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.
Services at the Huntington Cancer Center
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.
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.
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, certified massage therapist, provides massage therapy services for breast cancer patients.
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.
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.
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
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
Many people with cancer feel stressed, helpless and isolated. This free 6-week stress management group program teaches you to reclaim stress and safety, improve sleep, deal with your diagnosis and learn from challenges, and make the best decisions under stressful circumstances. You will connect and learn from others on the journey to recovery.
Sessions will 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.
Who: Sessions are facilitated by mind-body practitioner Pierre-Etienne Vannier, MSc.
When: Thursdays 4:45 p.m. – 6:00 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.
Private stress management sessions available upon request.
Somatic Stress Release Program (TRE)
“It has allowed me to be happier and more forgiving of myself”
This is a free group program teaching those 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.
Who: The program includes three weekly sessions and is facilitated by mind-body practitioner Pierre-Etienne Vannier, MSc.
When: Thursdays, 4:45-6:00 p.m.
Where: Huntington Pavilion North Lobby, 3rd Floor, Suite 325
Private sessions are also available upon request.
An Important Note about Hypnosis:
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.
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.
Who: 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
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. [[LINK TO CALENDAR EVENT WHEN READY]]
Who: Beat Cancer Thru Drumming is facilitated by Sandi Chiu, LAc. and Suzie Kline, Ph.D., N.P., Manager of Integrative Oncology.
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.