Complementary therapies make all the difference

November 07, 2017 | by Mary Lou Mastro

There’s something to be said for being treated by best-of-the-best medical experts in state-of-the-art facilities. The providers with Edward-Elmhurst Health really are second to none.

But healing often requires care that goes beyond medicine. And at Edward-Elmhurst Health, we have embraced integrative medicine as an adjunct to traditional Western medicine.

We recognize, especially for people who have pain, that there are therapies that help people manage their symptoms. Whether it’s acupuncture, reiki or guided imagery — these are very important tools.

Stress is a significant contributor to physical illness and pain, so stress management is something we embrace as part of being healthy.

Kudos to the Elmhurst Memorial Hospital Foundation, which raised the funds needed to start our Integrative Medicine program. The foundation also provided the funds to cover two free integrative medicine therapies to patients who are treated at the Nancy W. Knowles Cancer Center.

The Edward-Elmhurst Health Integrative Medicine Clinic offers a variety of therapies, including:

  • Reiki. Reiki is a complementary, holistic healing practice intended to promote the balance of energy in the body by activating the body’s relaxation response. It can also relieve pain, improve mental clarity, and help promote sleep, relaxation and release stress. Reiki sessions can be helpful to work through acute or chronic pain and illness, chemotherapy side effects, and anxiety.
  • Whole Body Composition Test (DEXA). A Whole Body Composition Test provides an accurate, in-depth body composition analysis that can be used to identify health risks and pinpoint problems in the body before they occur. Knowing your percentage of overall fat and muscle mass can help you understand what dietary changes need to be added and/or removed from your lifestyle.
  • Mindfulness therapy. Mindfulness therapy involves focusing your awareness on the present moment. Mindfulness meditation may involve deep breathing exercises and self-soothe techniques. It can also help you to achieve your lifestyle goals and reduce stress.
  • Guided imagery. Guided imagery involves the process of using directed thoughts and suggestions to guide one’s imagination toward a relaxed, focused state. For example, by imagining a positive outcome, you can help prepare for an event/activity and reduce anxiety.
  • Hypnosis. Hypnosis is the process by which an individual’s body relaxes while the mind enters a state of deep concentration. This therapy can be used to treat people with addictions, pain, anxiety disorders, weight loss and phobias.
  • Therapeutic massage. Advanced massage techniques are a useful adjunct to one’s health plan to promote healing and maintain health. Massage is beneficial for many conditions, including chronic pain, soft tissue injuries and stress reduction.
  • Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine. This therapeutic practice includes an evaluation and treatment to resolve various body ailments through the use of acupuncture, cupping or gua sha. Acupuncture helps to increase blood flow and immune system response, allowing your body to heal conditions faster while reducing pain and inflammation. It can help provide relief from pre/post-surgery pain, chemotherapy side effects, headaches, digestive disorders, sleep trouble, colds and sinus congestion, allergies, infertility, stress and more.
  • Naturopathic nutrition coaching. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is important to control your weight and improve your overall wellness. Our naturopathic health coach can help you choose healthy dietary options that are right for you. Our naturopathic health coach can also empower you to follow through with your health goals through customized education and treatment plans.
  • Smoking cessation. This program can give you the support you need to quit for good. Hypnosis, counseling and acupuncture are great resources to help you succeed.
  • Be Activated® Therapy. Be Activated® is used globally by elite sports teams, the fitness industry and health professionals to treat injuries and enhance sporting performance. It is a powerful tool for stress management and can quickly break common patterns of movement dysfunction and chronic pain.
  • Osteopathic manipulative treatment. Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) involves using the hands to diagnose, treat and prevent illness or injury. Using OMT, your osteopathic physician (D.O.) will move your muscles and joints using techniques including stretching, gentle pressure and resistance.

For me, meditation is essential. I meditate every day. I have chronic neck pain and had surgery 20 years ago. I’ve also used acupuncture to help me manage the neck pain without having to resort to medication.

Whether you’re in the midst of treatment, recovering, or just super-busy and feeling stressed out, give some of these therapies a try. You’ll notice the difference it makes in your well-being.

Sometimes you need a little extra support to help you tolerate treatment and recover from illness — and feel better overall. Learn more about our Integrative Medicine Clinic.

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