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Explore well-being beyond the medical by Simon Emsley PhD

The Iaso Wellness Center was established as a Holistic Wellness Center where we apply integrative methods or complementary and alternative therapies to address our clients needs. There is raising awareness of the benefits of alternative methods and how they can be combined with traditional Western Medicine and also Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Some may consider the alternative methods that we and others apply are “a bit out there” or a bit strange, certainly in an era and a culture where we take pills to cure our problems. There is reluctance to use these alternative methods as stand alone treatments or in parallel with the traditional medically prescribed solutions.

However, when we look back through history we find that color therapy and sound therapy were commonly used by the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Chinese. Chromotherapy is a centuries old concept, with the Egyptians and Greeks using light and color.

In ancient Greece, color was used to restore balance using both direct exposure to sunlight and indirect methods where garments, oils, plasters, ointments and salves were used to treat disease. Avicenna (AD 980) advanced the idea that color is an observable symptom of disease. Today we see a yellowing of the skin, jaundice, as being an indication of liver disease or the excessive breakdown of red blood cells.

Similarly sound and music therapy has its beginnings in ancient times. Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher who lived approximately from 580 to 500 B.C., saw music as being based on the laws of nature. The specific vibrational rates affecting energy fields point to the potential for notes, tones and vibrations to promote healing.

If we look through the scientific literature we see a growing number of papers and articles on alternative methods and integrative approaches to healing. One such paper, published by the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, discusses the use of integrative medicine in head and neck cancer.

In 2016 Matovina and others published an article that used recent data to outline the decision making inherent in integrative medicine utilization among patients with head and neck cancer, the article discussed the ethical implications inherent in balancing integrative and conventional approaches to treatment and to highlight available resources to enhance head and neck cancer providers’ understanding of integrative medicine.

The authors used randomized controlled trials involving integrative medicine or complementary and alternative medicine treatment for cancer patients. The data were drawn from a systematic database search and were categorized into cancer prevention, treatment and symptom management.

The authors concluded that integrative medicine is gaining popularity for the management of cancer and is most commonly used for symptom management. A number of randomized controlled trials provide data to support integrative therapies, yet physicians who treat head and neck cancer may be faced with ethical dilemmas and practical barriers surrounding incorporation of integrative medicine.


American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Volume: 156 issue: 2, page(s): 228-237 Integrative Medicine in Head and Neck Cancer by Chloe Matovina, Andrew C. Birkeland, MD, Suzanna Zick, ND, MPH, Andrew G. Shuman, MD.

Explore well-being beyond the medical

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