Complimentary alternative medicine

At Spectrum Health Hospice, we recognize and respect that each individual patient is unique and that one specific treatment does not necessarily meet every patient's needs. It is our goal to customize your care to fit your preferences and desires for your life. To accomplish this goal, we offer a variety of complementary alternative treatments from which to choose, in addition to the medications or therapies you may already be receiving. All treatments are provided by our credentialed staff, over seen by our medical director and offered free of charge. These treatments are meant to promote relaxation, deliver stress relief, manage chronic pain or other symptoms and restore an overall sense of well-being. You do not have to elect any of these treatments as they are simply options that can be integrated into your care if you so choose.

Our services

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This traditional form of Chinese medicine is thousands of years old and based on the idea that energy flows through the body in distinct pathways. When the energy, or Qi as it is called, becomes blocked or depleted, pain or illness can result. By the insertion and manipulation of fine needles into specific acupuncture points, the energy is changed and pain and other symptoms improve. Acupuncture is safe with no significant side effects. Our acupuncturists are board certified and will see patients in the privacy of their homes.

Art expression
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Drawing, painting, and sculpting can be therapeutic methods for children and adults alike to tell their stories of anticipatory grief and loss. Many times emotions are too difficult to express in words and many children do not have the cognitive capabilities to verbally articulate their emotions, perceptions or beliefs. The arts, therefore, can be a necessary means of communication and expression. Benefits of artistic expression can facilitate normalization of feelings, understanding of grief reactions, exploration of new and positive coping skills, and the ability to share thoughts and memories of a valued person in their life.

Bedside music support
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This service provides comfort and support to patients through bedside music. Using voice, harp, flute, and other instruments these volunteers create an environment for restoration of spirit, calming of anxiety and to promote emotional-well being for patients receiving end-of-life care and their families. Musical Touchstone volunteers also provide group musical events to provide socialization and enriching activities for patients in long-term care facilities.

Compassionate connection
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The compassionate connection program offers a skilled application of lotion technique provided by volunteers who use a gentle, soothing massage on patients' hands and arms. This technique helps patients relax, improves their circulation, and enhances their feeling of well-being. For patients who are non-verbal, hand and arm massage provides tactile communication that speaks of caring presence and a "compassionate connection". The purpose of this program is to enhance patients' quality of life through human touch.

Herbal teas
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While not considered tea in reality, herbal tea is simply fresh herbs containing medicinal properties. By infusing a teaspoon of these fresh herbs like sassafras, ginger, senna, chamomile, and many others into hot water, their medicinal properties seep into the water, giving the drinker the desired effect, which could be laxative, curative, refreshment, sedative or antacid in nature.

Korean hand therapy
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Korean hand therapy is a micro-system of acupuncture, similar to reflexology in the foot. It involves the placement of small pellets on the hand in designated spots to treat pain and other symptoms. The skin is not broken and no needles are involved. It is safe and effective and provided by our staff. Meditation performing this service on a regular basis helps you to quiet your mind, and benefit your health. By calming your mind you are also strengthening your mind. Like any muscle, your mind needs exercise. Meditation is a way to satisfy that need. Some other health benefits of meditation are increased blood flow, lower heart rate (which can help reduce blood pressure), generally increased relaxation, reduced anxiety, and decreased muscle tension and headaches.

Message therapy
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Therapeutic massage relaxes your mind, body, and spirit, and is proven to alleviate pain due to chronic illness, post-surgery discomfort, depression, anxiety, and other conditions. From full-body treatment to therapy on isolated areas, our certified massage therapists are available free of charge to patients of Spectrum Health Hospice.

Reiki/healing touch
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The basic concept underlying reiki (pronounced ray-key), healing touch, and therapeutic touch, is that the body has an energy field that is central to its health and proper functioning. This energy travels in certain pathways that can be blocked or weakened especially with serious illness or end of life. Energy practitioners are trained to detect energy flow and use specific hand placements to channel and improve the energy flow on the physical, emotional and spiritual level. In hospice, energy work helps patients to relax and this often reduces stress, pain and fatigue.

Visiting dog
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There is nothing like the unconditional love that comes with four feet, warm nose and a furry coat for patients receiving end of life care. Sometimes the most comforting presence is one that has no words but instead offers a warm nuzzle, friendly face and head that wants a pat. These dogs must have completed therapy dog certification. They visit in long-term care facilities, hospitals and private homes where patients are receiving hospice care.

Our service area

We consider home the place where you live, which includes independent living facilities or assisted living communities. Spectrum Health At Home reaches many counties throughout West Michigan.

Highlighted map for the Home Care service area.

Contact Us

Find out more about treatments that may promote relaxation, deliver stress relief, or manage chronic pain.