What are complementary therapies?
Complementary therapies are treatments used to support regular or orthodox treatments such as medication. These treatments may be used to reduce stress and anxiety or may be used to help with problems such as pain, nausea and constipation.
At Butterwick Hospice complementary therapists work as part of the clinical team alongside nurses and doctors, to ensure the treatments used will be safe for patients and not interfere with regular medications.
We do not at any time offer treatment as an alternative to prescribed care, or advise patients to accept it as such.
Why use complementary therapies in the care of hospice patients?
Complementary therapies have an important role in the care of patients within the hospice, giving pleasure, comfort and relief. Therapies are appropriate for:
- Promoting relaxation
- Reducing anxiety, depression, stress and tension
- Reducing pain
- Alleviating symptoms such as muscle fatigue and tension
- Improving sleep patterns
- Reducing psychological distress and giving emotional support
- Improving wellbeing and quality of life
- Stimulating circulation/stimulating memory
- Improving skin condition
- Reducing fears/phobias related to treatments
Who provides the treatment?
A range of complementary therapists offer treatment and the practitioner the patient sees will depend on the type of therapy used and which day they attend for appointments.
All of the practitioners working within the hospice hold a qualification to at least diploma level in their relevant therapy. As well as this all practitioners undergo a specialised training programme to enable them to offer care to people with life threatening illnesses.
What are the therapies on offer?
The treatments we offer are:
This is the most popular treatment we use, it involves the use of essential oils - or natural plant essences - to enhance the well being of body and mind. Aromatherapy may be used in massage, or as a skin lotion, inhalation or added to baths.
All of the oils we use are specially selected following careful assessment, to ensure they are suitable for each patient, and oils are purchased from a special supplier to ensure purity and quality.
Aromatherapy is suitable for most people but it is important that care and advice is taken as some oils may interfere with some medications.
Different types of massage may be used depending on the reason for treatment and your condition. Massage may be used to exercise stiff muscles and joints, or be used as a gentle soothing touch to relieve pain, stress and anxiety.
One of the traditional eastern therapies used to relieve many common symptoms such as pain, constipation and fatigue. Pressure points in the feet are precisely massaged using talc or a special cream. Sometimes the hands or scalp may be massaged instead.
Reflexology is particularly helpful where body massage is inappropriate, or where dressing and undressing is difficult.
This includes simple muscle relaxation techniques, visualisation and imagery. Group sessions are held regularly in day care, and individual sessions are held on request. The emphasis is on the use of techniques which can be used at home to help with stress relief and relaxation.
Reiki comes from the Japanese words rei (universal) and ki (energy). The aim of reiki is to improve the balance of energy in body and mind, and involves the practitioner moving their hands over special energy points on the body. Many people report a feeling of deep relaxation during and following the treatment.
Who can receive treatment?
All patients accessing Butterwick Hospice Care may be offered complementary therapies. All treatment is free of charge to patients and their carers.
How do I access treatment?
If you are receiving treatment from one of the Butterwick Hospice services speak to a member of the nursing staff who will be able to arrange an appointment for you. Treatments are only administered following careful assessment by a qualified practitioner who will consult your doctor as necessary to ensure your safety and wellbeing.
Training and Education Opportunities
A number of courses and training opportunities are available throughout the year from our social enterprize company Seven Wellbeing Centre Ltd including:
- Specialist palliative training for complementary therapists
- Introduction to aromatherapy and aromatherapy workshops for nurses and professional carers
- Aromatherapy for children with special needs (4 day course for qualified aromatherapists)
- Reflective practice for complementary therapists
- Managing people with cancer
- Living with cancer - a holistic perspective (for people with cancer and their partners)
- Holistic pain management
- Relaxation workshops
For more information about up and coming courses please contact Gwyn Featonby, Director, Seven Wellbeing Centre Limited. Tel: 01642 607742 or email firstname.lastname@example.org