At Novato Community Hospital, we offer Integrated Healing Arts to help reduce stress and increase the comfort of your hospital stay.
Research has shown that certain therapies can promote relaxation and healing, and reduce the effects of stress, anxiety and fear. Our staff is trained in some of these therapies, such as gentle touch, breathing techniques, simple imagery and the use of essential oils. We offer these services to our patients to help make you as comfortable as possible.
Gentle Touch Techniques
Simple gentle touch techniques can be used by yourself or by a trained nurse. These techniques come from a variety of healing traditions, and help your body relax. Gentle touch can help reduce stress, diminish pain, boost your immunity and provide an overall sense of peace and wellbeing. It is important that you first relax by exhaling and dropping your shoulders. You may even want to close your eyes.
Simple Breathing Techniques to Reduce Stress
Focusing on your breathing helps the body release tension. It also slows brain wave frequency, which supports further relaxation. Your nurse may direct you in simple breathing activities as needed or desired.
Imagery is using the power of your mind to stimulate the senses, such as sound, vision, smell and body sensations. Research shows that imagery can help reduce anxiety, promote both relaxation and the healing process. The body does not know the difference between “imagining” an experience and actually experiencing it. For example, if you think of a loving person in your life, the body will respond by feeling loved. Your nurse may help guide you in the process of using imagery to relax.
Essential oils (EO’s) are aromatic liquids extracted from plants, flowers and trees that have been used for centuries to reduce the symptoms of pain or emotional distress. The chemical compounds in these plants are thought to have therapeutic effects that help people sleep, reduce pain and anxiety, ease headaches and nausea, and in general promote a sense of well being. Your nurse, or someone in your care team, will ask you about allergies and likes and dislikes of certain scents. Then our staff can suggest the oils that may work best for your symptoms, and teach your how to use them.
Here is a list of oils and the symptoms they may help ease:
- Anxiety — Lavender/Bergamot/Wild Orange or Mandarin/Geranium or Rose/Frankincense
- Emotional Distress — Lavender/Lemon/Bergamot
- Fear — Lavender
- Grief — Bergamot/Frankincense
- Nausea — Lemon/Wild Orange or Mandarin/Peppermint
- Headache — Lemon
- Lift Spirits — Lavender/Lemon/Bergamot/Geranium or Rose
- Pain — Lavender/Bergamot/Roman Chamomile
- Promote Relaxation — Lavender/Lemon/Bergamot
- Promote Sleep/Rest — Lavender
- Spiritual Distress — Lavender/Lemon/Bergamot/Frankincense