The Victory Center programs and services are available free of charge to men, women and children in the Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan area who have been diagnosed with cancer. Individual hands-on therapies are offered from date of diagnosis until six months post-treatment.  Participants may schedule three hands-on therapies per month on a once a week basis. Additionally, support services and group programs are available to current participants and all cancer survivors in the community.

Services

Healing Touch and Reiki

Healing Touch and Reiki are complementary energy-based approaches to healing. They work with the energy of the body to induce deep relaxation in order to restore harmony and balance in one’s energy system, which helps the person be in a better state to heal. Research continues to suggest that Energy Work is helpful in promoting relaxation, reducing pain and managing stress. It is also believed to be effective in speeding tissue and bone healing, as well as strengthening the immune system. Many people describe an increased sense of well-being after a session. Energy Work is used for cancer patients before or after surgery and during chemotherapy or radiation to minimize side effects.  It may be effective in dealing with headaches, back and neck pain, bone fractures, anxiety and depression related to diagnosis, high blood pressure and many other commonly experienced situations.  It is useful in combination with traditional medicine as part of an effective health care program.

The treatment is performed while you are fully clothed and either in a seated or reclined position according to your comfort level. You are welcome to ask questions of your practitioner or rest quietly during the treatment.  The practitioner will move their hands in a gentle motion above the body, or sometimes use a light touch, all to direct the flow of your energy in a positive, relaxing way. An individual session lasts approximately one hour.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a holistic experience that affects all systems of the body: digestion, elimination, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic, endocrine and nervous systems.  Massage can release tension and encourage healing. Oncology massage uses gentle pressure, so it is compatible with pre-and post-surgical patients, and anytime during or after cancer treatment. The known benefits of receiving a massage are: relaxation, improved circulation, strengthening of the immune system, removal of toxins from the body, improved sleep, and reduction of fatigue, pain, and anxiety. Perhaps the most important aspect of massage is the sense of well-being that comes from a session.  Many cancer patients appreciate this opportunity to truly feel good, which can be an ongoing challenge during the cancer journey.

Massage is accomplished through specific manipulations using the therapists’ hands on the soft tissue of the body for a therapeutic effect.  All of our therapists are licensed and oncology trained and can accommodate the individual needs related to lymphedema, post-surgical requirements or personal comfort level.   Massage sessions last approximately 30 minutes, and can be done either clothed or unclothed per participant’s request.  When unclothed, participants will be fully covered during the service with the exception of the area being worked on to preserve personal dignity. Lotions are selected to limit sensitivity concerns.

Reflexology

Reflexology is a holistic healing method in which the thumb, finger and hand are used to apply pressure to reflex areas of the feet in order to decrease stress and bring the body into balance. When the body’s systems are at optimal functioning, self-healing is enhanced. Although some practitioners include the hands and ears in their treatment, the foot, with its greater quantity of sensitive nerve endings, is considered the most amenable to this modality and is the area of focus at The Victory Center.

The basic philosophy of reflexology is that the foot holds reflex areas that mirror and connect to all parts of the body. Practitioners are trained to pinpoint these areas. In addition to improving function in the connecting area, the technique promotes overall relaxation and facilitates improvement in circulation and elimination systems.

Reflexology appointments are approximately an hour in length and require the removal of socks and shoes.  You remain in a seated position in a zero gravity chair for complete relaxation.

Short Term Counseling

The counseling program goals include addressing all issues related to cancer treatment, such as: adjustment to the changes in one’s life, the impact the journey has on interpersonal relationships and the family, survivorship anxiety, end of life issues, grief, family roles, and others.  The sessions are available to registered participants and their family or caregivers.  Young children are also appropriate for this service.

Family members may take advantage of this service even if their family member experiencing the cancer does not register at the center.

Appointments last one hour, with a three session limit per incident.  Referrals to professionals outside the center will be made to continue addressing long term counseling needs.

Facials

All facials are provided by a licensed esthetician, and they are designed for both a calming and therapeutic effect. Benefits include moisturizing and nourishing the skin while improving circulation and skin tone. The face, neck, shoulders, and arms are all given a gentle massage during the treatment. No peels or scrubs are used; just gentle products designed to achieve the balancing of skin moisture levels. This therapy may help to hydrate and protect the skin, unclog the pores, soothe and calm the skin, and provide an immediate fresh and comfortable feeling.  Estheticians are able offer advice on products that will help the participant keep the results day to day.  The service can be essential to cancer patients who notice skin changes during cancer treatment.  Estheticians may also help with make-up advice during periods of hair loss, such as eyebrow coloring.

Facials are scheduled on the hour.  To enjoy the full effect of the neck, shoulder, and arm massage, participants will remove garments from the waist up and lay covered under a sheet for the session.

Yoga

Yoga is a natural method that can give us a means for developing inner strength, peace of mind and enhancement of our overall health.  It is what the Orient has been using for many centuries.   Yoga emphasizes the integration of the body, mind, emotions and spirit, thus creating a balanced person physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

In a yoga session, one learns the deep association between body, mind, breath and awareness which merge to create rhythm, harmony and balance.  In yoga, we place the body in asanas (postures) to maintain correct balance, to stretch and tone the muscles and ligaments, to properly align the body , to create greater flexibility in the spine and joints, and finally to work on all the major systems of the body including: circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, elimination, muscular, skeletal, digestive, meridian and the mind.

The postures are adjustable to each individual’s ability level.  The goal of the yoga asanas (postures) is not to get into full position but is to move into a comfortable and steady position right for your own body at the present time. No experience is necessary to participate in yoga at The Victory Center. The instructor will work with each individual to progress in a way that is gentle, focused, and personal.

Sessions last one and a half hours, with no pre-registration required.  Dress comfortably, yoga mats provided. Yoga moves range from floor to standing positions.  Guests welcome.

Support Groups

Support groups at The Victory Center are an opportunity for cancer patients to connect with others sharing the cancer experience. Trained facilitators encourage patients to share feelings, connections, information, and opportunities. Support groups are meant to be a temporary source of support for cancer patients, while they are moving through particularly difficult or traumatic experiences and/or need to experience the hope and encouragement of a group of individuals who understand the journey. The effectiveness of the group depends on the ability of all individuals involved to be very good listeners. Patients are encouraged to share only as much personal information as is comfortable. Everyone’s experience with cancer is different, and the support groups are available as long as each individual needs them. It is healthy and natural to move away from the support group when cancer and its surrounding issues are no longer the main focus in life. The following support groups are available:

Weekly Cancer Support Group
(Dealing with all types of cancer)
Every  Wednesday
6-7:30pm

Blood Cancer
(Leukemia, Lymphoma, Myeloma)
In partnership with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
3rd Monday of every month
6-7:30pm

Breast Cancer
Sponsored by Breast Cancer Fund of Ohio
2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month
6-7:30pm

Caregiver Meeting
2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month
6-7:30pm

Gentle Exercises

Healthy Steps is gentle, therapeutic exercise. This therapeutic exercise program was designed for breast cancer survivors but has proven beneficial for other cancer patients and survivors (pre- or post-operative).  It is also used in the community for seniors, individuals with chronic health conditions and those who want to be more fit & flexible.

The benefits of this program include: increased range of motion, reduction of pain, stimulation of the lymphatic (immune system), reduction and /or deterrence of lymphedema, increased energy, reduced depression, weight stabilization, and promotion of positive self-image. Fun, music, laughter, a connection to others, and gentle effective exercise are all included.

Nia Fitness

Nia is a sensory-based movement lifestyle that leads to health, wellness and fitness. It empowers people of all shapes and sizes by connecting the body, mind, emotions and spirit. Classes are taken barefoot to soul-stirring music in more than 45 countries worldwide. Trainings are designed for those seeking personal enrichment and professional development. Every experience can be adapted to individual needs and abilities.
Nia draws from disciplines of the martial arts, dance arts and healing arts. Every class offers a unique combination of 52 moves that correspond with the main areas of the body: the base, the core and the upper extremities. Stiff beginners and highly fit athletes alike can adapt Nia to meet their needs by choosing from three intensity levels. Consecutive trainings collectively explore 52 principles for personal enrichment and professional development.

Both classes last for one hour and are done in a group format.  No appointment or preregistration is required to attend. Comfortable clothes and shoes recommended.  All moves are performed in a seated or standing position.

Special Programs

The Victory Center has a wide array of special programs every week.  Some weeks that might include a Glass Mosaic Class and a Nutrition Workshop.  Other weeks it might include a Belly Dancing Class, an Aromatherapy Consultation and a Crafting Class.  Registered participants receive a monthly newsletter detailing all the special activities each month.  Others can access the calendar and newsletter on the web site.