What are complementary therapies?

Complementary therapies are used alongside conventional medical, nursing and allied health professional treatments, to help improve wellbeing and promote relaxation. The complementary therapy team at the hospice offer a wide range of treatments which are adapted for use in palliative care and are gentle and safe.

How can complementary therapy help me?

Complementary therapies play an important role in supporting patients by promoting feelings of relaxation, giving a sense of comfort and improving quality of life. Treatments can help relieve physical and emotional symptoms and may also: 

  • Reduce stress and tension
  • Ease aches and pains
  • Help lift mood and reduce anxiety
  • Help improve sleep

 

Which complementary therapies do we offer at the hospice?

Massage

Gentle massage can help the body to release our own natural painkiller and provide a sense of contentment, relaxing mind and body. Massage can be given over clothes or directly on skin using oils. Treatments are usually provided to one area of the body such as the head, neck and shoulders, hands or feet.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils extracted from certain plants and flowers. Essential oils are commonly administered through massage but they can also be used via inhalation. We provide a range of self-care aromatherapy products including nasal inhalers, lotions and oil blends to help with specific issues such as anxiety or insomnia.

Reflexology

Reflexology works on the principle that every part of the body is linked with a corresponding area on the foot. A specialised form of foot massage, reflexology can help promote relaxation and ease symptoms such as pain and anxiety.

Reiki

Reiki is a type of energy therapy where the therapist uses gentle touch and holding techniques to help restore balance in mind and body. Reported benefits include an improved sense of wellbeing, relaxation and comfort. Reiki is given over clothes and the recipient can be seated or lying down.

Mindfulness and Relaxation

Mindfulness and Relaxation encompass a variety of meditation and visualisation techniques designed to relax the body and the mind. These simple techniques can be carried out individually or in small groups and you can also be taught to do these on your own.

Our team

Our complementary therapy team consists of employed and volunteer therapists. All therapists are fully qualified and insured.

Who can receive complementary therapies?

Patients can access complementary therapy as an in-patient or as a patient who attends the Wellbeing Centre. All treatments are offered free of charge. The number of treatments you are offered can vary depending on your circumstances and the full range of therapies may not be available at every session. Your therapist will provide you with more information about this when you first meet.  If you would like to access complementary therapy, please ask a member of staff involved in your care.

Where will I have a complementary therapy session?

Treatments take place in a dedicated complementary therapy room in our out-patient department or in a treatment room in the Wellbeing Centre. Treatments can also be provided in patients' rooms on the In-Patient Unit.

What happens at my first session?

At your first session your therapist will assess your needs to ensure that any treatments offered are safe and adapted to your individual needs. You can then find out more about the range of therapies available and decide which might suit you best.

How long do treatments last?

Our treatments are fairly short (usually between 10 and 30 minutes) and are very gentle. During the treatment, some patients like to talk or you may prefer to rest, relax or even fall asleep.

Further information

If you would like to find out more about any of the therapies on offer at the hospice, please ask to speak to a member of the Complementary Therapy team or contact us on 01723 35142.