Complementary Modalities to mindfulness

Complementary Modalities

Complementary, integrative or non-pharmacological practices are defined as practices that are not part of conventional Western medicine. These practices generally:

  • Focus on the whole person rather than specializing on pathology or specific issues 
  • Recognize the importance of engaging the client/patient and caregiver in the healing process
  • Often are linked to pre-Western, indigenous healing practices
  • View healing as more than the absence of disease
  • Inclusive of comfort and support as well as curing
  • Increasingly utilized by those with chronic conditions
  • For more information see:  https://nccih.nih.gov/ and https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr079.pdf

While mindfulness is the core practice taught, as appropriate Lucia also integrates a wide variety of non pharmacological modalities based on her research and practice. Sometimes the best starting point can be diaphragmatic breathing, often reported to be the most useful skill taught. As a Certified Yoga Teacher with Yin Yoga Certification and extensive experience in adapting asanas (poses) for physical challenges, chair and bed, Lucia believes that yoga is about our relationship with our body; and that any body can practice some form of yoga. Thus, a somatic orientation is core to all her teaching and interventions. From simple standing or seated mountain poses, Lucia’s careful instructions make yoga accessible and safe to all. 


Guided imagery is often used in conjunction with yoga and mindfulness, as a way of deepening an understanding of these practices. Non-verbal interventions can be especially helpful for less responsive or cognitively impaired individuals. Lucia has adapted these modalities in her work with frail elders and those with dementia. Aromatherapy and gentle hand massage have been shown effective in reducing agitation and distress; and can be easily taught to caregivers. For those working in institutional settings, Lucia’s experience can help guide clinicians on safety, contraindications and regulatory concerns. 


While there are few formulaic interventions for the wide range of populations and settings, Lucia has centered her practice on connection and communication with all, and the inclusion of caregivers as essential components of the healing environment. She believes that as long as a person is breathing, they can benefit from mindfulness and other complementary modalities.