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The Center for Integrative Medicine

What It Is, and How It Can Help


Bloodline 

Integrated Medicine

Many patients are unaware of a fantastic resource available to them within the University of Colorado Health system. It is a place where the wellness and healing of the whole person – mind, body and spirit – is the core goal and vision and where patients and caregivers alike can find support and relief during their cancer journeys. The Center for Integrative Medicine (TCFIM) blends the best elements of complementary and alternative medicine therapies (CAM) with conventional Western care to offer a holistic, comprehensive and individualized approach to personal wellness and healing and is located in the Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion at University of Colorado Hospital. . In November, TCFIM will be moving to a brand new facility at the A.F. Williams Family Medicine Center in Stapleton.  When coupled with conventional treatment options, integrative medicine services can provide cancer patients with relief from the stress and symptoms caused by the disease and the treatment required to control it.​

What Is Integrative Medicine?

Integrative medicine is the combination and coordination of Conventional, Alternative, and Complementary medicine. It treats the entire person and defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. You can read more about the components of integrative medicine below.

 Integrated Medicine Figure 1 
Integrative Medicine, CAM and Cancer Treatment

It is a well-known fact that cancer can affect one’s physical well-being. However, the disease may also negatively impact aspects of one’s social and psychological health. Approaches to therapy that address not only the body but also the mind and spirit are becoming more widely used to reduce stress, increase health and well-being and improve quality of life. While CAM therapies are not a substitute for conventional care as they are not curative if used alone or in place of convention treatment, CAM therapies can help patients manage side effects of treatment or symptoms from the cancer, thus helping patients better tolerate conventional treatments and have an overall improved quality of life.

Types of Therapy

The Center for Integrative Medicine offers many therapies that can benefit cancer patients. Below is a table that lists common side effects that cancer patients experience and recommended therapies to address them. All of these therapies are offered at TCFIM.

Type of Therapy Table 1 
 

In addition to the services indicated on the chart, TCFIM also offers Cancer Exercise and Rehabilitation programs, Diet & Nutrition Counseling, Herb & Supplement Consults and Psychological and Spiritual Counseling. If you are unsure which therapies will benefit you the most, make an appointment with TCFIM’s Physician or Physician Assistant who both specialize in helping people decide which CAM therapies are best for their individual situation. You can also contact TCFIM to find out more about any of the therapies mentioned above.

And remember, anyone can benefit from a visit to TCFIM. Integrative medicine and lifestyle approaches can be adopted to fit a wide variety of needs, including those of caregivers. If you have an interest in maintaining or improving your health, managing stress and fatigue, or receiving CAM treatment in a safe and coordinated environment, please contact TCFIM to set up a Health and Wellness Visit to discuss your needs.

How Will I Pay For My Visit?

Some services are covered by major health insurance plans with the appropriate authorization from your provider. If not covered, TCFIM will let you know of any charges in advance.

In addition, thanks to generous donations and fundraising efforts, TCFIM is often able to offer some of their CAM therapies at no cost to patients undergoing active cancer treatment through a program called “Complementary Cancer Support Funding Program.” Patients who qualify may receive up to 6 visits of acupuncture, massage therapy, or a combination for visits used within a 6 month period. If you are interested in this program, please contact Sarah Strozinski, 720-848-8095 for an application. You and your hematology provider must complete and submit it for review, and TCFIM will let you know if you have qualified for an award and if funds are currently available.

How Do I Contact The Center for Integrative Medicine?

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 720-848-1090 or visit their website at https://www.uchealth.org/Pages/Services/Integrative-Medicine.aspx

Published in The Bloodline, August 2015