Florence Nightingale espoused a very holistic orientation in nursing. It was her belief that nursing should put the patient in the best possible condition for nature to restore or preserve health, to prevent or cure disease or injury. In other words, nurses should create environments in which healing can happen.

Complementary therapies and healing practices offer nurses and patients an expanded array of options to improve health and healing. This article provides an overview of complementary therapies and healing practices and offers suggestions on how to incorporate these therapies when caring for critically ill patients.

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