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Acupuncture, Meditation, and Healthy Food

by Joseph Williams A.P.D.O.M

In 2014, a breakthrough Canadian study conducted by researchers at the University of Calgary, (Alberta) and Alberta Health services concluded that meditation may be a powerful complement to treatment plans aimed at altering the cellular activity of cancer survivors.

Today, many are seeking ways to include health and wellness into their lifestyles, especially when you feel your daily life has failed you. Have you ever searched for the right vitamin or supplement or thrown multiple types of seeds, including chia seeds, into your food or shakes? The use of supplements, acupuncture, meditation, etc. is well documented in cancer patients and often not shared with their doctors. Often cancer patients have read about complementary, alternative or integrative approaches to their well-being. They are NOT the same. But how is a person with cancer supposed to incorporate an integrative approach to lessen some side effects and improve their quality of life? Joseph Williams A.P.D.O.M., founder of Sunshine Integrative Health in 2009, has graciously agreed to combine efforts to explain the role of integrative medicine in oncology. Committed to evidence-based care, Joseph Williams is an active member of the International Society of Integrative Oncology and is both published and conducts active research specific to Acupuncture and Cancer Care.

As the newest member of the North Florida Radiation Oncology (NFRO) team I have been impressed by the standard of care provided within our center. Dr. Cherylle Hayes has built a dynamic group focusing on the patient as an individual. Realizing each patient has different needs taken into account when tailoring a care plan. The team at NFRO have worked to bring programs that expand beyond conventional care such as Integrative Medicine. Although I have worked in several oncology centers across the country for many years I have seen very few physicians offer integrative medicine to their patients. However, this total approach to cancer care can be invaluable to those undergoing treatment. Integrative medicine is a total approach to care that combines standard medical treatments with complementary practices that have shown to be safe and effective. The importance of providing credible evidence-based complementary medical services is critical for cancer patients, since the amount of misinformation available on the internet is troubling.

Through the years, the majority of integrative medicine has been available at major universities and hospital systems with support from research or philanthropic donations. Thus, the need for integrative medicine at the community level has not been met, until now with the inclusion of Integrative Medicine at The Cancer Center at North Florida Regional Medical Center. Offering these supportive services within The Cancer Center, increases the access for patients to utilize these services. Patients no longer have to search for credible oncology trained practitioners and they can coordinate their visits all in the same location.

Currently, he offers acupuncture, massage, lifestyle consultation, and nutritional/supplement guidance in The Cancer Center. Soon, he will add a lymphedema specialist. Services are patient specific to their diagnosis, cancer treatment and potential side effects. Our goal is not only to keep the patient strong, both mentally and physically, but to improve their quality of life while addressing the possible side effects of cancer treatments.

Here is more comprehensive information regarding services:

Driven to bridge the gap between complementary and conventional medicine, Joseph Williams A.P. D.O.M., founded Sunshine Integrative Health in 2009. As a licensed Acupuncture Physician and a nationally board-certified Diplomate of Oriental Medicine, Joseph Williams has also successfully completed advanced certifications in Acupuncture for Cancer Care from Memorial Sloan Kettering, German Auricular Acupuncture, Low Level Laser Therapy, Nutritional Counseling and a graduate from The Leadership in Integrative Healthcare program at Duke University.

“Food therapy is critical during Cancer Care. Additional supplementation may be beneficial dependent on a patient’s health and stage in treatment.”

“Studies have shown that acupuncture can help control a number of symptoms and side effects, such as; pain, fatigue, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, insomnia, anxiety, depression, night sweats, hot flashes, weight loss, and peripheral neuropathy.”

What to Expect:

Studies have shown that acupuncture can help control a number of symptoms and side effects, such as; pain, fatigue, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, insomnia, anxiety, depression, night sweats, hot flashes, weight loss, and peripheral neuropathy.

During chemotherapy and radiation, the goal is to keep patients strong, as mentioned earlier, while addressing the side effects of treatment. Specific acupuncture protocols are used to help reduce the stress and inflammation patients may experience in active treatment.

Food therapy is critical during Cancer Care. Additional supplementation may be beneficial dependent on a patient’s health and stage in treatment. Only evidence-based supplements from proven quality sources are recommended.

When Treatment ends, the questions continue. Integrative medicine allows one to optimize healing and regain strength to improve future outcomes, change personal habits and address post-treatment side effects. Integrative medicine can help as patients define their new normal and choose lifestyle options to stay strong and healthy.

Schedule an Appointment: Sunshine Integrative Health is located within The Cancer Center at North Florida Regional and appointments can be schedule by calling (352) 665-1090.