Integrative & Holistic Medicine
At St. Peter's Hospital, we believe there are many paths to healing. That's why we were one of the first hospitals in the Capital Region to offer a range of holistic therapies that, when combined with conventional medical treatment, can enhance your healing, and help you achieve good health and a sense of well-being.
Holistic therapies are energy based and mind-body healing treatments that re-energize and rebalance the body, mind, emotions and spirit. They address the underlying causes of disease and discomfort by recognizing that thoughts, feelings, attitudes and beliefs are major contributors to both illness and recovery. Learn more about our complementary therapies below.
Recognized for Our Holistic Therapy
St. Peter's Hospital Holistic and Integrative Therapy Program has been recognized for participation in clinical nursing research by the Advanced Practice Neonatal Nurses Association and the New York State Perinatal Association, for the use of psycho-acoustic music for mothers of NICU infants, the American Society of Perianethesia Nurses Association on the use of music intervention for pre-operative cancer patients and by the National Association of Orthopedic Nurses for the use of guided imagery in post-operative orthopedic patients.
Clinical studies show the benefits of integrating holistic therapies with conventional medicine include:
- Acute and chronic pain relief
- Increased immunity
- Reduced anxiety
- Faster recovery from surgery
- Improved ability to relax
Reiki is an energy-based technique which uses light touch to promote deep relaxation and healing at spiritual, mental, emotional and physical levels. It is provided through a series of hand positions placed directly on, or several inches above the body. This allows Reiki energy to flow through the practitioner to the patient. Unlike massage, the hands remain still. Reiki treatments may restore depleted energy levels, lower blood pressure and heart rate, relieve anxiety, decrease pain, strengthen the immune system, and promote faster recovery from surgery. Reiki sessions in the hospital are provided with the patient fully clothed in a comfortable position and usually last about 15 minutes.
Therapeutic massage manipulates the body's soft tissues in specialized ways. It is relaxing and restorative. Through rhythmic hand movements and applied pressure, massage can promote increased circulation, joint mobility and elasticity, reduce muscle tension, balance the nervous system, remove toxins, improve gastro-intestinal functions, enhance skin conditions, and decrease pain, anxiety and stress levels.
Infant Massage Therapy
Massage provided to premature infants in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit offers healing and comfort through gentle touch. It may benefit children by calming them, helping them to relieve colic and achieve better sleep, as well as gain weight. Services are provided by a certified infant massage therapist, who also offers training in massage techniques to parents.
Massage Therapy for Natural Birth
Massage provides holistic and emotional support for women who desire a non-medicated natural labor and birth experience. Hands on techniques provided by licensed massage therapists support the body through every stage of labor. Benefits may include reductions in pain, stress, tension and fatigue, a decrease in the time spent in labor, and increased muscle relaxation and coping ability.
Mind Body Interventions
Mind body interventions involve learning and using very simple relaxation techniques like focused breathing, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation. These methods quiet the mind, which in turn calms the body. When practiced consistently, they are beneficial in managing anxiety or pain and in promoting restful sleep.
A spiritual practice is naturally holistic and healing. It helps us connect with our personal values and a Presence greater than ourselves. This may be felt as the Source of Life and is called by many names. Being in touch with this Presence guides us toward greater awareness and unconditional acceptance of self and others. Spiritual practice as a healing method expands our sense of wholeness, wellness, purpose and meaning.
The MagnaBand device is a Velcro® bracelet with a magnetized button insert worn on the wrist. Slight pressure on a specific acupressure point slightly below the wrist works to help prevent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, chemotherapy and after surgery. MagnaBands are available to all patients and can be taken home to be used indefinitely. Patients can ask their nurses to order the bands from the our Holistic and Integrative Therapy Department.
St. Peter's CARE Channel
St. Peter's Hospital's CARE Channel is available free of charge on all patient television sets. This programming offers 24 hour audio-visuals specifically composed to encourage healing. One of the channels features calming music and visuals, while another features guided imagery. If you cannot locate St. Peter's CARE Channel, ask your nurse to provide you with the programming list.
Requesting Inpatient Therapy
Patients may request these therapies for themselves or be referred by family and friends, as well as any hospital staff member. Direct provision holistic therapy services are provided at no charge by St. Peter’s Hospital practitioners to all inpatient populations— infant, pediatric, adult and geriatric—in a variety of acute care settings, Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 6 pm.
Services can be provided in:
- Intensive care
- Neo-natal intensive care
Insurance coverage for holistic therapies following your hospitalization may be available. Please contact your provider with inquiries.
Requesting Outpatient Therapy
Our program provides a referral listing to anyone seeking information about holistic services provided by local practitioners. Outpatients are advised to contact their insurance provider to determine eligibility for coverage for community-based holistic services provided by local practitioners.
St. Peter’s Hospital Holistic and Integrative Therapy Program
315 S. Manning Blvd.
Albany, NY 12208