It's been frequently referred to as alternative medicine although that could suggest something distinct, different, outside the mainstream.
Now that the health care community is increasingly open to therapy options like acupuncture to complement patients' medical treatment, the operative term is integrative.
"One of the things that's happening is physicians and the general public, they want to integrate it, because it is so important," says Janine Gauthier, PhD, director of clinical services for Rush University Medical Centers cancer integrative medicine program.
On Wednesday, March 25, Gauthier will talk about complementary integrative medicine in a public event sponsored by Rush Generations, a health and aging program for older adults.
James Young, MD, chairperson and associate professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, also is scheduled to speak at the free event, which will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon on the Rush campus. Please call (888) 352-7874 or (888) 352-RUSH to sign up.
"There's a lot of interest in how you compare Western medicine versus more alternative therapies which go back thousands and thousands of years," says Dana Bright, coordinator of community health for older adult programs at Rush.
Rush's cancer integrative medicine program combines traditional treatment with complementary therapies to help patients cope with stress, anxiety, pain, fatigue and side effects from their treatment.
Options include acupuncture, massage therapy, medical hypnosis, yoga, nutritional counseling, biofeedback and guided imagery a form of relaxation therapy.
The program also offers herbal counseling, in which a doctor of pharmacy work together to address interactions between traditional chemotherapy and herbal medicines that patients may want to take.
"We want to complement mainstream, traditional cancer care in order to help patients deal with the emotional aspects and focus on treating the whole cancer," Gauthier says.
Gauthier says giving patients tools to help reduce stress can yield tremendous benefits, including being less fatigued and enjoying a better quality of life during treatment.
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Please note: All physicians featured in Discover Rush Online are on the medical faculty of Rush University Medical Center. Some of the physicians featured are in private practice and, as independent practitioners, are not agents or employees of Rush University Medical Center.
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