Complementary therapies can be hugely beneficial to patients going through a cancer journey by helping alleviate stress, promote relaxation or just providing that opportunity to have some “you-time”. It can be difficult knowing what therapy is right for you so at the Fern Centre we offer three types of complementary therapies which you can try free of charge. These therapies are reiki, reflexology and massage and are provided by fully qualified volunteers. Patients, relatives and carers will be able to access up to 6 sessions free of charge.
Although this service was suspended at the beginning of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have now introduced our reiki and reflexology therapies in the centre and are taking referral. We plan to introduce massage by the end of 2021.
Reiki is a beautiful non-intrusive holistic treatment, which is becoming more and more recognised for its incredible benefits to the mind and body, both physically, mentally and spiritually.
Reiki is classed as an ‘alternative’ therapy. Everything around us is made up energy and its all vibrating at a different frequency depending what and where it is. Our bodies are no different. We are all thought to have energy centres within our body known as ‘chakras’ and when we have an illness, suffering from anxiety or depression or just not feeling pure joy then the body is out of balance, energetically.
Reiki helps to balance these chakras.
During the treatment the client remains fully clothed and it can be carried out either laying on a massage couch or sat in a chair, so can be adapted to meet everyone’s needs. The therapist will gentle place their hands on or near the body and stay in that position for a few minutes before moving to another part. There is no massage or manipulation throughout.
Everyone’s experience of the treatment is unique to them as we are all different and have different ailments and emotions. However, there are some common sensations that can occur; heat can be felt from the therapist’s hands, people can sometimes see colours and often the client will experience a deep sense of relaxation, calmness and clarity. As a result, clients can leave feeling a great sense of peace and harmony.
Our Reiki practitioner, Sarah Dowson has done a short video explaining a bit more about the therapy and the service offered at the Fern Centre and within the hospital.
Reflexology is a therapeutic method of relieving pain by stimulating predefined pressure points on the feet and hands. This controlled pressure alleviates the source of the discomfort. In the absence of any particular malady or abnormality, reflexology may be as effective for promoting good health and for preventing illness as it may be for relieving symptoms of stress, injury, and illness.
Reflexologists work from maps of predefined pressure points that are located on the hands and feet. These pressure points are reputed to connect directly through the nervous system and affect the bodily organs and glands. The reflexologist manipulates the pressure points according to specific techniques of reflexology therapy. By means of this touching therapy, any part of the body that is the source of pain, illness, or potential debility can be strengthened through the application of pressure at the respective foot or hand location.
One of our volunteers Lesley, from Lesley Tucker Reflexology, has very kindly put together some short “how to videos” for simple reflexology techniques you can try at home.
Massage therapy is a wonderful treatment with many advantages and can be tailored to meet anyone’s specific needs.
It is a ‘hands-on’ technique which gently manipulates muscles and rubs the soft tissue of the body relieving any tension.
The main benefits of massage can include:
- Reduced level of stress and anxiety
- Improvement to sleep
- Enhanced energy levels
- Improvement in mental health
Due to the increased feeling of relaxation and stress relief there can be a significant reduction in pain and a boost to the immune system.
Massage has been known to help reduce symptoms and side effects of cancer treatments which therefore enhances quality of life and wellbeing.
How to access complementary therapies
If you would like to access our complementary therapies you can do this by speaking to a member of your clinical team who will be able to complete a referral for you or alternatively, if you call in to the Fern Centre, one of our friendly volunteers will be able to complete the referral with you. Once a referral has been received you will be contacted with an appointment.
Last updated: June 25, 2021