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Integrative Arts in Medicine Program

“Integrative Art Therapies were able to quiet me and once my mind could rest, my body was able to accept treatment and heal.” - Former patient of the TGH Integrative Arts in Medicine Program Nurse playing the guitar for her patient

The Integrative Arts in Medicine Program at Tampa General Hospital was established in 2004 with the purpose of integrating allopathic medicine with non-pharmacological mind-body-spirit modalities with the goal of helping patients adapt to traditional medical treatments. In addition, the Integrative Medicine program seeks to empower patients with self-care techniques like gentle touch, music, movement and art. The program employs practitioners who have received specialized training to provide the following modalities:

Gentle Touch – This modality helps facilitate patient and practitioner to connect with therapeutic focused healing.  At TGH, we offer craniosacral therapy (CST) as a part of this modality.  CST was pioneered and developed by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger following extensive scientific studies from 1975 to 1983 at Michigan State University, where he served as a clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics. CST is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction, enabling the patient to improve whole-body health and performance.

Mindfulness Breathing – Simple breathing techniques offer patients an alternative to traditional pain management. Patients can learn to ease their pain during recovery by mastering simple breathing techniques, and concentrating on total relaxation.

Visual Art Therapy – Art is known to have profound therapeutic and even transformative characteristics. Artistic practices are uniquely tailored to each individual patient. A session can include creating, viewing or interacting with art. Visual art therapy can provide coping skills, processing diagnoses and facilitate self-expression.

Therapeutic-Focused Music – Music in the integrative medicine program compliments medical treatment by increasing patient engagement in their treatment. It can also provide emotional support for patients and families.

Gentle Movement Techniques – Yoga and Tai Chi are used in a variety of ways to assist patient in the physical, emotional needs and cognitive aspects. This can lead to a sense of well-being, improved circulation and increased strength and flexibility.

At TGH, the patient’s initial visit involves a chart review, communication with the patient’s primary medical team, and an evaluation of the patient’s readiness for the services.  Therapies are provided in the comfort of the patient’s hospital room, in a group setting, or in the “Peace Room” used specifically for Integrative Medicine treatment. The Integrative Arts in Medicine program is a service offered to the patients at no additional cost and is not reimbursed by insurance.  The benefits offered are measured by an increase in patient satisfaction, improved pain management processes, and a lifetime of non-medicated healing options learned through the various techniques offered by the program.

The TGH Foundation is seeking private contributions to support and sustain this important program for the next 4-years - if you are interested in making a gift click here.