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A Better Name for a Better Kind of Care

Posted on November 15th, 2019

Tiana and Rick

The Hospice of the Northwest Complementary Therapy Program has been renamed the Integrative Therapies Program.

Because symptoms of pain and suffering can become more pronounced and complex at the end of life, we provide therapies that care for the mind and spirit with the same expertise and clinical excellence as the care we provide to the body. By changing our program name from Complementary Therapies to Integrative Therapies, we hope to show that these treatments which complement traditional medical therapies, are integrated into our standard delivery of care.

The Integrative Therapies program at Hospice of the Northwest helps to manage pain, anxiety, nausea, and depression as well as improve sleep and restfulness. For Rick Nelson, massage therapy provided relief from pain and anxiety: “Hospice has brought sleep back into my home. I can breathe well again, and they have brought me comfort. Hospice brought the right people here to help. I always look forward to the visits. I sleep so well for the next couple of nights after (massage therapist) Tiana comes.”

Despite their effectiveness in improving quality of life, Integrative Therapies are not funded by the Medicare Hospice benefit or other insurances. Because of this, we rely on the generosity of donors to continue to make these services available free of charge to our patients. We are grateful for the support of the community, and we remain dedicated to providing the kind of expert and compassionate end of life care our community expects and deserves.

Integrative Therapies offered at Hospice of the Northwest include:
Therapeutic Music – Our clinical musicians are trained to offer music specifically for end of life care to ease physical, emotional, and spiritual pain. Rather than entertainment, it is prescriptive and tailored for each person according to the needs of their condition.
Massage Therapy – Our state licensed massage practitioners provide treatment to increase relaxation, relieve pain, decrease edema, and promote sleep. Often the touch is light and offered as much for psychological comfort as for easing pain. Sometimes, when massage is not indicated, the practitioner can do gentle positional changes and stretching as tolerated.
Aromatherapy – The art and science of using essential oils which are naturally derived from plants. Aromatherapy can promote relaxation, reduce nausea, ease stress and anxiety, fight infection, and improve sleep. These oils can be inhaled or applied on the skin, and help strengthen our bodies’ own natural processes. 
Art and craft activities – These are used by spiritual counselors and social workers as a creative way to express feelings and emotions.
Acupuncture – A form of treatment that involves inserting very thin needles at specific points on the body to help the flow and balance of energy.
Chiropractic – A state licensed professional treats disorders (such as back and neck pain) through the manual adjustment or manipulation of the spinal vertebrae and other areas to increase comfort.

Donors to the Hospice of the Northwest Foundation provided 1,630 Integrative Therapy visits in 2018.  Thank you for making a difference, and thank you for helping hospice patients live every moment of life with compassion and dignity. For more information about hospice care, integrative therapies, or how to make a gift in support of expert compassionate and dignified end of life care, please contact Hospice of the Northwest at 360-814-5550 or www.hospicenw.org.

About Hospice of the Northwest

We are a skilled, caring, and compassionate team of doctors, nurses, social workers, spiritual counselors, aides, volunteers and generous community donors. Together we provide patient-centered care for people facing serious illness. We’ve been serving the residents of Island, San Juan, Skagit and Snohomish Counties since 1989 and want to know how we can support you or your loved one.

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