The Head and Neck and Cancer Alliance in conjunction with the American Head and Neck Society hosted our first 2022 webinar, “Mind and Body Therapies for Head and Neck Cancer Patients and Survivors” on January 20, 2022 at 4 PM ET. This webinar is an introduction to mind-body medicine and the role yoga and clinical hypnosis can play in alleviating side effects in cancer care and beyond and was moderated by Vilija Vaitaitis, MD and featured medical experts, Rupa Mahadevan, MD, FAAP, ABOIM, Sonia Gupte, MD, CHt, CRT, and Megan Filer, RD, LDN.
LSU Department of Otolaryngology, Assistant Professor
Head & Neck Surgical Oncology, Microvascular Reconstruction
Dr. Vaitaitis is a native of California and obtained her bachelors degrees from the University of California, Davis. After completing her undergraduate training, she worked as an Emergency Medical Technician for two years in Southern California. Dr. Vaitaitis then chose to obtain her Masters degree in Pharmacology at Tulane University in New Orleans. She fell in love with New Orleans where she remained for her medical school training at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center followed by her residency training in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, again at LSU.
Dr. Vaitaitis has a strong interest in head and neck oncology and microvascular reconstruction. She recently completed a one-year advanced training fellowship in complex oncologic ablation and microvascular reconstruction in Charleston at the Medical University South Carolina and has returned to LSU in New Orleans as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and continues to serve the needs of head and neck cancer patients.
Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist (IMDHA-IACT, USA)
Certified Clinical Hypnotherapy Trainer
Having practiced Family Medicine for over 15 years, Dr. Gupte has let go of her stethoscope. She felt a void practicing as a Physician, treating just the symptoms and not the cause. This made her think outside the box and she entered into the field of clinical hypnotherapy.
Prior to her arrival in the United States, she practiced as a Family Medicine Physician in some of the biggest healthcare facilities in India, Singapore and Dubai.
Dr. Gupte currently specializes in providing online-hypnotherapy as a Mind-Body solution for those facing the challenges of chronic disease. In the past 9 years, she has helped hundreds of patients suffering from chronic disease world-wide. She is equally passionate about mentoring and training individuals to become Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists.
Dr. Gupte is an international best-selling author of the book titled “WITHIN”. The book not only has case studies as evidence to showcase hypnotherapy as the Mind-Body approach to deal with chronic ailments differently but also has snippets of Dr Gupte’s own journey “from being a doctor to becoming a healer”.
Dr. Gupte is the founder of Nonprofit Organization “Mind Medicine Movement”. The mission of the organization is to help manage chronic ailments through specifically designed Mind-Body Hypnosis® protocols and to bring forward more evidence-based research in this field.
Happily married for 20 years, Dr. Gupte lives in California and is a doting mother of 2 young boys!
Assistant Professor of Med Peds
Director of Cancer Survivorship and Integrative Medicine at LSU Feist Weiller Cancer Center
Dr. Rupa Mahadevan joined the Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport faculty in 2019 and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics. Prior to coming to Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport, Dr. Mahadevan was a Pediatric Attending Physician at Lurie Children’s Hospital Primary Care Clinic in Chicago. She received her Doctor of Medicine degree from George Washington University School of Medicine and went on to complete her Pediatric residency at Advocate Children’s Hospital and a fellowship at University of Arizona’s Center for Integrative Medicine and Osher Center at Northwestern University. Her professional interests include culinary medicine, physician wellness, integrative oncology, mind body medicine, and obesity. Dr. Mahadevan works at LSU cancer center where she runs shared medical appointments in the Lifestyle and Integrative Medicine Clinic focused on cancer survivorship and well-being. Her interests in mind body medicine include yoga, meditation, and clinical hypnosis. She also started a weight management clinic to support children suffering from obesity and introducing culinary medicine into the medical education curriculum.
Megan Filer is a massage therapist, yoga instructor and registered dietitian. Megan obtained her certification in massage therapy from Phoenix Therapeutic Massage College in 2002, specializing in deep tissue, therapeutic relaxation, and myofascial release. In 2006, she completed her certification as a Thai massage practitioner/instructor as well as a 200 hour YRT certificate in Ashtanga yoga while living in Thailand. Megan became certified in prenatal yoga in 2013 and offered prenatal wellness classes in a local Shreveport hospital. Megan continues to provide yoga classes for all ages and levels of physical capability in yoga studios, wellness facilities, hospital fitness centers, military bases, veteran hospitals, universities, and retirement communities. She has practiced massage therapy in wellness centers, spas, chiropractic offices and physical therapy clinics; receiving additional training in sports massage, lymphatic drainage, hot stone therapy, reiki, Traeger Technique and Rolfing. Megan obtained her graduate education and master's degree in nutrition from Louisiana Tech University in 2014. She has been actively practicing as a registered dietitian with a focus in the oncology, critical care, bariatric and cardiac rehab patient populations in Shreveport, LA for the past seven years. She became stress management specialist with Ornish Cardiac Rehab program in 2018. Megan is passionate about the delivery of evidence-based protocols to improve quality of life and outcomes for the patients at Feist Weiller Cancer Center with an integrative medicine focus.
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