Results of a pilot program at a major military hospital indicate the hospital’s employees would benefit from a wellness center that employs complementary and alternative therapies, including touch therapies.

“The objectives of this study were to examine the feasibility of a weekly on-site complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) wellness clinic for staff at a military hospital, and to describe employees’ perceptions of program effectiveness,” stated an abstract published on www.pubmed.gov.

The study setting was the Restore & RenewWellness Clinic at a United States Department of Defense hospital, and the subjects were hospital nurses, physicians, clinicians, support staff and administrators, the abstract noted.

The employees could select from ear acupuncture, clinical acupressure and Zero Balancing. “A self-report survey was done after each clinic visit to evaluate clinic features and perceived impact on stress-related symptoms, compassion for patients, sleep, and workplace or personal relationships,” the abstract stated.

Among the results:

• 97.9 percent of participants strongly agreed they felt more relaxed after sessions;

• 94.5 percent of participants felt less stress after sessions;

• 84.3 percent of participants felt less pain after sessions; and

• 78.8 percent of participants would recommend the wellness center to a colleague.

Among surveys completed after five or more visits, more than half (59-85 percent of participants) “strongly agreed experiencing increased compassion with patients, better sleep, improved mood, and more ease in relations with co-workers,” the abstract stated.

“This evaluation suggests that a hospital-based wellness clinic based on CAM principles and modalities is feasible, well-utilized, and perceived by most participants to have positive health benefits related to stress reduction at work, improved mood and sleep, and lifestyle,” the researchers noted.

“Employee use and perceived benefit of a complementary and alternative medicine wellness clinic at a major military hospital: evaluation of a pilot program.” was published in September in the Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine.

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