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What is Integrative Oncology?

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What is Integrative Oncology?

Answers to Common Questions about Integrative Cancer Treatment

In recent years, the medical model of integrative oncology has gained traction as an approach to conventional cancer care. However, many people remain uncertain about what integrative oncology entails and how it differs from conventional and alternative medicine. In this blog post, we’ll delve into some of the top reasons individuals increasingly turn to integrative oncology.

What is Integrative Oncology?

Integrative Oncology can be very confusing because the term is used to describe a range of very diverse types of medical practices. It is used to describe an approach that is all mainstream cancer care using conventional medical treatments, such as chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy, with the addition of a few complementary therapies. These complementary therapies may include acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga, and mindfulness practices. If the practice includes a Functional Medicine doctor they may also prescribe nutritional and herbal supplements.

The term integrative oncology also refers to medical practices that combine natural, less toxic, and less invasive options for cancer treatment (instead of the typical mainstream cancer treatment) with complementary therapies. There is usually a wide range of complementary therapies utilized including lymphatic drainage, colon hydrotherapy, acupuncture, mind/body and energy medicine, and more. Typically these doctors are focused on getting to the root causes of cancer and providing the necessary requirements for healing cancer, not just getting rid of it.

What Makes An Oasis of Healing Different?

At An Oasis of Healing, we take a holistic approach to integrative oncology. We bring the best of both worlds, conventional and alternative, for the benefit of our patients.  We integrate the most effective and least toxic methods from conventional medicine with alternative and natural treatments, complemented by centuries-old proven healing modalities from traditional medicine such as Acupuncture, Naturopathy, and Homeopathy.

We understand that all the methods required to prevent cancer are the same as those required to heal it. The root causes of cancer can involve nutritional deficiencies, toxicity from heavy metals, pesticides, molds, parasites, dental issues, hormone imbalances, stress, lack of movement, sleep….and more. An Oasis of Healing offers a truly integrative approach using all forms of medicine and healing practices to achieve the best outcomes for our patients.

What is the Difference Between Conventional and Alternative Medicine?

Conventional medicine, also known as allopathic or Western medicine, is the mainstream approach to healthcare that relies on pharmaceutical drugs, radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, and other standard treatments.

Alternative medicine encompasses a broad range of therapies and practices that fall outside the realm of conventional medicine most of which are less toxic and natural in makeup. These may include traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Homeopathy, and energy healing modalities.

Why do People Choose Integrative Oncology?

Holistic Approach: Integrative oncology addresses the whole person—body, mind, and spirit—rather than focusing solely on eliminating the cancer at all costs.

Personalized Care: Integrative oncologists work closely with patients to develop individualized treatment plans that cater to their unique needs and preferences.

Empowerment: Many individuals feel empowered by actively participating in their healing process through lifestyle modifications and self-care practices.

Reduced Toxicity: By incorporating natural therapies and supportive interventions, integrative oncology aims to minimize the toxic effects of cancer treatments on the body.

Improved Immune Function: Once toxic agents and organisms that are causing undue burden on the immune system are removed, immune function can increase thereby allowing the body to eliminate more cancer cells. Also by balancing the hormones and providing the nutrition needed to support the immune system to function more efficiently, it increases the body’s ability to heal from cancer.

Emotional Support: Integrative oncology emphasizes emotional and psychological well-being, offering counseling, support groups, and mind-body techniques to help patients cope with the emotional impact of cancer.

Long-term Wellness: Integrative oncology focuses not only on treating cancer but also on promoting long-term health and cancer prevention.

Patient-Centered Care: Integrative oncology physicians prioritize open communication, shared decision-making, and collaboration between patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers.

Expanded Treatment Options: Integrative oncology expands the array of available treatment options, allowing patients to explore treatment alternatives that are less toxic or invasive that are conducive to healing, and can replace conventional treatments

 

What Is Included in the Integrative Oncology Program at An Oasis of Healing?

At An Oasis of Healing, we specialize in holistic therapies tailored to support the body’s natural healing processes and promote overall well-being. Explore our comprehensive range of treatments designed to address the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of cancer care. Below is an overview of some of the key holistic treatments available at our center and their benefits for healing the body.

Acupuncture: Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate energy flow and promote healing. This therapy can help reduce pain, alleviate nausea, and improve overall energy levels, enhancing the body’s ability to recover from cancer treatments

Coffee Enemas: Coffee enemas are used to detoxify the liver and stimulate the production of bile, aiding in the elimination of toxins from the body. This process can help improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and support the body’s natural detoxification pathways, which is crucial for cancer patients.

Colon Hydrotherapy: Colon hydrotherapy involves the gentle flushing of the colon with water to remove waste and toxins. This therapy can strengthen peristalsis of the colon, improve nutrient absorption, and enhance the removal of toxic waste products thereby supporting the immune system, and helping the body to heal more effectively from cancer.

Counseling: At an Oasis of Healing, we integrate counseling with mind and body techniques like laughter, Cranial Sacral, sound healing, mindfulness, breathing and quiet listening. Our sound healing sessions use instruments such as singing bowls for calming vibrations that reduce stress and promote emotional balance. Mindfulness practices help develop self-awareness and inner peace, while body-centered techniques like breathwork and Cranial Sacral enhance both mental and physical health. We aim to empower you with comprehensive tools for lasting personal growth and well-being.

Exercise with Oxygen Therapy (EWOT): EWOT involves exercising while breathing in concentrated oxygen, which increases oxygen levels in the blood and tissues. This therapy can improve circulation, boost energy levels, and enhance the immune system and the body’s ability to repair and regenerate cells.

Lymphatic Drainage Therapy: Lymphatic drainage therapy uses gentle massage techniques or a machine specifically designed for use with the lymphatic system to stimulate the lymphatic system and promote the removal of toxins and waste from the body. This therapy can reduce swelling, improve immune function, and support overall detoxification.

Movement: Engaging in regular physical activity, such as walking, skipping, climbing stairs, balancing, stretching, or weight-bearing movements can improve physical strength, flexibility, and mental well-being. Movement therapies significantly strengthen and enhance immune functioning, help reduce stress and its negative consequences, and enhance circulation and oxygen absorption which all support the body’s natural healing processes.

Hypervibe: The Hypervibe is a whole-body vibration machine that generates mechanical vibrations to stimulate muscles throughout the body. These vibrations cause rapid muscle contractions and relaxations, which can help improve muscle strength, circulation, bone density, and overall well-being. In cancer treatment, it serves as a complementary therapy to help with muscle weakness, fatigue, pain, and stress.

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF): PEMF harnesses electromagnetic fields to facilitate cellular repair and regeneration processes within the body. By applying specific frequencies and intensities of electromagnetic pulses, PEMF therapy stimulates cellular activity, which can lead to reduced pain, enhanced circulation, and improved overall cellular health. These effects are particularly beneficial in supporting the body’s natural healing mechanisms during cancer treatment.

Infrared Sauna: Infrared saunas use infrared light to generate heat, promoting deep tissue detoxification and relaxation. This therapy can improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and support the immune system, aiding in the body’s healing process.

Whole Body Hyperthermia Therapy: Whole Body Hyperthermia Therapy is an advanced treatment that uses precisely controlled heat to raise the core body temperature to induce a fever state in the body. This process can stimulate immune cells otherwise not activated to eliminate cancer cells.

IV Therapies

High-Dose Vitamin C Therapy: High-dose vitamin C administered intravenously can enhance the immune system, reduce inflammation, and support the body’s ability to eliminate cancer cells. High-dose Vitamin C IV therapy targets cancer cells at a metabolic level without harming healthy cells. Cancer cells lack certain enzymes, such as catalase, which are necessary to convert hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. High doses of Vitamin C induce the production of hydrogen peroxide, which accumulates in cancer cells due to their low catalase levels, leading to their oxidation and death. This therapy is effective because it exploits the metabolic weaknesses of cancer cells, causing their destruction while leaving healthy cells unharmed.

Ozone & Hydrogen Peroxide: Ozone and hydrogen peroxide therapies involve the infusion of these substances to increase oxygen levels in the body, promoting detoxification and immune support. These therapies can enhance the body’s natural healing capabilities and improve overall health.

IPT Low-Dose Chemotherapy: Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT) uses insulin to enhance the effectiveness of low-dose chemotherapy, reducing side effects and targeting cancer cells more precisely. This approach minimizes toxicity while helping to eliminate cancer cells rapidly.

IV Artesunate: IV artesunate is derived from the sweet wormwood plant and has been shown to have anti-cancer properties. This therapy can help inhibit cancer cell growth and support the body’s natural defenses.

B17: Vitamin B17, also known as amygdalin, is administered intravenously to support the body’s ability to eliminate cancer cells. It releases hydrogen cyanide and benzaldehyde, which together form potent cytotoxins. These compounds are believed to synergistically enhance cytotoxic effects on cancer cells, exploiting differences in metabolic processes between cancerous and normal cells. This approach aims to deliver targeted cytotoxicity to cancer cells while sparing healthy cells.

Alpha Lipoic Acid: Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage and supports detoxification. This therapy can enhance energy production, reduce inflammation, and support overall healing.

Turmeric: IV turmeric, rich in curcumin, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This therapy is adept at mitigating inflammation and inhibiting cancer cell proliferation, thereby supporting the body’s innate healing mechanisms. By bolstering immune function and promoting overall well-being, IV turmeric plays a pivotal role in holistic approaches to cancer care, focusing on enhancing health and recovery.

IV Curcumin: Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is administered intravenously to enhance its bioavailability and therapeutic effects. This therapy can reduce inflammation, support immune function, and inhibit cancer cell proliferation.

DCA (Dichloroacetate): Dichloroacetic acid (DCA) functions by inhibiting glycolysis in cancer cells, preventing them from absorbing sugar. This disruption targets cancer cell metabolism, forcing mitochondria to activate and triggering apoptosis, the cell’s natural self-destruction mechanism.

UBI (Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation): UB involves electronically exposing a small portion of a patient’s blood to UV energy. This treated blood is then returned to the body, affecting the entire bloodstream with UV light’s systemic influence. Originally developed in the 1930s, UBI has been used to treat and kill viruses and bacteria, making it particularly beneficial in cancers that have a viral component. It has bactericidal and detoxification effects and was reintroduced in the 1980s, becoming increasingly utilized by alternative practitioners for its immune-boosting properties and ability to purify the bloodstream.

EBOO: EBOO involves treating a patient’s blood with a combination of oxygen and ozone, aiming to enhance the body’s oxygenation levels and stimulate the immune system. This therapy improves circulation, reduces inflammation, and inhibits the growth of cancer cells by creating an environment less conducive to their survival. Integrating EBOO can address not only the symptoms but also the underlying factors contributing to cancer progression.

At An Oasis of Healing, we combine these treatments to provide a unique and individualized comprehensive care program for our patients which supports the body’s natural healing processes, improves quality of life, and empowers patients on their journey of healing and return to health.

Conclusion

Our form of Integrative oncology offers a truly holistic approach to cancer treatment. By addressing the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of cancer care, integrative oncology aims to improve quality of life, reduce treatment-related side effects, and empower patients to take an active role in their healing journey. If you or a loved one are facing a cancer diagnosis, consider exploring integrative oncology as an alternative approach to conventional cancer care. Click here to learn more about becoming a patient at An Oasis of Healing.

Sources

  1. National Cancer Institute. (2022). Integrative oncology. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/integrative-oncology
  2. American Cancer Society. (2021). Complementary and alternative medicine. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/complementary-and-alternative-medicine.html
  3. MD Anderson Cancer Center. (2021). Integrative medicine program. Retrieved from https://www.mdanderson.org/patients-family/diagnosis-treatment/care-centers-clinics/integrative-medicine-program.html
  4. Society for Integrative Oncology. (2022). About integrative oncology. Retrieved from https://integrativeonc.org/about-integrative-oncology
  5. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. (2022). Integrative medicine. Retrieved from https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/diagnosis-treatment/symptom-management/integrative-medicine
  6. Sagar, S. M. (2015). Integrative oncology: Managing cancer, the individual and the environment. Current Oncology, 22(6), e431-e438. Retrieved from https://current-oncology.com/index.php/oncology/article/view/2800/2045

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