Main menu

Yoga therapy helping sick kids

Wishlist has proudly funded Yoga Therapy on the Child and Adolescent ward at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH), and formerly Nambour Hospital, since 2011.

Yoga Therapy applies the therapeutical tools of yoga – breathing, relaxation techniques, yoga poses, affirmations – to help specific conditions. The sessions are especially helpful for patients with procedural anxiety; asthma; eating disorders and digestive issues.

Yoga teacher and therapist Stacey Louise created the program, blending her studies in Yoga Therapy and Children’s Yoga. Previous to working in the inpatients ward, Stacey worked
at the Royal Children’s Hospital in mental health for seven years, teaching Children’s Fitness and yoga classes.

Stacey said the main focus of her sessions is to help the patient’s nervous system get to a state of calm so their body can focus more on healing.

“A lot of patients are exhausted and are unable to sleep. They are in “fight/ flight” mode,” she said.

“Parents often tell me their child hasn’t slept soundly for days.

“Most patients fall asleep during the guided relaxation part of their Yoga Therapy session and parents are always so grateful, as I tip-toe out and let them catch up on some much-needed rest.”

The service is offered one afternoon every week in the SCUH Child and Adolescent ward. Sessions are age appropriate and the duration of the session ranges from 10-90 minutes depending on the patient’s needs and the demand on the day.

Stacey said that each patient has different needs, and she caters to them.

“A 2-year-old patient with Asthma seemed traumatised after having several medical staff in her room at once and she would scream when a staff member tried to touch her.

“I came in dressed in a fairy costume, read her a story, encouraged her to breathe with me using bubbles, played calm music and gave her a calming temple massage. “She calmed right down and Dr Claire was then able to come in and do her required observations, she was able to receive her Ventolin and get required x-rays.”

Sessions can include: engaging with the patient with a craft-based activity (for example, beading a bracelet or making stress balls); practicing specific yoga poses to help the condition (or being put into a restorative yoga pose using cushions so the body can relax without having to physically move); being taught calming breathing techniques; being guided through a relaxation technique whilst having relaxing music playing, and receiving an optional temple and hand massage with calming aromatic oils.

If you would like to donate to this cause, visit https://www.giving.wishlist.org.au/donate and select “Yoga therapy for the Children’s ward” from the drop-down menu.