Butterwick Hospice Care has expanded its range of patient services to include a complementary therapist within the communities it serves. The service is provided for patients who are within the last stages of their illness and not well enough to access support within the Hospice.

Butterwick Hospice is delighted to be able to offer this much needed, appreciated and beneficial service within the community because it brings so much comfort and pleasure to patients who are very poorly.

The service is also available to patients’ carers who can be taught how to administer a treatment and supplied with a blend of oils, where appropriate, to continue supporting their patients through the soothing medium of touch.

The service is provided free of charge and is funded by the charitable resources within Butterwick Hospice Care and can be accessed by downloading our referral form. Once completed this should be faxed to the Hospice’s secure fax number 01642 605785. Referrals can come from any healthcare professional such as your GP, Consultant or District Nurse.

Complementary therapies are provided as an integral part of the treatments available from Butterwick Hospice. These therapies are administered by qualified and experienced practitioners. 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 specialized training program to enable them to offer specialist care to people with life-threatening illnesses.

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 people and not interfere with regular medications. We do not at any time offer treatments as an alternative to prescribed care or advise patients to accept it as such.

Some people find it difficult to attend the Day Hospice or Out-Patient Complementary Therapy Service when they feel too poorly or unable to travel. This is when the support of our Community Complementary Therapist can be most helpful.

Why use complementary therapies?

Complementary therapies have an important role in giving pleasure, comfort and relief. Patients have reported that treatments have helped them by:

  • 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

What treatments do we offer?

The Community Complementary Therapies service offers a range of therapies to help relieve symptoms. These include:


This is the most popular treatment we use and involves the use of essential oils – or natural plant essences – to enhance the wellbeing 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 person. Oils are purchased from a specialist supplier to ensure purity and quality. Aromatherapy is suitable for most people but it is important that care and advice are taken as some oils may interfere with some medications.


Different types of massage may be used depending on the reason for treatment and the person’s condition. Massage may be used to relieve stiff muscles and joints, or be used as a gentle soothing touch to sooth pain, stress, and anxiety.


This is one of the traditional eastern therapies used to relieve many common symptoms such as pain, constipation and fatigue. Pressure points in the feet or hands are precisely massaged. 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 Services 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 energy points on the body. Many people report a feeling of deep relaxation during and following the treatment.

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