Oral Cancer Mind-Body Medicine, Counseling & Support Groups
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Mind-Body Medicine for Oral Cancer
Mind-body medicine at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) supports you and your family before, during and after your oral cancer treatment. The team provides tools and techniques to help you and your family cope with any physical and emotional issues that may arise during your cancer fight.
We also realize that caregivers play a big role in your treatment and healing process, and they need support in managing their own emotions and concerns. At CTCA, caregivers can join one of our cancer support groups or meet one-on-one with a mind-body therapist to address their stresses and concerns. \
Mind-Body Programs, Counseling & Support Groups
The following activities, classes and relaxation therapies are just some of the mind-body therapies we offer to reduce stress and improve quality of life. These services are available to patients, caregivers and their families:
- Individual, couples and family counseling. A mind-body therapist schedules at least one visit with every patient to introduce the options available in this department. It’s your decision if you would like to continue meeting with a therapist. For patients who have undergone significant changes to vocal function or appearance as a result of oral cancer treatment, counselors can assist you, as well as your family, during this transition. Cancer support groups and counseling sessions are also available for those who prefer to meet with others rather than one-on-one.
- Guided imagery. A relaxation technique that teaches patients to use positive mental images to manage stress and physical discomfort. Guided imagery can be used to help oral cancer patients prepare for treatment, deal with their pain, nausea and anxiety, and also to support the immune system.
- Deep breathing exercises. Oral cancer mind-body therapists work with patients on an individual basis to teach deep breathing as a relaxation and stress management technique.
- Laughter Therapy. These sessions provide a safe place where patients can laugh. Research has shown that laughing can reduce stress, improve pain, and balance blood pressure. •
- Reiki. A gentle, hands-on practice that uses specific techniques to help restore and balance the body’s energy, strengthen its ability to heal, reduce stress, and increase peace of mind.
- Qigong. This ancient Chinese healing art uses a series of soft, flowing movements to focus the mind and body. Qigong is taught to help reduce stress, build stamina, and enhance the immune system. The gentle movements also increase lymph circulation, which is important for cancer patients.
- Smoking Cessation Support. Mind-body support is available to help patients quit smoking through individual counseling, acupuncture, deep breathing and guided imagery. Patients are also encouraged to call the mind-body team when they are in need of support or experiencing nicotine cravings.
- Therapy dog. Animal-assisted therapy is available for inpatients and outpatients. Many of our sites have a hospital dog, and other sites have visiting dog teams. Either way, the presence of a friendly dog, whether during treatment, in a room, or even in the waiting room or hallways, can offer a unique comfort to patients.
- Movement sessions. Some CTCA locations also offer a weekly movement group, with dance and other gentle exercises that provide another means of expression. This approach may be especially helpful for those patients with oral cancer who have impaired vocal abilities following treatment and therefore find talk therapy difficult.
- Expressive art series. Some CTCA locations hold weekly art sessions that explore various mediums. Through drawing, writing, or even beadwork, patients are given ways to explore and cope with the challenging feelings and experiences of cancer in a safe and quiet environment.
Our oral cancer mind-body therapists work closely with your entire cancer treatment team and are here to support you in making ongoing care decisions. In addition, they can connect you with qualified practitioners and cancer support groups in your area once you return home.
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