What we do
Eliana's Light collaborates with a local children’s hospital and complementary care providers to improve the wellness and well-being of children with complex medical conditions and their caregivers. We focus on reducing the stress, pain, fear, trauma, anxiety, and/or depression of the entire family. We have “been there” and believe in holistic health care that addresses the body, mind, and spirit.
What Do We Mean By Complementary Care?
We are talking about approaches, techniques, and tools that have been shown to reduce stress, pain, fear, trauma, anxiety, and depression in both children and adults. Examples include meditation; massage; yoga; music, art, and play therapy; acupuncture; mind-body medicine; Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR); Healing Touch; essential oils, AromaTouch, Reiki, and other related healing modalities. They can be used alongside necessary medications and medical procedures. We advise that caregivers collaborate closely and communicate often with their child(ren)’s doctor(s) in order for an appropriate and continuous complementary care program to be designed for the child. We recommend the adult caregiver also discuss the caregiver’s health and well-being with her/his own doctor and complementary seek specialists in order to develop a care plan that boosts the caregiver’s strength, immune system, and well-being.
Does Eliana’s Light Provide Complementary Care Services Directly?
We offer families contacts of complementary care providers – both specialists and locations – and related resources. We also visit families to provide them with Eliana's Light Workboxes, healthy meals so they don’t have to cook, light housekeeping help so they don’t have to clean as much, and friendship.
Does Eliana’s Light Help Children and their Caregivers At the Hospital?
Eliana’s Light is supporting the development of an Integrative Medicine (IM) program at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC by providing funding and support with research and coordination. With funds from generous donations Eliana’s Light receives, we are able to contribute complementary care tools (e.g. aromatherapy diffusers, massage tables, essential oils, etc.), support speakers who can lead informative and practical workshops for medical staff and caregivers, and cover the costs of contracted and volunteer complementary care providers. We also help coordinate committees of committed individuals who are interested in working collaboratively to bring IM to children and their caregivers.
Why Does Eliana's Light Focus on Complementary Care?
Complementary care can reduce the stress, pain, fear, trauma, anxiety, and depression that many children with complex medical conditions and their caregivers often experience.
Children who have complex medical conditions often require regular treatments and procedures such as blood draws, transfusions, surgeries, chemotherapy, and shots, among many others. They sometimes have to endure these procedures multiple times a day, in the middle of the night, for a long duration, and from various people they don’t know. These experiences can be horrendously scary, painful, and stressful for both the child and his/her caregiver.
Stress -- especially constant stress and stress that is compounded by pain, fear, trauma, anxiety, and depression – can make existing conditions worse and cause new conditions to form. Click here to access a list of relevant research.
We’ve been there. As parents of a child who had a complex medical condition, the founders of Eliana’s Light know intimately what children with complex medical conditions and their caregivers go through. We want to help relieve their suffering and make their life experience a little easier. Please click the hyperlinks to learn more about the founders and others involved in Eliana’s Light.
There are complementary care service providers available and interested in helping children and their caregivers in local communities…they often though are not connected to a local hospital or the families that can benefit from their help.
Complementary care services also tend to be too expensive for many families to afford, as most insurance companies do not yet cover them. Many medical facilities also do not yet have significant complementary care or Integrative Medicine (IM) programs. We want to make complementary care more accessible as part of our effort to improve the wellness and well-being of the whole family. We believe in the importance of necessary medicine and medical procedures—Complementary care works alongside standard medical practice. Click here to access a contact list of complementary care service providers and locations in the Washington, DC area.
We provide caregivers information and tools they can use to support their child’s and their own wellness and well-being.
We want to relieve caregivers’ feelings of helplessness, stress, anxiety, and exhaustion and help them feel more empowered, helpful, and peaceful. While we can’t take away all of the challenges, we aim to teach caregivers (often alongside their children) complementary care approaches, and provide them with tools and information that can help make their and their child(ren)’s experience a little easier. We work in collaboration with trained complementary care providers and medical staff, and encourage caregivers to work directly with their child’s medical team to co-develop an appropriate complementary care program for the child. Please click here to apply for support if you are a caregiver of a child with a complex medical condition, or if you are a medical practitioner or complementary care service provider applying on behalf of a family.