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The Wellness For Life Program

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Incorporate a focus on mind, body, and spirit into your care from the day you walk through our doors. 

We are committed to integrating wellness components into your treatment and helping you make healthy lifestyle changes. We want you to feel empowered and to regain a sense of control over your cancer. 

Cultivating healthy habits is especially important for those living with cancer and can help you build strength, reduce the severity of side effects, reduce risks of developing secondary cancers or other health issues, and enjoy life more. Research shows that by integrating physical activity, proper nutrition, and mind, body, and spirit awareness, you can feel better and reduce the side effects of cancer treatment such as nausea, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and weight gain.

In keeping with our mission of providing comprehensive care with a commitment to optimal quality of life for patients and families, RCC has partnered with experts at the Glenwood YMCA, BLOOM Collaborative, Hope on Horseback Therapeutic Riding Center and The Village of Healing and Wellness to offer supportive, holistic classes in a nurturing and spacious environments.

Classes offered through the Wellness for Life program provide the additional support and knowledge you need during and after your treatment. Anyone who is living with cancer or a support person can attend free of charge. 

A copy of the full Wellness for Life Brochure can be downloaded here:

Sound Therapy

Sound therapy can clear your energy centers, balance your mind, and energize your spirit. Nancy uses ancient energetic techniques and Tibetan Singing Bowl practices to restore energy and promote healing. Nancy will end the session with a peaceful, deeply restorative sound healing, vibrational relaxation.

Monday, Sept. 30 from 1 to 2 p.m.
Location: Main Conference Room at RCC
To Register: Call Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643 or register online

Instructor: Nancy Bowden, Certified Sound Healer

Kitchen Herbs for Health

Your kitchen cabinets hold a wealth of health-promoting herbs, spices and foods. Join Leslie to explore what we might find in an everyday kitchen to support health and wellness. Bring anything from your own kitchen that you’d like to discuss. This will be a fun, interactive session, with some treats and opportunities for discussion.

Tuesday, Sept. 17 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Main Conference Room at RCC
To Register: Call Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643 or register online

Instructor: Leslie Alexander, PhD, RH (AHG), Clinical Herbalist

Relaxation with Foot Baths and Body Washes

Did you ever want to simply stop and relax? Then get caught up in thinking that ways that might be pleasing, comforting and relaxing seem beyond the realm of possibility? Join Leslie to explore simple, easy and effective relaxation techniques using herbal foot baths and body washes. And it’s easy… just bring yourself.

Tuesday, Sept. 24 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Regional Cancer Center
To Register: Call Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643 or register online

Instructor: Leslie Alexander, PhD, RH (AHG), Clinical Herbalist

Herbal Teas

Herbal teas offer us a host of possibilities, from the relief of nausea to a good night’s sleep full of bountiful dreams. The trick is knowing which herb is to use when, and why. This workshop will be centered around making teas and discussing their uses. If you have a favorite mug or cup, please feel free to bring it.

Thursday, Oct. 3 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Regional Cancer Center
To Register: Call Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643 or register online

Instructor: Leslie Alexander, PhD, RH (AHG), Clinical Herbalist

Oral Health for a Moist Mouth

Increasingly, we read of the links between our oral health and the health of the body. Xerostomia can result from the use of various pharmaceuticals as well as any number of health conditions. This workshop will focus on both better understanding xerostomia and exploring herbal interventions.

Tuesday, Oct. 15 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Regional Cancer Center
To Register: Call Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643 or register online

Instructor: Leslie Alexander, PhD, RH (AHG), Clinical Herbalist

Fatigue and Sleep Issues

We all know that fatigue, lack of sleep and stress can get in the way of a good day. In this workshop, we’ll explore herbal preparations to help address fatigue, promote better sleep and reduce our reactions to stress.

Tuesday, Oct. 22 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Regional Cancer Center
To Register: Call Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643 or register online

Instructor: Leslie Alexander, PhD, RH (AHG), Clinical Herbalist

Snacks and Nausea

We’ve all heard it said, “Let food be thy medicine” … yet this is almost impossible when feeling queasy, nauseous, or feeling as if our digestive systems have a life of their own. In this workshop, we’ll explore a variety of snacks that support a sense of well-being and any number of herbal supports that can be used to address nausea.

Tuesday, Oct. 29 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Regional Cancer Center
To Register: Call Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643 or register online

Instructor: Leslie Alexander, PhD, RH (AHG), Clinical Herbalist


All events are free of charge and offered to cancer patients, caregivers, and survivors. Please register for all special programs by calling the Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643 or by clicking the button above. Space is limited.

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Functional Fitness

Get your body moving in the comfort of RCC’s Wellness for Life Space. If you’re ready to get in better shape but, aren’t sure how to start, this is the class for you. You will work with Jake Anderson, Certified Personal Trainer, using your own body weight, resistance bands, medicine balls and kettle bells to increase strength, endurance, and flexibility. Jake will keep you motivated and on the right track towards better health as you work at your own level. 

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 
Location: Regional Cancer Center
To Register: Call Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643 or register online

Instructor: Jake Anderson, Certified Personal Trainer with REAL Fitness

Acupuncture

Acupuncture can improve your quality of life by managing the side effects of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and hormonal therapies, reducing pain and inflammation, improving sleep, supporting normal digestive function and reducing stress. Scheduling preference will be given to those who are currently receiving radiation or chemotherapy treatment. Contact Amy Van Scoter at (814) 836 -2643 to register. 

Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Sept. 4, Oct. 2, and Nov. 6

Instructor: Maki Kurata, Licensed Acupuncturist

Space is limited and preference will be given to those currently undergoing radiation treatment or chemotherapy. 

Massage

Massage therapy can help reduce anxiety and pain, decrease nausea, improve energy and well-being, and provide a deeply relaxing experience. Lisa Mertz, LMT and Anita Gray, LMT are both trained in oncology massage. Scheduling preference will be given to those who are currently receiving radiation or chemotherapy treatment. Contact Amy Van Scoter at (814) 836 -2643 to register.  

Mondays and Wednesdays from 2 to 5 p.m.
Instructor: Lisa Mertz, LMT
Sept. 16, Oct. 14, Nov. 18, and Dec. 16
Sept. 11, Oct. 9, Nov. 13, and Dec. 11

Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to Noon
Instructor: Anita Gray, LMT
Sept. 25, Oct. 30, and Nov. 27
Sept. 6, Oct. 4, Nov. 1, and Dec. 6

Space is limited and preference will be given to those currently undergoing radiation treatment or chemotherapy. 

Reiki

Reiki is a system of natural healing that involves channeling energy to enhance the body’s natural ability to heal itself through relaxation and balancing of energy. Reiki treatments can help promote deep relaxation, decrease stress and anxiety, help dissolve energy blockages, and release tension. The session may involve light touch or hovering the hands an inch above the body. Contact Amy Van Scoter at (814) 836 -2643 to register. 

Wednesdays from 1 to 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 18, Oct. 16, Nov. 20, and Dec. 18

Location: Regional Cancer Center

Instructor: Nancy Bowden, Reiki Master/Teacher 

Space is limited and preference will be given to those currently undergoing radiation treatment or chemotherapy. 

Creative Writing Workshop 

Learn to tap into your creative energies and express yourself through writing. Join Charles Brown, hip hop artist, songwriter, poet and contributor to the Erie Reader and Erie Times-News, as he provides tips and exercises to fuel your self-discovery and overcome writer’s block. If you enjoy journaling, this is a great group for you.

Mondays from 2 to 3:30 p.m. 
Location: Regional Cancer Center
To Register: Call Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643 or register online

Instructor: Charles Brown, Erie Reader, Erie Times-News

Open Art Therapy Studio

Art therapy uses art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork as a therapeutic and healing process. This informal group will allow you to reflect, relax, and have fun while participating in different art projects and learning positive ways to help cope with stress. No prior art experience is needed. Private sessions also available by appointment.

Mondays from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Location: Regional Cancer Center 
To Register: Call Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643 or register online

Instructor: Rose Baker, Art Therapist

Tobacco Cessation

If you are ready to quit, let us help you. This six-week course offers support and a step-by-step plan to break the habit.

Tuesdays, Sept. 24 to Oct. 29 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Sterling Square, 3330 Peach St., Entrance C, Lower Level
To Register: Call (814) 877-2981

Instructor: Mary Grotkowski, RRT, TTS, UPMC


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BLOOM is located on a four-acre oasis in the center of Erie. Participants begin to heal the instant they step on campus, influenced by the picturesque surroundings. An atmosphere of fresh air, running water, colorful gardens and unique architecture together inspire visitors before even taking a class.

To register: Call RCC’s Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643 or register online.
You must commit to the complete 4-week session. Space is limited.

Healing with Clay Pottery Class

Join instructor Jessie Simmons and learn how to “mold” more peace into your life and reduce stress by learning the art of pottery. While working with clay, your mind and body are in natural synergy, wrapped around your creative ambitions and goals. Pottery is often described as therapeutic and relaxing; this thoughtful, artistic activity can open the mind and relieve you of outside worries. 

Tuesdays from 1 to 3 p.m.

  • Session 1: Sept. 3, 10, 17 and 24
  • Session 2: Oct. 22 and 29, Nov. 5 and 12

Please Note: This 4-week class will take place at BLOOM Collaborative’s clay studio, BLOSSOM’s at 138 East 25th St. 

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Hope on Horseback provides horse-related activities to help overcome physical, psychological and emotional hurdles. This new program is designed to help patients improve their health and overall quality of life in a soothing, non-threatening environment. 

Hope on Horseback Course

During this seven-week semester, participants will bond with horses for improved emotional well-being, assist with grooming by learning to brush manes and saddle a horse, and participate in riding lessons. Certified instructors and trained volunteers will be on hand to assist riders as they learn proper riding techniques and participate in games and activities. 

To register: Call RCC’s Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643. 
You must fill out registration forms and have physician approval.

Mondays from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 
Sept. 18–Oct. 28

Please Note: This series takes place at Hope on Horseback, 7280 Sterrettania Rd. in Fairview. Participants are responsible for transportation. Space is limited.

In keeping with the mission of providing comprehensive care with a commitment to optimal quality of life for patients and families, the Regional Cancer Center has partnered with the YMCA. The following supportive classes are held in a nurturing and spacious environment at the Glenwood YMCA’s Holistic Center and Basic & Brief room. These classes are taught by fitness professionals and are offered to cancer survivors and caregivers only, free of charge.

To register: Call RCC's Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643 or register online.

Please note: There is a minimum of 6 students required to hold each class. All classes will take place at the Glenwood YMCA’s Holistic Center (Glenwood YMCA, 3727 Cherry Street, Erie, PA 16508).


Strength and Courage

This class aims to preserve muscle tone and joint motion, combat treatment related side effects, increase energy & self-confidence. The class will be held in the YMCA’s Basic & Brief room, a smaller area that includes exercise bikes, treadmill, and simple to use strength equipment. Strength & Courage will incorporate a little of everything.

Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
Location: Glenwood YMCA Basic and Brief Room
Instructor: Lisa Schroder, LBS

  • Session 1: Aug. 26–Sept. 25 (No class Sept. 2)
  • Session 2: Sept. 30–Nov. 6 
  • Session 3: Nov. 11–Dec. 18

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m.
Location: Glenwood YMCA Basic and Brief Room
Instructor: 
Lisa Schroder, LBS

  • Session 1: Aug. 27 –Sept. 26
  • Session 2: Oct. 1–Nov. 7 
  • Session 3: Nov. 12–Dec. 12 (No class Nov. 28)

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.  
Location: Glenwood YMCA Basic and Brief Room
Instructor: Lisa Schroder, LBS

  • Session 1: Aug. 27 –Sept. 26
  • Session 2: Oct. 1–Nov. 7 
  • Session 3: Nov. 12–Dec. 12 (No class Nov. 28)

Chair Yoga

A gentle approach to yoga using seated as well as standing postures. Stretch and strengthen your muscles while lubricating your joints. Learn to deepen your breath and quiet your thoughts. Start where you are — no prior yoga experience needed.

Thursdays from Noon to 1 p.m.
Location: Glenwood YMCA Holistic Center
Instructor: Tia Peterson, RYT

  • Session 1: Aug. 29–Sept. 26
  • Session 2: Oct. 3–Nov. 7 
  • Session 3: Nov. 14–Dec. 19 (No class Nov. 28)

Gentle Yoga

Whether you are new to yoga or looking to revitalize your practice, this class provides you with the tools and inspiration you need to make yoga, and its benefits, a regular part of your life. 

Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.

Location: Glenwood YMCA Holistic Center
Instructor: Christine Sanner, RYT

  • Session 1: Aug. 29–Sept 26
  • Session 2: Oct. 3–Nov. 7 
  • Session 3: Nov. 14–Dec. 19 (No class Nov. 28)

Restorative Yoga

This practice combines movements to help increase physical strength, stamina and mental focus to reduce the effects of chronic stress. It stimulates and soothes the organs by providing a complete supportive environment for total relaxation. 

Tuesdays from Noon to 1:15 p.m.
Location: Glenwood YMCA Holistic Center
Instructor: Julie Lewis, RYT, RM

  • Session 1: Aug. 26–Sept. 24
  • Session 2: Oct. 1–Nov. 5
  • Session 3: Nov. 12–Dec. 17
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Sifu Fred Popeski, 5th Generation of the Wu Yi Jie He Family System, has studied the martial arts since 1992 with Tai Chi as his main area of interest. He is a Certified Quantum Touch Practitioner and Certified Instructor, which is a natural healing modality.

The combination of Mind Body Healing and Wu Yi Jie He Family System is a great benefit not only for himself but for his clients as well. Fred stresses that while a healing session can be beneficial, Tai Chi and QiGong allows the client to participate in their own well-being. Fred continues his training with Sifu George Picard, a Four Generation Master of the Wu Yi Jie He Family System. 

QiGong for Health, Healing and Longevity

QiGong is a combination of two ideas. “Qi” means air, breath of life, or vital energy of the body. “Gong” means the skill of working with, or cultivating self-discipline and achievement. It consists of meditation, relaxation, physical movement, mind-body integration, and breathing exercises. Regular practice of QiGong can help boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, restore energy, reduce stress and anxiety, and help maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.

Please Note: This seven-week class is for both men and women and takes place at The Village of Healing & Wellness in the Colony Plaza, 2558 West 8th St., Erie, PA. 

Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to Noon

  • Session 1: Sept.10–Oct. 22
  • Session 2: Nov. 5–Dec. 17

To register: Call RCC’s Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643 or register online.