Alternative Therapy to Reduce Pain and Suffering
Often, the path to alleviating pain and suffering is seen as medication. However, that’s not always the right decision. While pharmaceuticals can help to reduce pain and mitigate discomfort, it may not be sufficient, or it may create unwanted side effects.
We believe in offering our patients access to the widest range of treatment options possible to improve their quality of life, and that includes many alternative therapies. These can include pet therapy, aromatherapy, massage, companionship, and many others that help our patients improve their quality of life.
Alternative therapies can:
- Help patients relax
- Help patients experience peace of mind
- Manage pain and discomfort
- Manage nausea and other side effects and conditions
- Alleviate fear and anxiety
- Deal with grief related to end of life
- Find positive emotional closure with loved ones
Contact our caring team today for more information about how to combine conventional therapies with alternative therapies.
Aromatherapy has been used for thousands of years and offers many different benefits. Specific scents can have powerful effects on the brain and the nervous system, helping to support more positive mental and emotional states. Aromatherapy can create physiological changes in patients, including reducing blood pressure, improving mobility, reducing tension, stimulating mental activity, and more.
The essential oils used in aromatherapy are sourced from plants and minerals found in the natural world. In addition to their use in diffusers and atomizers, they can also be mixed into lotions, creams, tinctures, and other products to deliver additional benefits to the body and mind.
Benefits of Aromatherapy:
- Ability to manage anxiety and fear
- Improved mental and emotional health
- Reduced stress and agitation
- A sense of deep calm and tranquility
Get in touch for more information about aromatherapy or using essential oils to alleviate pain and discomfort.
Palliative care and hospice care massage techniques differ from traditional massage therapy. Rather than deep tissue massage designed to work out knots and kinks, our professional therapists use slow, gentle, soothing motions to calm the mind and the body. Massage can also stimulate the nervous system and improve the immune system while reducing fear and stress, worry, and even alleviating pain and physical discomfort. Our patients are left feeling rested, calm, and cared for after a treatment session.
Benefits of Massage Therapy:
- Reduced muscle tension
- Reduced swelling and discomfort
- Increased blood flow throughout the body
- Improved mobility and comfort
Contact Shining Light Hospice Care to learn more about massage therapy and its many therapeutic benefits.
Music therapy has a profound potential to help patients improve their mental, emotional, and even physical health. Music therapists can offer a wide range of activities, services, and treatment options. For example, the therapist might use music from a patient’s youth to help awaken memories and stimulate positive mental and emotional health. On the other end of the spectrum, a therapist might work with the patient to compose a song. A therapist might teach a patient to play an instrument to improve range of motion and rebuild lost motor skills, as well.
Benefits of Music Therapy:
- Increased dopamine production, resulting in greater well-being and less pain
- Increased social interaction and support
- Improved motor skills and mobility
- Mental stimulation
- Resurfacing of memories that help patients feel whole, strong, and healthy
Get in touch today for more information about music therapy and how it might help you or a loved one.
Frequently Asked Questions about Music Therapy
- Does a patient need to have some previous experience playing an instrument to benefit from this therapy?
No, patients need no previous experience with music. Each treatment plan is customized based on the patient’s specific history, experience, and response to music therapy.
- Does a patient have to be mentally alert to benefit from music therapy?
No, music therapy has shown to be effective in improving quality of life, even for patients who are not alert or oriented.
- What is a patient is only minimally responsive?
Minimally responsive patients have shown increased brain activity, and as hearing is the last sense to lapse, it can provide comfort even to unresponsive patients.
- Do music therapy sessions need to be completely private?
They do not have to be, although some patients do prefer privacy during certain sessions. We encourage family members to participate in most cases.
- Is music therapy ideal for all patients?
No, some patients will not benefit from music therapy, as it can sometimes increase agitation and anxiety. Even if a patient does not become agitated/anxious, some simply have no interest in music therapy. We assess each patient’s needs before determining whether music therapy is appropriate and beneficial.
Animals have an amazing ability to sense suffering and to help heal it within us. At Shining Light Hospice Care, we partner with several pet therapy organizations to help our patients through these most challenging times in their lives.
Our partners use specially trained, four-legged friends to provide companionship and care in a wide range of situations, including in-home care and in the homes of family and friends. Most long-term care facilities also allow pet therapy on their grounds. It’s amazing what a friendly smile and tail-wag can accomplish – just petting a dog or cat can lift hearts, open minds, and bring a smile to a loved one’s face.
Benefits of Pet Therapy:
- Physical contact with pets can improve mobility and alleviate pain
- Helps breathe life into memories of their own pets
- Unconditional love and support
- Can improve mobility and encourage patients to be more active
- Increased responsiveness for many hospice patients
Miracle Berry Therapy
Too often, hospice patients find that eating becomes a chore or even painful. To have one of life’s great pleasures taken away is a terrible thing. At Shining Light Hospice Care, we understand the impact this can have on a patient’s quality of life, emotional health, and mental state, which is why we sought out this tropical fruit – the miracle berry.
The miracle berry resembles a grape, but its effects are transformative. It contains a chemical called glycoprotein miraculin. When eaten, it binds with the tastebuds responsible for sensing sweetness in foods. It transforms the flavor of any food, whether bitter, acidic, or sour, into something sweet and delicious. The effect can last up to an hour after eating a single berry – imagine eating a lemon or tomato and tasting nothing but sweetness!
We have used the miracle berry in our treatment options for some time, and we’ve noticed some significant benefits. For instance, a patient undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia struggled to taste anything at all – all he was able to notice was a metallic taste due to his treatment. In response, he was barely eating anything at all.
When given a miracle berry, the change was dramatic and immediate. Soon, he even began going out to eat, once more enthused with life and able to reconnect with the simple joy of delicious food.
Miracle berry therapy is about more than getting out of the house and engaging with life, though. For many patients, it represents the chance to once more sit down to family meals and enjoy time with those nearest and dearest to them.
The Challenge of the Miracle Berry
The amazing tropical fruit known as the miracle berry truly lives up to its name. However, it must be handled properly, or it loses its power. Once harvested in the summer months, the berries must be immediately eaten or frozen. Glycoprotein miraculin degrades within just 48 hours of harvest, meaning that if specific, immediate steps are not taken, the fruit cannot do its job.
Contact Shining Light Hospice Care today to learn more about miracle berry therapy.