Animal-Assisted Therapy

Animals have been used in therapeutic settings since the early 1800’s, when Florence Nightingale observed that her patients experienced reduced levels of stress and anxiety in the companionship of small animals. Bluegrass Integrative Medicine’s animal-assisted therapy program uses the natural bond between humans and animals to provide comfort to patients. Interactions with our therapy animals can provide pleasure to patients, families and caregivers; however, there is evidence to suggest there are many additional benefits, including:

Physical Benefits

  • Reduced physical pain
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Improved heart rate
  • Increased sense of general well being 

Social Benefits

  • Increased communication, including sharing stories and memories
  • Decreased feelings of isolation 

Emotional / Psychological Benefits

  • Reduced feelings of loneliness
  • Reduced feelings of depression
  • Reduced feelings of anxiety
  • Improved outlook on life 

Additional Resources

Pet Companionship. Volunteers throughout our service area take their certified pets on visits with patients in homes, facilities and at special events. Often, the dog’s presence alone provides positive benefits. Patients, caregivers and family members may also choose to interact with the pet therapy animal as they would with most any pet.

Pet Peace of Mind. This program allows BCN team members to assist patients with the care of their personal animals. The funds can be used to provide support, food or medical care which allows the animal to stay in the patient’s home.

 

Art Therapy

Artist Georgia O’Keefe asserted, “I found that I could say things with color and shape that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.” Bluegrass Integrative Medicine’s art therapy program utilizes a person’s creativity and art-making to improve physical and emotional health. Unlike an art lesson which might have a goal of creating “good art,” the program offers participants an opportunity to engage with art materials to express thoughts, emotions and experiences. Research suggests that engaging in art therapy with a trained art therapist may have benefits which include:

Physical Benefits

  • Reduced physical pain
  • Improved heart rate
  • Reduced fatigue 

Social Benefits

  • Increased communication
  • Decreased feelings of isolation
  • Increased opportunities for memory making 

Emotional / Psychological Benefits

  • Reduced feelings of anxiety
  • Reduced feelings of depression
  • Improved outlook on life 

Additional Resources

Art for Wellness. Programs offered through Bluegrass Care Navigators encourage art-making for stress relief and self-care.

Creative Companionship. Volunteers and staff members provide art experiences for memory-making and to improve general well-being.

 

Massage Therapy

Michaelangelo stated, “To touch is to give life”. The origins of Massage Therapy can be traced back to Ancient China and Egypt, whose ancient cultures believed in its medical benefits. Bluegrass Integrative Medicine’s massage therapy program provides comfort and symptom relief using slow, gentle and compassionate touch. Research suggests that massage therapy may have benefits which include:

Physical Benefits

  • Relaxation of mind and body
  • Pain relief
  • Reduction of nausea
  • Reduction of fatigue 

Social Benefits

  • Decreased feelings of isolation
  • Facilitate rest and sleep
  • Increased feelings of calm and peacefulness 

Emotional / Psychological Benefits

  • Reduced feelings of anxiety and depression
  • Improved outlook on life
  • Feeling connected to the body 

Additional Resources 

Massage Therapy for Wellness. Programs offered through Bluegrass Care Navigators provide simple techniques for stress relief and self-care.
Massage Comfort Companionship. Volunteers and staff members provide safe, gentle touch for relaxation and to improve well-being.

 

Music Therapy

The use of music in a therapeutic manner has been recognized throughout history and found its footing as a profession in the United States in the 1940s. Bluegrass Integrative Medicine’s music therapy program uses music within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of our patients. Unlike a traditional music lesson which might have a goal of mastering a particular instrument, the program offers participants an opportunity to engage with music regardless of musical ability. Research suggests that engaging in music therapy with a credentialed music therapist may have benefits which include:

Physical Benefits

  • Improved respiration
  • Reduced heart rate
  • Relaxed muscle tension
  • Reduced perception of pain 

Social Benefit

  • Decreased feelings of isolation
  • Increased awareness of self-and environment
  • Increased opportunities for emotional intimacy with caregivers 

Emotional / Psychological Benefits

  • Positive changes in mood and emotional states
  • Reduced feelings of anxiety and stress
  • Improved coping skills 

Additional Resources

Music for Wellness. Programs offered through Bluegrass Care Navigators encourage music-making and listening for stress relief and self-care.
Music Companionship. Volunteers and staff members provide music experiences for relaxation and to improve general well-being. 

Opportunities to Support these Programs

Donate. Community support for Bluegrass Integrative Medicine is vital to the program’s success. This important care is not typically covered by insurance. We never turn a patient in need away for the inability to pay, so your gifts are crucial. Please visit give.bgcarenav.org/integrative-medicine.

Volunteer. There are many different opportunities for volunteers with Bluegrass Integrative Medicine. Each volunteer works with our Community Engagement Coordinator to determine the activities that are most appropriate depending on personal interests and the needs of the program.