Accessing and Integrating Mind-Body Medicine Resources into Your Care

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To complement cancer care, many people turn to supportive care or mind-body medicine to help relieve pain, increase mindfulness and reduce stress. Where can patients find these resources? A panel of experts, including Raquel Jex Forsgren and Dr. Ishwaria Subbiah, explain where people can find a certified yoga therapist and who to engage with on your health care team to navigate supportive care opportunities. Dr. Subbiah also discusses an evidence-based practice from a yoga intervention study, shares some key benefits people can feel from just a brief session, and explains what alternative care resources are offered at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Watch now to find out more.

This is a Patient Empowerment Network program produced by Patient Power. We thank Celgene Corporation, Genentech, Helsinn and Novartis for their support. 

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Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Number two, it is important to look for someone that is certified as a yoga therapist because we're trained as a subspecialty in trauma, in serious disease, in cancer.  So that helps.  And you can go to the International Association of Yoga Therapy.  Go to their website and type in your ZIP code, and any number of certified therapists will come up with that information.  So those are two simple ways to find it. 

So yoga can be intimidating in that some people think that you need to set aside 40 minutes, an hour to do this.  The reality is you can gain benefits really in a very short period of time, and that's one of the elements that we're testing.  Is initially if an intervention, a yoga-based intervention is a 45-minute session, do we still have the same effect when we do a 30-minute session, a 20-minute session?  And we're working on one now that's an 11-minute session.  So we want to see if the beneficial effects in people going through cancer treatment and their caregivers can be experienced by shorter and shorter time sessions.  And so we'll put that data out once we get it. 

Now, the two ways, the easiest ways to access it, are like what was said, which is engage your healthcare team and ask them about resources with integrated medicine within their practice, within their nearby hospital, within the city.  And so at MD Anderson we have a separate department of integrated medicine that's devoted to the alternative and complementary aspects of care of someone with cancer. 

And so the integrative center has classes every day in tai chi, Qigong, multiple—every day that's open to anybody, and so the patients, caregivers, whomever comes with them.  And so we would encourage our patients to take advantage of that, especially if you have an appointment in the morning and maybe an infusion in the afternoon and there's some time in between the day is to go and spend that time in the integrative medicine center. 

The other resource that I use is the integrative medicine center's web page within MD Anderson.  And so you can access it from anywhere in the world.  Just Google integrative medicine at MD Anderson.  It will come up.  And there we have several videos there with our yoga expert here.  Dr. Alejandro Chaoul is one of the world leaders in yoga in the context of cancer therapy.  And so Ali has several videos where he guides you through this.  So I've done this at home.  I've done this in the office. 

And so you can open it up, do it on your smartphone and try it out.  And you can go back to it as many times as you want.  And don't forgot to go back to it.  It's not a one-time.  The benefit comes from doing it repeatedly over the course of—really it's a lifestyle modification, so. 

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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Page last updated on August 10, 2018