Holistic Health Center
The Department of Urology at Weill Cornell in New York City has been offering a variety of complementary services to its patients since January 2008. Fran Conway R.N., who is also a Registered Yoga Teacher and a Certified Holistic Health Counselor, has directed this program from its inception. As part of our efforts to enhance care for the urologic patient, we established a series of treatment modalities that has been facilitated the care of the most complex urologic patients.
There are three major elements to the program.
1. “Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster”: A workshop that addresses the concerns of the patient preparing for surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. Fran follows the process established by Peggy Huddleston, a renowned author and psychotherapist in this field. The five-step process includes:
- Relax to feel peaceful, using relaxation tapes.
- Visualize your healing through imagery.
- Organize a support group of family and friends.
- Use healing statements during surgery.
- Meet your anesthesiologist to establish a supportive relationship.
2. Reiki: A spiritual, healing practice that balances the body, mind and spirit, especially after undergoing surgery, chemo or radiation. It has been shown to help with stress reduction and relief of pain and anxiety. A session is given to the client fully clothed either lying on a table or sitting in a chair. The Reiki practitioner gently places his/her hands on the head, abdomen and back. The intention of receiving Reiki is that you are putting your body in the best possible position to heal itself on all levels: physically, emotionally and spiritually.
3. Yoga: We focus on three aspects of yoga:
- Yogic Breathing (Pranayama): Become more conscious of your breathing patterns and learn various techniques designed to meet the body's need, and keep it in vibrant health.
- Yoga Postures (Asanas): Gentle, Hatha yoga which can be done standing up or sitting in a chair. Modifications will be made based on the patient’s requirements, and instruction is provided on an individual basis or with a partner.
- Meditation: An approach that anyone can use to help cope with medical problems, anxiety and stress by way of contemplation, reflection and thought. Meditation reduces stress by combining the mind with the body, and by placing the mind in the present moment.
Further, we are now in the process of assessing several outcome measures to gauge the success of the program. In particular, we have utilized several validated questionnaires pre and post treatment in order to evaluate the success of this type of care. We hope to expand our program in the future to include in patient care and add to the program with treatments that include acupuncture, nutritional counseling, sexual health counseling as well as social services support.
Brady Urology is the first department within New York Presbyterian Hospital to provide this type of service to its clientele. This program is also free of charge and open to family members. It is our belief that a comprehensive medical approach, in all aspects, can contribute to a patient’s decision to seek out their health care with a caring, strong, supportive department.