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Palliative and End-of-Life Care: Integrative Therapies

Fordham library resources and additional information on various aspects of palliative and end-of-life care.

Nonpharmacologic and Complementary Therapies


The therapies listed below "are hands-on therapies that provide comfort and relieve symptoms through the use of physical manipulation of muscles or through energy healing. They may also help the patient deal with pain, anxiety, or sleeplessness."


"Some essential oils may help alleviate nausea or fatigue, while others may help with anxiety and depression."

Music (Music Thanatology)

"Music can be soothing, relaxing, nurturing, energizing, or comforting. It may provide the following benefits:

--Reduce anxiety and stress

--Promote relaxation

--Strengthen family bonds

--Trigger memories or initiate reflection on one's life

--Improve alertness

--Reduce one's perception of pain or nausea

--Create joyful experiences"

End of Life and Hospice Care: Taking Care of Your Health & Well-being

Most quotes and therapies listed on this page have been taken from the site End of Life and Hospice Care: Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing; created by the Center for Spirituality & Healing and Charlson Meadows; University of Minnesota

Art (Creative Arts Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy)

"Art therapy can help individuals explore their emotions through the use of various art mediums [such as dance/movement therapy and drama therapy]. It provides an outlet for creative, non-verbal expression of their feelings."

Guided Imagery, Meditation, and Other Relaxation Techniques

"These techniques can help patients and family members reduce anxiety and put their minds and bodies at ease. [They] may be done individually or with the guidance of a trained instructor or counselor."


"[This therapy] may be used to help reduce pain and nausea. Some patients who have had an ischemic stroke (a stroke caused by clotting, not a hemorrhage) also find it to be beneficial, as it promotes relaxation . . .  Acupuncture can open up blood vessels to help blood flow and decrease the risk of clotting."

Animal-Assisted Therapy

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Reference & Instruction Department

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