Music soothes the soul. Massage eases the pain. Aromatherapy quiets the senses.
Integrative therapies not only make patients feel better but also offer ways to communicate when words no longer work.
A dementia patient may not be able to converse but can sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” with gusto. A cancer patient who struggles with pain may find relief in a massage therapist’s touch. An anxious patient may feel calmed by a particular scent.
“It’s not comfort in the form of medication – it’s human touch,” said Kathy Ritchie, whose mother benefitted from massage therapy for frontotemporal dementia.
Therapeutic massage eases stiffness, improves circulation and flexibility, prevents pressure sores and improves mood. Music connects on a soulful level, sometimes tapping into memories otherwise inaccessible. Aromatherapy uses natural oils extracted from flowers and plants to enhance psychological and physical well-being.
Hospice of the Valley offers these services by trained and certified professionals. The programs are supported by fees, grants and donations.