The opening act of the symposium featured presentations on the state of integrative medicine around the world. Neus Esmel, nurse and anthropologist, explained to an audience of international experts how the process been implemented in Catalonia and the current state of integrative medicine.
On 19 May she presented a paper on alternative therapies in the URV’s Nursing degree, entitled: “Reflexology and Health education in nursing students: Quality of life, perceived manifestations and emerging meanings of an educational experience”. The paper presents a descriptive study following a quantitative and qualitative methodology into the effective of subjects about alternative therapies on students, and shows that while they are studying them their quality of life improves. The study was carried out by professors Roser Ricomà, Maria Jiménez , Montse Moreno and Neus Esmel. The paper was chosen for publication by the symposium.
The international symposium was held in the Harpa building in the Icelandic capital and was attended by almost 300 nurses from 11 different countries, including the United States, Germany, Turkey, Switzerland, Finland, Holland, Israel, Japan, Denmark, Iceland, and Spain. At the URV two optional 3rd and 4th year subjects enable students to learn about alternative therapies. Both subjects are very popular among students, some of whom remain unable to take the subjects due to excessively high demand for places. The first subject, ‘Introduction to alternative therapies in Nursing’, provides an introduction to the current status of alternative therapies around the world and an introduction to reflexology and relaxation. The second subject is called ‘Further studies of alternative therapies in Nursing’ and teaches reflexology, music therapy and Bach flower remedies.
The philosophy behind these subjects is based on the “caring” nursing model, which stresses the importance of the relationship between nurse and patient, personalised care and the use of less invasive techniques to achieve a physical, emotional and spiritual balance. The emphasis is above all on how the person lives and feels at any moment.
Neus Esmel (Tarragona, 1958) is an anthropologist and holds a Master’s degree in Nursing Sciences, specialty in alternative therapies. She has been a professor at the URV for many years. She worked at the Vall d’Hebron and Bellvitge hospitals in Barcelona, but in 1992 her passion for alternative therapies led her to give up her job and go into teaching. She opened a centre in Tarragona in 2010 and is currently writing her doctoral thesis on the effect of reflexology on patients’ sleep.
For more information on the symposium, go here.