin by inserting needles into acupuncture points on your skin that are the most appropriate acupuncture points for your condition. The acupuncturist will use solid, stainless steel needles. Most people feel slight or no pain as the needles are inserted. Needles are only inserted into the top layer of skin. Once the needles are in place there is no pain.
Most sessions last between 30 and 45 minutes and patients can go home as soon as the session is complete. The effects of acupuncture can feel different from person to person. You may feel relaxed or you may feel energized.
Medical acupuncture services are provided by Dr. Nancy Lorenzini, a licensed acupuncturist who is an independent practitioner of the Helen G. Nassif Community Cancer Center.
To learn more about medical acupuncture as part of your overall care or to make an appointment, call (319) 558-4876 or speak with your Care Coordinator for additional information.
A technique for reducing stress and promoting healing. The practitioner’s hands are lightly positioned in areas on or near your clothed body. There is no massage of manipulation of tissue during Reiki. People that use Reiki indicate it reduces stress, improves sleep and appetite, decreases the need for pain medication and accelerates the healing process. It may also reduce the unwanted side effects of radiation and drugs, including chemotherapy.
To learn more about Reiki and to schedule an appointment, call (319) 558-4876 and ask to speak to a Care Coordinator.
Reflexology is the application of pressure to areas on the feet, hands or ears. By targeting different zones of the feet, deep relaxation and improved circulation may be noted in different zones and reflex Integrative Wellness areas throughout the body. Several studies funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health indicate that reflexology may reduce pain, anxiety and depression while enhancing sleep and relaxation. Studies also show that reflexology may have benefits in palliative care of people with cancer.
To learn more about Reflexology and to schedule an appointment, call (319) 558-4876 and ask to speak to a Care Coordinator.
A mental exercise that helps you find relaxation, inner peace, creativity and inspiration as well as emotional and physical balance. It is not a part of any religion. It is a precise technique for resting the mind and attaining a state of consciousness that is totally different from the normal waking state. When you meditate, you are fully awake and alert, but your mind is not focused on the external world or on the events taking place around you. Meditation requires an inner state that is still and one-pointed so that the mind becomes silent. Once you learn the technique it can be done anywhere and anytime.
A form of exercise that helps you develop better posture and breathing techniques through supported stretches of the body. It systematically works the entire body building foundational strength. Yoga is a physical exercise that also helps reduce stress and create inner peace. Click here to learn more.
Chair Yoga Basics
Chair Yoga Basics is a gentle form of yoga that is practiced sitting on a chair, or standing using a chair for support. This class teaches the basic yoga movements or asanas, and breath work, while helping to develop the mind body connection. It is a great practice for everyone, but is particularly beneficial for those who may have difficulty getting up and down off the floor. Participants will learn many kinds of yoga postures, breathing techniques, meditation, and ways of relaxation, with the aid of a chair. All yoga deepens flexibility and strengthens personal body awareness. It helps with symptoms of health issues including hypertension, anxiety, chronic fatigue, arthritis, vertigo, clinical depression, and chronic pain just to name a few.
A system of linked elegant movements based off martial arts and old Chinese exercises. It has been practiced for centuries to help with tension and stress. The slow movements allow participants to reach inner and outer peace while improving balance and body awareness. Click here to learn more.
A combination of exercises that engages your mind and body. It is a blend of strength, cardiovascular and flexibility training. Pilates takes a balanced approach so that your body works as efficiently as possible in both exercise and daily life. Click here to learn more.
Additional Programs and Services
The Community Cancer Center consistently offers new programs and services that are beneficial to you, your family, and friends. Periodically, different programs such as Music Therapy, Art Therapy, Cooking Demonstrations, or Mind-Body Skills groups are offered to support the physical and emotional needs of you and your family and friends.
Many of these services are provided at no charge through Helen G. Nassif Community Cancer Care of Iowa. Some are provided for a small fee and some may be covered by insurance.