Mind-Body Medicine at Western
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At CTCA at Western Regional Medical Center (Western), we understand that cancer affects not only the body, but the mind and spirit as well. Receiving a diagnosis of cancer can be an emotional shock. This is why Western offers the Department of Mind-Body Medicine (also known as Psychoneuroimmunology, or PNI). The mind-body therapists at Western believe that the mind and emotions can influence the body and, in some instances, can prevent the body from healing.
The mind-body team at Western is comprised of licensed professional counselors or psychiatrists. As you move through the cancer treatment process, this team ensures that you remain empowered to fight. Mind-body therapist, Steve White says, "Mind-body medicine offers patients and caregivers the chance to discuss stressors in their lives and provides ways to decrease them."
The Mind-Body Medicine Department works with other center departments to ensure that your cancer care plan is comprehensive. Mind-body therapists meet with oncologists and members of other complementary therapy departments multiple times each week. If you are dealing with anxiety or depression, your cancer care team discusses what should be done to resolve the situation because we want you to have a good quality of life.
Incorporating mind-body medicine techniques into your cancer treatment can help to:
- Promote relaxation
- Decrease stress, anxiety and depression
- Improve mood
- Reduce treatment-related side effects (e.g., pain, nausea, muscle tension)
- Provide a sense of control and empowerment
- Improve coping skills
- Increase feelings of peace and calm
What to Expect
When you first arrive at Western, you will have the option to meet with a mind-body therapist alongside experts from other complementary departments such as naturopathic medicine, nutrition, and spiritual support. It is up to you whether you would like to incorporate mind-body medicine into your cancer treatment plan.
Should you choose to work with a mind-body therapist, he or she will listen to your concerns, provide guidance, and promote mental and emotional wellness in a non-judgmental environment. We want you to focus on healing the mind, body, and soul during your stay with us.
Western's Mind-Body Medicine Department currently offers individual and group counseling sessions. Therapists teach relaxation and meditation methods. Western's program will soon include therapies currently in place at other CTCA facilities, such as laughter therapy, Reiki therapy, and Qigong.
Caring for Caregivers Too
The department’s main goal is to reduce stress stemming from the cancer diagnosis, cancer treatment, and side effects. We also understand that caregivers experience a different type of stress when dealing with a loved one who has cancer.
At the Western hospital, we openly invite caregivers to participate in mind-body therapies because cancer affects the entire family. We want everyone to be at their very best.