Complementary Therapies in End-of-Life Care
Learn simple yet powerful natural techniques to offer comfort to
your loved one who is sick or dying.
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We have choices in life and choices in death.
Every day we make decisions about our life. These decisions reflect
our choices that are based on the best information that we have
available to us. Most people find it very difficult, if not impossible,
to make decisions about their death. Much of this is because of
lack of information and unawareness that there are choices available.
This is not about euthanasia — this is about
Comfort and Care and ‘Creating conditions to have a peaceful
What are Complementary Therapies?
Complementary Therapies are natural, safe, and supportive methods
that are often used to complement or add to regular mainstream medical
treatments. They are easy to access, inexpensive, often self-administered.
Many of these therapies are based on ancient healing techniques
from a variety of cultures that live in harmony with nature.
Some examples of these therapies are massage, meditation, aromatherapy,
acupuncture, and energy healing (Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch,
How can Complementary Therapies be used in End-of-Life Care?
Many of these therapies can help manage pain — and are very
effective when used in conjunction with pain medications. Massage
and Healing Touch can relax the body — muscles, tissues, and
joints. When the body is relaxed and pain free, then the mind and
soul can relax as well. These therapies can also help alleviate
many other symptoms that cause discomfort such as issues with breathing
and stomach problems. For example, the essential oil of peppermint
(provided it is a therapeutic grade oil, not perfume grade!) is
known to be helpful for nausea. Peppermint tea is can also be effective.
Other therapeutic grade essential oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus,
and ravensara can help to open up breathing passageways.
Most Complementary Therapies help to reduce anxiety and stress.
Often, with the use of these therapies, an environment is naturally
created that offers stress reduction to the whole family system.
One of the bonuses of incorporating these therapies into End-of-Life
Care is that family members and caregivers can easily learn these
therapies and offer them to the person who is dying, and, in return
receive the benefits for themselves.
Complementary Therapies can be effective in End-of-Life Care because
they work with nature and natural forces to create harmony and balance
in one’s life and environment, no matter what the condition
of health or stage of life. These practices lend themselves to healing
in the Holistic Model of Health Care. This model of care includes
all parts of the system being healed — for example — not
only the person who is dying, but the healing of family and caregivers
as well. Having a spiritual component, many Complementary Therapies
benefit those who are facing End-of-Life issues by providing comfort,
serenity, and a sense of peace.
How can I learn more?
Marilee Tolen, RN, the creator of Peaceful Passages, has started
a scholarship fund in the name of her parents to help fund education
and coursework in Complementary Therapies in End-of-Life Care.
Click here to
LEARN THE STORY behind the fund.
M.J. Tolen Scholarship Fund
here to DONATE to the MJ Tolen scholarship fund.
Select MJ Tolen Scholarship Fund from the drop down selection for Program Designation.
Click here to APPLY
for this fund
Seeds From Peaceful Passages™
Peaceful Passages™ formed by Marilee Tolen RN, the daughter
of Martin and Mary Tolen, began in 2002 as a Professional Health
Care Symposium. Experts from all over the United States presented
how Complementary Therapies can help in End-of-Life Care. Proceeds
from this event, coupled with donations to honor Martin and Mary
Tolen, have seeded this fund. Peaceful Passages™ offers continuing
education in Complementary Therapies in End-of-Life Care.
Visit Marilee Tolen's other website to sign up for her free newsletter
"Home Spa Lady's Tips of the Week" on ways to get and
stay healthy naturally with at-home therapies. Go to: www.HomeSpaLady.com.