Integrative Care Program 

How Can I Get a Consult
for My Child?
  • You may ask your nurse or physician to order an Integrative Care consult.
  • A parent or guardian may request a service by contacting the Integrative Care coordinator and leaving a voice mail or email request. Services are available Monday through Friday, 9 am -- 4 pm.

  • For more information or to request a service, please contact:
    Fern Hannigan, MSN, RN, CPON
    Integrative Care Coordinator

    Because we believe that healing a child involves not just the body, but the mind and spirit as well, Wolfson Children’s Hospital offers an Integrative Care Program to supplement the comprehensive medical and surgical treatment we offer our young patients. These services, provided at no charge to Wolfson Children’s Hospital patients, help the child have a sense of control over his or her body’s response to pain, discomfort or anxiety. It is particularly helpful for those with chronic disease and following surgery.

    What is Integrative Care?

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) describe Integrative Care as the use of conventional western medicine with evidence-based, complementary and alternative therapies to facilitate the body's own healing response, body and spirit.

    Services We Offer

    Breath Training

    Deep breathing can be very effective to help reduce pain or discomfort. Teaching children to take slow, deep breaths and slowly blow away anything bothersome (pain, scary feelings, etc.) helps children relax and gives them a sense of control.

    Progressive Relaxation

    A technique for reducing anxiety and stress by tensing and relaxing the muscles.

    Guided Imagery

    The use of relaxation and mental visualization to improve mood and/or physical well-being.

    Healing Touch

    Healing Touch is an energy therapy in which practitioners consciously use their hands in a heart-centered way to support and facilitate physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. The hands are used in a non-invasive way to clear, energize and balance the personal and environmental energy fields to promote healing. Research has shown that Healing Touch helps the body’s relaxation response and enhances the healing process.


    Biofeedback is a treatment technique in which people are trained to improve their health by recognizing and modifying the signals from their own bodies. Biofeedback can be used to increase a child’s control, comfort and relaxation. Integrative Care partners with the patient and a holistic plan of care.


    Hypnosis is a state of inner absorption, concentration and focused attention; it is like using a magnifying glass to focus the rays of the sun and make them more powerful. In a state of focused attention, the mind is able to bring about the things we are imagining (healing, no pain, feeling calm, relief of nausea, etc.).

    Comfort Carts

    Comfort Carts at Wolfson Children’s Hospital are located on the units and contain comfort items to help “de-stress” and facilitate rest and relaxation. They are available at all times and include:

    • Stress balls
    • Biodots
    • Stress cards
    • Pinwheels
    • Bubbles
    • Aromatherapy

    Yoga for Kids

    We use basic yoga breath training and movement to foster positive emotional growth, encourage imaginative thinking, increase self-confidence, and to promote healing and physical health in children. The program is taught by a registered pediatric nurse who is also a yoga instructor. It is structured to include music, games and active imaginations in the creation of an environment that invites children to get involved. The exercises are designed to promote body awareness and mental focus, and release tension. With nurturing guidance and loving patience, every child can feel free to open their minds and heal their bodies while having lots of fun!

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