Complementary therapies can increase comfort, decrease pain, promote relaxation and increase the quality of life for hospice patients and their families.  Therapies can be used individually or in combination.  Please read further to learn more about different types of therapies performed in your home by skilled professionals.  All therapies are individually tailored for each patient to offer unique benefits for them.

Although not covered by Medicare or insurance, Visiting Nurses Foundation believes in the benefits of comfort therapy so much that they are offered free of charge.  Costs are met through donations from families, patients and foundation grants.


Music and Sound Therapy

Music has the ability to positively affect the brain and can be soothing for both patient and caregiver. It can reduce anxiety, enhance alertness, promote sleep and reduce pain.  The program includes both live and recorded music using a variety of instruments while bedside sessions are designed individually for each patient.


Massage benefits include increased circulation, relief from chronic muscle tension pain and stiffness, improved sleep and relaxation.  Gentle techniques are employed to increase patient comfort.  The more disturbances there are in the body, the gentler the technique is used. It is not necessary to disrobe.

Guided Imagery

The mind has great power to change the body.  Your body responds to the images your mind creates.  In guided imagery, the therapist guides the patient though scenarios to promote relaxation, improve sleep, decrease pain and decrease depression.


Hypnosis is an effective intervention for alleviating pain as relaxed focusing of attention results in profound changes in the body and release from pain. Hypnotherapy creates anesthesia, decreases stress, increases immune function, and improves memory, blood pressure and heart function.  Hypnosis has been accepted as an effective therapy by the American Medical Association since 1958.  All hypnosis is self-hypnosis and the patient remains fully aware and in complete control at all times.

Healing Touch and Reiki

Patient responses to Healing Touch and Reiki have been validated scientifically and clinically in leading hospitals across the United States.  Both work on the subtle energies of the body, promoting increased relaxation, decreased pain, improved sleep, and an increased sense of spiritual well being.  Practitioners gently place their hands on or above various points of the body, promoting a realignment of the body’s energy so the patient feels increased calm, peace and well-being.

If you are interested in how one or more these complementary therapies can help you or a loved one,  please call Complementary Therapy Program Coordinator at (800)833-9404, or the office nearest you.