Massage therapy tops the list of complementary therapies requested by patients of their nurses, a new study shows. The nurses themselves also utilize massage for personal use.

Seventy-six clinical nurse specialists—all of whom worked in various inpatient and outpatient units in a large Midwest medical facility—were surveyed electronically on their use of complementary therapies for patients and themselves, according to a report from the Mayo Clinic published on

“There has been an increase in the use and awareness of complementary and integrative therapies in the United States over the last 10 years,” the report noted. “Clinical nurse specialists are in an ideal place to influence this paradigm shift in medicine to provide holistic care.”

The top therapies requested most by patients were massage, spirituality/prayer, healing touch, acupuncture and music therapy.

The top therapies the nurses personally used were humor, massage, spirituality/prayer, music therapy and relaxed breathing.

The results indicated most of the nurses thought complementary therapies were beneficial, the researchers noted.

The results of this study will help determine educational needs and clinical practice of complementary therapies at the medical center, the report stated.

The research is running in Clinical Nurse Specialist‘s May-June issue.

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