What Is Integrative Oncology?

Integrative oncology combines a selection of therapies and general lifestyle practices that will assist you in healing, handle the side effects of therapy, and improve your overall quality of life before, during, and after "cancer" became a part of your life. Therapies incorporated into your care plan fall under the categories of nutrition, touch, movement, and mindfulness.

Examples include:

Music, arts, and expressive therapy


Yoga and other forms of physical exercise


Lymphatic Massage


Lifestyle Nutrition

Intravenous therapies such as high dose vitamin c and ozone

What Are the Benefits of Integrative Oncology?

Intravenous therapies chosen in an oncology program are those who have been demonstrated most effective in helping patients with the most common side effects associated with cancer and its therapy. Conventional drugs like chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy have side effects that are tough to handle despite our best attempts and all of the progress in the field.The major advantage of integrative oncology is combining the best from both fields, conventional and alternative medicine for the benefit of the patient. The patient will not feel sick after each treatment but yet will feel stronger and more alive with minimal side effects.

The patient wont suffer from hair loss and severe, unhealthy weight loss. They wont end up with that metal taste in their mouth. They will feel empowered and amazing and build on that each subsequent day of treatment. Conversely, here are some cancer side effects from just using conventional treatments alone:

Nausea and vomiting


Anxiety or depression

This provides more than enough reason to go with intregrative oncology treatments. Also, energy therapies and bodywork (Reiki, Shiatsu) are used in integrative oncology to lessen cancer symptoms. Not only will the symptoms decrease but the root cause of the patients condition will be directly addressed and improved upon as well as their quality of life. When you are feeling bad, it's difficult to remain positive and continue treatment. You have a good deal of options to help you. For example, if you are coping with pain, you might want to consider acupuncture instead of just resorting to pain medicines.

Fatigue is also a common side effect of cancer and treatments. Your body goes through a lot with conventional treatments. Physical activity and yoga can help you recover energy and some strength. It's important to make sure that any therapies and nutritional supplements are discussed in detail with your oncologist. Cancer is a complex disease and is best managed your care team and by your physician. By receiving care at a cancer center with a dedicated integrative oncology program, you can be sure you'll get the safest and most comprehensive advice, treatment and guidance.

Alternative medicine users more knowledgeable, earn more than others

A resilient and courageous heart will set a template for wellness inside, and the answers will come to them, in faith, from nature, from within. People who have struggled with their own health problems and overcame them through personal study and implementation have found that alternativemedicine is not alternative at all. It's the real deal. Nature is alive with answers, and healing starts within. The very things deemed "alternative" by society's standards are really the foundation for optimal wellness. Whether it's organic fruits and vegetables, medicinal roots and berries, or flowering herbs and spices, the alternative is really the foundation. Complementary health practices like yoga and meditation, chiropractic care, acupuncture and detoxification strategies promote quality of life, but very few people understand how these practices can restore their mind, body and spirit. The more a person understands the purpose of these foundational health strategies, the more they will rise above a diseased state of being. Pharmaceutical drugs, medical intervention and the deadly risks they pose can be avoided altogether if there was a greater understanding in the art of healing. Lack of alternative health knowledge correlated with poverty, lack of education

Now researchers at San Francisco State University are finding out that alternative medicine users are more educated and earn more than those who are not knowledgeable in the healing arts. They found that people with lower education levels and lower incomes are less likely to know about natural solutions to their health, including things like chiropractic care, yoga and acupuncture. "It's very important to know why somebody is not doing a particular behavior," said Adam Burke, director of SF State's Institute for Holistic Health Studies. "If your child isn't eating broccoli and you want him to, you need to know why. If it's just a matter of the pieces being too big, you can cut it up. But if you don't know why, the child will not eat the broccoli." Looking into data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, researchers examined 13,000 people who said they never used acupuncture, chiropractic, natural products or yoga. The study found that people's lack of knowledge kept them from complementary and alternative health strategies. They found that those with higher incomes were 37 percent less likely to indicate lack of knowledge as a reason for not using alternative medicine. Similarly, they found that those who attended college were 58 percent less likely to indicate lack of knowledge. "The implication of this study is that the lack of access to health knowledge is a root ofhealth inequity," Burke said. "If you are poor, you have less access to health information for a variety of reasons." Another insight from the study found that people who are less physically active are more likely to claim lack of knowledge for not using holistic, complementary health strategies. Lack of alternative health knowledge keeping people in pain and addicted to harmful pharmaceutical drugs

Burke was surprised by another of the study's results. Burke thought that patients with back pain would be more knowledgeable in the use of complementary holistic health strategies. Back pain sufferers will often seek out chiropractic care, acupuncture or yoga. However, the lower education levels and incomes still prevented back pain sufferers from seeking out alternative treatments. "Often, the solution for chronic pain is addictive prescription medications, which are problematic in all communities, especially in lower-income communities," Burke said. "Complementary methods have the potential to mitigate such addiction problems and may help address the root problem rather than just managing the symptoms, which is a real benefit." Burke added that it's especially important for back pain sufferers to know about complementary and alternative methods. He calls for doctors to become more knowledgeable about these alternative methods themselves and to educate patients on how to integrate these complementary practices into their lives. "It's highly likely that a lack of knowledge prevents some individuals from using these integrative approaches -- if they knew more, they would use them more," Burke said. "These are cost-effective treatments that have limited side effects and may actually help remediate people's problems. Especially in lower-income communities, it is important for health care providers to recommend them."

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