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Complementary Therapies

Complementary Therapies

Altru Health System’s complementary therapies are integrative services blended with conventional medicine. This holistic approach to healing encompasses physical, mental and spiritual health.

Integrative therapy, such as pairing medication and meditation to lower blood pressure, aids in restoring balance to support the body’s natural healing processes and enhancing holistic health.

All services are offered free to patients during their hospital stay with the exception of massage, chiropractic and music services. If you have questions regarding these therapies, please contact your nurse.

Mind, Body and Spirit

  • Uses plant oils to ease pain, nausea, anxiety, depression and stress
  • Promotes a sense of well-being
  • Offers another language for communicating ideas and emotions
  • Outlets for artistic expression include activities that engage creativity and may promote healing
  • Stimulates body
  • May improve self-confidence, minimize depression, increase appetite, boost energy, reduce tension and anxiety, and stimulate the immune system
  • Forms mental images of places or situations
  • Includes the senses of smell, sight, sound and textures to relax and relieve pain
  • Uses the power of smiles and laughter to aid healing and cope with illness
  • Expresses experiences, feelings and thoughts in writing
  • Helps organize thoughts, assess emotions, reflect, ease tension and identify emotional or physical needs
  • Has many different forms, including reflection and prayer
  • Calming meditation involves focusing on a single object while breathing deeply, repeating a word or phrase, or visualizing a peaceful place
  • Can reduce stress, anxiety, depression and pain
  • Teaches you to focus all your attention on the present moment, nonjudgmentally
  • Encourages you to respond to daily life with a sense of calmness and well-being
  • May help reduce anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia and other symptoms related to chronic illness
  • Addresses physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs
  • Relaxation music and imagery is available on Altru’s Channel 2, The Care Channel
  • May promote communication, change mood, enhance relaxation, reduce anxiety and pain, promote healing and improve blood pressure and heart rate
  • Uses animals to improve the physical and emotional well-being
  • May encourage communication, foster a sense of security and well-being, enhance the sense of feeling needed and loved, and improve blood pressure and heart rate
  • Involves techniques to calm the body and quiet the mind
  • Includes deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and more
  • Benefits may include reducing anxiety, fear, depression and pain
  • Involves breathing by using your diaphragm
  • Goal is to take in more oxygen and reduce the use of shoulder, neck and upper chest muscles to increase breathing efficiency
  • Known to decrease body tension, lessen stress and manage pain
  • Individualized pampering, including hair grooming, hand and foot massage, nail care and polishing
  • May enhance self-image, promote relaxation, decrease stress and alleviate anxiety


  • May expand your support system, calm fearful and lonely feelings, promote inner peace and connectedness with self, others, nature, universe and/or a superior being
  • Available through the Spiritual Care Office at Altru Hospital, call 701.780.5300

Manipulation and Touch

  • Manipulation of the spine promotes healing by normalizing the relationship between its structure and function
  • Most commonly treats lower back pain, neck pain and headaches
  • Available at the Sanny and Jerry Ryan Center for Prevention and Genetics
  • Gentle touch and over-body movement assists in balancing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being
  • Works with your energy field to support natural healing
  • May reduce stress, anxiety, depression, pain and nausea


  • Includes rubbing, stroking or kneading soft tissue for comfort and healing
  • May decrease muscle tension, relieve pain, promote relaxation, increase circulation and boost energy
  • Applying pressure to the feet, hands or ears with specific thumb, finger and hand techniques without the use of oil or lotion
  • May reduce muscle tension, increase energy, promote sleep and healing, relieve stress and relax the body and mind
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