Pendleside is marking National Complementary Therapy Week by putting its service in the spotlight and hosting a series of interactive sessions.
As part of National Complementary Therapy Week from 23rd to 29th March, patients will be invited to make their own foot scrubs, hand creams and aroma stick inhalers using aromatherapy oils.
Pendleside offers complementary therapies to help provide emotional support, reduce stress and tension, reduce pain and improve quality of life, as well as reducing symptoms caused by illness or treatment, such as constipation, nausea and chemotherapy side effects.
Laura Driver, one of Pendleside’s three Complementary Therapists, explained the impact of the service – which offers treatments including reflexology, aromatherapy and massage using the M Technique – and who it can benefit.
She said: “The majority of patients we see come to us via Outpatients and Day Services, but we also see families, carers and people who have been bereaved. We work alongside the Family Support Team to make sure anyone who needs our support can access it. A lot of people think when someone dies, that's it – but we’re very passionate about continuing our care for the family and carers afterwards.
“The M Technique is a gentle form of touch massage which we use on a lot of our patients. We see a lot of people who can’t have intense massages because of medication or cancer treatments so this is a really relaxing way of applying complementary therapy – we get a lot of feedback about how comforting it is.”
Laura has worked at Pendleside for the past 10 years and in that time, the department has collected so much positive feedback from patients.
She said: “We see our Complementary Therapies service as being more personal as we deliver therapies tailored to each person, using essential oils that benefit their own holistic needs. We build up relationships with the people we see and the most rewarding part of the job for me is seeing someone improve with each session, whether it’s physically or emotionally.
“When we get to the end of a course of treatment and they thank you for everything you’ve done to help them, you can see how it's meant a lot. You've done what you've set out to do. I never underestimate that we can make someone's day by doing what we’d consider to just be our day job. That’s the best bit for me.”
Susan Dixon, who attends Pendleside’s Day Services and accesses Complementary Therapy as part of her visits, said: “The therapy brings total relaxation and takes my mind away from other things going on. It’s a brilliant service and very soothing – it’s easily the highlight of my week, much better than my weekly shop!”
Pendleside’s Complementary Therapy department hosts a weekly drop-in session every Wednesday from 12pm-3pm to find out more. Patients can also self-refer by completing the form available online at pendleside.org.uk/complementary-therapies or by calling 01282 440110 Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm.