Health Advice



When health care workers need someone to take care of them, they come to hospital's 'Zen Den'

Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in Health & Fitness

"It's not manipulative like massage or invasive like acupuncture," Fritze said. "The goal is to center and ground the spirit so the body can begin the healing it knows how to do."

In the past four months, Fritze has conducted more than 300 healing touch therapy sessions for 107 staff members throughout the hospital, administrators said.

Psychiatrist Geeta Sharma said the sessions focused and calmed her so she could devote her best energies to her patients.

"When COVID-19 started and we all went into lockdown, I was really scared and anxious," Dr. Sharma said. "I couldn't do the things I normally do to take care of myself, like getting a massage. So as soon as I saw signs for the Zen Den, I signed up.

"After each session I felt so much better and it was reflected in my interactions with my patients and my peers."

Once non-elective surgeries resumed in June, the room housing the Zen Den was needed for other purposes. So the salt lamps were unplugged and the tall ferns were returned to the plant store.


But Fritze still performs her healing touch therapy sessions two days a week in a consulting room near her office. Even better, she sees evidence every day and on every floor of the hospital that her experiment is flourishing, such as staff setting up their own Zen Dens.

"It's so much easier to care for others when you feel cared for yourself," Fritze said.

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