Mind, Body and Spirit
As part of the objective of comprehensive medical care, we offer integrative medicine, which complements traditional medical treatment and focuses on healing body, mind and spirit. Guests and individuals will not only experience the best evidence-based treatments, latest technology and comforts in the Avera Cancer Institute, but also the largest professional integrative medicine program in the region.
What is Integrative Medicine
Also known as holistic or complementary medicine, integrative medical therapies help patients deal with side effects and enhances the individual’s sense of well-being. Patients and practitioners alike consider these therapies to be an important component of medical care. Seventy percent of today’s patients use some form of integrative medicine. The Avera Cancer Institute is committed to caring for the whole person—mind, body and spirit and helping individuals develop a deeper sense of well-being.
The use of meditation helps reduce stress and tension. Just a few minutes a day can help, even from your own computer. Take a few minutes to meditate.
The ancient healing practice of acupuncture is used for a wide range of conditions, such as pain, headaches, nausea and more. Acupuncture is a treatment based on a Chinese system of healing that can restore qi (pronounced “chee”). To restore balance to the qi, a practitioner inserts needles at points along the meridians. These acupuncture points are places where the energy pathway is close to the surface of the skin.
Both the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health recognize that acupuncture can be a helpful part of a treatment plan for many illnesses. Acupuncture can be combined safely with prescription drugs and other conventional treatments, but it is important for a primary care physician to be aware of and monitor how acupuncture treatment affects standard therapies.
Dr. Dawn Flickema is Certified in Medical Acupuncture and is taking new patients. To schedule an appointment call 605-322-5240.
Deep or light pressure applied to the soft tissues is usually used for the purpose of muscle relaxation, myofascial release, or increasing local blood flow and lymph flow. Therapeutic massage usually is done to provide treatment for a specific condition, but can also be used to aid in relaxation and wellness. This treatment can be used alone or in tandem with other physical therapies. Benefits include:
- Improved circulation
- Enhanced relaxation
- Stimulation of endorphin release
- Feelings of comfort
Nutrition is a vital component of health. Optimizing nutrition before, during and after treatment can provide energy, help manage treatment-related side effects and speed the healing and recovery process. Meeting with a registered dietitian helps patients gain knowledge and feel comfortable with their nutrition needs while developing an appropriate and individualized eating plan. A dietitian who specializes in cancer care is available to help patients with nutrition concerns.
Purposeful movement of the body, or therapeutic movement, can have a positive effect on the body, mind and spirit. Movement therapy increases flexibility, relieves stress, strengthens muscles, improves coordination and reduces tension. A wide variety of types of mind-body techniques exist and instructors often combine ancient methods with the latest trends in exercise, including:
- Tai chi
- Breathing techniques
Guided imagery is a gentle but powerful technique that focuses and directs the imagination. It uses words and often music to take the listener on an inner journey for a particular purpose. Aimed at easing stress, guided imagery encourages relaxation by shifting one’s attention away from the external environment. It consciously engages the imagination to enhance well-being and creativity, bringing the natural powers of the mind into health and healing.
Consisting of a maze-like path that takes patients on a symbolic journey, spiritual labyrinths create space to unwind and think — in particular about our relationships with ourselves, one another, our planet and God.
A labyrinth is a single continuous path that brings the body, mind and spirit together through a walking meditation. The path leads to the center of the labyrinth. Its design is based on sacred geometry that helps to promote peace and inner knowing. People walk the labyrinth slowly, as an aid to contemplative prayer and reflection, and as a spiritual exercise. Generally, walking a spiritual labyrinth consists of three parts:
- An 'inward' journey — letting go of things which hinder our wholeness and inner approach to God
- Finding your center — a space of meditative prayer and peace
- An 'outward' journey (or relationship) with ourselves, with others and with the planet — seen in the light of our relationship with God
Arts in Healing
Through the Arts in Healing program, patients may listen to music, journal, paint or do beadwork to help them express themselves. The purpose of this program is to focus on an activity that brings the individual joy and relaxation.
Known throughout history for healing and relaxation, aromatherapy uses the highest quality of essential oils to generate fragrances that can calm, stimulate, restore or strengthen a patient. These oils influence moods and the hormonal system. Below are some common ailments and their coordinating oils that may help alleviate symptoms.
- For Anxiety try True Lavender, Mandarin
- For Insomnia try True Lavender, Mandarin
- For Nausea try Ginger, Peppermint
- For Pain try True Lavender, Frankincense
Check out the store at the Prairie Center, 9am-3pm or call 605-322-8470