From the desk of Jeanne Jackson
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine program (CAM) at Falmouth Hospital. The program was initiated with combined input from the lay community and the health care community.
A very active committee comprised of CAM practitioners and hospital employees presented numerous educational events during the first five years, including our annual “Forum,” often drawing crowds of over 200 participants. In 1999, Falmouth Hospital selected its first Coordinator of CAM Therapies to offer Therapeutic Touch (TT) to pre-operative patients, and to establish and head the newly formed Integrative Health Committee. The committee was charged with setting policies and procedures, developing a mission statement, and creating the first CAM Practitioners Directory as an educational tool and resource for physicians and the community. This year, Falmouth Hospital’s Integrative Health Committee marked its 5th anniversary by presenting a conference, Being with Dying, with Joan Halifax, PhD.
In the meantime, integrated health programs have become a more established component of overall health nationwide. We’re seeing an increase in Mind-Body Medicine articles, the growth of Integrative Health Care Clinics associated with major hospitals, and, in our area, the first Certification Massage Class at Cape Cod Community College. In addition, at a recent Orthopedic Jamboree, a surgeon described his holistic treatment plan for patients.
My role and that of the committee has expanded to provide direct services to patients who request TT before and after surgery, and to offer assistance with pain management in Oncology and in various stressful situations. The Committee is now finalizing the second edition of the CAM Practitioners Directory, and planning its educational calendar for 2005.
During the past ten years we have seen enormous growth in integrated health programs at the national level: the Eisenberg Reports in 1993 and 1998 showed that 42% of all Americans were using therapies other than those their doctors prescribed. The Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was created through legislation with an original budget of $2 million. The budget is now over $100 million. The office was recently upgraded to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, with rigorous NIH-funded research on therapies that were ignored and disparaged 5 to 10 years ago.
The White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy (WHCCAMP), chaired by James Gordon, MD, began a study in 2000 to establish guidelines for scientifically exploring approaches that have emerged from other cultures. This includes practices that have flourished outside conventional care, and models that successfully integrate the most effective and safe practices into conventional care. Embodied in this report are the Commission’s Guiding Principles, which provide a blueprint for taking the next steps toward medicine that addresses the unique concerns of each person and embraces the benefits of all healing traditions. The report suggests that illness is an ordinary part of life, as much a teacher as an opponent, and urges us to learn about the imbalances in our lives in order to correct them and just as importantly, to adopt self-care as central to all care.
The Eisenberg Reports in 1993 and 1998 showed that 42% of all Americans were using therapies other than those their doctors prescribed.
Meet Jeanne Jackson
Twenty-five years ago, while working as an emergency room nurse at Falmouth Hospital, Jeanne Jackson became aware of the existence of complementary therapies. Her interest led to training in a wide variety of them. Jeanne found herself particularly drawn to the touch therapies such as acupressure, massage, reflexology, mind-body medicine, and energy-healing. Therapeutic Touch became her main interest because of its emphasis on science and research.
Jeanne trained for many years with internationally renowned Healer Rosalyn Bruyere. As she began offering the therapies to patients, she realized they were experiencing less pain and anxiety whether they had a painful gouty toe, a migraine headache or a gall bladder attack.
By the early 90’s, Jeanne was teaching Therapeutic Touch and Stress Management at the Hospital, had established a private practice, and continued to work part-time. By the mid-nineties, when the first Complementary and Alternative Committee convened at Falmouth Hospital, there was a heightened awareness of Complementary and Alternative Medicine and numerous education events and seminars were presented and well-attended.
In 1999, Jeanne proposed offering Therapeutic Touch to help prepare patients for surgery. Shortly thereafter she was invited to give a presentation to the Surgical staff, and Therapeutic Touch became an option for pre-operative patients. This was the beginning of her position as Integrative Health Coordinator at Falmouth Hospital.
By Jeanne Jackson, Spring 2004
Jeanne Jackson, RN is the Director of Complementary and Alternative Medicine at Falmouth Hospital.