Cleveland Clinic Children’s is opening a Center for Integrative Medicine at its Hospital for Rehabilitation, bringing together complementary and alternative medical treatment methods such as yoga, acupuncture, reiki, biofeedback, and therapeutic touch in order to better treat kids with pain, anxiety and chronic medical conditions. (Lonnie Timmons III, The Plain Dealer)
The Plain Dealer By Brie Zeltner, January 19, 2015 at 10:29 AM,
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Children receiving care for chronic conditions such as anxiety, arthritis, nerve and muscle pain and even post-traumatic stress disorder will now be able to access complementary and integrative medical techniques to help them heal at the Cleveland Clinic Children’s new Center for Integrative Medicine.
A team of pediatric rehabilitation specialists will offer acupuncture, biofeedback, guided imagery, hypnosis, reiki, relaxation and breathing strategies, therapeutic touch, yoga, and other treatments.
Dr. Benjamin Katholi, who will lead the new team, said the center will work in tandem with a patient’s traditional doctors — not as a replacement — to provide better care.
“We certainly hope to provide evidence-based care at our center and also to ensure that patients are maintaining relationships with their traditional medical providers,” he said.
According to the most recent data gathered by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, about 12 percent of children use some form of complementary medicine, including natural products, chiropractic and osteopathic treatments, deep breathing, yoga, massage and diet-based therapies, among others. More than half of children with chronic medical conditions use some form of complementary health approach, usually along with conventional care.
Many of the children Katholi treats have post-concussive symptoms, juvenile arthritis and nerve-related pain, he said. Other children who use integrative services have chronic headaches, back pain, anxiety and other complex medical problems.
Cleveland Clinic Children’s has offered many of these services to patients for several years, Katholi said, but did not have a centralized space for kids to receive care. That space will now be at the Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Cleveland.
“The hospital has a lot of medically complex patients who are referred here for inpatient or outpatient care, so it made sense to have the center here to help enhance the quality of life for those patients and to help enhance their recovery.” Katholi said.
The center will also begin research on several integrative treatments — acupuncture, reiki and a form of low-intensity electrical stimulation called frequency-specific microcurrent therapy — to figure out what their potential benefits are for kids.
“We’re not hoping to replace any traditional medical therapies, but rather to enhance the care existing here,” Katholi said. “I think that there are a lot of misconceptions about what can be offered. We don’t see ourselves as an alternative to care.”