Using martial arts practices to help heal

A new program at the Dwaine & Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital is taking a new approach to healing
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 2:54 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A global non profit dedicated to reducing pain and stress in children with cancer and chronic illness has found a new home at The Dwaine and Cynthia Willet Children’s Hospital.

Heroes Circle uses martial arts and meditation practices to help give children another tool in the fight against sickness.

Something no other hospital in the state is offering.

This partnership will provide patients with the opportunity to join Kid’s Kicking Cancer’s Heroes Circle program and its growing community of members.

KKC’s therapeutic intervention centers on martial arts, meditation and mindfulness practices proven to be effective at reducing pain, anxiety and distress in adults and children. The program is safe, non-contact and adaptable and is offered complimentary to a patient’s treatment plan in partnership with the health care team on site.

KKC’s evidence-based therapy is currently offered in person and virtually throughout hospitals,

Heather Newsome, Assistant Chief Nursing officer for Memorial Health Dwaine & Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital of Savannah, shared her enthusiasm for this new partnership.

“We are excited to make this new program available to our patients. The goal is to provide kids with skills to help them relax during a hospital stay, which will aid in their healing while they are here.”

KKC’s global staff is composed of more than 200 Martial Arts Therapists, who lend support, encouragement and compassion to patients during their healthcare journey. The Savannah chapter will be led by Heroes Circle Martial Arts Therapist (MAT) and black belt, Dennis Dull.

“For me, it is an honor to share my love of the martial arts with young people and their families,” said Dull. “I am invited into their lives to teach them skills that will assist with treatment. More importantly, I empower them to teach others and the ‘world’ the skills I get to share.”

In total, Heroes Circle is currently in 126 facilities across 10 countries with a goal of reaching 1 million children.