Health & Wellness Program
For more information contact Marilyn Leroy-Sterling, NP-C, Wellness Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 914.242.8146
Certain holistic therapies have been shown to support the healing process and enhance the quality of life for a person undergoing cancer treatment. The Health and Wellness Program at the NWH Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center is designed to support our patients with cancer in conjunction with, or following, their medical treatment (i.e., radiation therapy, chemotherapy, etc.).
Our Program introduces our patients to appropriate therapies in a highly individualized and coordinated manner.
You can include your family caregiver in the development of your wellness plan. A dedicated Nurse Practitioner Care Coordinator will work with you to integrate four additional disciplines into your Treatment Plan.
- nutritional assessment and planning
- integrative medicine strategies
- fitness and exercise programs
- emotional support
To ensure a coordinated and holistic support plan of care is in place, each week practitioners from all disciplines (nutrition, integrative medicine, fitness and rehabilitation and mindful wellness) meet with the Care Coordinator and the Medical Director of the Program to discuss all aspects of your care
Appropriate nutrition is vital in the treatment of cancer. Regardless of the diagnosis, patients need education on how to maximize their health, debunk the many myths that surround supplements and focus on recommendations based on scientific evidence. The Nutritional Assessment and Planning program will provide each patient with a customized plan and the ongoing support required to augment its impact. The program includes education and an individualized nutrition plan based on an in-depth assessment of diagnosis, lifestyle, culture and personality. The plan may be revised over time to match current (or present) nutritional needs in order to promote overall health of the patient. During the course of treatment, patients will have a one-hour initial individual intake with an oncology-trained Registered Dietitian (RD) followed by additional sessions if necessary and desired.
Our existing integrative medicine program combines the best evidence-based integrative therapies with conventional medicine to address the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of health and well-being. Our staff of holistic nurses focuses on creating an environment of wellness and a partnership in which patients are actively involved in selecting the therapies they receive.
Meet our Integrative Medicine Coordinator
The Care Coordinator will schedule patients for several sessions of their choosing over the course of their active treatment. Available modalities include Acupuncture, Aromatherapy, M Technique touch therapy, Reiki/energy healing, Reflexology and Therapeutic suggestion/guided imagery. These modalities are useful in enhancing the comfort level of patients and can be beneficial in the management of symptoms including:
- pain control
- shortness of breath
- end-of-life dyspnea
- stress and anxiety
- disorders of cognition
The basic premise of integrative therapies is that every individual has a natural ability to heal that comes from within oneself.
Acupuncture is a safe and effective method of encouraging the body to improve function and promote natural healing. It involves the stimulation of specific points on the body with fine, disposable needles. It is helpful in relieving many symptoms associated with cancer treatment as well has helpful in relieving migraines and other headaches, low-back pain, fibromyalgia and asthma.
Clinical Aromatherapy uses essential oils for therapeutic purposes. Some oils promote relaxation and restful sleep, while others assist in relieving pain, nausea, depression or anxiety. Oils may be applied topically (massage) or simply through breathing in the healing aroma.
M Technique Touch Therapy
The M-technique is a gentle touch therapy that can be used on even the most fragile patient. It works on skin receptors that send signals to the brain, producing a measurable relaxation response and a deep state of relaxation.
Reiki is an ancient Japanese healing art that has been shown to ease pain and depression, balance emotions, reduce stress and increase relaxation. Energy healing is a very gentle process involving touch both on and off the body, working with the energy fields in and around the body.
Reflexology is a unique method of using the thumb and fingers on reflex areas of the feet to enhance relaxation, improve circulation and rebalance the body. The reflex areas in the feet correspond to all of the glands, organs and body parts.
Therapeutic Suggestion/Guided Imagery – This modality involves relaxation and guided imagery techniques to enhance comfort levels and accelerate the healing process. The healing sounds of music and voice mix to help make thoughts more peaceful and calming, allowing the body to relax and focus on the healing process.
Fitness and Rehabilitation
We offer a set calendar of fitness classes, such as yoga and pilates for breast cancer patients, which are complimentary to the patient.
We also offer customized exercise programs including strength training, range of movement, cardiovascular fitness, lymphedema therapy and speech/swallow therapy. In addition, medically supervised exercised programs, are available. They are individually designed and monitored by skilled physical therapists through our partnership with Burke Rehabilitation.
Other oncology support services offered by our Physical and Speech Therapists:
- Customized exercise programs including strength, conditioning and flexibility training
- Range of movement
- Cardiovascular fitness
- Manual therapies
- Pain Management
- Compression Pumps
- Trained therapists in lymphadema treatment
- Management of post-surgical swelling
- Manual lymphatic drainage and compression wrapping
- Adapting to physical limitations in meeting daily functional needs
- Speech and swallow therapies
- One-on-one treatment sessions
A diagnosis of cancer can be debilitating. Many questions arise, but finding the right resource to answer those questions can be stressful even in the best of times. The Care Coordinator will direct the patient and his or her care partner(s) to the resources that are most applicable to their situation, which may include referrals to psychiatrists, psychologists or social workers on staff or affiliated with the Hospital.
Additional resources at NWH:
- Health Rhythms Healing Drumming classes for stress reduction
- Stress Reduction and Breathing class
- Meditation group
- Expressive Arts program
- The Ken Hamilton Caregivers Center at NWH
- Non-denominational Pastoral Care (Healing Prayer Group)
- Our Partnerships:
- The American Cancer Society, whose patient navigators are on-site at the Cancer Treatment & Wellness Center
- Support Connection, a local (Yorktown Heights) not-for-profit organization established in 1996 that offers free, confidential support services to people affected by breast and ovarian cancer
- CancerCare, a national nonprofit organization that provides free, professional support services for anyone affected by cancer (www.cancercare.org)