About the Integrative Health Program
Today, many families are looking for a comprehensive approach to health and wellness. Integrative healthcare focuses not just on disease prevention and treatment, but on the whole child, as well. Physicians and researchers have found that providing complementary care that considers a child’s family, environment, mind, body and soul, can reduce stress, speed healing and in some cases resolve symptoms that weren’t being addressed through more conventional therapies.
At CHOP, the Integrative Health Program is focused on offering integrative therapies that are evidence-based. The services we provide are not chosen based on trends, but on science and our providers' experience. And when evidence for a therapy is limited but promising, our team is developing the research needed to create even stronger proof that these therapies are effective.
What we do
We offer integrative health services through the following programs and in consultation with the team of providers your child is already seeing at CHOP. Our aim is always to incorporate these therapies into your child’s existing treatment plan working with your child's other care providers to provide the best possible care. If you’d like to access any of our Integrative Health services, please contact us directly or speak with your physician about a referral.
Integrative Health Nutrition Program: This program is focused on harnessing the power of food to improve the health of children with chronic medical conditions. The team takes a “food as medicine” approach to decrease the use of conventional pharmaceutical medications and reduce the side effects of medical treatments.
Food Reactions Clinic: This program cares for children with food reactions others have been unable to explain. The team evaluates children holistically, looking at their environment, lifestyle, diet and more, in order to provide a clear diagnosis. Working together with families, they then establish a balanced diet that eliminates the foods that are causing the reaction while reintroducing as many important nutrients as possible.
Acupuncture: During acupuncture, very fine needles are gently inserted into specific points on the body. This can stimulate the body's natural healing ability, which can lead to reduced pain and improved functioning. At CHOP, trained specialists will provide acupuncture, when appropriate, to children and adolescents with a variety of symptoms and medical conditions.
We're also working to bring even more integrative therapies to CHOP patients, and researching their benefits for children, including:
- Yoga: Yoga is a system of postures (or poses) and breath techniques that can have physical, mental and emotional benefits.
- Pediatric massage: Massage therapy can be beneficial for children with a wide variety of health conditions and may help improve muscle tone, ease pain, improve body awareness and much more.
- Mindfulness: This simple form of meditation teaches children how to be more aware of and engaged in the present. Mindfulness can relieve stress, help children feel more in control during difficult times and more.