Northeast Holistic Center
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HIV / AIDS Assistance

NHC has received its second consecutive Ryan White Title I Grant—enabling the HIV/AIDS community to avail itself of the natural health therapies to assist with the toxic side-effects of HIV drugs. Read more.

Webinars with Vital Connection

NHC offers vibrant, informative on-line training in a wide variety of holistic modalities, including certifications in aromatherapy, flower essences and crystals.Read more.

 

Summary of Ryan White Title I Grant for HIV/AIDS

During 2005-2006, the Northeast Holistic Center (NHC) presented Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) health options to the HIV/AIDS community of the Newark Eligible Metropolitan Area, Union County, New Jersey funded by Ryan White Title I Grant. Our goal was to introduce CAM to the PLWHA as a means to improve their stress levels and assist them in dealing with the side effects of the HIV medications.

The NHC was allotted 300 units to work with throughout FY 2005-2006. We are happy to announce that we not only achieved this goal for a first year grant, but surpassed it with a total of 306 units. Considering that the actual work with sessions did not start until April 12, 2005 (due to paperwork/technical difficulties) instead of March 1, 2006, this was an excellent accomplishment.

There was a total of 76 client/cycle units. Each client was to be worked with for one hour, for a cycle of five consecutive weeks. Seventy-four percent of the clients completed this agreed upon work. Reasons for lack of completion in the remaining 20 clients ranged from family illness obligations, lack of a required case manager, severe illness, death, having acquired jobs, etc. As the year progressed, the clients, case mangers, doctors and facilities with whom the NHC worked had a greater clarity of the requirements necessary for the client to be a part of the CAM program.

The CAM program of the NHC was set up to address stress, pain management, and dealing with the side effects of the HIV medications. Each client receives a one hour segment of massage, reflexology and aromatherapy, as well as the careful weekly intake of the client's physical, emotional and mental responses to the work being done and how they were feeling in general.

For most of the clients, both reflexology and aromatherapy were new modalities to assist them in their health maintenance. The massage section of the CAM tri-therapy consists of upper body massage on the back, neck, shoulders, arms and hands to address respiratory challenges and digestive challenges, as well as muscle tension and stress in the upper part of the body. The reflexology section is comprised of mostly foot reflexology, although there are a few clients that have benefited greatly from hand reflexology when there was stiffness in the hand and finger joints. Through the use of reflexology, a marked improvement in neuropathy, knee pain, leg pain, circulation, digestion, and elimination, as well as stress reduction has frequently been reported.

As the year 2005-2006 progressed, many clients really became aware of the benefits of reflexology in dealing with the toxicity of the medications that "seemed to settle in their feet." Each client is given an Immune Support Blend of essential oils in carrier oil designed specifically to assist with respiratory, digestive and immune challenges and is instructed to use on a daily basis as suggested by their practitioner. Clients are also interviewed weekly about other stressors in their lives, and a special aromatherapy blend is made to address these issues.

Most of the clients have been unfamiliar with the benefits of aromatherapy, and although most of the clients use the Immune Support Blend as suggested, the most dramatic effects is experienced after completion of their cycle of five weeks and when they no longer have the benefits of the oils or the support of reflexology and massage work. A percentage of the clients experienced an improvement in CD4 count and a lowering of the viral load when working in the cycle and after not working with the CAM program for ten weeks noticed a drop in the CD4 and a rise in viral load. As a result of this, some of the clients request to do multiple cycles of five weeks - this resulted in a "five weeks on and five weeks off" protocol. Those clients who have been extremely compliant in the use of the essential oils, committed to their appointments and in some cases doing reflexology on themselves have found a tremendous enhancement in their quality of life and their ability to function in society.

For more information on the NHC's HIV/AIDS work please contact us.

 
 

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