A standard practice within traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, acupuncture has in recent decades been widely accepted by Western culture as an adjunctive treatment for many illnesses, including cancer.
Acupuncture involves having hair-thin needles gently inserted into the skin at specific points, called acupoints. When stimulated in this way, as well as with heat, acupoints can help us correct and rebalance physical, mental, spiritual, and
Acupuncture is one of the Zakim Center's most popular offerings. Patients describe it as a calming and invigorating experience that can help them
manage the symptoms and side effects associated with cancer. This therapy is available for both adult and pediatric patients in individual
Exercise holds benefits for everyone, and a growing number of studies show that cancer patients in particular can gain valuable benefits from regular exercise, including reducing fatigue, improved mood, reduced anxiety and help maintaining a healthy weight.
Patients can meet with Dana-Farber's exercise physiologist Nancy Campbell, who can answer fitness-related questions and provide personalized exercise tips. Consults are available for men or women with any cancer diagnosis.
Integrative Medicine Consultations
If you're wondering which therapies may be beneficial for you, ask your oncologist for a referral to meet with our nurse practitioner for an integrative medicine consultation. During the consult, our nurse practitioner will explain the safety and benefits
of our integrative therapies, how they work in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment, and which ones may best fit your diagnosis, treatment schedule, and interests.
Integrative Nutrition Consultations
An integrative nutrition consultation is one that assesses multiple factors and influences on a person’s diet and nutrition. Determining complementary therapies that assist with improved metabolism and weight maintenance, providing nutrition recommendations
tailored to exercise goals, and acknowledging that the mind/body connection and relationship with food are just a few of the many ways an integrative consultation can support a person’s nutrition and wellness journey.
Massage therapy involves therapeutic touch and different style strokes to support the muscles and soft tissues of the body. Oncology massage is a type of massage therapy that is adjusted to provide a safe and helpful session for any patient with
a cancer diagnosis. Research and clinical experience show that it may help with treatment symptoms such as pain, anxiety and depression, fatigue, insomnia, and nausea.
Oncology massage may be used before cancer treatment, during treatment, and/or after treatment. The Zakim Center team encourages collaboration with your medical team should you have any questions or concerns about your integrative plan.
The massage therapists at the Zakim Center are all oncology massage therapists and have gone through additional training after their massage therapy education.
Music Therapy Consultations
Music therapy is the clinical use of music as a tool to help treatment goals. Music therapy has been clinically shown to bring about positive changes in mood and increase quality of life by changing our awareness of pain, reducing anxiety, and supporting participants in developing positive coping skills. A music therapy session may include making music through songwriting or playing an instrument, or through music listening, such as in meditation with live music. The therapist may also share different ways you can use music and creativity in your own time to support your treatment goals.
Similar to talk therapy, an important part of music therapy is the guidance of a board-certified music therapist to engage in evidence-based practices, facilitate supportive discussion, and guide the experience overall. You and the music therapist will work together to develop a plan that is accessible, fun, and meets your personal interests and needs. No prior musical experience is required to benefit from music therapy services. Our expressive arts therapy programs are offered free of charge and are designed for patients and families with a diverse range of experience, interests, and needs.
Reflexology, like other touch therapies, has its roots in ancient culture and civilizations. Reflexology involves touch and specific
techniques in the hands, feet, and ears that point to various reflex points in organs, glands, or other parts of the body. Reflexology helps stimulate nerve pathways and encourages relaxation. We use reflexology as an integrative modality in cancer
care, to improve quality of life by supporting patients throughout their cancer journey. Reflexology is available to adult and pediatric patients in individual sessions, or during infusion in some treatment centers.
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction that is safe, natural, and easy to learn. You simply lie down on a table, fully clothed, while a licensed Reiki master (teacher) places his or her hands on various parts of your body. In addition to making
you feel more relaxed, safe, and secure, a proficient instructor can facilitate energy flow to the areas where you need it most — often creating a warm feeling in those locations. Small studies have shown that the practice can
help reduce anxiety in cancer patients. Reiki is available to adult and pediatric cancer patients in individual sessions, and during infusion in certain treatment centers. Ask
your care team for more information about infusion Reiki.
Learn more about the benefits of Reiki for cancer patients.