Santa Cruz hospital introduces Zen Program for patients

Helps increase comfort and reduce stress

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Dignity Dominican Hospital has launched a new program that aims to make hospital visits more comfortable and less stressful for patients.

The Dominican Zen Program uses alternative therapies-including aromatherapy, sound therapy and mindfulness meditation- to lower patients’ anxiety levels and improve their overall health.

“While our patients know they will receive state-of-the-art care at Dominican, a hospital visit can still be a source of intense fear and anxiety. The Dominican Zen program encourages relaxation and mindfulness, and helps empower patients to be active participants in their own health and wellness,” said Dominican Hospital President Nanette Mickiewicz, MD.

The program was designed by hospital staff with the support of physicians and hospital administrators.
Program developers reportedly consulted research conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the International Journal of Neuroscience as they developed the program. The study conducted by the NIH found that patients who participated in mindfulness meditation reported significantly lower levels of anxiety than those who received instruction in traditional methods of stress management. 

The study published by the International Journal of Neuroscience (IJN) concluded that aromatherapy with lavender and rosemary essential oil alleviates stress and depression.

Dominican Hospital says that it is considering adding other forms of alternative therapy to the Zen Program, including massage therapy for both patients and visitors.

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