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Complementary Therapies

Complementary Therapy services are provided by staff, volunteers, and interns.

Complementary Therapies add an extra dimension of care to Hospice’s commitment to nurturing the body, mind, and spirit. These non-invasive, holistic practices do not replace the medical, social, or spiritual care of the hospice team. Rather, they work with the total care of the interdisciplinary team to promote comfort and wholeness for both patients and their families.

Gentle Touch Therapies

Patients cope with illnesses that often increase pain and discomfort, and that can distance the connection they share with caregivers through touch. The gentle and individualized care of highly trained professionals can restore the experience of touch as a point of connection, comfort, and nurturing. Massage Therapy, Reflexology, Healing Touch, and Reiki — Gentle Touch Therapies help to address pain, anxiety, sleeplessness, and isolation by utilizing adaptable interventions to meet each patient’s unique needs. Practitioners work with patients across a range of functional ability, supporting patients throughout the dying process.

Music Therapy

Music is a powerful element of life — it energizes, soothes, restores, and nurtures. In hospice care, music therapy is a powerful tool for physical, emotional, and spiritual care. Music therapists mold live music to decrease anxiety and pain, to promote relaxation, to facilitate communication, and to provide support in life review and legacy work. Patients may, but do not always, actively engage in music therapy sessions. Music therapists adapt music as a supportive tool that may include listening to live music, songwriting, and improvisation. Music therapists work with patients at all stages throughout a patient’s journey and decline, joining with patients and families to foster meaning and comfort.

Pet Therapy

It’s well-known (and scientifically proven) that interaction with a gentle, friendly pet has significant benefits.

Mental Health:

  • Lifts spirits and lessens depression
  • Decreases feelings of isolation and alienation
  • Encourages communication
  • Provides comfort
  • Increases socialization
  • Reduces boredom
  • Lowers anxiety
  • Helps children overcome speech and emotional disorders
  • Creates motivation for the client to recover faster
  • Reduces loneliness

Physical Health:

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Releases endorphins (oxytocin) that have a calming effect
  • Diminishes overall physical pain
  • The act of petting produces an automatic relaxation response, reducing the amount of medication some folks need