October 2, 2011 Jeanne Rust

Hospitals Offering Alternative Therapies

I saw an article the other day in our local paper, the Tucson Daily Star, titled More Hospitals Offer Alternative Therapies. The article was a reprint from the Los Angeles Times.

Hospitals today are offering meditation and relaxation training. Medical, clinical hypnosis is offered as well and is a god-send in helping release some of the patients fear and stress. Over 65% of all hospitals offer alternative therapies for pain management. Massage therapy and body work in particular are effective.

It's not only hospitals and treatment centers that want alternative therapies but the patients themselves want the best that both conventional and alternative medicine can offer.

I remember when I opened Mirasol in July of 1999. In August of that year, my husband and I went to an IAEDP (International Association of Eating Disordered Professionals) conference in Phoenix. At that time, I had a staff of 4 people including myself. I was doing biofeedback with finger temperature sensors. The programs were only 2 weeks long. I still talked extensively about integrative treatment and people thought I had holes in my head.

They weren't laughing in my face but almost. Who ever heard of something called neurofeedback? Whoever thought about using body work with eating disorders? Even the terms Mind/Body/Spirit was still rather new and not embraced by the treatment community. At that time the only therapeutic modalities were cognitive-behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy. Maybe a facility would throw in a horse.

No one is even thinking about laughing now. Today everywhere I look, I see the words holistic, alternative, and organic, and I see a huge list of therapies. I see even programs that are strictly medical model talking about Mind, Body, Spirit.

I used to feel resentful as the years went by and more and more centers began to use alternative therapies. "They're just copying me," I thought.

Now I look upon all places using alternative therapies with joy! People need to heal from the tops of their heads to the bottoms of their feet (or tippy-toes). I can't imagine any person truly healing without healing their whole selves – Mind/Body/Spirit.