January 14, 2015/Pediatrics/Wellness

Cleveland Clinic Children’s Addresses Growing Demand for Integrative Medicine

New center focuses on treating the whole child — body, mind and spirit


The demand for integrative medicine is rising as the body of evidence supporting its outcomes mounts. Today, more than 70 percent of Americans use some form of integrative medicine.


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To meet this growing need, the new Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center for Integrative Medicine offers care that complements traditional medical care for chronic diseases.

“Going beyond a child’s physical needs to address lifestyle and emotional needs can reduce the frequency of disease episodes, decrease the stress related to chronic illness and improve quality of life,” says physiatrist Benjamin Katholi, MD. For example, integrative medicine techniques can decrease children’s pain, improve their sleep, lower their blood pressure and improve their bowel function.

While conventional medicine can diminish the consequences of lifestyle-related diseases, integrative medicine can help to improve symptom control.

Wide range of problems addressed

In our center, we focus on treating the following conditions in children and adolescents:

  • Anxiety and depression due to chronic illness
  • Arthritis and musculoskeletal pain
  • Asthma and other pulmonary problems
  • Brain injury and concussions
  • Chronic abdominal, myofascial or other pain
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Headache
  • Impaired mobility
  • Sports injuries
  • Vocal cord dysfunction

A full team of providers

Our center is staffed by dedicated pediatric specialists in pediatrics, behavioral medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, pain management, pulmonary medicine, and occupational, physical, recreational, and speech/language therapy.

Team members are certified in acupuncture, acupressure and laser acupuncture; biofeedback; guided imagery and hypnosis; integrative dry needling; frequency-specific microcurrent therapy; craniosacral therapy, myofascial release and osteopathic manipulation; reiki and therapeutic touch (for infants); and relaxation/breathing strategies and yoga.


“Frequency-specific microcurrent (FSM) therapy is an exciting new treatment we offer,” says Dr. Katholi. “It is subsensory (painless) and noninvasive, and has lasting effects. Research shows that delivering the micro-amperage current, while using specific frequencies to resonate with damaged tissues reduces inflammation, improves ATP production and enhances healing. We have found FSM highly effective for nerve and muscle pain, acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries, and arthritis in children.”

Research reveals benefits

Our center is currently examining the roles that mind, body, spirit and lifestyle changes play in chronic disease. Studies that yield evidence-based results encourage medical schools, hospitals and physicians to accept and incorporate integrative medicine practices.

For example, Cleveland Clinic research has shown that guided imagery, massage and Reiki help patients to reduce their anxiety before surgery, cope better with postoperative pain and maximize their recovery.

To learn more about integrative medicine research, please visit nih.gov and nccam.nih.gov (the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine).

To refer a patient to Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center for Integrative Medicine, please call 216.448.6610. To learn more about our services and to meet our staff, visit clevelandclinicchildrens.org/integrativemedicine.


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