A Guide to Complementary Therapy for Patients and Carers

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1 A Guide to Complementary Therapy for Patients and Carers

2 St Giles Hospice At St Giles Hospice we offer a range of complementary therapies, which can be received safely alongside the treatments and medicines you are prescribed by your doctor. They are not offered as a replacement for treatments you are already receiving, but rather to complement them. Therapies can:. Reduce anxiety. Help regulate your sleeping pattern. Ease low mood. Help with pain management Complementary therapies are available to all St Giles patients and their carers, following a referral from their nurse, doctor or other hospice professional. 2

3 What are the main benefits of treatment? Therapies such as Reiki, Indian head massage, reflexology and aromatherapy help to bring the body, mind and spirit into balance, helping you to feel calm, mentally alert and strong. You may also experience relief from some symptoms and overall feel relaxed and less stressed, which in turn leads to a more positive outlook. For Carers As a carer for someone with a life-limiting illness the emotional strain is often great, and in some cases leads to anxiety and depression. Complementary therapies offer relief during times of great emotional and physical stress. St Giles Hospice offers access to a range of treatments including aromatherapy, reflexology, Indian head massage and Reiki. Your appointments can be made at a time to suit you and may be fitted in to coincide with visits to our Inpatient Care Centre. Treatments are available at our Whittington base or at our sister site at Lindridge Road, Sutton Coldfield. We will continue to support your needs throughout your time as a carer and can provide complementary therapies to help ease the emotional stress of bereavement. 3

4 Treatments Available Reflexology Reflexology can be applied to hands and feet, helping the body restore balance between itself, the mind, emotions and spirit. Reflexology is unique to the individual in terms of application and effect; the whole of the body is mapped out on the feet, allowing a full body treatment while only touching the feet. Sensitive trained hands can detect tiny deposits and imbalances in the feet and by working these points your reflexologist releases any blockages and restores the flow of energy to the whole body. Treatment times vary depending on the individual, but typically a treatment will last between 20 and 45 minutes. 4

5 Indian Head Massage Indian head massage is based on the ancient system of medicine known as Ayurveda, which has been practised in India for over 5000 years. The treatment involves the therapist using their hands to knead, rub and squeeze the body s soft tissues. Light pressure is applied in a gentle massage across the back, shoulders and the neck. The treatment is completed with a gentle scalp and face massage, which leaves the client feeling fresh and relaxed. This may also help with those aches and pains a carer sometimes experiences while sitting by a bedside. Indian head massage can be carried out without the removal of clothing. While traditionally the treatment is carried out using oils, a massage cream may be used as an alternative. 5

6 Aromatherapy Aromatherapy is the controlled use of essential oils extracted from plant sources such as flowers, which are blended with a carrier oil or cream to create a therapeutic massage ointment, or maybe used in diffusers or other mediums. Essential oils have been used for thousands of years as a form of natural medicine and an aromatherapy treatment may be used by anyone of any age to help maintain their health and sense of wellbeing. Essential oils treat the whole person body, mind and spirit and as well as acting on a specific illness or area they can be used as a preventative measure to strengthen the immune system. At the start of an aromatherapy massage, an aromatherapist will create a blend of oils specifically for a client, based on their personality and current health issues. A massage treatment may be anything from a hand massage to a full back massage, each treatment lasting between 20 and 45 minutes. 6

7 Reiki Reiki pronounced ray-key - is a Japanese word that means universal life force energy. Reiki is an ancient hands-on energy therapy; it works to bring spiritual, emotional, mental and physical harmony. Reiki is safe and non-intrusive. The client lies fully clothed on a therapy couch or sits in a well-supported chair and during the course of a 45 minute treatment the practitioner will place their hands on the body in certain areas, such as the head, stomach, chest, hips, knees and feet. There are different hand positions that the practitioner will perform during the treatment. It is a deeply relaxing experience for the client and research has shown that it can help reduce a number of conditions which are related to stress, as well as chronic conditions such as arthritis and asthma. As the energy is channelled through the body the client may feel a tingling sensation in certain areas of the body, over the site of old wounds for example. As the energy channels are balanced, people can find themselves crying. This is a normal reaction in someone who has been holding on to emotions, while some people just relax through the treatment. Everyone is an individual and your own experiences are right for you. 7

8 Frequently Asked Questions Can Complementary Therapy help with Cancer Care? There are many complementary therapies that may be used during cancer treatment to help the patient cope with the symptoms associated with the disease and with treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy. When can I have a treatment? Patients and carers may access a treatment at any point during their illness. Reflexology, aromatherapy, massage and Reiki are often used to alleviate stress and anxiety before surgery, a course of chemotherapy or throughout challenging times during the journey. Reiki in particular is said to help prepare the body for surgery. In this instance it is advisable to have a course of treatment over several days or weeks before the operation. Can I have a massage if I am having radiotherapy? A massage with essential oils cannot be carried out while you are having radiotherapy. However, you can have a form of massage using gentle holding techniques. These are massage movements that are applied gently to the body, followed by the therapist using the hands to stroke and hold the area being massaged. This will feel warm and supportive and is very gentle and light to experience, with no pressure being used on the body. These techniques would be used for two or three weeks after your treatment. Other treatments such as Reiki, would also be beneficial at this time. 8

9 Can I have a treatment if I am having chemotherapy? Yes, gentle massage techniques and Reiki may be used before and after chemotherapy. A massage with aromatherapy oils or reflexology can take place two days after chemotherapy. It should ideally be slotted in before the next cycle of chemotherapy, something we try to accommodate for our patients. How do I book a treatment? If you would like to receive complementary therapy, please speak to any member of the healthcare team. After discussing your request, they will refer you for treatment. Once a referral has been received, the Complementary Therapy Administrator will contact you and will talk about your needs and suggest options for you. You will be offered 6 appointments. Each individual is considered for further treatment on a case by case basis. Cancellation Policy Should you need to cancel an appointment please give 24 hours notice whenever possible. Our promise to you If your therapist is unexpectedly absent we will try and reschedule your appointment as soon as possible. 9

10 Donations Volunteers are not able to accept personal gifts, but we are grateful for any financial donation, however small, you may wish to make to our service, which is primarily funded by voluntary donations. Contact information For further information about the service please contact: The Complementary Therapy Facilitator Tel: Comments We re always pleased to receive suggestions or comments from you and your family, as these may help us to improve our services. You may speak with any member of staff looking after you about any aspect of your support or use the form on the following page. We also welcome comments about this leaflet. Complaints If you have any issues or concerns regarding the care you have received please contact the Nursing Director in the first instance, at the Whittington address, who will do her utmost to address your queries. Service Quality The quality of the services we offer is regularly reviewed, and we welcome your views. A quality questionnaire is available for anyone to use. Please ask a member of staff for details, or if you would like to see a copy of the latest survey results. 10

11 Regulation of the Hospice Although St Giles is an independent charity, we are regulated by the Care Quality Commission, which inspects the hospice on a regular basis to ensure we are providing high standards of care. You are welcome to send comments about our service (good or not so good!) to: Care Quality Commission, Citygate, Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4PA Telephone: , A copy of their latest inspection report is available from their website by visiting Suggestions and Complaints Because we value all suggestions and comments to enable us to improve our services, you may use this sheet and either hand it in to a member of staff or post it in the suggestion box. My comments Date If you would like to add your name, you may do so here. 11

12 St Giles Hospice St Giles Hospice is a registered charity providing individual care and support for people from across the local area with cancer and other serious life limiting illnesses. Our dedicated team offers high-quality care for patients, and support for their families and helpers. We care in a variety of ways according to the patient's individual needs. Services are offered at our three hospice facilities, in Lichfield, Sutton Coldfield and Walsall, as well as in your own home. The services at these sites vary but between them include two In-Patient facilities, Day Hospice, Lymphoedema Clinics, Complementary Therapies, supportive care programmes and out patient appointments. Our catchment area, shown on the map, ranges from Atherstone and Ashby in the east to Cannock and Walsall in the west - and from Burton on Trent and Uttoxeter in the north to Sutton Coldfield and Coleshill in the south. There is no charge to patients or families for the specialist services we offer. We receive some funds from the NHS but primarily we rely on fundraising activities, voluntary contributions and legacies. If you would like further information on our work, please refer to our website at stgileshospice.com or ask any member of staff. St Giles Hospice, Fisherwick Road, Whittington, Lichfield, WS14 9LH Tel: Fax: web: Registered charity No: Published: April 2012

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