What Is Integrative Oncology?

Integrative Oncology is about treating the whole person.  Our goal is to enhance our patient’s wellness and improve their quality of life while treating cancer with conventional oncology care.  Integrative Oncology will teach you how to live well while you are on your cancer journey.  We will teach you how to value community, how to manage stress and fatigue appropriately, and proper nutrition.

At Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers, our patients have access to free integrative treatments like yoga, meditation, music therapy, support groups, journaling, Tai Chi, and crafts.  The classes are available to all patients, their families, and the community. Find something for you on our Event Calendar.

“We’re treating your entire body, not just the disease.” 

– Dr. Heidi Rula 

Integrative therapies can help with symptom management and general supportive care such as easing nausea, joint pain and improving sleep and appetite.  Our Integrative Treatment program will help you learn how to understand your whole body.  It can assist you in managing the stress that is often associated with a cancer diagnosis.  When patients ( and patient family members) are engaged in their cancer care by developing healthy behaviors during and after cancer treatments can maximize positive health outcomes.

Meet Dr. Heidi Rula

Medical Director of the Supportive Care Services Department

Dr. Heidi Rula Integrative Oncologist Ironwood Cancer & Research CentersDr. Heidi Rula joined Ironwood in 2018 to launch the Integrative Oncology program.  She is board certified in family medicine and fellowship trained in Integrative Medicine.  Dr. Rula has been a practicing physician in the Phoenix area for over 20 years and has been recognized by her colleagues as one of Phoenix’s “Top Doctors” on multiple occasions. Dr. Rula has played a key role in bringing integrative medicine to the Valley.

She served as the medical director of the University of Arizona Integrative Health Center where she leads a team of physicians and complementary practitioners in a unique model of integrative primary care that she helped to develop along with Dr. Weil and the UA Center for Integrative Medicine.


Provider Profile & CV

Articles & Media:

Menopause Relief Without Hormones
How to Pick Quality Supplements
Digestive Health
Your Life Arizona Featuring Dr. Heidi Rula

Evidence Based Therapy

Evidence based therapy encompasses more fields of medicine, is any therapy based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence. Integrative Oncology utilizes complimentary treatments that are appropriate to work with conventional cancer treatments.

Nutritional Recommendation

Nutrition is a process in which food is taken in and used by the body for growth and to get your body healthy.  Good nutrition is important for good health.  Heating the right kinds of foods before, during, and after cancer treatment can help the patient feel better and stay stronger.

Our Integrative Oncologist and Registered Dietitians will work together to provide you with meal plans and supplement recommendations that can assist you with managing symptoms associated with traditional cancer treatment.



Integrative Treatments

We offer a wide variety of integrative treatments that will assist that are complementary to your traditional cancer treatment like acupuncture, yoga, meditation, and sound therapy.  Many of these services are free of charge unless otherwise noted by your provider.

Stress Reduction

A disease such as cancer is often one of the most stressful experiences of a person’s life. Coping with cancer can be more challenging with added stress from work, family, or financial concerns. Usual, everyday stress can also make coping with a cancer diagnosis more difficult.

Our Integrative Oncology team will create an individualized treatment program that will assist with managing stress.  Our social service professionals are available to assist you with resources that may support you any non-medical needs.