Helping kids take charge
At Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, integrative medicine empowers children. When kids receive conventional medical treatments, choices are often limited due to clinical concerns. But with integrative medicine kids have a greater opportunity to select and choose strategies that will work best for them.
For instance, we’ll ask kids, “What are some signs that mean you’re getting better?” They might say feeling less sleepy, being able to play with their friends, or experiencing fewer headaches. Their definitions may differ from what the textbooks define as “better” — and that’s okay. Based on each child’s goals, our experts at the integrative medicine program pick and choose treatments that will deliver the best results for kids.
From breathing techniques to aromatherapy, we teach children strategies they can practice themselves. This puts kids and teens in charge of their own health and wellness. The result is often a major boost in well-being, which improves coping and helps kids get back to their normal lives.
We treat many things
The conditions and symptoms we treat are as varied as the children themselves. We offer integrative medical solutions for a wide array of conditions, including but not limited to:
- Chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
- Chronic or acute pain, such as abdominal pain and musculoskeletal pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Management of symptoms and side effects associated with pediatric cancer treatment
- Sleep issues
Ways we help kids heal
Sometimes our pediatric integrative medicine team uses one technique to treat a child’s condition. Other times we give illness the one-two punch by using a combination of methods. Here are some of the techniques we use:
- Acupressure— Using touch or pressure to help create a healthy feeling throughout the body
- Clinical aromatherapy — Using essential oils to produce a desired effect on the body and mind
- Biofeedback — Computer games aimed at improving health by monitoring how breathing changes and muscle tightness affect the body and mind
- Hypnosis — Using mental imagery, concentrated attention or unconscious exploration to relax the body and mind to boost healing, reduce pain and improve sleep
- Exercise — Using physical activity to improve energy and health
- Mental imagery — Using the mind and imagination to feel happy and comfortable
- Spirituality — Cultivating a peaceful sense that you’re part of something greater than yourself
- Herbals and botanicals — Safely using herbs to ease symptoms such as a fever, stomachache, pain and nausea
- Massage therapy and healing touch — Highly trained massage therapists use different techniques to reduce pain and improve physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health and healing
- Reflexology — Applying pressure to the feet, hands or ears to affect a certain organ or region of the body
- Stress management — Using strategies such as deep breathing, hypnosis, meditation, mental imagery and more to minimize or manage stress
- Yoga — A way of moving the body by practicing different poses to create a sense of physical and mental wellness
- Psychological interventions — Cognitive behavioral therapy to help patients manage difficult mental or emotional problems.
- Music therapy — Using music to ease pain and anxiety