Your mind affects your body, and you are completely unique: these truths form the foundation of mind-body medicine. When you’re dealing with physical or mental stress from illness or simply everyday living, harnessing the power of your mind is crucial. Sutter’s Institute for Health & Healing centers offer a wide variety of mind-body treatments, classes and coaching to help you integrate every part of your being to stay well inside and out.
We take evidence-based mind-body medicine seriously. Tools offered by our holistic and integrative practitioners include:
- Integrative psychotherapy, offering a wide range of compassionate, encouraging holistic strategies and follow-up care to help you to change or adopt a lifestyle pattern.
- Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, a meditative-awareness training program to develop a life-affirming approach to chronic conditions and realities.
- Aromatherapy, which taps into your sense of smell through plant-based essential oils for psychological and physical well-being.
- Relaxation and awareness-based movement therapies, such as yoga and qigong.
- Meditation or guided imagery to Prepare for and Recover from Surgery (PDF) or other stressors.
- Biofeedback training to help you regulate typically unconscious bodily functions (for example, heart rate, breathing and blood pressure).
- Medical hypnosis to tap into your subconscious mind and empower you to release unhealthy behaviors.
Art, Music and Movement Therapy
If you’ve ever felt peaceful while listening to a song or recall the joy of coloring books, you know that art and music can help process emotions and reduce stress. Sutter’s credentialed art and music therapists provide healthy, Creative Outlets (PDF) for adults and children to deal with the many changes that a chronic illness brings.
Whether in a class or by your bedside in the hospital, these expressive treatments:
- Decrease pain perception and improve pain medication effectiveness.
- Teach skills to reframe difficult experiences or to tune out chaos and electronic hospital noises.
- Provide distraction from uncomfortable treatments.
- Reduce depression, anxiety and insomnia.
We also offer dance and movement therapies to integrate your physical, mental and emotional worlds. Led by credentialed movement therapists, sessions cover a range of needs, including healing from cancer, dealing with lymphedema, rehabilitation from major illness or surgery, stress management, and reintegration for those with mental illness.
Since 2002, pet-therapy volunteers have connected friendly, loving dogs, cats and even a miniature horse with families in Sutter hospitals and clinics. Research shows that interacting with animals can benefit blood pressure, heart rate, recovery time and overall well-being, often exerting a more pronounced effect than relaxation training or meditation. If you or your child would like a visit, we’ll introduce you to calm, friendly therapy animals, supervised by community volunteers trained through accredited animal-therapy programs.
Holistic Skin Care
Our holistic skin care services at the Institute for Health & Healing in San Francisco combine nature’s healing gifts with a scientific understanding of factors that influence your skin. Skilled in techniques such as LED light therapy, Ionzyme treatment, Ayurveda, and organic herbal and essential oil treatments, our staff offer relaxing, therapeutic facials that address a wide variety of skin conditions.
Interested in becoming a Sutter patient? Here’s what you need to know about health plans, choosing a doctor and how to get started today.
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