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Integrative Medicine

Health is much more than the absence of illness. It is a constant process of maintaining a sense of balance between your physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual self.  

When dealing with a cancer diagnosis, you may be overwhelmed by the disease process and the myriad of treatment options. Here at The SLO Oncology & Hematology Health Center, we strive to help you select the therapies that are right for you; to help keep you grounded and help empower you to maintain your balance while enhancing your sense of well-being. Integrative Therapies are supportive measures that can most often help to alleviate stress, relieve pain and anxiety, empower you with a sense of control and well-being, better manage cancer symptoms and treatment side effects, and promote a fulfilling life of quality survivorship.

Why Use Integrative Therapies?

Integrative Therapies are practices that encompass a wide array of activities that most often involve engaging the mind-body and spirit.  These are never intended as alternatives to your standard evidence-based medical care; these are therapies that can be used alongside your prescribed cancer treatment such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.  Integrative or "complementary medicine" approaches the body as a whole instead of concentrating on just the parts of the body holding the cancer. 

Our mission in offering integrative medicine is to empower our patients in becoming active participants in their own cancer care through a variety of sound integrative health practices.

Benefits of integrative medicine for cancer patients and survivors:

  • Reducing stress, anxiety, depression and aiding in relaxation
  • Improving your sense of control over your cancer long into survivorship
  • Helping you feel better and improve your quality of life
  • Improving your overall general health
  • Reducing some of the side effects of cancer, such as nausea and fatigue
  • Reducing symptoms of the cancer itself, such as breathlessness, body aches, constipation.

Our Services Include

  • Patient education and guidance to sound complementary therapies
  • In collaboration with our oncologists, determine appropriate complementary therapies for each unique patient
  • A SLO Oncology & Hematology Health Center Monthly Integrative Highlight with scheduled hands-on demonstrations. This focuses on a specific integrative activity each month in order to help introduce our patients to therapies they might not be familiar with.
  • Referrals to known and reputable integrative therapists, instructors, and practitioners in our surrounding area
  • Research updates and continuing medical education for our SLO Oncology & Hematology Health Center staff.  Dedicated SLO Oncology & Hematology Health Center practitioners attend yearly conferences to help keep us abreast the constantly evolving information and changes in evidence-based medicine regarding integrative therapies.

At SLO Oncology & Hematology Health Center Integration Means

  • Oversight from board certified medical oncologists 
  • A Nurse Navigator assigned to assist in care coordination
  • Coordination of care with top local and world-wide cancer specialty physicians including:
    • Radiation Oncology
    • Surgical Oncology
    • Pathology
    • Radiology
    • Pulmonology
    • Urology
    • Gastroenterology
    • Gynecologic Oncology
  • Coordination of care with specialists in Complementary Cancer Care Services including:
    • Naturopathic Medicine
    • Homeopathic Medicine
    • Physical Therapy
    • Acupuncture
    • Nutritional/dietary counseling
    • Psycho-social support services
    • Pain Management
    • Rheumatology
  • Coordination and evaluation of clinical trial access and availability both locally and nationwide
  • Coordination of tertiary care referrals to the world's leading cancer specialists
  • Access to individual patient case discussion with a multi-disciplinary tumor board both with local experts as well as experts around the globe.

Local Integrative Therapists and Centers

San Luis Obispo County has many Integrative Therapy options close to home.  We've compiled the following list to help our patients find high quality Integrative Therapies.

Fitness Program FREE for all 1st Year Cancer Survivors

  • Avila Bay Athletic Club and Spa - 6699 Bay Laural Place, Avila, (805) 595-7600 ext.122
  • Paso Roble Sports Club -  2975 Union Rd, Paso Robles,  (805) 239-9739 - ask for Kathy Thomas

    The Cancer WellFit Program was initially developed in 1994 by a physical fitness expert, Julie Main in SB, as a way to recover from a battle with breast cancer.  After months of chemotherapy and radiation, the body takes quite a beating.  This 10-week program is a jump start to wellness.  It was designed for small groups and is FREE for any 1st year cancer survivor.  The program helps build/restore muscle mass and strength, increase flexibility and endurance, improve energy levels and self-esteem, and gives the tools for the survivor to continue their own fitness routine.

Acupuncture (Please note that some insurance companies DO pay for portions of acupuncture; unfortunately, medicare does not)



Tai-Chi and Qigong

Restorative Yoga. Pilates and Guided Meditation

FREE Support Groups, Exercise Classes, Wigs and Wellness Classes

Nutrition and Healthy Cooking

  • Hearst Cancer Resource Center - Available by appointment only  |  (805) 542-6234

Acupuncture, Herbal and Naturopathic Medicine

Survivorship Retreats and Programs

Support Groups

Individual and Family Counseling