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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Cancer is trauma to the mind, body and spirit. Our mindfulness-based programs teach techniques to ease stress, reduce anxiety, manage pain, 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
Program Successes
Participants in the Mindy Body Skills Group reported about a 20% decrease in anxiety, fear, and sadness after the program compared to before, and a 15% increase in hopefulness and inner peace. Our ongoing meditation and iRest classes provide ongoing resources for clients support these outcomes.

What clients have had to say about the Mind Body Skills Group:
"Fun, informative, emotionally challenging (in a good way), and life-changing"
"The real deal: no phony hype, no psychobabble, no BS... just incredible empathy and powerful tools to help us become cancer survivors and thrivers"
"The Mind Body Skills Group gave me a handy "tool kit" of meditation, visualization and breathing techniques that helped me cope during chemotherapy treatment and beyond"
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 facilitating the movement our bodies desire. Our movement program is designed to release tension, clear stress, and rejuvenate the body. Current class offerings are:
• Nourishing 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.
• Yin Yoga: Yin yoga is a passive form of exercise involves deep relaxation of muscles to target the connective tissue, joints, and fascia. It is relaxing for the body and mind, balancing the energetic, muscle-targeted, movement.
• QiGong/Taichi: a slow moving meditation that coordinates slow flowing movement, deep rhythmic breathing, and calm meditative state of mind
Program Successes
• Due to popular demand, yoga classes are offered three times per week year round.
• 80% of qigong participants reported experiencing reduced stress following the a series of qigong classes, and 20% reported improved balance and strength.
Good nutrition practices while undergoing cancer treatments is vital to feeling better and maintaining the body's immune system. We offer a number of classes to equip our clients with tools for finding a food plan that works for them. Our current classes are:
- Healing Kitchen: 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 celebrates seasonal food
Program Successes
"Wellness Within's caring staff has helped me heal and transformed the way I take care of my mind and body after being diagnosed with cancer. Through the nutritional education classes I have gained knowledge about nutritious food, delicious recipes and other ways to stay healthy in my daily life. [The instructor] has done a tremendous amount of research and makes it available to us, so that we can spend our time concentrating on navigating our medical issues and recovering." -Client
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:
• 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
• 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
• 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
Program Successes
"Last night was the last in a series of four Expressive Writing for Healing classes at Wellness Within. It is an amazing healing place that I have immersed myself in over the past few weeks. I'm taking advantage of this time, after most of my active treatment is past and my body engages in the work of healing, to do some important soul work. I have written, for myself, most of my life. This class, however, has encouraged something new in me. Something deep. In fact, every class I've taken here has promoted growth and healing in me in a way I can't fully comprehend or explain." -Client
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; we now host single and multi-day retreats to meet this need.
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 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 2013 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.