Penn Medicine News Blog Archive: Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Aromatherapy: How Essential Are Those Oils?

By Sally Sapega | July 20, 2016 | Comments Aroma

Aromatherapy—the therapeutic use of essential oils—has been shown to have a positive impact on a variety of physical and emotional conditions. A recent study showed that the level of anxiety of women in labor decreased after exposure to orange essential oil. Another showed that lavender helped an elderly population with... Read more

Breathing Better Under Pressure

By Steve Graff | May 11, 2016 | Comments Slide-image-3

The prick of a strategically placed needle is felt by nearly two million Americans every year looking to reap the benefits of acupuncture. Back problems, migraines, allergies: The 2,500-year-old Eastern medical technique has been shown to help relieve pain or discomfort stemming from a host of ailments. At Penn’s Abramson... Read more

The Support behind the Support

By Olivia Fermano | November 9, 2015 | Comments image from

The number of adults and childhood cancer survivors in the United States is expected to reach 19 million in 10 years, nearly quadruple what it is today, the American Cancer Society reports. The increase in cancer survivorship is attributable to many factors – from advanced imaging techniques and earlier detection... Read more

The Art of War Against Cancer

By Olivia Fermano | September 23, 2014 | Comments image from

The Art of War, the military treatise attributed to the ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu, has influenced more than warfare since it was written over 2,000 years ago. Its principles have been applied to not only military strategies and tactics, but political, economic and legal ones as well. Today, Tzu's... Read more

Memory May Fade with Dementia, but Artistic Abilities and Benefits Carry On

By Kim Menard | January 15, 2014 | Comments image from

Since it is possible for Alzheimer's patients to create art, researchers are investigating whether art therapy improves symptoms or quality of life. A new review of studies assessing art interventions from Perelman School of Medicine researchers found that art creation and appreciation activities may improve Alzheimer's disease patients' mood, activities of daily living, quality of life, and even caregiver distress. Read more

The Gift of Surviving Cancer and Giving Back

By Olivia Fermano | June 7, 2013 | Comments Ginny and Brealey 001

She’s a striking blond. Attractive, warm, funny, caring, and always smiling. He’s also a striking blond – and warm and caring and funny – and seems to always be smiling as well. “She” is Ginny Fineberg, a youthful looking 64 year old cancer survivor. And “he” is her self-proclaimed “Momma’s... Read more

Smiles Break Past Sorrow at Camp Erin - Philadelphia

By Kim Menard | May 24, 2013 | Comments 8787883558_28f375609f_o

"Imagine the sound of this gong is like a rocket ship that can send messages up to your loved one," said drummer Josh Robinson, "take 10 seconds to think of your message, and when I ring the gong, it'll reach your loved one." This therapeutic music class was one of... Read more

Gadgets to Seamlessly Integrate Health Apps Into Daily Life

By Kim Menard | April 16, 2013 | Comments David-bill-intouch

In early April, Penn Medicine hosted a fast-paced lightning round of presentations highlighting new and emerging technology being used inside and outside the Health System that may help patients and medical professionals alike. “Connected health” is about continuous sensing and monitoring to enable early detection, diagnosis and intervention, and improving outcomes at lower cost. Alternating between internal and external projects, the presenters brought their best ideas and applications to share, explaining how these new devices fit within the existing health care system and, in some cases, how they stretch the boundaries and may change the way healthcare is delivered. Read more

Penn Med at the 2013 Philadelphia Science Festival

By Karen Kreeger | April 8, 2013 | Comments PSF logo 2013

Penn Medicine will play a starring role in the Philadelphia Science Festival again this year. The Festival is a citywide collaboration showcasing science and technology every April. This year it runs from April 19 - 28, 10 days to celebrate the region’s strengths in science and technology, bringing together more than 100 partners from academia to museums to restaurants. Read more

Celebrating Every Moment

By Holly Auer | September 21, 2012 | Comments Chemo luau

Chemo luauBeach Boys music, hot dogs, sheet cake and feather boas aren’t the tools oncologists usually use to attack cancer. But along with powerful drugs and targeted radiation treatments, they’ve all played a big role in helping Debbie Hemmes, a 52-year-old Abramson Cancer Center patient from Westampton, NJ, fight lung cancer. Debbie’s daughter, Kelly McCollister, quickly added her own prescription to the list: a special party during each chemo session to help her mom count down the days until she finished her treatment. Read more

Celebrating Survivorship at Every Stage

By Olivia Fermano | June 18, 2012 | Comments JKCCRIBBON

It’s about time we starting treating cancer patients as survivors – even when they’re still in the midst of treatment. Every year hundreds of hospitals, cancer centers and communities throughout the US and across the world join in a Celebration of Life for National Cancer Survivors Day®. This year the... Read more

What’s Happening the Rest of the Week at the Philadelphia Science Festival?

By Karen Kreeger | April 24, 2012 | Comments CIMG4426

The Philadelphia Science Festival Carnival tents have all been folded and hauled away. There have already been four nights of non-stop science cafes at local watering holes. But, there are still six more days of the festival to go, and Penn Medicine faculty will be participating at events on most of those days. Read more

Exercise: The “Underrated Wonder Drug” for Cancer?

By Holly Auer | October 13, 2011 | Comments Weightlifting pic

The nation’s 2.4 million breast cancer survivors already have strength in numbers, and they’re a powerful lobby for research funding and public awareness campaigns about early detection of the disease, but ongoing research at Penn Medicine offers them the chance to gain literal strength. Read more

Complementary Medicine During Cancer: A Prescription for Hope?

By Holly Auer | January 13, 2011 | Comments DSC_6189

Cancer patients often say that their illness changed their lives in fundamental ways, both for better and for worse. Studies show that even amidst the uncertainty that the disease – and sometimes even with a terminal prognosis -- cancer can help patients find a new sense of purpose, peace, and... Read more

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