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Reducing Pain and Increasing Patient Comfort with Complementary, Holistic Therapies

March 15, 2018

At Orange Regional Medical Center, we are strong believers in offering complementary therapies (‘alternative’, ‘integrative’ or ‘holistic’ therapies) to our patients. From cancer care to behavioral health to maternity care, our complementary therapies can be a valuable part of our patient treatment, offering holistic and natural ways to reduce the pain and anxieties of our patients, and offer comfort and an opportunity to relax and recuperate.

We call these “complementary therapies” because they are offered in combination with a patient’s conventional medical treatment as determined by our physicians and medical providers.

Complementary therapies treat the whole person, rather than the symptom of the disease. These include:

Often used alongside conventional medicine in a belief they can ‘complement’ treatments.

Thanks to a seed grant from the ORMC Foundation, our complementary therapy services have been able to expand in exciting and innovative ways, such as the use of Virtual Reality goggles that can provide a guided meditation experience to help patients cope with pain or fear. Recently, Forbes.com featured ORMC in a video segment about our trial in Pediatrics and the Children’s ED, as well as Dr. Ralph Anderson’s use of VR to ease pain during labor.

We hope to roll out VR therapy to our joint replacement patients and study its effectiveness in reducing pain after surgery.

Patients Receiving Holistic Care at Orange Regional

Reiki Therapy

From January to December last year, there were 1,044 patients who received Reiki Therapy at ORMC. Reiki is a non-invasive, gentle healing discipline that promotes comfort and rest through balancing the body’s energy centers. The committee is hoping to work with Touro Medical College students who can analyze pain assessment data from those patients who have received Reiki.

Learn more

Aromatherapy

In 2017, there were 1,047 patients treated with Aromatherapy. Aromatherapy can be defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize, and promote the health of body, mind, and spirit. Aromatherapy has been known to relieve stress and stimulate the body to produce pain-fighting substances.

At ORMC, Aromatherapy is provided using specific therapeutic grade essential oils to help comfort patients experiencing symptoms of:

  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Insomnia

Our staff is trained and have a completed competency before providing Aromatherapy.

Learn more

Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT)

Dr. Castro Nunez is developing a pilot program to perform Osteopathic Manipulation Treatment on 2 North patients. Osteopathic manipulative treatment, or OMT, involves using the hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury using techniques including stretching, gentle pressure and resistance.

Beading Therapy

We are also working on developing a Beading Therapy program where patients can create beautiful pieces of jewelry while hospitalized.  For some patients, Beading can decrease stress and lower blood pressure, as well as improve fine motor and visual skills.


For more information about alternative therapies, visit us at www.ormc.org/CAM or contact CAM Coordinator, Judy Maloy at jmaloy1@ghvhs.org.


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