Integrative Health at Perlmutter Cancer Center

When you are immersed in the hard work of fighting cancer as a patient at NYU Langone’s Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, you may benefit from complementary therapies that relieve physical and emotional stress, as well as ease the potential side effects of treatment. Our integrative health program can help.

For more information, to schedule a massage or acupuncture session, or to register for a yoga class, please call 212-731-5806. Learn more about availability and pricing.


Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine during which a practitioner uses hair-thin needles to stimulate specific points on the body. 

Acupuncturist Ryan Smith

Acupuncturist Ryan Smith prepares a patient for her acupuncture session.

Acupuncture may cause a physical response in nerve cells, the pituitary gland, and parts of the brain. These responses can cause the body to release proteins, hormones, and brain chemicals that control a number of body functions. It is proposed that for this reason, acupuncture affects blood pressure and body temperature, boosts immune system activity, and causes the body's natural painkillers, such as endorphins, to be released. 

Oncology Massage

Research suggests that massage therapy can help with symptom management and stress-reduction for people coping with cancer. Oncology massage can be focused on a specific problem area, such as the hands and feet, or can address the whole body to promote comfort and relaxation. 

Most people undergoing active cancer treatment receive modified, light-touch massage in consultation with their physician.

Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, hands-on method of touch therapy performed with a person fully clothed. Using a soft touch, craniosacral therapy practitioners release restrictions in the membranes around the central nervous system to improve its functioning.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Performed by a massage therapist with advanced certification, manual lymphatic drainage—a style of massage—is designed to help reduce and prevent the buildup of fluid in the tissues of the body. The technique, which is light and rhythmic, helps return lymph fluid back into the circulatory system. 

Massage Therapist Rebecca Smith

Certified massage therapist Rebecca Smith performs a soothing lymphatic massage.

Lymphatic drainage is often recommended for patients who have had lymph nodes removed surgically or who have had radiation treatment in areas that contain lymph nodes. 

Caregiver Services

Caring for someone with cancer is often stressful. We are here to help. Caregivers of registered Perlmutter Cancer Center patients are welcome to book massage therapy or acupuncture appointments with our practitioners. You can even schedule a treatment for yourself during your loved one’s appointment.


Yoga is a mind-body practice that has been proven to help people living with cancer to manage stress, build strength, and sleep more restfully. Our classes are designed with these principles in mind, but each class has a specific framework and unique approach. This program is partially funded with support from Jack Gordon. 

Gentle Yoga with Marisa Sullivan

A patient participates in Gentle Yoga with Marisa Sullivan.

Advance registration one week before class is required.

Gentle Yoga with Marisa Sullivan

Tuesday afternoons at 2:00PM
Class Goal: Relaxation

This class leads participants to a friendly and sweet approach to their bodies and cultivates mindful awareness of the present moment. We use gentle stretches, deep breathing, and refreshing and relaxing movements. All classes begin and end with loving-kindness reflections and positive thinking exercises. Participants can choose to sit on a chair or on the floor.

Therapeutic Yoga with Patricia Sanzone

Saturday mornings at 10:00AM
Class Goal: Strength and flexibility

Designed to help participants gain strength and flexibility, develop focus and concentration, and experience deep relaxation and overall wellbeing, this class is suitable for beginners as well as those who are familiar with yoga. All seated postures can be performed on the floor or on a chair.

Availability and Pricing

The integrative health program is for registered patients of the Perlmutter Cancer Center and their caregivers.

Our offices are located on the fourth floor of 160 East 34th Street, to the left as you exit the elevator. Appointments are available Monday through Friday, from 8:30AM to 6:00PM. Limited weekday evening appointments are also available.

All treatments must be paid for at the time of service, before the session. We accept cash, checks, major credit cards, and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) cards.

For medical reasons, acupuncture and massage therapy are considered FSA-eligible expenses. We can assist you in obtaining a letter of medical necessity from your oncologist. Although most insurance plans do not cover these treatments, please check with your insurance company to see if your plan includes our services. If it does, we can provide you with all the necessary documentation to apply for reimbursement.

The costs of treatment are:

Acupuncture, first visit (90 minutes): $150
Acupuncture, follow-up visit (60 minutes): $100
Massage therapy, all styles (60 minutes): $100
Yoga class (60 minutes): $10 (cash or check only)

Prices are subject to change.

Learn more about integrative health services at NYU Langone.