Inpatient Services

Inpatient Acupuncture

Since 2014, the Osher Center Integrative Chinese Medicine practitioners have delivered inpatient acupuncture at UCSF. Initially offered at the Mt. Zion campus, followed by Mission Bay, and, most recently, Parnassus, our clinicians work with the hospital teams to provide individualized treatments on a limited basis.

Maria Chao, DrPH has been awarded a PCORI grant to study nonpharmacologic approaches for symptom management in hospitalized patients dealing with cancer. This study includes inpatient acupuncture at Mission Bay.


Inpatient Massage Therapy

Bone Marrow Transplant Patients
In 2016, Carla Kuon, MD developed the massage therapy service for the Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) unit at the UCSF Parnassus Campus. Dr. Kuon and the staff had recognized the need for patients to have access to integrative modalities that could help them reduce their stress and discomfort during their long hospital stays.

Carolyn Tague, MA, CMT provides this service to BMT patients on a weekly basis.  Once patients are referred for massage therapy by their BMT physician or nurse practitioner, they are able to receive a 20-30 minute gentle Swedish massage, craniosacral work or reflexology in their hospital room. The patients have been deeply appreciative of these treatments, and they typically report feeling much more relaxed after their sessions.

This program is funded by philanthropic donations. If you would like to donate to continue this service for cancer patients, please visit the fundraising site.

Pediatric and NICU Patients
IMG_2224_webIn 2015, Osher Center massage therapist Marcia Degelman, CMT attended the Certified Pediatric Massage Therapist Training I and II, as well as Touch Therapy for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, taught by Tina Allen of the Liddle Kidz Foundation. Since then, she  has been providing massage therapy for infants in the NICU, as well as pediatric inpatients, including those in the PICU and Pediatric Oncology wards of the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

Since many hospital patients are experiencing discomfort, Marcia has developed a light touch soothing circles protocol on the lower back in a side lying position. She often does acupressure for headaches and nausea and foot massage for overall relaxation. Many recipients have commented on how beneficial the treatments have been, including reported reductions in anxiety, depression, insomnia, nausea, and pain levels.

Pediatric patients or parents who are interested in receiving massage therapy should inquire with their nurse, who will contact the Integrative Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care (IP3) Team. Patients’ doctors will need to approve the treatment in advance. There is no fee for these services, as they are sponsored by Pierre’s Birthday Fund, a non-profit organization.

Antepartum Patients
Marcia has been providing massage therapy in the antepartum unit at Mission Bay since 2016. The patients in this unit are typically experiencing high-risk pregnancies, which often result in long and stressful hospital stays. Massage therapy has been proven to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Patients often report that they are better able to cope and sleep better after the massages. Antepartum patients may request this service through their nurses. This program is supported by a UCSF Partners in Care grant.

Pediatric Parents and Providers
Since 2003, parents of young patients, including those in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), and Pediatric Oncology at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital have been able to receive a chair massage once per week. Parents may sign up for this service at the Center for Families.

Once per month, the Pediatric Oncology nurses are also able receive a chair massage from Marcia. The massage therapy treatments for pediatric parents and providers are funded by UCSF IP3.

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