Integrative medicine recognizes that patients are more than a diagnosis or series of symptoms. They are unique individuals with physical, emotional, spiritual, and cultural needs. Integrative health and medicine focus on these unique factors and the body’s self-healing abilities to improve medical outcomes. Typically, this involves coordinating traditional Western medicine with complementary therapies, such as massage, acupuncture, meditation, and support groups.
Why Is Integrative Health & Wellness Increasing in Popularity?
Most Bay Area residents respect the relationship between body and spirit. Consequently, in recent years, integrative medicine has become more mainstream. The increase in its popularity is due to several factors:
- More patients are demanding a personalized and holistic approach to healthcare.
- Physicians and hospitals are looking for non-pharmaceutical ways to manage pain and emotional distress.
- As healthcare costs rise, healthcare organizations and employers are interested in alternative ways to improve health outcomes.
Marin General Hospital embraced the value of integrated medicine early on, founding the Center for Integrative Health & Wellness in 1995. For over 20 years, the Center has worked to improve health outcomes and the patient experience through its diverse offerings.
What Services Does the Center for Integrative Health and Wellness Offer?
Marin General Hospital’s mission is “To provide exceptional healthcare services in a compassionate and healing environment.” The hospital recognizes that integrative health and wellness align closely with its mission and its community’s values. As part of Marin General Hospital’s patient-focused approach, the hospital offers a wide variety of services that tend to the mind, body, and spirit.
The Center for Integrative Health & Wellness offers numerous classes, workshops, and services including:
- Acupuncture: Marin General Hospital offers acupuncture alongside Western medicine to help with pain management, stress and anxiety, nausea and other digestive symptoms, and decreased energy levels.
- Expressive Arts Therapy: Learn how to process your emotions, cope with stress, and engage in self-discovery through the creative process.
- Fitness Counseling: Trained fitness counselors can help you build a personal fitness plan based on your goals, medical history, and exercise experience.
- Guided Imagery: Learn how to use visualization techniques that help with relaxation, emotional and physical pain management, and healing.
- Healthy Weight for Wellness: A 12-week program that focuses on safe weight loss through changes in diet and exercise. You will learn how to set realistic goals, make sensible lifestyle changes, and identify physical and emotional triggers that impact your weight.
- Horses as Healers: A six-week program for Marin General Hospital’s Cancer Institute patients. Trained equestrian staff and therapy horses helps cancer patients with their emotional healing.
- Jin Shin Jyutsu: Similar to acupuncture, jin shin jyutsu uses gentle touch to encourage your body’s healing powers and help you cope with your medical conditions.
- Living Well with Atrial Fibrillation: A three-part program that focuses on nutrition, physical fitness, and stress management.
- Massage Therapy: Certified massage therapists help decrease physical and emotional discomfort through body work.
- Mindfulness and Guided Relaxation: Learn how guided relaxation, breathing techniques, and other mindfulness tools can improve your overall wellness.
- Music Therapy: A certified harp therapist helps hospital patients cope with physical and emotional pain.
- Nutrition Counseling: Registered dietician nutritionists coach patients about diet and how it impacts their medical conditions and overall wellness. Marin General Hospital’s dietician nutritionists have expertise with numerous medical issues — including cancer treatment and prevention, women’s health, heart disease, sports nutrition, and weight management.
- Oncology Patient Navigation: Trained patient navigators help cancer patients regain control and identify available resources. Patient navigation services are available for breast, gastrointestinal, testicular, and urologic cancer patients.
- Psychosocial Counseling: Trained mental health professionals offer inpatient and outpatient services for people struggling with life-changing diagnoses or mental health issues.
- Support Groups: The hospital offers numerous, free support groups — including groups focusing on breast cancer, leukemia and lymphoma, metastatic cancer, liver disease, lymphedema, prostate cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses.
The hospital also has a website where patients can share their healing stories and produces the Healing Podcast — a health education podcast that addresses traditional and integrative health treatment.
Are There Costs Related to Integrative Health Services at Marin General Hospital?
Many of the Center for Integrative Health & Wellness’ support groups and seminars are free. While there are costs involved with certain integrative health services, such as counseling and acupuncture services, financial assistance and scholarships are sometimes available. Your health plan might also cover some integrative health services, reducing your out-of-pocket expenses. Contact your health plan for more information.
Canopy Health Embraces Human-Focused Care
At Canopy Health, we believe that holistic, coordinated medical care improves our members’ health and wellness. Our alliance of nearly 5,000 physicians and medical providers includes a wide variety of integrated health specialists, including acupuncturists, behavioral health counselors, and other therapists. We’re proud that Marin General Hospital and other alliance members have also embraced integrated health in their facilities.