Complementary Therapies

Complementary Therapies

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 treatment of people 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
  • Constipation
  • 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.

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.

Case Studies

Image of Technology Creating Engaging Relationships

"At Butterwick we try to add fun and enrich young lives through specialist technology"

Technology Creating Engaging Relationships

Image of Charity Coffee Morning

""Our Charity Coffee Morning held on Sunday 19th June 2016 at Benridge Farm""

Charity Coffee Morning

Image of A Very Happy Ending

"Sam Lowes lost twin boys and lost her way until Butterwick's Family Support Team were called to help"

A Very Happy Ending

Image of Child Bereavement Services for Schools

"Learn about the work of the School's Liaison Officer"

Child Bereavement Services for Schools