Integrative Treatments and Therapies

Complementary medicine for prevention and healing

Integrative approaches to physical challenges harness body, mind and spirit in the pursuit of a restoration to wellness.


Based on traditional Chinese medicine, which describes some 2,000 key points in the human body, acupuncture uses very thin, carefully placed and virtually painless needles to connect pathways throughout the body. These pathways, known as meridians, conduct energy or qi (“chee”) to regulate spiritual, emotional, mental and physical balance.

Acupuncture is believed to balance the opposing forces of yin and yang, free energy to flow normally and restore health to body and mind. This ancient therapy has been scientifically proven effective in the treatment of pain, allergies, nausea and many other conditions.

Advanced lipid testing (beyond cholesterol)

While high cholesterol is a main culprit of heart disease, it’s not the only one. Other risk factors include small proteins and lipoprotein subtypes. Advanced lipid testing can help detect if you’re at risk for heart disease long before traditional methods. This test provides a profile of your major biological risk factors, many of which are inherited, that increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke and/or diabetes by testing 10 different biomarkers. Once you’ve completed this testing, it can help you and your physician determine treatment goals.


Learn to enhance physical and emotional awareness, decrease pain and anxiety and improve overall wellness using a technique called biofeedback therapy.

Biofeedback works by placing sensitive medical sensors on the skin (typically the fingertips). The information displays on a nearby computerized monitoring device that “feeds back” information about your body’s physiological responses or bodily processes.
The most common forms of biofeedback measure muscle tension, skin temperature, electrical conductivity (resistance) of the skin, brain waves and respiration.

The biofeedback information can help you learn to control involuntary bodily processes such as blood pressure, gastrointestinal functioning, muscle tension and brain wave activity by adjusting your thought patterns and physiological responses.

Biofeedback is a non-invasive, non-pharmacological method that you can use to reduce stress and improve your overall mind-body-spirit health.

Cold laser therapy

Also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT), cold laser therapy has been shown to help decrease pain and musculoskeletal discomfort by improving blood flow and oxygenation and decreasing inflammation. The treatment utilizes specific wavelengths of light to non-invasively penetrate tissue without pain. It has proven successful in treating muscle pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, joint pain (especially of the shoulder and neck), carpal tunnel syndrome and other conditions associated with pain, inflammation and nerve irritation.


Consultations are available with Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine experts in the following areas:

  • Integrative Medicine
  • Nutrition
  • Fitness
  • Vitamin/mineral and herbal

Electrostimulation therapy

Using various electrical frequencies delivered through the skin, electrostimulation therapy alters the pathways involved in the production of pain. Often used to manage chronic pain, this therapy increases local blood circulation and production of pain-relieving endorphins and relaxes muscle spasms.

Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP)

Developed for patients with angina and congestive heart failure, EECP is a safe, non-invasive outpatient treatment that may relieve or eliminate symptoms. Clinical studies have found that EECP creates a natural bypass around blocked or narrowed portions of the arteries. Benefits include reduced or complete elimination of chest pain, increased exercise tolerance, less use of medication and the ability to enjoy a more mobile and independent lifestyle. Learn more about EECP.

Guided imagery

Reduce stress and anxiety, decrease pain and enhance healing and overall well-being through this gentle, powerful, non-invasive technique that focuses and directs the imagination through visualization. A professional guided imagery therapist will lead you through a healing session designed to address your therapeutic goals.

Healing touch

In use at Scripps since 1993, Healing Touch is an energy-based, non-invasive treatment that restores and balances energy to help decrease pain and relieve associated anxiety. Healing Touch is performed by registered nurses who recognize, manipulate and balance the electromagnetic fields surrounding the human body, thereby promoting healing and the well-being of body, mind and spirit. Healing Touch is often used as an adjunct to surgery and other medical procedures to assist in pain reduction, relaxation and healing.

Healing touch training

Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine conducts ongoing professional training for health care professionals and others interested in learning to perform Healing Touch.

Music therapy

Numerous studies support the therapeutic effectiveness of music to improve mood, induce relaxation, alleviate stress and stimulate healing. Led by a credentialed, professional music therapist, music therapy cultivates skills such as conscious listening, music-making (from drumming to toning) and creativity. No musical skills or knowledge are required.

Preoperative and postoperative healing support

Research shows that the use of imagery, music and therapeutic touch can decrease stress and anxiety, promote relaxation and enhance recovery in surgical patients. Before and after surgery at Scripps Green Hospital and Scripps Clinic, specially trained nurses provide patients with education, guided imagery tapes, music and Healing Touch treatments to help reduce anxiety and pain and accelerate healing.

Therapeutic yoga

Experience personalized, one-to-one yoga instruction tailored to your physical abilities and health concerns. A therapeutic yoga session will guide you through a specialized program of yoga postures, breathing practices and meditations. Practiced in conjunction with your current medical care and physician’s approval, therapeutic yoga can be a very effective complement to your care.

TheraSound musical body

Vibroacoustic therapy combines mild vibrations with music to release tension, focus awareness and restore vitality. The gently vibrating musical mat stimulates specific energy centers through rhythmic patterns and frequencies, while therapeutic music plays through built-in speakers.