Complementary Services Program

Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven offers a Complementary Services Program that promotes relaxation. Therapy sessions are available for anyone receiving cancer treatment at Smilow Cancer Hospital.


Massage is a gentle therapy that helps relieve body tension and discomfort. In combination with appropriate health care, massage can promote health and well-being. Massage often helps relieve stress, ease tight muscles, reduce fluid retention and alleviate chronic pain. All of our massage therapists are nationally certified and state licensed. Our therapists have extensive training that includes massage technique and the study of anatomy and physiology. They are specially trained to determine what type of massage is most appropriate for you.

Guided imagery is a mind-body practice. Our therapists will work with you to discover your preferences for relaxing images from nature or family life. With gentle coaching, you will be guided to visualize images that help you reach a deep state of relaxation.

An instructor leads a small group of patients and caregivers through the exploration of various art mediums, including watercolors, charcoal, pencil and others. This class provides an additional avenue for healing through the creative process. No prior art experience is necessary and art supplies are provided. Volunteer artists also visit individual patients in patient care areas, to explore various art mediums.

Volunteer guest artist opportunity

Art Expression features a guest artist who generously volunteers his or her time and talent by instructing an artistic exploration workshop at Smilow Cancer Hospital. To apply to become a volunteer guest artist, please contact Complementary Services at 203-200-6129.

Reiki is a Japanese word meaning "Universal Life Energy." The practice of Reiki is a non-intrusive method of hands-on healing. During a Reiki session, healing energy lulls you into a deeply relaxed state. It is this deep relaxation that increases energy as the body rests and becomes revitalized during the session. Our Reiki practitioners are trained and certified by master-level Reiki teachers. 

Yoga is the oldest holistic system of self development. It is a practice for cultivating balance and fostering well-being. During each yoga session, you will warm up your body with simple movements, work with basic postures and breathing exercises and end with guided relaxation.

Delta Society — Certified therapy dogs visit with patients in many areas of the hospital. If you are interested in a dog visit, please contact Volunteer Services at 203-688-2297.


The program is located in the Complementary Services/Rehabilitation Services area on the first floor of Smilow Cancer Hospital, room 1402. As a patient, many of the services can be provided on your floor or in your room.