Use of complementary therapies in hospice and palliative care

Omega (Westport). 2013;67(1-2):227-32. doi: 10.2190/OM.67.1-2.z2.


As society has become increasingly inquisitive about complementary therapies, various sectors of the medical community have begun to incorporate complementary therapies into their practice, studying their impact on client health and effectiveness in treating specific symptoms. This article describes the design and initial findings from a 1-year review of the implementation of massage and Reiki therapies on patients in a small hospice and palliative care program in central Connecticut. Over the course of 1 year, 114 massage sessions were provided to 52 different patients, all of which included Reiki. After completion of these sessions, patients were evaluated for changes in symptoms such as pain reduction, ease in breathing, stress/anxiety reduction, and increased relaxation, with the results being predominantly beneficial.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / prevention & control
  • Connecticut
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Holistic Health*
  • Hospice Care / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massage / methods*
  • Pain / prevention & control
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Therapeutic Touch*
  • Treatment Outcome