Complementary Therapy

Enjoying complementary therapy can be a wonderful way to relax and unwind. The complementary therapies we offer play an important role in the way we look after patients and carers, giving them personal pleasure, physical comfort and relief from symptoms. Our therapists also provide companionship and emotional support.

Complementary therapies are used alongside medical treatments to create a therapeutic and healing environment for patients and families. All our practitioners are professionally qualified and work on a voluntary basis. They consult their hospice colleagues to ensure that the therapies they use will be safe for patients and not interfere with their regular medication. Treatments are offered to those attending Day Care and Living Well, as well as being a part of in-patient care.

Serious illness can have a profound effect not only on patients but on their carers, too. All our complementary therapies are available to patients and their main carer, completely free of charge.

Complementary therapies can help to:

  • promote relaxation
  • reduce anxiety, stress and tension
  • improve sleep
  • alleviate symptoms such as muscle fatigue and tension
  • improve well-being and quality of life
  • stimulate circulation
  • improve skin condition
  • make patients feel special and cared for

The treatments we offer include:

Massage

The experience of caring, compassionate ‘touch’ is recognised as being reassuring and soothing. Different types of massage can be used depending on the reason for treatment and your condition. Massage can be used to loosen stiff muscles and joints, or to reduce stress, tension and anxiety. It can also be beneficial in the treatment of pain, swelling and sleeplessness.

"My hands feel smooth and dry skin just disappears."

Reflexology

A traditional eastern therapy used to relieve many common symptoms such as pain, constipation and fatigue. Pressure points in the hands or feet are massaged very precisely to relax connecting parts of the body. Reflexology is particularly helpful where body massage is inappropriate, or where dressing and undressing is difficult.

"Total relaxation … a most welcome and helpful experience."

Aromatherapy

This is a gentle therapy which combines smell and touch to induce relaxation. Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils - or natural plant essences – which have unique healing properties to enhance the well-being of mind and body. The oils we use are specially selected after careful assessment to ensure they are suitable for each patient and do not interfere with medication. Aromatherapy can be used in massage, for inhalation, as a skin lotion or added to baths.

"The therapy makes me feel deeply relaxed and pampered. I enjoy feeling well cared for and spoilt."

Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy is a therapy that uses hypnosis. The hypnotherapist will use various methods to put you into a ‘trance like’ state. These include speaking slowly to you and soothingly, or asking you to look at a fixed object in front of you or at the edge of your field of vision. The ‘trance like’ state means your body is deeply relaxed but your mind is active. You stay in control at all times. You may feel heavy or light but remain relaxed. When you are in this relaxed state your hypnotherapist suggests things that might help you to relax and cope better with your symptoms. No one is exactly sure how hypnotherapy works - one theory is that your conscious mind switches off while you are relaxed. Your unconscious mind is then open to the helpful suggestions of the therapist. A treatment is done fully clothed either lying down or sitting in a chair.

Acupuncture

This is an ancient system of healing developed over thousands of years as part of the traditional medicine of China and Japan. It has evolved as a system of medicine that stimulates specific areas just beneath the skin, which relate to certain organs in the body. These areas or points are in very specific locations and lie on channels of energy. The therapist uses special acupuncture needles or studs to treat these points and rebalance the energy of the body. Acupuncture can be extremely helpful in some symptom control. It may help pain, nausea and breathing problems and treatment is always based on treating the body as a whole.

Osteopathy

Caring for someone and living with a life-limiting illness can lead to the development of various aches and pains in the back, neck, limbs, etc. due to the physical and emotional stresses you experience.

Osteopathic assessment and treatment with gentle manual therapy can help to alleviate many of these symptoms.

 

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