American Family Children's Hospital

Hospital Offers TV to Help Healing

Retro Television; University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics use television to help promote healingMADISON- Did you hear the one about Groucho and the hospital?

Jokes and hospital care don't often go together. But research shows that positive emotions and attitude often aid in the healing process. Based in part on such findings, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics is premiering four in-house television channels designed to help patients become partners in their own healing.

The four channels provide humor, relaxation techniques, positive imagery, soothing music and nutrition advice from experts in each of these fields. The TV programming is the latest in the hospital's interdisciplinary approach to treating the whole patient and providing individualized patient care.

"Research shows that people who heal more quickly are not passive recipients of care but active participants," said David Rakel, MD, medical director of the UW Health Integrative Medicine Program.

"A lot of people going through serious illness need help focusing on healing rather than the disease," said Maureen Quinn of Madison.

And Quinn should know- she is a breast cancer survivor who credits positive thoughts and calming environments as part of her healing.

At first, Quinn was devastated by her cancer diagnosis. She found her mind racing ahead to a wave of treatment and worry about the future. She decided to integrate mindfulness meditation and other relaxation techniques into her treatment plan.

"People should be around healing voices," said Quinn of anyone battling serious illness or disease. Since using the mind-body techniques as part of her own treatment, Quinn believes that healing goes beyond pharmacology and the hospital setting.

"There's a way to integrate that so you're treating the whole person-not just the disease," she notes.

Since there are countless patients who seek a holistic approach to healing, UW Hospital purchased commercially produced programming designed to relax, soothe, teach and entertain patients.

The four channels are:
  • C.A.R.E Channel (Ch. 10)-Combines serene nature scenes and original music to bring a healing environment to the patient’s bedside.
  • The Chuckle Channel (Ch. 11)-Humorous family programming with a sensitivity to people facing difficult challenges.
  • The Nutrition Channel (Ch. 12)-Experts give nutrition advice to promote healing and wellness.
  • The Healing Channel (Ch. 13)-Renowned integrative medicine leaders present mind/body techniques and exercises scientifically proven to promote healing and reduce anxiety and pain.
UW Health psychologist Joel Wish hopes teaching skills to patients and promoting an anxiety-free environment will reduce reliance on medication and decrease costs and length of hospital stays.

"These techniques are meant to be incorporated with prescribed treatments as an adjunct to rather than a substitute for medical care," said Wish.

The programming on the four channels is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day at both UW Hospital and the American Family Children's Hospital.

Date Published: 07/01/2008

News tag(s):  integrative

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