Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Cancer


There is one thing that is consistent during this time of year – planning Breast Cancer Awareness events at SAS and throughout the community. I have a deep passion due to the family history, genetics and simply wanting to help others.  I’m also a strong believer in research, education and using complementary and alternative therapies. It makes me smile when I see studies that are also looking for ways to support and nurture the whole person. I want to share a study with you where yoga and meditation were found to help improve quality of life of individuals diagnosed with cancer.

Researchers looked at a variety of different therapies – over 80 – and found some interesting observations. Based on these particular findings, the Society for Integrative Oncology is making recommendations to help support those with breast cancer and cancer, in general. Let’s take a look.

• Utilizing music therapy to calm the central nervous system
• Practicing meditation and yoga for anxiety and stress reduction
• Improving depression with meditation and relaxation techniques including yoga and music therapy
• Receiving a massage to reduce stress and improve clarity
• Improving quality of life with yoga and meditation
• Receiving acupressure and acupuncture to help reduce nausea associated with chemotherapy

The great news is that a large majority of people with cancer (80%) use one or more alternative and integrative therapies. Now that evidence has evolved supporting these approaches, hopefully more will engage and find relief during this difficult time. Learn more!

Discover more about the practice of meditation and mindful breathing.


About Author

Celeste Cooper

Wellness & Fitness Manager

Celeste has been in the science, health and wellness field over twenty-five years. She began as a research chemist with a concentration in genetics and nutritional biochemistry. After working in the medical field, she saw the need to follow a path of proactive wellness and prevention. After receiving her Masters in Health Education, she ventured into the mind/body world receiving training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Yoga. Shortly after, she received the 2003 Wellness in the Workplace Award for a large health system in the state of Virginia. In 2004, Celeste joined SAS Institute, Inc. and continues to be passionate in her position overseeing Wellness and Fitness. She believes curiosity and collaboration bring insight and new ideas which bring out the best in everyone from team members to those who are making healthy lifestyle changes. Believing that the body knows how to heal if given the proper tools, Celeste earned certifications in Aromatherapy and Essential Oils, Classical Chinese Medicine and Homeopathic & Naturopathic Medicine. She earned her Doctor of Naturopathy degree in 2020. Celeste is a published author and practices what she preaches and teaches. She is a nationally recognized Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) and has advanced certificates in Integrative and Functional Nutrition, Genetics and Genomics. She is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with the National Yoga Alliance, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructor, Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach (FMCHC) and Certified Yoga Therapist (CYT).

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