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Alternative Healing Tools

Baystate Medical Center chaplains can offer alternative healing tools to support terminally ill patients and their loved ones during their hospital stay.

Our Services


  • Massage Therapy - Massage reduces stress and anxiety and their effects.  Massage also reduces pain, promotes immune function and healing, improves sleep, enhances one's sense of well-being, and provides the positive power of healing touch.  Massage is available in 30-minute sessions, with the approval of the attending physician.  Massages are provided by a certified and licensed massage therapist.

  • Healing Touch - Healing touch is an energy-based therapy used to clear, balance and align the human energy systems through light touch.  Its intention is to promote health and to allow the innate wisdom of the body to provide balance and promote healing.  it provides relaxation of the mind, body and spirit, decreased pain level, improved sleep and many other positive effects. Healing Touch is available in 30-45 minute sessions, with the approval of the attending physician.  A period of 30 minutes of rest immediately after the session is required.  Sessions are available Tuesday through Thursday, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.


  • Harp Music - Historically, the harp has been an instrument of comfort and peace.  It offers several unique healing properties. The resonance from the strings, including the range of pitch and tonal color, set up an important relationship between the sound and the recipient, creating a beneficial atmosphere during difficult times. Sessions of 35 minutes are available.  Music is provided by a certified music practitioner.


  • Guided Imagery & Meditation - Guided imagery and meditation are ancient methods to calm and relax the mind and body.  These methods encourage the use of one's imagination and creativity as powerful resources in the healing process.  Being guided through an imagery or meditation can result in greater peace of mind and a lessening of restlessness and anxiety. Sessions of 30-45 minutes are available.


  • Finger Labyrinth - A labyrinth is an ancient tool to assist in finding a mental focus, in calming the mind and finding peace within by tracing the path with a finger.  The finger walk on a wooden tray-size labyrinth allows an individual to focus on calming thoughts, memories and feelings that soothe the soul.  It is believed the the finger labyrinth combines the sensation of movement with introspection, which can lead to greater mental, emotional and physical relaxation and healing. The finger labyrinth is available upon request at the bedside.


  • Sacred Storytelling - Sacred storytelling is based on the belief that people need stories to make meaning out of their experiences.  Sacred stories often provide comfort and new insights that help an individual reconnect with his or her sources of strength, hope and peace.  This method of storytelling is offered by a trained volunteer or interfaith chaplain using creative materials to foster the imagination and sense of wonder for the listener.


  • Reiki - Reiki is an ancient technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing.  It is based on the idea that an unseen 'life force energy' flows through us and is what causes us to be alive.  A treatment feels like a glowing radiance that flows through and around one.  Reiki treats the whole person, including body, emotions, mind and spirit, creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and well-being. Reiki is offered by a trained volunteer or interfaith chaplain.