Free sessions for patients, their relatives and carers
A guide to the complementary therapies available at:
Duchess of Kent House, Reading
Macmillan House, Wokingham &
Charles Clore Unit, Newbury
Who is this information for?
This information is designed to welcome all patients, relatives, carers and staff at the hospices above to the Complementary Therapy service on offer. It will tell you about the different therapies available, how they can benefit you, about our therapists, and how to arrange a treatment.
What are complementary therapies?
Complementary therapies are used to complement, or work alongside, conventional medical treatments. They are ‘holistic’ as they treat the person as a whole, incorporating their physical, psychological and emotional needs.
What therapies are available?
The therapies currently on offer are Aromatherapy, Massage and Reflexology at all three hospices and Yoga at Macmillan House only.
Aromatherapy is the controlled use of aromatic essential oils, which are carefully selected to suit the individual patient. Essential oils have specific therapeutic properties, and can also be relaxing, soothing or uplifting. They may be used with massage (diluted in a carrier oil), in baths or in vaporisers for inhalation. Research has shown that the main benefit of aromatherapy to cancer patients is reduced anxiety.
Aromatherapy massage is a gentle treatment that combines the benefits of essential oils with the benefits of massage, such as relief from tension and muscular aches and pains. Massage strokes are applied to the back, neck and shoulders or other areas of the body such as hands, feet or face.
Reflexology is a gentle natural therapy that involves the application of pressure to specific points on the feet (or hands), which correspond to parts and organs of the body. Reflexology helps the body to heal itself by inducing relaxation and improving circulation and nerve supply. It also helps to restore balance in mind, body and spirit.
The word yoga is translated as union between the body, mind and spirit, and it aims to lead to a better balance of all three. The type of yoga taught at Macmillan House is Restorative Hatha Yoga which focuses on breathing and relaxation, combined with very gentle stretching. This combination helps to quiet the mind, refresh the spirit and bring the whole person back into balance.
What are the benefits of complementary therapy to you?
Complementary therapies may help you to:
· sleep better
· increase your energy levels
· reduce stress, tension, anxiety and depression.
They can also help to reduce symptoms of life-threatening diseases, and side effects of cancer treatment, such as pain, feeling sick, breathlessness, constipation, diarrhoea, tiredness and poor appetite.
About our therapists
All of our therapists work closely with the medical team and have a recognised qualification in their chosen therapy as recommended in the Complementary Therapy policy of the Berkshire West PCT.
Where are the treatments given?
Patients may receive complementary therapies in the privacy of our treatment room; either sitting in a chair or lying on a couch, whatever is most comfortable. At Duchess of Kent House, treatments also take place on the ward, with patients lying on their bed or seated by the bedside. Treatment length varies depending on your individual needs.
After a treatment
Following a complementary therapy treatment it is advised that you rest and drink plenty of water (if appropriate to you). If you have a query or concern after the session please contact your therapist for advice.
How to arrange a treatment
· Day therapy patients – therapists work during day therapy on a rota basis. Medical staff may refer you for a treatment if they feel it would benefit you. Following referral one of the therapists will come and see you during day therapy to arrange a treatment
· Outpatients – medical staff may refer you for a complementary therapy treatment if they feel a session would be beneficial to you. Following referral, one of the therapists will contact you so that a treatment can be arranged at your nearest centre
· Ward patients (Duchess of Kent House only) – therapists work on the ward at Duchess of Kent House twice a week. If you would be interested in receiving a treatment during your stay please speak to one of the ward staff.
Do I have to pay for a treatment?
No, all complementary therapy sessions are free. They are provided by the West Berkshire Palliative Care Directorate and are funded entirely by the following three charities:
Duchess of Kent House Charity, Reading (Charity no. 1085912)
Wokingham District Cancer Care Trust (Charity no. 1005833)
Newbury & District Cancer Care Trust (Charity no. 291975)
This free service depends on donations, therefore if you would like to make a donation please ask a member of staff or look on one of our websites (see contact details below).
Duchess of Kent House
22 Liebenrood Road
Reading RG30 2DX
Tel: 0118 939 4889 www.dokhc.org.uk
Berkshire RG41 2RE
Tel: 0118 949 5030 www.wdcct.org.uk
Charles Clore Unit (day therapy only) ***
West Berkshire Community Hospital
Berkshire RG18 3AS
Tel: 01635 273725 www.newburycancercare.org.uk
*** Outpatient appointments take place at Deanwood Park Golf Club Therapy Rooms at Stockcross, Newbury.
See the cancerbackup booklet ‘Cancer and complementary therapies’ (www.cancerbackup.org.uk) and the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health - ‘Complementary Healthcare: a guide’ (www.fih.org.uk).