The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program focuses on improving the quality of life and well-being of Cancer Center patients, their families and friends through free wellness services such as acupuncture and yoga. These services help you take care of your whole self — mind, body and spirit.

Mass General Cancer Center HOPES Program

Caring for the Whole Person

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program can help you feel better throughout your cancer experience. Wellness services, such massage and acupuncture, are used along with traditional medical treatment to help you feel better. Our trained experts work together to provide services that take care of your whole self. Learn more about some of our programs below.

 

Acupuncture, Acupressure, and Acupressure Massage
Recent studies have shown that during radiation therapy, acupuncture can be helpful with relieving pain, dry mouth and fatigue. It can also help manage the stress that is commonly associated with treatment by relieving anxiety and promoting a sense of well-being. Acupressure involves applying gentle pressure to these same points with the hands. The acupuncturist will work with you and your oncology team to decide if acupuncture or acupressure will be helpful for you.

Art Therapy
Art therapy can be particularly helpful during long treatment sessions or when diagnoses and treatment plans feel overwhelming for patients and families. The art therapist can work with patients, family and friends to use art as an outlet for expressing feelings, and assist in developing physical and emotional coping skills. No art experience necessary. Supplies provided for interventions include technology, painting, drawing, jewelry making, sculpture and collage.

Music Therapy
Music therapy can help people with cancer by reducing their stress, assist them in managing various mental health challenges such as depression, and help to alleviate chemotherapy side effects such as nausea and pain. Music therapy involves the use of active and passive music experiences, such as: learning/playing musical instruments, listening to music, creating customized playlists and writing songs and recording them to share with loved ones. No prior musical experience is necessary, as the board-certified music therapist will work with the patient to determine the musical outlet that will best serve their needs.

Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is manual manipulation of soft body tissues to enhance a person’s health and well being. People seek massage therapy to reduce stress and anxiety, relax muscles, improve mobility, reduce pain and promote overall health and wellness. Our clinical experience has shown that for people with cancer, massage is most effective with symptoms like malaise and fatigue (especially foot massage), pain, anxiety, pedal and hand neuropathy, and nausea. Forearm massage appears to be an effective intervention to ease insertion of IV lines. Massage usually helps patients feel comforted, centered and whole in a hospital environment.

Tai Chi
Tai Chi Chuan, commonly called Tai Chi or Taiji, is an exercise that employs slow intentional movements, coordinated with breathing and imagery, to strengthen and relax the physical body and mind, and improve health. These easily repeatable movements capture the essence of tai chi and have been shown to improve balance, strength and fl exibility, immune function, cardio-respiratory function, emotional well-being, quality of life and self-effi cacy, sleep and pain management.

Yoga
This easy form of exercise uses mild stretching and healthy breathing. Breathing and posture exercises are performed in soft, comfortable and stretchable clothing. The exercises can be modified according to an individual's needs and the feedback of one's own body. Our experienced instructor helps patients of any stage of illness adapt to the postures.

Support the Katharine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program

Learn how your gift can help support cancer-related workshops and complementary therapies designed to help patients and their families care for mind, body and spirit