For some, it takes extra support to thrive after a cancer diagnosis. That’s why the Enoch Callaway Cancer Center offers complementary therapies including art, yoga and nutrition classes to focus on healing beyond medical treatment.
Curvy Yoga instructor Renee Burke helps patients "find their balance" through Curvy Yoga Therapy session at the Women's Health Center at WellStar West Georgia Medical Center. Curvy Yoga uses movements, stretches and motions to meet the needs of people of all sizes and abilities. The therapy program is available for free to those diagnosed with cancer or for caregivers caring for someone with cancer.
The American Cancer Society has recognized yoga as being an effective way to relieve some symptoms of chronic disease and can lead to increased relaxation and physical fitness. The Cancer Center’s program is a gentle introduction to the discipline of yoga, is designed to allow anyone to participate, and has accommodations for those with limited strength and mobility. Relaxation, stretching and breathing alternate with some more challenging poses and strength moves to create an atmosphere of sharing that can be more effective in building a cohesive group identity than the typical cancer support group format.
In 2015 we introduced Yoga Bolsters as props for elevating an area of the body for better support in difficult positions during the Yoga workout. These bolsters help improve a patient’s form, flexibility and strength, especially in the core and back areas. They are placed under the spine, buttocks or legs to allow a person to fully stretch your upper body and decrease pain level. In the future we plan to add more props to better increase the yoga workout.
For some, the healing process after a cancer diagnosis can be more than just physical. Art Therapy, a program offered at the Enoch Callaway Cancer Center at WellStar West Georgia Medical Center, is changing the way patients see therapy and their road to recovery. Studies have found that art therapies are beneficial for the cognitive and emotional state and also can help reduce pain, nausea and anxiety for the cancer patient. The Cancer Center’s art therapy program promotes the mind-body connection and encourages patients to engage in creative expression through various art techniques.
This year’s Art Therapy project was painting four corn-hole-toss board games for National Cancer Survivors Day. The boards show a diverse journey as survivors expressed themselves through their design. Survivors who come to Art Therapy sign their name on the purple board. As these boards are used in other cancer events, the list of signatures will grow. Another small project the class did was to design and paint the stakes that were placed in the Nutrition Class Herb Garden. This particular project will continue throughout the year as the seasons change and new plants are planted.
Nutrition and diet play an important role in maintaining health and fighting disease, and recent WellStar West Georgia Medical Center cancer patient and survivor surveys show nutrition is their No. 1 concern. Cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy, can affect your body's ability to tolerate certain foods. Knowing how to make healthy food choices can make you feel better. For some, it takes extra support to thrive after a cancer diagnosis, and that's why WellStar West Georgia Medical Center's Oncology Services partners with WGMC's Food and Nutrition Services to offer a complementary nutrition therapy class to help you focus on healing beyond medical treatment.
The classes include services provided by registered dietitians who educate patients through instruction and cooking demonstrations, recipes and individual consultation (including assessment of a survivor’s nutritional needs). Meetings are held the first Thursday of each month at 11 a.m. in the auditorium of the Enoch Callaway Cancer Center. Lunch is provided for current cancer patients and survivors. Reservations are required for lunch; please contact Mary Ann Hodnett at firstname.lastname@example.org or (706) 812-2191.
In 2015 we purchased an Elevated Cedar Planter Box to plan an Herb Garden. Stacy Brown Hummer, a cancer survivor and gardener, says, “As a gardener, I understand the importance of fresh, chemical-free food, as well as the opportunity and therapy of planting, growing and harvesting. This raised bed will provide a resource of fresh herbs and plants throughout the summer and fall growing season. This will be done by using natural practices and substances rather than chemicals.” We have enjoyed our summer herbs and are now looking forward to fresh romaine lettuce, kale and spinach.
This program provides information and support to anyone facing breast cancer through one-on-one contact with American Cancer Society volunteers. Reach to Recovery volunteers are people who have survived breast cancer and continue to live productive lives. Whenever possible, the program matches the person with a volunteer who is similar in age and who has had a similar breast cancer experience.
Another program of the American Cancer Society, Road to Recovery provides patient transportation to and from their scheduled medical appointments using trained volunteers. Referrals are normally made by WellStar WGMC's cancer care navigator to the ACS coordinator, who then contacts volunteers to arrange transportation. Drivers donate their personal time and the use of their personal vehicles to help ensure patients receive the treatments they need.
This is a free program that teaches beauty techniques to female cancer patients in active treatment to help them feel better about their appearance during chemotherapy and radiation treatments. LGFB is held the fourth Thursday of the month in the Enoch Callaway Cancer Center. Pat Waugh, a Twin Fountains Home beautician and licensed cosmetologist, received LGFB training by the American Cancer Society several years ago and has been an integral part of this program.