We embrace complementary therapies as a way to support and enhance the healing power of conventional medicine—a graceful balance of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health that improves the quality of patient care.
Moved by music
Music evokes keen physical and emotional response. As an established clinical and evidence-based healthcare practice, the use of music has been proven to alleviate pain, elevate patients’ moods, counteract anxiety, induce sleep, increase relaxation, and foster communication.
At Harrison, certified therapeutic musicians play the harp and guitar or sing throughout patient areas and in the lobbies of all hospital campuses.
Portable music players also are available on selected patient units and in pre- and post-operative areas. Patients can choose from an assortment of tranquil compact discs in various musical genres.
The art of healing
Illness can scatter a patient's thoughts and feelings. Art therapy and the creative process help Harrison patients get in touch with emotions and have a better understanding of how to cope with their medical situation.
Creating art can be the vehicle through which patients express themselves, reduce stress, and aid their recovery and health.
Works of art by local artists grace the walls of all our campuses for the enjoyment of patients, family members, and visitors.
Our sense of smell is controlled by the olfactory bulb—part of our brain’s limbic system—which resides startlingly close to the area of our brain that processes memory and emotional feeling. Aromatherapy uses natural plant essences to help bring balance to a patient experiencing acute or chronic illness.
A certified clinical aromatherapist has trained nearly three dozen Harrison nurses to use any of six essential oils to alleviate help pain, nausea, stress, or sleep difficulties for our cancer patients.
When hospitalized, patients often miss the comfort of their pets. Research has shown that the simple act of stroking an animal and the feel of fur on the hand creates a positive physiological response. Heart rates slow and stress levels fall.
Trained pet therapy dogs and their handlers visit patients throughout the Bremerton campus to offer similar comfort. Pet therapy dogs bolster moods and enliven patient care environments for patients, family members, visitors, and staff, alike.
Hands that care
We hold our health—and our stress—in our hands. Hand massage soothes tense muscles and provides a simple, non-invasive method of pain relief. Our trained volunteers offer a soft-touch hand rub with gentle stroke techniques, helping patients to relax and emotionally unwind. Hand massage visits are available to all inpatient units at our Bremerton campus.
A treat for the feet
Feet may just be the window to inner health. Reflexology is a specialized foot therapy that applies firm pressure to specific areas of the sole of the foot. It is based on a system of zones and reflex areas that reflect an image of the body on the feet with a premise that such work effects a physical change to the body.
A reflexologist visits patients on Harrison's Radiation Oncology unit after their cancer treatments. Reflexology can ease patients’ treatment discomforts and help them feel more energized.
Touch connects us all. Several Harrison nurses have been trained in reiki, a Japanese technique based on the concept of a life force energy that flows through the body. Reiki’s natural and safe method of laying hands lightly on the body sets in motion the beneficial effects of relaxation, as well as feelings of peace and security.
Nature nurtures us
Evidence-based research long has linked the environment and its role in healing the mind, body, and spirit. Access to elements of nature helps to distract patients—and caregivers—from the challenges of treatment and enhances their sense of wellbeing. The rooftop gardens on our Bremerton campus serve as a place of solace and healing beyond the patient room.