Complementary therapies are natural and supportive practices, which are used alongside conventional medical treatments. It is important to note that complementary therapies are not regarded as an alternative to medical treatment that has been prescribed by your GP or consultant. Complementary therapies are available to both patients and their relatives/carers.
Complementary therapies can help:
- Provide emotional support
- Promote restful sleep and reduce insomnia
- To reduce stress and tension and promote relaxation
- To relieve anxiety and improve the feeling of well-being
- To reduce pain and improve quality of life
- Reduce symptoms caused by the illness or treatment e.g. constipation, nausea, side effects of chemotherapy or radiotherapy, fatigue.
Therapies available at Pendleside are:
Massage is a therapy which requires the skilful use of touch to sooth away aches and pains, to relieve tension in the body and to promote a sense of well-being. Different techniques are used by the therapist to promote relaxation and to calm both mind and body.
Literally means ‘therapy through scent’. It involves using essential oils or a blend of up to three oils, which have been obtained from various aromatic plants. If used in massage, the oils soak into the skin and may enter the blood stream. The therapist will use the oil that will most benefit you, taking into account your preference of aroma. Usually treatment will involve massage, the chosen oil/s will be diluted in the carrier oil, suitable for your skin type. Aromatherapy can also be administered in creams, with vaporisers and by inhalation from a tissue.
Reflexology is based on the concept that every part of the body is connected by energy pathways, which end in reflex areas on the feet, hands and ears. Foot reflexology is practised at Pendleside as a method of introducing relaxation and balance throughout the body by touching specific points on the feet. Using cream, light pressure is applied with the thumb and fingers to reflex points on the feet.
Who will provide Complementary Therapy?
All complementary therapy practitioners working for the Hospice have successfully completed a diploma (or equivalent) in aromatherapy, massage and/or reflexology and are also registered with the Federation of Holistic Therapists or equivalent regulatory body; in addition, our complementary therapists have also had specific training to provide support to people with life-limiting illnesses, their relatives/carers.
How can I access Complementary Therapy?
Referrals will be accepted as a self-referral, or from any health or social care professional.
When referrals are received from a patient, their carer or relative, contact will always be made (with the patient's consent) with the patient's General Practitioner and any other relevant health care professional to obtain clinical information.
You may complete the referral form above and post or fax to the address/number shown at the top of the form.
Where will the therapy take place?
The Complementary Therapy service is based in the day services department, but is available across all other Hospice services, including inpatients, outpatients and in the community for those who are house-bound.
What happens next?
The therapist will complete an assessment, which will include questions about your health and how you are feeling at the moment. Together you can choose a therapy that you will enjoy and that will be both beneficial and suitable for you. Normally up to six treatments of between 30 and 60 minutes will be offered; however, this will be assessed according to need and may be extended.
How do I contact the Complementary Therapy team?
The Complementary Therapy team can be contacted Monday – Friday between 9am and 5pm by telephoning 01282 440110.
If you need to cancel or postpone a complementary therapy appointment, please telephone the Hospice on 01282 440110 as soon as possible.
To get the maximum benefit from your treatment it is ideal to follow the recommended after care advice. This includes rest and relaxation where possible; drinking plenty of water; avoiding heavy meals.
After your therapy you may experience a headache, general aches and pains or feel emotional. Do not worry, not everyone will experience side effects; if you have any concerns, please contact a member of the complementary therapy team.