Integrative Medicine and Palliative Care Team (IMPACT)
The Integrative Medicine and Palliative Care Team (IMPACT), combines evidence based complementary medicine with palliative care. Palliative Care is a medical specialty focused on improving the quality of life of people facing serious illness with emphasis on pain and symptom management, communication and coordinated care. Our IMPACT team offers a variety of services from yoga to massage to acupuncture and many others, not only to the patients but to their families and caregivers as well.
The IMPACT program provides support to families with severe illness. Our team functions through a collaboration of professionals that come together from many different specialties such as medicine, nursing, social work, pain management, psychology, chaplaincy, nutrition and complementary therapies such as massage, yoga, Reiki and acupuncture.
Our goal is to give you and your child the best quality of life by addressing any needs that you, your family or your child have regarding physical, psychological, social and spiritual health. We support the care you receive from your primary medical team and help to coordinate your care. We can see your child in the hospital or in our clinic. Our complementary services are supported by grants and donations and therefore are provided for you free of charge.
The aim of our yoga program is to support the whole person in the context of their life. Yoga sessions are lead by a certified yoga therapist who designs the session to meet individual needs interests and abilities. Although yoga sessions vary, most include stretching, strengthening and breathing exercises, relaxation and self-care techniques and meditation instruction. Yoga can be done at the bedside (in-patient or out-patient), in chairs or on a yoga mat. Yoga is a non-invasive therapy that can be enjoyed by anybody.
The massage therapy program with IMPACT is provided by a licensed massage therapist. Each hands-on session is tailored to the child's age and medical treatment at the time. Sessions can vary from an overall gentle relaxation massage, foot massage with reflexology or a chair massage. Massage has been found to decrease anxiety and stress, relieve pain, improve sleep, and diminish fatigue. The massage service is available in both the inpatient unit and the outpatient clinic and extends to the parents of the patients as well.
Medical Acupuncture is a form of energy medicine that uses tiny needles (or can be needle-less) to improve energy flow through the body. It is endorsed by the National Cancer Institute as an effective treatment for pain and chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting. It can also be used for stress reduction, appetite stimulation, constipation, injuries and fatigue.
Aromatherapy, also known as Essential Oil therapy, is the therapeutic use of plant-derived, aromatic essential oils to promote physical and psychological well-being. It can be used in combination with other therapeutic techniques as part of a holistic treatment approach. In clinical practice the use of essential oils has been shown to aid in calming the nervous system, at times reducing stress, pain, nausea and other side effects from conventional drug treatments. Additionally many people find the scents to be a pleasant, non-invasive experience.
The primary function of the Holistic Health Counselor is to teach a series of cooking classes to the families of children receiving care through the Children's Hospital at Montefiore. Our goal is to provide high quality nourishment through foods that fuel the body and support the immune system. In addition to food preparation skills, the instructor will discuss the health benefit of using a variety of natural whole foods to support the whole family. Recipes and wellness information will be available for the parents to take home. The Holistic Health Counselor is also available on an individual consultation basis to recommend natural supplements as well as specific food and lifestyle choices that will support optimum health.
IMPACT is actively researching how to better improve the quality of life for our pediatric patients. With the help of patients who volunteer to be a part of our studies, we will be able to conclude which therapies we are testing improve patient quality of life. Our IMPACT research team is currently recruiting patients to participate in the Neutropenic Diet, Aromatherapy and a Yoga Study. There are specific eligibility criteria that need to be met in order to participate, so please contact us for more information on our open research trials and keep an eye out for new upcoming studies!
Reiki is a healing practice that promotes balance in mind, body and spirit. It is and looks simple. And Reiki is a safe, painless and non-invasive practice that doesn't interfere with any medical treatment or drug regime prescribed by your doctor. Reiki is a gentle and powerful tool for healing-and self-healing. You can also learn to practice on yourself, and your family, friends and pets.
For questions regarding our other programs such as Guided Imagery and Herbal Medicine, or to make an appointment with one of our IMPACT services, please contact Annette Torres at 718-741-2301.