The hospice offers courses of treatment in massage, aromatherapy, reiki and reflexology to help patients manage the pain, stress and anxiety that can come with a serious illness. There are two Complementary Therapists, Angie and Anna, and six volunteers who work to deliver treatments on the Inpatient Unit (IPU) and in patients’ own homes.

We spoke to Angie, about a typical day in her role: ‘In the morning I visit the IPU to deliver treatments to inpatients. This could include hand massage, reflexology or aromatherapy, which involves inhaling essential oils or massaging them into the skin.

‘I had one patient who had lost his appetite. He told me about the mandarin tarts his mum baked for him as a child, so I used mandarin oil for his course of aromatherapy. It really helped to stimulate his appetite so he could enjoy food again.

‘We then see outpatients in the afternoon – either in the Wellbeing Centre at the hospice or in their own homes. There’s also a weekly relaxation group where patients learn techniques that can help them in stressful situations – some say they have used them while having treatment, for example.

‘It’s so rewarding as feedback is instant, either verbally, or by seeing a patient relax or smile.’  

Emily Bowler, Therapies Team Manager adds: ‘We’re working hard to reach more people in our community. The volunteers who have recently joined the team will help us deliver more treatments in patients’ home and outside of normal working hours.

‘One of our volunteers is a trained acupuncturist, which means we will also be able to offer a more diverse range of treatments.’

If you’re qualified at Level 3 or equivalent in massage, we’d love to hear from you! We’re always looking for volunteers to join our Complementary Therapy team to help deliver patient treatments on our Inpatient Unit or Wellbeing Centre. Click here for more information.