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Integrative Therapies

Programs that speak to the heart, embrace the soul

The Alma G. Wise Integrative Therapy Fund was created in loving memory of Alma who served as a hospice volunteer for over twenty years and was one of the first Healing Touch Practitioners in the country.  This fund supports a variety of non-medical, therapeutic programs designed to speak to the heart, embrace the soul, and ease the burden and stress often associated with the hospice journey.  In addition to funding needed supplies and materials, donations to this fund support special training for staff and volunteers in these unique healing arts.


Aromatherapy, also known as essential oil therapy, is a holistic healing practice that has been used for thousands of years to ease suffering and promote well-being.  The practice of aromatherapy with hospice and palliative patients has grown considerably in recent years due to its proven effectiveness in treating pain, anxiety, nausea, fatigue, depression, and other symptoms common to those with a serious or terminal illness.  

For the last 15 years, the LightBridge Hospice Community Foundation has offered aromatherapy as a complementary therapeutic intervention to patients while also training professionals on the use of aromatherapy with their patients. 

“The family members and visitors notice the oils right away – they sense the smell and have a pleasant experience too.”

-LightBridge Social Worker

Healing Touch

Healing Touch sometimes referred to as “energy therapy” is a therapeutic technique that uses gentle touch to assist in balancing the body’s energy field, which promotes the natural ability to heal.  It is often used as a complement to conventional medicine to support physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. 

Healing Touch has been shown to decrease pain, reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, boost immune function, enhance recovery from surgery as well as promote relaxation and overall well-being.

The LightBridge Hospice Community Foundation has promoted the use of Healing Touch with San Diego County hospice patients since our beginning.

“It leaves me with a feeling of calm, the most relaxed I’ve been.”

– LightBridge Patient

Pet Therapy

Pet therapy uses dogs and other animals to support the physical and mental health of patients and their families.  In addition to the joy that can come from interacting with a therapy animal, research has shown that animal interactions can decrease isolation and depression, reduce the symptoms of anxiety, improve pain, stabilize blood pressure, even improve cardiovascular health and sleep.  

In addition to visits with live animals, the LightBridge Hospice Community Foundation encourages the use of Companion Pets.  These lifelike animatronic dogs and cats offer many of the same benefits of animal interaction, especially for people living with dementia who may not be able to interact with live animals. For more info on Companion Pets, visits

The LightBridge Hospice Community Foundation is proud to partner with local volunteers and organizations to bring the benefits of therapeutic animal visits to hospice and palliative patients throughout San Diego County.  

“As soon as she felt the lead rope in her hands, she lit up and absolutely wouldn’t let it go.”

– Family Member of Patient

Supportive Art

Art – whether drawing, painting, collage or sculpting – provides a safe and creative way to express feelings, cope with stress, boost self-esteem and work through challenging aspects of life.  Therapeutic art activities also help individuals discover their “inner artist” while encouraging life review and storytelling.  

The LightBridge Hospice Community Foundation supports the use of therapeutic art activities with patients and families by providing supplies, training, and other resources.

“To hear patients respond thoughtfully to the art class, and to hear them say they are grateful – it makes you feel good.”

– LightBridge Hospice Volunteer