Breast reconstruction is a journey to feeling whole again. As part of that journey, modalities that address the mindbody connection can help you strengthen and heal every aspect of your being.
Scientific studies are now using evidence-based medicine to prove what many mindbody practitioners know intuitively: that activities such as meditation, yoga, massage, and acupuncture can reduce stress, improve physical health, and create a sense of wellbeing.
A growing body of evidence-based medicine proves what many mindbody practitioners know intuitively: that activities such as meditation, yoga, massage, and acupuncture can reduce stress, improve physical health, and create a sense of wellbeing.
Applying these modalities to patients who have cancer has also been shown to have positive results. Simple activities such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation, or meditation can boost the body’s immune system and help mitigate side effects from cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. They can also help you feel less anxious, boost and balance your mood, and get a better night’s sleep.
The Friedman Center works closely with Northwell Health organizations such as the Center for Integrative Medicine and Katz Institute for Women’s Health to provide patients with access to a range of mindbody activities and holistic therapies and treatments.
- American Society for Clinical Oncology: “About Complementary and Alternative Therapies,” “Cancer and Your Body.”
- American Cancer Society: “Coping with Cancer.”
- CancerCare: “Relaxation Techniques and Mind/Body Practices: How They Can Help You Cope With Cancer.”
- BreastCancer.org: “Progressive Muscle Relaxation.”
Northwell Health Center for Wellness and Integrative Medicine
The Friedman Center has partnered with the Northwell Health Center for Wellness & Integrative Medicine (CWIM) to provide our patients access to mindbody therapies and activities. The goal of CWIM is to address each patient’s mind, body, and spirit.
Rather than focusing on illness and injury, integrative medicine emphasizes a patient’s wellness and prevention. Patients are treated holistically in a multidimensional, multi-layered way.
Services at CWIM include energy healing, reflexology, acupuncture, yoga, psychotherapy, nutrition, exercise physiology, massage, tai chi, and pilates. Learn more about the Guided Imagery Meditations for Surgery and for Cancer and the Healthy Living Program below.
Cancer patient and nurse Kathleen D. shares her experience using the holistic therapies and treatments that address the mindbody connection provided at CWIM during her cancer journey.
About Guided Imagery
Guided Imagery is an evidence-based mind/body practice that will help your mind focus on positive images and thoughts. It can change thinking patterns and help you feel relaxed while giving you a sense of well-being before and after your surgery or procedure. Relaxation supports better sleep, decreased pain, and improves healing.
The imagery, affirmations (positive statements that support an “I can” attitude), and music provided are supported by research, user-friendly, and can be simply practiced at your convenience and privacy of your home.
Guided Imagery Meditations for Surgery
These meditations can help change thinking patterns so that you feel relaxed while giving you a sense of well-being before and after your surgery or procedure. Relaxation supports better sleep, decreased pain, and improves healing.
Guided Imagery Meditations for Cancer
Specifically designed for people with cancer –those seeking help for issues including but not limited to pain, fatigue, fear, anxiety, and treatment-related nausea.
Soothing Gentle Chair Yoga
Chair yoga, offered by Lisa Bondy, E-RYT, Director of Yoga for Northwell’s CWIM, is easy, gentle, and soothing movements to help stretch post-surgery. In this short video, Lisa offers chair yoga, meditation, and breathwork designed to support mind-body-spirit health through your breast cancer journey.
Healthy Living Program
The Healthy Living Program is a 6-week course for women who have cancer or are recovering from cancer. Program elements include nutrition, activity, relationships, sleep, stress, and self-care. The course is based on the book Heart Smart for Women: Six S.T.E.P.S. in Six Weeks to Heart Healthy Living, authored by Jennifer H. Mieres, MD and Stacey E. Rosen, MD, both cardiology experts at Northwell Health’s Katz Institute for Women’s Health.
Contact Northwell’s Center for Wellness and Integrative Medicine for more information on any of the mindbody therapies and activities they offer.
Katz Institute for Women’s Health
The Friedman Center works together with the Katz Institute for Women’s Health to provide quality care focused on women’s needs. The Katz Institute is a champion of women’s health and wellness, taking an integrated approach to its full complement of healthcare services. You’ll work with a women’s health specialist to identify your needs and connect with the right caregivers. From behavioral health to pelvic health, the Katz Institute supports women’s well-being.
There are many ways to foster mindbody integration. You may have a go-to yoga teacher or a preferred approach to meditation already. We encourage you to use any support systems that feel right for you.
If you need help connecting with resources for mindbody integration, especially cancer-specific resources, please contact [email protected].