Wellspring Global is a new website that brings stress management and wellness into your home for free. It does so via evidence-based programs and events created by health care professionals from academic medical centers and tailored to the needs of people with cancer.
“There is fabulous science that demonstrates that non-pharmacological but evidenced-based interventions—including exercise, meditation, breathing practices, stress reduction techniques and qi gong—are capable of helping individuals with cancer control anxiety, depression, fear, fatigue, nausea and pain,” says oncologist Gregory Mears, MD, a professor of medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and medical director of Wellspring Global.
He teamed up with journalist and yoga expert Leigh Leibel, MsC, clinical director of Yoga Therapy for Cancer at Irving, and other colleagues to “build a website to deliver these therapies at a distance.”
“Everyone who is contributing is from an academic medical center or hospital,” says Leibel. “They work every day with cancer patients and are highly trained in how to present these practices in a safe way.” For example, people with cancer that has metastasized to their bones need to avoid certain yoga postures, she notes.
The collaborative project launched with 47 clinicians from 15 medical centers in the United States and Canada, including Columbia University Medical Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston), Roswell Park Cancer Center (Buffalo), University of Maryland School of Medicine (Baltimore), University of Cincinnati Health, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and others.
At launch, the site featured podcasts, Zoom events and recorded video classes, scheduled phone call-ins and other offerings on yoga, acupressure, qi gong, sleep, nutrition, exercise and breathing. There’s a podcast on happiness, a live Zoom event on how to lead an anticancer lifestyle, mindfulness meditation sessions, interactive healing circles led by an oncology nurse and a sound bath led by a licensed music therapist. The site is in English and Spanish.
“People ask me, ‘Where do I even start? Where can I begin? I want something that is simple and accessible,’” says Leibel. “Now I can tell them, ‘Start here.’” Visit wellspring.global.