Integrative Medical Therapies

Pediatric integrative medicine works in conjunction with a child’s medical care, which blends traditional and alternative (complementary or holistic) medical therapies for children to help them feel better physically and emotionally.


To help children who are dealing with chronic or serious conditions, getting surgery, or staying in the hospital feel better physically and emotionally, we offer the following pediatric integrative medicine services at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children:

Healing Touch (Encouraging the Body's Natural Ability to Heal)

Available to all patients and their families (as well as their caregivers), this non-invasive therapy is safe for all ages. An accredited and certified Healing Touch provider, often a nurse, may use a gentle, nurturing touch (or other therapeutic techniques without touch) to encourage the body’s natural ability to heal by influencing your child’s own energy field. Used in hospitals throughout the country, this holistic approach to healing encourages and supports the body’s natural ability to heal and feel better.

Each session is tailored to your child’s need and may help to:
  • lessen pain
  • reduce stress
  • increase relaxation
  • promote overall healing
  • calm anxiety/depression
  • strengthen the immune system
  • enhance recovery from surgery
  • complement care for neck and back surgery
  • support cancer care
  • create a sense of well-being

This therapy is available to both inpatients and outpatients.
Call (302) 651-HEAL for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Mind & Body Meditation

This relaxation technique uses various calming methods to help children create positive thoughts, especially when they fear what’s coming next. These methods include controlled breathing exercises, hypnosis, guided and mental imagery. Children learn to rely on the power of their mind to recall images of a happy event or place.

With guidance from trained practitioners, the aromatic scents of essential oils from flowers, plants, and leaves are used to help:
  • your child to relax
  • reduce stress, anxiety, nausea, pain
  • increase your child’s appetite

Some of the beneficial essential oils such as lavender, chamomile, and orange can be comforting if your child is experiencing certain aches and pains from other therapies. Aromatherapy is often incorporated into Healing Touch and massage therapy sessions.

Music Therapy

Music is an invaluable therapeutic tool. Our trained music therapist helps children express their feelings and emotions through singing and/or listening. It’s been proven that music therapy helps improve mood and decrease anxiety for hospitalized patients. This service is available to children who are currently inpatients (staying with us overnight at the hospital).

Contact Beth Carlough in Child Life at (302) 651-4848 to schedule music therapy.

Art Therapy

Our trained art therapist works with children to help express their emotions through art. Drawing, painting, and other projects allow children to express any negative feelings (like fear, sadness, and pain), as well as positive feelings, including hope and love. The non-threatening environment created by our therapists gives children the feeling of safety needed to express themselves through art. This service is available to children who are currently inpatients.

Contact Beth Carlough in Child Life at (302) 651-4848 to schedule art therapy.

Pet Therapy

Through our Child Life program, trained Pet Therapy dogs visit the duPont Hospital for Children on a regular basis. Pet therapy has a calming effect that lifts spirits, lessens depression and anxiety, and provides comfort to hospitalized children.


The positive energy that comes from moving our bodies helps the brain promote serotonin, a natural feel-good hormone. Yoga allows kids of all ages to get in touch with their bodies and discover their inner strength by participating in a series of slow and gentle movements such as stretching and posing. Yoga is especially beneficial if your child feels depressed, tired, or just not up to treatment on some days. This service is available to our outpatients and children in the community.

Call (302) 651-6010 or see our Calendar for additional information about times and pricing.

Massage Therapy

We know your child’s treatments can take its toll not only on your child, but on you, too. Massage therapy offers children and their families a soothing, relaxing, and calming escape from treatments. A massage therapist may use pleasant-smelling oils, quiet music, and/or a light touch to loosen tight muscles and make the blood flow easily throughout the body.

Learn about massage therapy at duPont Hospital for Children »

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