ACEF’s goal: Help you self-manage cancer survivorship and chronic disease better through the use of integrative medicine.
Dealing with fibromyalgia and lupus I contacted Werner to learn more about mind-body medicine to help me deal with acute symptoms, pain, and skin rash. With Werner’s help, I started a mindfulness practice, and we are integrating medical hypnosis for healing and recovery. I have seen significant improvement in my overall health and reduction in symptoms, pain and lupus flares.Thanks to medical hypnosis and the mindfulness practice, I feel like I am in control of my chronic disease symptoms and better able to cope with the daily stresses of my life. Thank you for all you are doing to teach me to help myself. I feel truly blessed! – C.B.
What is Integrative Medicine?
integrative medicine is the practice of medicine that reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing. – Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine
Now that you have a working definition of integrative medicine, we can put everything else we do at ACEF into the proper context.
First off, at ACEF, we aim to give you personalized care for chronic disease and cancer survivorship in a welcoming setting, so you focus on healing.
Also, integrative medicine is different from Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). That is because integrative medicine aims to synthesize, both, conventional and CAM treatments, for which there is evidence of safety and effectiveness (Wang, n.d.).
Because of that, the focus at ACEF is to complement your care, NOT replace it, with evidence-based mind-body medicine, nutrition counseling, pain management, and caregiver support.
Your primary care physician and/or oncologist will use evidence-based conventional medicine to address your health issues. We will aid their efforts by “cherry picking” the best and scientifically supported mind-body medicine and human nutrition have to offer (Wang, n.d.).
To make your health-care experience, the best it can be, it is very important to always tell your primary health care provider and/or oncologist about the wonderful things you are doing at ACEF.
The goal of this integrative medical approach is to get you better, through the use of safe, effective, less-invasive interventions when possible (Wang, n.d.).
Because helping you educate yourself and teaching you effective tools for chronic disease self-management are central to integrative medicine, our practitioners act more as educators, health advocates and coaches (Wang, n.d.). If you are wondering what we mean when you read self-management of chronic disease and/or cancer survivorship on ACEF’s site, here is the definition of self-management that guides us:
The ability of the individual, in conjunction with family, community, and healthcare professionals, to manage symptoms, treatments, lifestyle changes, and psychosocial, cultural, and spiritual consequences of health conditions. – Richard & Shea, 2011, p. 261
Next, let me mention the mind-body medicine modalities ACEF specializes in to help you stay strong, manage distress, side effects of chronic disease and cancer treatment and to support your well-being.
As you continue reading, you will also meet three of our clients who benefited greatly from our services.
Chronic Disease and Integrative Medicine
Hypnosis has been applied to cancer, low-back problems, arthritis, sickle cell disease, temporomandibular conditions, fibromyalgia, physical disability, and mixed chronic pain problems. Studies show that hypnosis consistently produces significant decreases in pain associated with those chronic conditions.
The lack of consistent nutritional guidelines for persons with chronic disease and cancer patients is a failing that needs to be corrected. This is an important issue. We will aim to restore your digestive health and provide personalized recommendations. We also teach mindful eating classes to help you stay strong and nourished.
Stress Management and Integrative Medicine
As a healthcare worker, I was in search of an outlet for the stressors that my role as a Hospice nurse entails on a daily basis.Not too long after attending yoga classes at ACEF, I have noticed a significant change in my overall well-being. I have found that I have been able to apply a variety of the relaxation techniques taught by Karri, LPN, RYT to my everyday life and for this I am grateful. Thank you ACEF! -JF, RN, BSN, CHPN
Studies support the use of using yoga for improving physical and psychological symptoms associated with a variety of chronic health conditions in older adults. Major implications for yoga among older patients, preliminary results suggest that yoga can be considered to better manage chronic conditions.
A Qigong exercise program may help older adults with chronic medical conditions. In a recent study, when compared to a control group, a qigong group had a significant reduction in depressive symptoms, improvement in self-efficacy, self-concept of physical well-being and right-hand grip strength after practicing for 12-weeks.
Cancer Survivorship and Integrative Medicine
As a breast cancer patient, I benefit a great deal taking a meditation class with Werner at ACEF. He helps me deepen my understanding of meditation and its importance to my well being. I have increased my practice and can better handle life’s challenges. – Gratefully, A.E.
Meditation can help you cultivate healthier thoughts. Evidence supports that meditation can help decrease chronic pain. Meditation transforms the brain’s structure. Meditation cultivates your mind to be more present and focused. Meditation counters anticipatory pain. This helps you to cut anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Immunity is positively affected by drum circles, which have been part of healing ceremonies since ancient times. Studies seem to point to a central role of stress pathways in coupling music therapy to an immune response. A group drumming intervention had positive effects stress markers and natural killer cell activity.
Integrative Medicine: With You at the Center of Care
Integrative medicine is about getting to know you and to understand your chronic disease or condition. ACEF’s practitioners are interested in the full continuum of health and being – mind, body, and spirit. As we try to understand the intricacies of each of these aspects, we can learn and understand why and how you came to be where you are at (Wang, n.d.).
Only when we come from a place of this deeper understanding, can we balance our efforts between addressing your care and maintenance of health. Utilizing integrative medicine that puts you at the center of care, we eventually achieve what medicine is all about (Wang, n.d.):
To promote health and wellness, prevent diseases, ease human suffering, and improve quality of life in a cost-effective and timely manner. – Dr. Ka-Kit Hui, MD, founder and director of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine
Your First Appointment is No Cost and Obligation-free. What’s Not to Love?
To set up your first no-cost, no-obligation appointment…
The Absenger Cancer Education Foundation (ACEF)
1721 Van Wagoner Road, Spring Lake, MI 49456
(616) 607-7360, or email
Take a ClassCall (616) 607-7360 or email us to begin your healing journey today!
* Not all clients may experience these results. Your results may vary.
Werner Absenger holds a Ph.D. in Mind-Body Medicine and a Masters of Science in Human Nutrition. As a mind-body medicine research scientist, he takes a special interest in cytokine research. More specifically, he is interested in the study of the modulatory effects hypnosis, mindfulness meditation, and other mind-body modalities have on psychoneuroimmunology and the expression of cytokines in persons with chronic disease and cancer.
Wang, E. (n.d.). East meets West: How integrative medicine is changing health care. Retrieved from UCLA’s Explore Integrative Medicine website http://exploreim.ucla.edu/health-care/east-meets-west-how-integrative-medicine-is-changing-health-care/
Abercombie, M. (2015). Look! [Image]. Retrieved from Flickr website
Duke Integrative Medicine. (n.d.). Wheel of Health. Retrieved from http://health.usnews.com/health-conditions/heart-health/integrative-medicine/overview
Hebbar, S. (2009). Spices from Gujarat [Image]. Retrieved from Flickr website
Piñera. P. (2012). Yoga [Image]. Retrieved from Flickr website
Richard, A. A., & Shea, K. (2011). Delineation of self-care and associated concepts: Self-care concept delineation. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 43(3), 255-64. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1547-5069.2011.01404.x
Sombilon Photography. (2011). Portraits of the 8th Annual Western Canadian Hatha Yoga Championship [Image]. Retrieved from Flickr website
Vanhaudenhuyse, A., Boly, M., Balteau, E., Schnakers, C., Moonen, E., Luxen, A., … and Faymonville, M.E. (2009). Pain and non-pain processing during hypnosis: A thulium-YAG event-related fMRI study. Neuroimage, 47(3), 1047–1054.