Physical well-being directly relates to emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being. Research shows that integrated care—the concept of combining complementary and conventional medical therapies—enhances a patient’s overall well-being and improves the healing process.
What Is Integrative Care?
Integrative care (also known as integrative medicine or holistic medicine) combines conventional medicine, such as medication and surgery, with complementary therapies from around the world, such as massage and acupuncture.
Integrative therapies are an important part of the overall care process at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. We look at the whole health of your child—not just a diagnosis. This approach can help ease symptoms related to your child’s condition or medical treatments, while improving quality of life.
Who Benefits from Integrative Care?
Integrative therapies are available to patients of all ages during hospital stays or clinic visits. Children, teens and adults who have complex, rare and traumatic conditions can benefit from integrative care designed to reduce stress, decrease symptoms and enhance overall well-being.
Types of Integrative Therapies
Based on your child’s needs, we’ll develop a tailored integrated health plan that might include therapies such as:
Acupuncture works by inserting thin needles into the skin at precise points on the body to correct energy-flow imbalances. It can help reduce pain and anxiety.
During clinical aromatherapy, children smell essential oils from plants. It can help kids to relax and to reduce pain, spasms and discomfort.
Holistic biofeedback includes connecting electrical sensors to the body to help children become more aware of certain body functions—such as their heartbeat—and learn (to some degree) how to change or control those functions. It can help reduce anxiety and pain.
Osteopathic Manipulation Therapy (OMT)
OMT uses gentle techniques to help balance the muscles, joints and tendons—promoting the body’s natural ability to heal itself. OMT can be used to treat symptoms such as chronic pain, muscle spasms, headache, respiratory distress and constipation. It also improves overall well-being in patients of all ages.
Massage Therapy (Hand, Therapeutic, Positive Touch)
Human touch can help reduce pain and stress and improve digestion, circulation and movement.
Music therapy helps kids relax and improves their behavior and mood. It can encourage the development of physical, thinking and learning abilities. Music therapy can also be used to help distract and support kids during medical procedures.
“My Body was Haunted” – Ali’s Recovery from Chronic Pain
Even after an injury heals, sometimes an imprint of it can remain. How this happens varies from person to person. But for some individuals, like Ali Tokkesdal, it manifests in the form of chronic pain. “I couldn’t walk. It felt like my body had turned against me, like it was haunted,” says Ali.