Wellness Within

Wellness Within's mission is to enhance the quality of life of patients, survivors, caregivers and families affected by the trauma of cancer by providing accessible support services and education.

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Good nutrition practices to maintain the body's immune system while undergoing cancer treatments is vital. We offer a number of classes to equip our clients with tools for finding a food plan that works for them. In 2017, we are expanding our nutrition program by providing scholarships for CSA boxes to facilitate access to fresh produce, increasing the frequency of our classes. Our current classes are:
- Foods to Nourish: an informational and skills-building class that explores diet strategies to enhance and strengthen the body's innate healing system with varying cancer-related topics.
- Cooking Classes: hands-on cooking instruction that focuses on and best practices in the kitchen and the preparation of the fresh local foods
- Farm-to-Table: an events-based program that builds community and awareness of how to incorporate whole, farm-fresh foods into the diet
Program Successes

Cancer is a trauma to the mind, body and spirit. Our mindfulness-based programs teach techniques to ease stress, reduce anxiety, better pain management, improve sleep, restore hope, and cultivate joy. Current classes include:
- Mind Body Group Skills: a 6-week session on developing skills that focus on the interactions between mind and body and the powerful ways in which emotional, mental, social and spiritual factors can directly affect health
- Mindfulness Meditation: our ongoing meditation classes facilitate the powerful process of relaxation and self-awareness to cultivate emotional stability
- iRest: a guided meditation consisting of breath awareness, progressive muscle relaxation & mindfulness for improved sleep
- Pain Management: this class facilitates the use of guided imagery to direct your thoughts and imagination to guide you to a relaxed state and manage pain
- Deepening Our Spiritual Connections: a spiritual development class facilitated by a local reverend, open to all religions
Program Successes
- In 2011, our flagship class was Mind Body Skills Group, which has continued to be a foundation of our wellness programming
- In our history we have had over 150 people go through this program
- To help participants sustain the skills they learned in the mind body skills group, we've added a weekly meditation, hypnosis for healing and iRest classes
- All classes have helped cancer patients and caregivers manage stress, sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression, fear and pain
Scientific studies show that regular movement practice benefits almost every system in one's body: lymphatic, cardiovascular, endocrine, respiratory, digestive and more. Cancer surgery and treatment can lead to pain and discomfort, so our gentle classes take this into consideration while also promoting the movement our bodies desire. Our movement program is designed to release tension, clear stress, and rejuvenate the body. Current class offerings are:
- Yoga: yoga soothes our minds and strengthens our bodies to support us through the healing journey; students are often in different stages of treatment and recovery so the movements in our classes are simple to accommodate physical challenges, while still mentally and emotionally engaging.
- QiGong/Taichi: a fusion of Qigong and Taichi practices - a slow moving meditation that coordinates slow flowing movement, deep rhythmic breathing, and calm meditative state of mind led by a trained professional in Pain Management and Chinese Culture & Health Sciences
Program Successes
- Our restorative yoga class went from 3-4 participants once per week in 2011 to 10 by 2012
- Due to the demand we added another class in 2013
- We added Qigong in 2015
- Responded to growing client need by expanding to three weekly yoga classes in 2016
Research shows that when we are able to recognize the unconscious and express the unspoken through creative means, we are more emotionally available and experience reductions in anxiety, stress, fear and pain. We created the following classes to facilitate this process:
- Health Rhythms Drum Circle: a drumming practice that moves through a medically proven protocol using rhythm as a strategy to improve health and well-being
- Music and Motion: a dance class with no steps to memorize or follow; it is a meditative movement that helps us to be present, relax, and enjoy
- Expressive Writing: a comfortable, supportive environment facilitated by a writer and cancer survivor that allows participants to use words to give voice to their journeys
- Therapeutic Art: taught by a certified Art Therapist, these dynamic classes are a tool used to mirror life's emotions, and moods; rather than turning from overwhelming experiences, we "flow" creatively to identify, witness, and release them
Program Successes
- In 2013, we added therapeutic art, healing through writing, and photography
- In 2014 we added a teen art class to support teens with grief
- We began offering drumming in 2015 due to the compelling research for stress reduction and healing through participation in drum circles
- Perhaps our biggest success in these programs is when a reluctant participant goes from doubting the process or their own ability to create to being tremendous advocates who speak highly of the process; sometimes this change takes place after even just a single class
Nobody should feel alone when going through cancer. Even those with supportive family can feel isolated during the journey. It helps to be surrounded with people who can relate to the upheaval that follows a cancer diagnosis.
- Outreach Program: Our Outreach Coordinator meets with medical professionals, civic groups and hospital support groups in an attempt to make sure every person in the greater Sacramento region touched by cancer knows where they can turn for supportive services
- Resources: We provide a comfortable quiet space for reading and researching community resources; our resource lending library offers books and media at no charge to our clients, equipping patients and caregivers to educate themselves and gain insight into healing
- Retreats: Many of our clients wish for time away for respite, renewal, and the opportunity to dive into our programs; in January 2016, we hosted our first retreat and plan to continue to offer this service to the community
Program Successes
- Four years ago Kaiser was the only hospital to refer patients to us; we now receive referrals from all four area hospital groups and having growing partnerships with each
- The social workers and nurse navigators are grateful to be able to hand our brochures to grieving patients who need help coping with their diagnoses
- Hospital groups understand the value in our services and ask to collaborate by providing our classes at their medical centers
- Our outreach efforts have quadrupled since 2012 and we currently serve approximately 250 people per month from a wide geographic area
- Our resource library has grown to over 300 books and CDs; knowing that cancer takes a huge financial toll on all families, we are happy to be able to provide these resources to alleviate the need for purchase
- We envision continuing to grow our services and connecting with more people so that every person facing a cancer diagnosis in the region knows they can turn to us for resources and support