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Complementary Therapies

Complementary Therapies

What are Complementary Therapies?

Complementary Therapies can encourage relaxation, reduce anxiety, relieve stress and may help boost your immune system.

Many therapies relax your body, calm your mind and can be useful in cases where you need a helping hand – whether you are experiencing an illness, worries, anxieties or stress.

The therapies offered at the hospice are gentle and now widely recognised as working well alongside your ongoing treatment and care. The therapist will complete an initial assessment to ensure the right therapy is chosen for you, prior to your session.

What can I expect?

A therapy session can be received in your chair, in bed, on a therapy couch or wherever you are most comfortable. Sessions usually last around 30 minutes, though a shorter session can still be beneficial and relaxing.

In addition to a deep sense of relaxation and calm some people also experience a reduction in physical pain or other symptoms, such as nausea, headaches or digestion problems. Others find they sleep better, feeling more settled and at ease.

What therapies can I experience?

We offer a range of therapies suitable for our patients and carers. These include:

Reiki is a gentle therapy which can be calming, soothing and provide great comfort. You remain fully clothed and can receive Reiki sitting in a chair or lying on a bed or couch. By placing their hands on, or near your body, Reiki energy flows through the therapist’s hands to help boost your own energy levels.

Using techniques from meditation, mindfulness and yoga, your therapist will tailor your experience; you will learn simple yet effective tools to use at home to help you feel more able to cope. This may reduce anxiety, relieve stress, improve your sleep and help cope with symptoms.


Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) often known as Tapping is a simple technique used to help relieve anxiety, stress, discomfort, worry and distress.

You will be guided by the therapist to quietly tap various areas of your body, using your fingertips to provide ease and relief.

Based on the same principles as acupuncture, this is a gentle therapy using only light fingertip tapping and words to bring comfort and release from many symptoms.

A therapy specifically for our younger patients, siblings and children who might be affected by circumstances. These sessions bring about positive changes.

Hands on Empathy Aromas Relaxation Textures Sound

HEARTS is a gentle, effective therapy which always includes physical contact, using a scarf or blanket with gentle massage movements.

The therapist combines the above techniques to tailor the session to whatever you need in the moment, so you feel calm, relaxed and at ease.

This massage therapy is received fully clothed, using a combination of 10 simple moves combined with stories, poems, songs or phrases that have meaning to the person receiving the massage. People receiving story massage find it soothing, reassuring and memorable.


Once you have received your therapy session you should be aware of the following points:

  • You are advised to drink plenty of water after your session
  • You may feel tired afterwards or need a rest
  • You may feel the need to visit the toilet more often
  • If possible, take it easy and have some quiet time after your session
  • Some people may feel quite energised after a session; be gentle with yourself and avoid doing too much
  • Sometimes you may feel a desire to eat a certain food; listen to what your body needs at this time


To ensure we deliver therapies that suit the needs of patients and carers, we may ask you for feedback on your experience. We may ask you to complete an evaluation form or more informally leave any comments. This will help us in the future to adapt, develop and improve the service.

Patient and Carer Comments

"Now I remember what relaxed feels like; such a relief."

"I love how calm I feel afterwards; I don't feel sickly anymore."

"Reiki is a real help, I have had the best night's sleep in ages."

Complementary Therapy Sessions are available for all patients and carers.

Many thanks to Yvonne Coomber for use of the image at the top of this page.