Integrative Oncology

The Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital is pleased to introduce our Integrative Oncology program, currently offering oncology massage and Reiki. These services have been shown to promote overall health and wellness by reducing pain, relaxing muscles, and improving mobility. They may also relieve symptoms such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, and many treatment-related side effects associated with chemotherapy or radiation. This program is designed to supplement your cancer treatment options, and to provide compassion, safety and healing throughout your treatment.

Our goal is to enhance quality of life and help manage a broad range of physical and emotional symptoms. Our providers are committed to helping you find clinically appropriate treatment tailored to your needs. These integrative practitioners receive specialized training, and are certified by the most respected authorities in their fields. Services are available to anyone receiving cancer treatment at the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital.

Our Vision:
To provide compassionate healing throughout your cancer treatment.
Oncology Massage

Cooley Dickinson is pleased to offer Oncology massage, which uses modified massage techniques to work with effects of cancer and cancer treatment. Our massage therapist uses adaptations based on an educated understanding of cancer to safely nurture the body and spirit.

Oncology Massage

Clinical research shows massage can improve some cancer treatment side effects.

Massage benefits can include:

  • Reduced pain and fatigue
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Less nausea
  • Improved sleep
  • Eased isolation
  • Enhanced body image
  • Greater sense of well-being


Your therapist will inquire about your cancer diagnosis and treatment to provide you with the most appropriate session. Adaptations to pressure and position are common, but unique for each individual.  You will be given an opportunity to create a plan together with your therapist  based on your intentions and changing needs.  We strive to provide personalized, individually targeted therapy.


Reiki is a gentle healing technique based on the principle that the practitioner can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being. Those who receive Reiki often find it to be a deeply relaxing and pleasant experience, with your Reiki practitioner working in concert with your intentions and specific needs.

Reiki on chemo patientBenefits of Reiki – Reiki works holistically to bring healing to the body, mind and spirit. Some of the benefits include:

  • Deep relaxation, release of stress and tension
  • Helps protect and fortify healthy tissues during radiation therapy
  • Reduces some of the side effects of medications and helps the body to recover from drug therapy after surgery and chemotherapy
  • Reduces nausea, cramping and constipation
  • Pain relief and management
  • Helps with anxiety and depression
  • Supports the immune system
  • Increases vitality
  • Acceleration of the body’s self-healing abilities
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Reduces blood pressure and aids circulation
  • Assists the body in clearing toxins


How is a Reiki Treatment performed?
You and your practitioner will have the opportunity to set intentions and goals to determine what areas to work on. Reiki is performed with the patient or client fully clothed and in a relaxed position while the practitioner works on specific areas, either off-body or with gentle touch. In Reiki there is no physical manipulation of tissues, making it suitable for everyone. During the treatment, most people experience warmth and tingling, typically finding Reiki to be a very enjoyable experience.

Integrative Oncology services are available by referral and are free to all patients receiving cancer treatment at the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital.

To schedule an appointment for any of these services, speak to your nurse or a member of your care team, or call  413-582-2900.


Acupuncture is a complementary medical practice that promotes natural healing through very specific points along numerous pathways (meridians) in the body. This is done using very thin, stainless steel needles that penetrate the skin.

Acupuncture stimulates the bodies’ natural ability to resist and overcome disease and conditions by correcting internal imbalances; it directs the flow of energy that travels through these channels, promoting blood flow and prompting the body to release natural painkillers.

The FDA regulates acupuncture needles, requiring they be sterile and for single use by licensed practitioners.

Benefits include:

  • Relief from nausea & digestive issues
  • Increased energy
  • Improved sleep
  • Stress release & deep relaxation
  • Treatment of acute and chronic pain
  • Strengthened immunity
  • Improved circulation
  • Support of overall health & wellness

Acupuncture is now available to patients receiving treatment at the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Appointments may be made when your infusion treatments are scheduled with our scheduling coordinators. While receiving your treatment in the infusion suite, your acupuncturist will meet briefly with you chair-side, to discuss your main symptoms and questions. During this time, they will check in with you about various systems in your body—which are all interrelated and supportive of your specific concerns and care.

How Acupuncture Works

Patients remain fully clothed, although your acupuncturist may ask you to remove your shoes and socks or roll up your pant legs and sleeves (it is helpful to wear loose-fitting clothing). Then, needles will be placed on the appropriate parts of your body—which may include your arms, legs, hands, feet and head. The treatment itself should be very relaxing, during which time many patients choose to sleep or rest. The acupuncturist will leave you to relax for approximately a half hour, allowing the treatment to settle in, before returning and removing the needles.

For information on scheduling an appointment, please call 413-582-2900.


Kyle Ricci, RM-T has been deeply involved in healing and energy therapy since he began studying Reiki in 1998. Since then, he has been refining and deepening his understanding and practice of the technique, always searching for new ways to shape and grow his practice. Kyle received his Reiki Master-Teacher certification for the Usui/Tibetan Method of Healing in 2007, after a nine-year apprenticeship of dedicated study and exploration.

Kyle has been seeing clients and teaching in western Massachusetts for the past 8 years, cultivating his private practice with the goal of empowering everyone on their own healing journey. He is a strong believer in daily compassion, and has been a volunteer on the Reiki Team for Cancer Connection in Northampton, Mass. for over a decade and began providing Reiki sessions for those affected by cancer as an integrative therapist in 2015. Over the years, Kyle has had the opportunity to cultivate his knowledge and hone his skills, working with cancer patients and those seeking treatment for emotional and spiritual healing.

“Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.” 


Lisa Gallauresi, LMT has been a medical massage therapist and educator for almost 20 years. Over the course of her career, she has worked at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, New York and within medical offices and clinics in both New York and Massachusetts. A graduate of the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage and Binghamton University, she has been on the faculty at massage schools in both states, teaching and developing curricula. Lisa has had a life-long interest in the healing power of the mind/body, and studied yoga, meditation and philosophy in India in conjunction with the State University of New York in 1994. She has been a consultant and instructor at Kripalu Yoga Center and continues to learn every day from the people she is honored to serve through healing touch. Her goal is to create a space of comfort and support so that healing can occur on many levels.

Katie Oleksak, Lic.Ac. is a graduate of the New England School of Acupuncture and Tufts University School of Medicine. She is certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Since the start of Katie’s career, she has been dedicated to making acupuncture available to all members of the communities that she has lived in. Creating this accessibility to the oncology community, she feels, is like a much-needed extension to a particularly special population of patients that she has found herself touched by in her years as a practitioner.

“It is my philosophy that the most powerful medicine results from the integration of all types of treatment, mindful lifestyle choices and wellness practices. Part of my job is to educate patients on how empowering it can be to take charge of their overall health and wellness, particularly in the face of the fear and challenges that come with a cancer diagnosis. My practice is to do this with compassion, healing and care alongside the current treatment.”


Visit the links below for more information on oncology massage, reiki, acupuncture, and the benefits of integrative therapies in cancer treatment.