Patients turn to Zen therapy for cancer treatment

EAST TEXAS (KYTX) -- Elvira Nuno gets a unique treatment for cancer in California and battling lymphoma takes its toll on her body and mind.

"It's very aggressive," she said. "Very rare. It's hard."

So she's turned to Zen therapy at UCLA Medical Center for holistic healing. The program uses aroma therapy, yoga and other meditation techniques to help patients battle cancer and the side effects of chemotherapy. 

"It really addresses five symptoms primarily. Pain, anxiety, nausea, insomnia, and constipation."

Fashion icon Donna Karan launched the program after her husband's battle with lung cancer. She wanted to combine eastern techniques with western medicine. The nurses trained in the technique believe in the benefits.

"When they are able to calm, then everything works better. The medicine works better."

Nuno said she physically feels better and is experiencing less side effects from her treatments.

"I don't know how to say it," she said. "It calmed me down completely. Helps me through it."

With this, her last session of chemotherapy, Nuno can focus on her body and recovery at home. Now that her mind is centered.

Edward Lawrence for CBS News, Los Angeles.  

Right now, 250 UCLA employees are on a waiting list to learn the techniques.


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