Wellness classes, support for cancer patients, survivors: No-cost community outreach focuses on physical and mental health
By Meghann Finn Sepulveda
A variety of classes are offered regularly at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert, geared towards patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer, those currently undergoing treatment, survivors, support teams and the public. All classes are free to cancer patients and the community.
Restorative yoga is a mat-based class that supports the body while allowing the mind to decompress. Chair yoga is practiced while sitting or standing behind a chair for support.
A healing movement and breath class incorporates yoga with movement meditation. Accupunture is available and helps to manage symptoms and stress.
Wellness series are also offered that focus on overall well-being topics.
Cooking for wellness classes are led by the hospital’s head chef and incorporate cancer fighting ingredients.
A special caregiver support group provides educational and emotional support to encourage hope and tips on self-care.
The survivorship group meets bi-monthly and is available to those who have completed treatment.
Monthly specialized support groups focus on various topics including raising children, intimacy, and being without a caregiver while living with cancer.
A group for individuals newly diagnosed addresses questions and provides education. It also is an opportunity for patients to connect with others who are on a similar journey.
Look Good Feel Better is a program dedicated to building self-esteem and improved quality of life for patients undergoing cancer treatment. This class features cosmetology professionals who answer questions and provide suggestions and tips on skin changes and hair loss –often experienced after chemotherapy and radiation treatment – caring for wigs and scarves, and alleviating dry skin.
Cancer prevention series lectures are given monthly by various physicians who share and discuss the latest in research findings and treatment options.
Meet the team
A group of highly specialized medical professionals at Banner MD Anderson work together and share their expertise and best practices. These complementary and alternative medicine techniques positively support healing, encourage self-empowerment and create a better quality of life, in a supportive and caring environment.
Under the direction of Diljeet Singh, M.D., DrPH, director of Integrative Oncology and Cancer Prevention, at Banner MD Anderson, the team consists of:
Santosh Rao, M.D., medical and integrative oncologist
Josh Wludyga, exercise physiologist
Samuel Chates, integrative social worker
Christi Kirk, Registered Dietitian
Ranay Yarian, community outreach coordinator
Kristine Salmon, senior manager
Beverly Yoches, psychologist