Complementary health therapies include a large and diverse group of procedures or techniques administered or taught by a trained practitioner or teacher. The 2012 NHIS showed that yogameditation, and massage therapy are among the most popular mind and body practices used by adults. The popularity of yoga has grown dramatically in recent years, with almost twice as many U.S. adults practicing yoga in 2012 as in 2002. Other complimentary health therapies include Tai Chirelaxation techniques (such as breathing exercises, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation), tai chidance therapy, and pet therapy. 



Movement in a dance therapy setting is more than just exercise. The actions, fluidity, and movement are interpreted more as a language. People who utilize dance therapy within an eating disorder treatment setting utilize movement to communicate conscious and unconscious feelings through dance. The therapist responds to the movements, assesses body language, nonverbal behaviors, and emotional expressions to develop interventions to address the specific needs of the client. Movement is the primary way dance therapists observe, evaluate, and implement the therapeutic intervention.

Some interventions include:

  • Mirroring. Matching and echoing the person’s movements to show empathy and validate what the person is feeling.

  • Using a “movement metaphor” or prop to help a person physically and expressively demonstrate a therapeutic challenge or achievement. For example:

    a therapist may give a person in treatment a white flag to help celebrate emotional surrender.

Important skills that can be acquired during the process of dance movement therapy include:

  • Learning how to develop and trust your ability to be present empathetically.

  • Being able to respond authentically and truthfully.

  • Learning how to translate the nonverbal movements into insights that can be used in recovery.


Tai Chi is a gentle, low-impact ancient Chinese flowing form of meditative movement that has been practiced for centuries. A form of mind-body exercise, Tai Chi improves balance, strength, and flexibility and reduces stress and anxiety.


Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.

Music therapy interventions can be designed to:

  • Promote Wellness

  • Manage Stress

  • Alleviate Pain

  • Express Feelings

  • Enhance Memory

  • Improve Communication

  • Promote Physical Rehabilitation


Pet therapy builds on the pre-existing human-animal bond. Interacting with a friendly pet can help many physical and mental issues. It can help reduce blood pressure and improve overall cardiovascular health. It can also release endorphins that produce a calming effect. This can help alleviate pain, reduce stress, and improve your overall psychological state.

The goals of a pet therapy program can include:

  • improving motor skills and joint movement

  • improving assisted or independent movement

  • increasing self-esteem

  • increasing verbal communication

  • developing social skills

  • increasing willingness to join in activities

  • improving interactions with others

  • motivating willingness to exercise


Where there is mental illness there is frequently a history of digestive and nutritional problems. Digestive problems, in turn, exacerbate mental distress, all of which can be improved by nutritional changes. Nutrition for Mental Health Seminar offers the mental health patients the principles and practices necessary to improve mood and mental health.

Patients will learn:
• Why nutrition matters in mental health
• The role of various nutrients in nourishing both the brain and the gut, the “second brain”
• Typical nutritional culprits that underlie or exacerbate specific mental disorders
• Ideas for practical, affordable, and individualized diets, along with optimal cooking methods and recipes

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