Payal Parekh, an integrative yoga teacher, has a special connection with Sinai: Her late mother, Bharati S. Parekh, was a patient at the Lapidus Institute.
“Sinai is very special to me,” she says. “Since I spent so much time at Sinai with my mother, I feel like she’s there every time I am there.”
Treating the Whole Person:
Providers of these therapies come from a variety of backgrounds but share one thing in common: a desire to support cancer patients. Cancer support services aim to reduce side effects of treatment and help patients to relax, which can lead to better outcomes. At Sinai, patients don’t have to make extra arrangements to take part in these programs these services are right there in the infusion ward, and are free of charge. Patients can listen to music, get a hand massage, meditate, do chair yoga or even have their makeup done while they are getting treatment.
A New Yorker, Parekh comes once a month to work with cancer patients. She tailors her approach to each patient’s needs, layering a variety of therapies in different combinations. She might lead a patient through a body scan, a kind of meditation focusing on different parts of the body, or use aromatherapy with essential oils, or perform reiki, which involves placing hands on the body to create balance in the central nervous system. Parekh says, “When patients relax, they sometimes cry or tell me about their worries and it’s incredible to be trusted like that,” adding, “I get more from these patients than they get from me. These are the bravest people I’ve ever met in my life. Their strength is real.