Integrative Oncology Services

Integrative oncology uses evidence-based, natural and cost-effective healing methods in cancer care with goals of increasing quality of life and enhancing cancer treatments by minimizing complications.

Integrative oncology is

  • Patient-centered. Your therapies will be chosen based on your informed decisions.
  • Holistic. Services address mind, body and spiritual aspects simultaneously to yield synergistic benefits.
  • Safe. We use the least invasive and pharmacological methods.

Click to download the Integrative Oncology services flyer.

Integrative Oncology Services

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for over 5,000 years and is used to treat many illnesses and ailments. Acupuncture for cancer patients is used to prevent and reduce complications from general anesthesia and surgeries, control pain and help patients minimize the side effects of patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation.

Dr. Suzie Kline

Suzie Kline, Ph. D., N.P. provides acupuncture therapy for breast cancer patients. Suzie is the manager of integrative oncology at the Huntington Hospital Cancer Center.

Learn more about Dr. Kline.

Scientific research demonstrates that acupuncture can reduce inflammation and promote and lymphatic flow and microcirculation, which help in reducing swelling and scar tissue. Acupuncture can also release endorphin hormones in the body to reduce pain naturally. Research has also shown that acupuncture can modulate brain signals, i.e. neurotransmitters, in the limbic system, resulting in a reduction in symptoms of anxiety, depression and insomnia, all commonly seen in cancer patients.

What symptoms can it help with?

  • Chemotherapy-associated nausea/vomiting
  • Hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia caused by Tamoxifen or Aromatase Inhibitors
  • Bone/joint pain caused by Aromatase-Inhibitors
  • Post-operative pain and nausea
  • Diarrhea/constipation
  • Anxiety/depression
  • Fatigue

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is the manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person's health and well-being. Massage can include a variety of types of pressure and touch. When used as a complementary and alternative treatment in breast cancer patients, massage therapy has been associated with enhanced health and coping with treatment-related side effects.

Marina Hsiao

Marina Hsiao, certified massage therapist, provides massage therapy services for breast cancer patients.

Learn more about Marina.

Studies have shown that massage seems to offer both physical and emotional benefits for women with breast cancer. Research studies have demonstrated increased levels of dopamine following massage therapy, which increases the sense of well-being. In addition, increased levels of natural killer cells have been found, suggesting it may help boost the immune system. There is no evidence that massage can cause an existing cancer to spread.

Click to download the Massage Therapy flyer.

What symptoms can it help with?

  • Nausea/vomiting caused by chemotherapy
  • Bone/joint pain caused by chemotherapy or Aromatase-Inhibitors
  • Stress-related anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia
  • Improved immune function

Massage therapy is facilitated by Marina Hsiao, a certified massage therapist in California.

Types of massage offered include:

Traditional massage therapy techniques are modified for those undergoing cancer treatment. Oncology massage can include the following:

Lymph Drainage, also called lymphatic drainage or manual lymph drainage, is a massage technique utilizing light pressure and long, gentle, rhythmic strokes to increase the flow of lymph and reduce toxins in your body. It is often used in the treatment of lymphedema, an accumulation of fluid that can occur after lymph nodes are removed during surgery.

Acupressure is an alternative medicine technique based on the concept of life energy which flows through ”meridians” in the body. Your therapist uses fingers, elbows, or tool to apply pressure to specific points along the meridians to stimulate, disperse and balance the flow or energy.

Lomi Lomi Massage is an integrative massage originating in ancient Hawaii. The theory behind Lomi Lomi is connecting the mind and body to maximize healing potential. This massage offers a calm mental space and nurturing touch to create a state of deep relaxation for clients.

Chakra opening, based on Indian medicine, focuses on spine and head to open chakras in order to bring balance to your emotions and body.

Reflexology is the application of pressure to areas on the feet, hands, and ears. The theory behind reflexology is that these areas correspond to organs and systems of the body. Reflexology massage is often useful for post-surgery patients who are not able lie in a prone position, and who need relief for back and hip issues. Reflexology also stimulates circulation in the feet and hands for neuropathy problems from chemotherapy treatments.

Yoga Stretch: is based on yoga theory and position, and involves stretching problem areas. It is often used in treating scar tissue, sciatica symptoms, promoting lymph flow and relieving muscle and joint tension.

Face Meridian and Lymph Massage is a 45 minute massage for the face and neck, combining Meridian channel massage (Eastern medicine) with Lymph massage to improve circulation in the face. It is said to boost the immune system and enhance relaxation.

Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment using natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being.

Important considerations before trying massage therapy

Massage can be very helpful, but it is not for everyone. Keep these things in mind:

  • Deep massage, or any type of massage that involves strong pressure, should NOT be used if you are undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. People undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation may have a decrease in red and white blood cells, so with deep massage, there is a risk of bruising. Light massage can be used instead.
  • If you're currently undergoing radiation, your massage therapist should avoid touching any sensitive skin in the treatment area.
  • If you have had lymph nodes removed, the massage therapist should only use very light touch on your affected arm and the area around the underarm.
  • If you have arm lymphedema, your arm and underarm area should be treated by a different kind of massage especially for lymphedema, called manual lymphatic drainage. Look for a physical therapist trained and certified in manual lymph drainage to treat your lymphedema.

Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy is a form of psychotherapy which helps a person enter into a state of calm and alert awareness, so he or she can more easily work on making personal changes.

Dr. Pierre-Etienne Vannier

Pierre-Etienne Vannier, provides hynotherapy services for breast cancer patients in the Huntington Cancer Center.

Learn more about Pierre-Etienne.

In 1995, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a consensus statement noting the scientific evidence in favor of the use of hypnosis for chronic pain, particularly pain associated with cancer. Hypnosis helps a person be more focused and block out distractions. It brings a state of deep relaxation, making it easier to observe anxieties, fears, pain, and other difficulties from a new perspective. There are no studies to show that hypnosis can affect outcomes after breast cancer specifically. However, hypnosis does appear to help with some of the symptoms of cancer and side effects of its treatment, such as pain, nausea, vomiting, stress, and anxiety.

What symptoms can it help with?

  • Chemotherapy-associated nausea/vomiting
  • Hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia caused by Tamoxifen or Aromatase Inhibitors
  • Bone/joint pain caused by Aromatase-Inhibitors
  • Stress/anxiety/depression
  • Fatigue

Hypnotherapy Programs

We offer a variety of programs to help patients manage stress and emotions that come with the cancer journey.

Group Meditation / Stress Management

"That meditation program gave me tools that made it possible for me to feel like my life is normal again!" Bill

Group meditation

Many people with cancer feel stressed, helpless and isolated. This free 6-week stress management group program teaches you to make the best decisions under stressful circumstances, connect and learn from others on the journey to recovery, deal with stress and fear, and sleep better. Sessions are facilitated by mind-body practitioner Pierre-Etienne Vannier, MSc.

Call to register. Visit our Calendar of Events to find when the next 6-week session begins.

When: Thursdays 4:45 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Where: Huntington Pavilion North Lobby, 625 South Fair Oaks Avenue, #325, Pasadena

Seating is limited, and registration is required. To RSVP by phone, please call (626) 484-8396. For more information please email Pierre-Etienne Vannier.

Click to download the Group Meditation / Stress Management program flyer.

More info: During this 6-week experiential program, you will learn how to manage stress, reclaim safety and improve your sleep, deal with your diagnosis and learn from your challenges, boost your immunity and your energy levels, and foster physical healing by learning and practicing therapeutic meditation and guided imagery. After each session, you will be given a recording to practice at home and reinforce the benefits of each session.

Cancer patients, spouse, caregivers, family and members of their support system are welcome to attend at no cost.

Private stress management sessions available upon request.

"It has allowed me to be happier and more forgiving of myself" Betty

Somatic Stress Release Program

This is a free group program teaching those with with cancer to learn to release stress and chronic tension using simple and gentle vibrations in the body (therapeutic tremors). Reported benefits of Somatic Stress Release include increased energy and stamina, improved sleep and immunity, greater mobility and better mood. The technique is easy to learn and movements will be tailored to your needs.

The program includes three weekly sessions and is facilitated by mind-body practitioner Pierre-Etienne Vannier, MSc.

Visit our Calendar of Events to find when the next 5-week session begins.

When: Thursdays, 4:45-6 p.m.

Where: Huntington Pavilion North Lobby, 3rd Floor, Suite 325

To register please call (626) 484-8396. Seating is limited. For more information please email Pierre-Etienne Vannier.

Download the Somatic Stress Release Program flyer.

Private sessions are also available upon request.

It is important to note that while hypnosis can help a person be more open to suggestion and changes at a subconscious level, a hypnotherapist cannot control you while you are under hypnosis. You must be open and receptive to the idea of hypnosis, which means a hypnotherapist is not able to force you to do anything you don't want to do or hypnotize you against your will. While the safety of hypnosis has not been thoroughly studied, hypnosis has shown benefits in cancer patients. Because the practice can occasionally trigger deep and sometimes upsetting emotions it is important to always check with your doctor before starting hypnotherapy, particularly if you have a history of mental illness.

For more information, or to register for a class, please call the Huntington Hospital Cancer Center at (626) 397-2524.

Therapeutic Yoga

Therapeutic Yoga

Free therapeutic yoga for cancer patients, offered at Yoga House in Pasadena.

Each class includes restorative yoga, gentle yoga, breath work, meditation and hands-on healing. These promote the body's ability to heal itself and soothe stress associated with chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Visit our Calendar of Events to see therapeutic yoga dates.

Therapeutic yoga is facilitated by Farzaneh Noori, a certified yoga instructor, or another qualified Yoga House instructor.

When: Wednesdays, 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Where: 11 West State Street, Pasadena, CA 9110

Click to download the Therapeutic Yoga flyer.

For more information visit Yoga House or call (626) 403-3961.

Therapeutic Drum Circle

Drum Circle

Beat Cancer Thru Drumming is a Beat the Odds® drum circle program tailored for cancer patients and cancer survivors to cultivate emotional resilience and mental focus while having fun!

This free 5-week program uses various self-care and therapeutic techniques to increase energy, develop a sense of well-being and to reduce stress and anxiety. Beat the Odds drum circle program emphasizes the process not the performance.

Visit our Calendar of Events to see Drum Circle dates.

When: Mondays, 4:15 p.m. -5:00 p.m. from March 4 - April 1, 2019.

We only have 10 drums and space is limited.

Call Suzie Kline to enroll at (626) 807-9168.

Beat Cancer Thru Drumming is facilitated by Sandi Chiu, LAc. and Suzie Kline, Ph.D., N.P., Manager of Integrative Oncology.

Click to download the Beat the Odds flyer.

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