Integrative Medicine (IM) blends modern medicine with evidence-based therapies that address a patient’s body mind, and spirit. A complement to conventional medicine, IM therapies are available on many inpatient units at Lake Health.
While drugs treat medical conditions, IM therapies relax patients and help them manage pain. When people are relaxed, their pain threshold is higher, and their immune systems get a boost.
The IM treatments at Lake Health are performed by professionals and backed by solid research. The treatments include:
Music therapy. This can mean anything from listening to music to participating in musical activities. Music not only relieves anxiety and improves mood, it provides a diversion, allowing patients to take their minds off their conditions. Music therapy has been proven to lower patients’ heart rates and blood pressure.
Healing touch. Nurses have been certified in healing touch, the use of hands on or near the body with the intent to help or heal. During healing touch therapy, a nurse gently places her hands lightly on the patient’s body or makes sweeping motions above the body. This technique has been shown to reduce anxiety, stress and pain in cancer patients and those with chronic diseases. It also relieves pain after surgery and promotes an overall sense of peace and wellness.
Pet therapy. Animal lovers can request a visit from a specially trained dog. Like music, pets often entertain and lift patients’ spirits, which, in turn, relaxes them and lowers their blood pressure.
Reiki. As a natural, holistic, energy-healing system, Reiki can touch you on many levels–body, mind or spirit. It often can reduce pain, illness and emotional trauma. Reiki balances and strengthens the body’s energy, promoting its ability to heal itself. The benefits of Reiki may include tension release, increased vitality and more.
Lake Health has also focused on improving the patient’s physical environment. We’ve introduced softer lighting and calming colors in patient rooms, along with soothing fabrics and wall prints. Plans call for an indoor healing garden on the cancer unit, where a water feature and relaxing music will provide a peaceful backdrop for conversation or meditating.
Because healing is about the whole person, not just the disease, staff training has focused on all aspects of IM. A touch plate reading “Pause, Reflect, Heal” hangs outside the door of patient rooms, reminding caregivers to leave frustrations and negativity at the door before entering. This helps the caregiver focus on the patient’s health.
Lake Health provides these IM therapies to inpatients free of charge. Patients can arrange the therapies through their nurses. Service hours are limited and not all services are available every day or on all units. Services are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.