The Global Wellness Institute Wellness for Cancer hosted its first roundtable on Friday, 31 March, with a focus on research, evidence-based guidelines and collaboration with the medical and integrative medicine community.
“Wellness for Cancer is building a bridge with the medical community – sharing research, programmes and guidelines – that will facilitate collaboration for the benefit of both patients and survivors,” said Julie Bach, Wellness for Cancer Initiative chair.
The event was co-hosted with the Mental Wellness Initiative, with chair Dr Gerry Bodeker, along with Sue Harmsworth – founder and chair of ESPA International, who also sits on the advisory board for the Global Wellness Summit – helping to shape the conversation.
Held at the Mondrian Hotel and Spa in London, the one-day event brought together around 25 people from ten countries, and included speakers from within the spa and wellness industry, as well as specialists in oncology, nursing, patient advocacy naturopathic medicine and psychology.
Bach’s aim was to bring these parties together to see where there are synergies to be developed, and to make the medical community aware of the work that Wellness for Cancer is doing.
“I’m so glad this is moving forward,” said Rachel Rawson, senior clinical nurse specialist at Breast Cancer Care, a UK charity that provides patient support. “I can’t tell you how important this is going to be for the women I deal with. Spas have so much to offer in terms of wellbeing.”
But Bach also wanted members of the medical community to share the research they’ve done regarding the benefits of wellness and beauty treatments for cancer patients.
“I’m filled with joy to see how much evidence-based research being done by the medical community lends itself to immediate collaboration with Wellness for Cancer,” said Bach. “Already, we’re building a dedicated team to help some of these medical initiatives in creating shared global guidelines.”
One example was presented by Dr Mahasti Saghatachian, a breast cancer oncologist from Gustave Roussy in Paris, who discussed results from two studies she has recently done at her clinic that look at the benefits of wellness and skincare for cancer patients.
One of the outcomes of the meeting is that Wellness for Cancer is developing practice guidelines with the medical community and the Society of Integrative Oncology that detail safe and effective complementary therapies that can manage symptoms, prevent toxicities and improve quality of life.
The collaboration with the Society of Integrative Oncology – which represents more than 29 countries in the field of cancer – includes developing a joint task force that adapts the organisation’s existing guidelines for the spa and wellness industry. Brent Bauer, director of integrative medicine at Mayo Clinic and medical advisor to the International Spa Association, who is also a member of the Wellness for Cancer Initiative, will review the guidelines.
A plan is also underway to test the concept of an ‘integrative therapy navigator’ position for spas – a job that mirrors the patient navigator concept in hospitals. Italian wellness resort Borgo Egnazia has been selected as the first to pilot this approach.
A second Wellness for Cancer roundtable will be held by the end of 2017, said Bach, where more collaboration and education will take place, and the guidelines and pilot position will be reviewed.
The roundtable was sponsored by skincare brand Biologique Recherche, The Mondrian Hotel London and International Flavor and Fragrances.
Participants included Julie Bach, Wellness for Cancer; Sue Harmsworth, ESPA International; Sergio Leandro, Mondrian London; Dr Mariela Silveria, Kurotel Longevity Center; Karen Wilkinson, Bannatyne Group; Samia al Qadhi, UK Breast Cancer Care; Emma Pennery, UK Breast Cancer Care; Dr Gerry Bodeker, Columbia University and Oxford University; Luana Deangelis, You Can Thrive; Dr Carolyn Mair, London College of Fashion; Dr Claire Swift, London College of Fashion; Laurence Karinsiz, International Flavors and Fragrances; Rupert Schmid, Biologique Recherche; Suzanna Zick, Society of Integrative Oncology; Martin Goldmann, ASPA International; Dominique Gibson, Mondrian London; Adriana Azuara, All4Spas; and Dr Alessandro Monaco, Giovanni Lorenzini Medical Foundation.