Nurses are able to use range holistic therapy in most states and countries. The so-called alternative or holistic therapy have been long-standing practices in nursing. Classic examples are basic touch therapy or massage, nutritional therapy and hydrotherapy. Nurses have integrated therapeutic touch, as well as therapies such as Reiki, a combination of energy work and touch, into practice. Therapies are generally provided as adjunct to traditional medical and nursing therapies. Research has shown that massage has been proven to be effective in reducing pain during nursing care. Other therapies such as guided imagery are very effective intervention for a range of situations from stress and anxiety to acute or chronic pain.
It is important to review your nurse practice act to make sure that you are practicing within the bounds of your practice.
The patient-consumers’ use of holistic therapies is well documented, and health care providers have been lagging behind in their understanding, acknowledgement and research on alternative therapies. Despite this, there are many hospitals and health programs that demonstrate effective integration. One way to start is by forming alliances with other health providers supportive to holistic therapy. This may help you to build incentive for your institution to become more amenable to holistic therapies. A number of hospitals who have integrated holistic therapies began the process with an informal group that met to discuss common interests and research across the disciplines.
Concern for providing more effective pain and chronic disease management in nursing care has led many health care institutions to offer alternative therapy practices such as T’ai Chi, yoga and mind-body programs for disease management. Nurses are working alongside a range of providers from medical specialists, massage therapists, acupuncturists and behavioral psychologists.
About the author: Dr. Wolf is associate professor at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland California. She has practiced as a community health nurse and adult nurse practitioner; and has served as a nurse educator for more than 25 years. Formerly Associate Director of the Program in Nursing at the MGH Institute in Boston, Dr. Wolf also served as nurse practitioner and director of health & wellness for the Cambridge Health Alliance Senior Health Center. She has lectured and published widely on professional issues and nursing history, aging and health policy.
Click here for more information on Karen Anne Wolf.
Nurses, if you enjoy writing on nursing career, education or lifestyle related issues and are interested in becoming a NurseTogether.com contributor, please click here.
Did you like this article? Share it!