Mental health is important, especially during cancer treatment, because it can impact a patient’s overall recovery efforts. The mind-body medicine team in Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, focuses on helping patients work through concerns, worries and the physical pain that may accompany cancer and its treatment. The hope is that by helping patients deal with their physical, emotional and spiritual discomforts, they can focus on healing.
At CTCA® at Southwestern Regional Medical Center (Southwestern), the team of mind-body therapists offers a number of services, provided by licensed professional counselors, psychologists and at least one psychiatrist. These services include traditional counseling, which may range from one-on-one sessions with the patient to couples and family counseling, if needed. This important outlet and other mind-body medicine services are available throughout a patient’s stay at Southwestern.
Other patients may benefit from stress-management classes or techniques, also offered onsite at the Oklahoma hospital. Deep-breathing exercises may also help in reducing stress and promoting relaxation. Once patients learn these tactics, they may be able to use the tools when they are away from the Oklahoma facility. Mind-body therapists will also help patients locate qualified practitioners in their own neighborhoods so that mind-body care can continue without interruption when patients are recovering at home.
If patients experience physical pain as a side effect of cancer or its treatment, they can work with mind-body therapists, using guided imagery as a tool to help them escape into their own minds through positive visualization techniques. Laughter therapy is another option patients can explore, offering a tool to seek relief from pain by tapping into the natural healing power of humor.