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Approved:          January, 2011

Approved by:     National Assembly


therapies (CT) can be defined as those therapies used in addition to
conventional treatment, including deep breathing exercises, relaxation
training, massage therapy, reflexology, biofeedback, and creative therapies,
including art, music, or dance therapy (Fontaine, 2000; Pelletier, 2000).


WHEREAS researchers
have clearly demonstrated that CT are an effective and cost efficient approach
to nursing care for example, breathing relaxation exercises can reduce the need
for opioids for pain management during chest tube removal (Friesner, Curry, and
Modderman, 2006), massage therapy can reduce the use of analgesics and the need
for antidepressant medicines (Leonie, 2005), relaxation training can
significantly reduce blood pressure (Yung, French, and Leung, 2001) and CT
nursing interventions are inexpensive, non-invasive, self-administered, and
elicit little to no side effects, (Lai and Hsieh, 2003),

WHEREAS public
interest in and use of CT has increased significantly in the past decade, and
nursing is in a strategic position to be a leader in integrating these
therapies into the Western biomedical health model and in conducting research
on the use of CT (Snyder and Lindquist, 2001),

are already used in several Canadian acute care centers such as the Toronto
East General Hospital, the Hamilton Civic Hospital, the St. Joseph’s Health
Center, and the Tzu Chi Institute in Vancouver,

CT are within the scope of nursing practice as defined by Canadian nursing
practice legislation, e.g. therapeutic touch, and message therapy,

WHEREAS researchers
have suggested that nurses are underutilizing CT including music therapy,
biofeedback, therapeutic touch, and counseling (Tracy et al, 2005),

CNSA as a member of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), expects nurses to
facilitate and respect the client’s right to informed choice for treatment, and
to incorporate the client’s personal strengths and resources in meeting self-
care needs,

WHEREAS research
supports incorporating education regarding CT into nursing education programs
to prepare nursing students for professional practice (Groft and Kolischuck,


CNSA recognize that CT are effective and cost efficient approaches to nursing
care across the life span, and

the CNSA advocate for nursing education programs that prepare nursing students
to implement CT, advocate for CT in practice, and enable nursing students to
educate their clients about complementary therapy options.



Submitted by:

Rod Simmons



Leslie Hynes



Friesner, S.A., Curry,
D.M., & Maddeman, G.R. (2006). Comparison of two pain- management
strategies during chest tube removal: relaxation exercises with opioids and
opioids alone. Heart & Lung, 35, 269-276.

Fontaine, K. (2000). Healing
practices: Alternative therapies for nursing.
Upper Saddle River, NJ:
Prentice Hall.

Groft, G.N., &
Kolischuck, R.G. (2005). Nursing students learn about complementary and
alternative health care practices. Complementary and Alternative Health
Practice Review,
10, 133-146.

Helms, J.E. (2006).
Complementary and alternative therapies: a new frontier for nursing. education?
Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 45(3), 117-123.

Lai, H., & Hsieh,
M. (2003). Alternative nursing interventions for facilitating holistic nursing
based on eastern philosophy. Tzu Chi Nursing, 2(1), 13-19.

Leonie, L.M. (2005). Is
massage only a feel good therapy? ACCNS Journal for Community Nurses, 10
3), 23-24.

Pelletier, K. (2000). The
best alternative medicine: What works? What does not?
New York: Simon &

Synder, M., &
Lindquist, R. (2001). Issues in Complementary Therapies: How We Got To Where We
Are. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 6(2), 1-13

Tracy et al, (2005).
Use of Complementary and Alternative Therapies: A National Survey Critical Care
Nurses. American Journal of Critical Care, 14, 404-415.

Yung, P., French, P., & Leung, B. (2001).
Relaxation training as complementary therapy for mild hypertension control and
the implications of evidence-based medicine. Complementary Therapies in
Nursing & Midwifery,
7, 59-65.



Page last updated: December 19, 2011


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