Integrative Therapies


Integrative Therapies uses evidence-based complementary therapies to promote well-being and improve quality of life. Skilled practitioners work in partnership with patients and caregivers to enhance their physical and emotional health.

Gentle yoga therapy, acupuncture, healing touch, and guided imagery through the CARE channel, are offered to inpatients at St. Luke’s Wood River. Guided meditation and yoga classes are offered to patients, employees and the community.


Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning.  This is done by inserting needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points.    American Academy of Medical Acupuncture

In traditional Chinese medicine, the body is seen as a delicate balance of two opposing and inseparable forces: yin and yang.  Health is achieved by maintaining the body in a “balanced state” of these forces. Imbalance leads to blockage in the flow of qi (vital energy) along pathways known as meridians.  Performing acupuncture at points on the body that connect with these meridians can unblock Qi. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or influence the body's own internal regulating system to create a change. American Academy of Medical Acupuncture

What are the Benefits of Acupuncture?

The World Health Organization lists over forty common conditions which can be treated effectively. Among these are:

  • Digestive: eating disorders, indigestion, food allergies, constipation, IBS, diarrhea, hyperacidity.
  • Emotional conditions; anxiety, depression, insomnia, nervousness.
  • Gynecological: PMS, fertility issues, menopausal symptoms, dysmenorrhea.
  • Headaches, migraines, sinusitis, chronic fatigue, addiction control, & smoking cessation.
  • Immune system enhancement and support.
  • Musculoskeletal: arthritis, back and neck pain, sciatica, muscle cramping & weakness, tendonitis, fibromyalgia, and many others.
  • Respiratory: asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, common cold.
  • Stress reduction, postoperative pain, and more.

Acupuncture at St. Luke’s

Acupuncture is available to inpatients at St. Luke’s with a referral from their treating physician.  Once the referral is made, the acupuncturist on call will come to St. Luke’s to provide the treatment within 24 hours.  The acupuncturist will bill you directly for this service.

Acupuncture is provided through the Integrative Therapies Program, generously funded by the St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation.

For Information on acupuncture at St. Luke’s Wood River contact Mary Kay Foley (208) 727-8417 or


Healing Touch

Healing touch is an energy-based approach to health and healing. Practitioners use their hands above or on the body, using a gentle touch, with the intent of affecting the body’s energy fields.

How Does Healing Touch Work?

The theory behind Healing Touch is that all living beings, including humans, are energy systems, and that an individual’s energy field is in constant interplay with the surrounding environment.  Because an individual’s energy field extends beyond the skin, the Healing Touch practitioner can interact with the field.  With the use of Healing Touch techniques, the practitioner can affect the client’s energy flow patterns and aid in removing blocks to the flow of vital energy. The goal of Healing Touch is to restore harmony and balance in the energy system placing the client in a better position to self heal.  Healing Touch complements conventional health care. University of Minnesota

What are the Benefits of Healing Touch?

One study found that patients had shorter hospital stays if they received healing touch before and after open-heart surgery. Harvard Medical School

The therapy may also promote a relaxation response, which shows up as a drop in blood pressure and heart and respiratory rate, along with a reduction in the production of stress hormones, all of which can contribute to a sense of wellbeing. University of Minnesota

Is There a Charge for this Service?

Healing Touch is provided to St. Luke’s inpatients and their family members by trained volunteers six days per week, free of charge.

Healing Touch is provided at St. Luke’s in an outpatient clinic by a Certified Healing Touch Practitioner for $60 per session.  Sessions are available in Ketchum and Hailey. 

Healing Touch is provided through the Integrative Therapies Program,  generously funded by the St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation.

For Information on healing touch at St. Luke’s Wood River contact Mary Kay Foley (208) 727-8417 or foleym@slhs.orgg


Yoga Therapy

Yoga therapy is the process of empowering individuals to progress towards improved health and well-being through the application of the philosophy and practice of yoga.

How Does Yoga Therapy Work?

  • Yoga therapy uses yoga postures (asana), breathing (pranayama), and meditation to treat health issues and individual well-being.
  • The evidence shows that many patients with medical diagnoses may benefit from yoga therapy, including those with back pain, orthopedic diagnoses, COPD, neurological diagnoses, and cancer.
  • Therapy can be done in the patient’s room in bed or in a chair using props as indicated.
  • A yoga therapist has credentials that represent extensive training and an understanding of a variety of medical conditions and indications for appropriate treatment using yoga as a modality.

What are the Benefits of Yoga Therapy?

Yoga therapy promotes an optimum state of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. It can decrease pain, improve mobility, and assist a patient towards reaching their wellness goals during their hospital stay and thereafter.

Is There a Charge for this Service?

Yes.  Yoga therapy is offered through the Occupational Therapy service at St. Luke’s, with a referral from your treating physician.  On your bill, this service will appear as an Occupational Therapy charge. 

Yoga therapy and yoga classes are also available through St. Luke’s after you are discharged from the hospital.  For further information on these, please call the Integrative Therapies Program at 727-8417.




Meditation is a mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the reflexive, "thinking" mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness.

Basics on Meditation:

Meditation can be practiced in many different ways.  People of different religions or no religion practice mediation.  While there are numerous meditation techniques, a common thread runs through virtually all meditative techniques:

  • Quiet Mind: With meditation, your thinking mind becomes quiet.  You stop focusing on the stressors of your day.
  • Being in the Now: Rather than focusing on the past or the future, virtually all meditative practices involve focusing on right now.
  • Altered State of Consciousness: With the quiet mind and focus on the present, comes an altered level of consciousness.  Meditation increases brain activity in an area of the brain associated with happiness and positive thoughts and emotions.

Join Us for Meditation in St. Luke’s Chapel

Group meditation every Tuesday in the chapel, 12:15-1:00 p.m.


The CARE Channel Programming

Most people have high levels of stress and anxiety when they are in the hospital. Stress can slow your healing, make your body more likely to get an infection, and make your pain feel worse. Nature images and music can reduce stress and anxiety. Turn on the CARE Channel (21) and let it work for you. The music was composed and produced especially to reduce stress. During the day it provides nature scenes and at night it shows stars in the sky to help you sleep.

The CARE Channel with Guided Imagery (22) offers the same kind of programming with a plus. At the beginning of each half-hour program, it presents 10-15 minutes of guided imagery. You can close your eyes and let the words create images in your mind. Or, watch the images on screen as you listen to the words. Either way, this will help increase your feeling of comfort.



  • About Us -
  • Wood River Medical Center