Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center in Mount Vernon and Arlington, WA

Complementary Therapies

Some complementary medicine may help relieve certain symptoms of cancer, relieve side effects of cancer treatment or improve a patient's sense of well-being. At the Regional Cancer Care Center we make the following complementary therapy available to our patients.

Art and Healing
First and third Mondays of each month, 2 – 4 p.m. in the Safeway Conference Room (third floor) at the Regional Cancer Care Center. Our knowledgeable instructor has been doing art therapy with cancer patients for over ten years. Creating art may reduce anxiety and stress plus improve emotional well-being. It is a great opportunity to process and integrate the challenges of serious illness and treatment.  Please note that artistic “skills” are not required! Instructor: Margaret Carpenter Arnett, BSN, ATR.

Mindful Living with Cancer:  For Patients, Survivors and Caregivers
Mindfulness is an approach to living which can be a powerful tool for dealing with stress, illness and many other medical and psychological conditions. This class, led by Laura Cardinal, MSW, LICSW, meets weekly and includes various types of meditation practice, gentle stretching and activities to increase one’s understanding of the mind and body.

The class is free and is offered on a drop-in basis. It is held on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to noon (please arrive five minutes early) in the Safeway Conference Room at Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center (third floor). No registration is required. For more information call 360-814-8255.
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment
Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center offers free Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) on a trial basis to cancer patients on Thursdays by appointment. OMT is hands-on care provided by a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine or DO.

Osteopathic physician providing manipulation therapy for cancer patientOsteopathic physicians hold to the principle that a patient's history of illness and physical trauma are written into the body's structure. The osteopathic physician's highly developed sense of touch allows the physician to feel (palpitate) the patient's "living anatomy" (the flow of fluids, motion and texture of tissues, and structural makeup). OMT techniques are used to move muscles, soft tissues and joints by stretching or applying gentle pressure and resistance. OMT can ease pain, support healing and increase mobility.

Like all allopathic physicians (or MD's), osteopathic physicians complete four years of medical school and can choose to practice in any specialty of medicine. However, osteopathic physicians receive an additional 300 - 500 hours in the study of hands-on manual medicine and the body's musculoskeletal system.

For more information about this pilot program or to schedule an appointment, call 360-814-2620 or 360-814-2655.


Good nutrition can assist in aiding tolerance to treatment, enhance energy level, and support the immune system. There is a myriad of information regarding cancer and nutrition available in print and via the Internet. Please proceed with caution and be aware that our center can provide a professional opinion on your current resources. Please ask your physician or nurse for a referral or call 360-814-2435.

For additional information about healthy eating through cancer treatment visit American Institute for Cancer Research and American Cancer Society.

For additional information about Complementary Therapies visit National Cancer Institute. The NCI publishes a free booklet titled Thinking About Complementary and Alternative Medicine: A Guide For People With Cancer. Click here to request a copy of this booklet be send to you via email or read online.

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