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Complementary Therapies

Easing symptoms and increasing wellbeing

How can complementary therapies help?

Complementary therapies aim to provide you with a pleasurable and beneficial experience which may help to ease symptoms and provide an increased sense of wellbeing.

They aim to benefit you emotionally, spiritually and physically and are provided alongside other treatments. The benefits include creating a sense of relaxation and calm, improving relief of symptoms such as pain, constipation and breathlessness, and improving sleep patterns and reducing anxiety.

What does St Nicholas Hospice Care offer?

Therapies offered include aromatherapy, therapeutic massage, reflexology, Reiki and Indian head massage. They are delivered by trained complementary therapy staff and a small group of qualified volunteers. Other treatments may be available depending on the experience of our staff and volunteer group. All therapies are given to patients free of charge.

Aromatherapy and massage
Both aromatherapy and massage can be used as independent therapies, or used together. Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils to enhance the wellbeing of body and mind. The oils are carefully blended once your individual needs are assessed. Massage can aid relaxation and ease both physical symptoms and emotional tension.

Indian head massage
This massage is used specifically to treat the upper back, shoulders, neck, head and face area.

A specific massage of the hands or feet to assist symptom control and enhance physical and emotional wellbeing.

Reiki (pronounced ‘ray-key’)
Reiki is Japanese for ‘universal life energy’. In the Hospice environment we understand Reiki to be a therapy that uses touch and energy which may help you relax naturally at a deeper level and bring comfort and support at a difficult time.

Relaxation techniques
Relaxation is a key benefit of complementary therapies and may be further enhanced by the teaching of relaxation exercises, with or without the use of special CDs to use at home.

Referrals to complementary therapy

All referrals to the complementary therapy service will be considered by the Hospice’s multidisciplinary team. Any Hospice staff member can refer you to complementary therapy, and external referrals are also accepted from GPs, hospital medical staff, community nurse specialists, district nurses and social care agencies. We will also consider self-referrals.

On accepting you as a new referral, the complementary therapist will make an initial assessment of your individual needs and decide on the appropriate therapy. This may be offered at the Hospice in Bury St Edmunds, at the Haverhill Hub or in your own home. Normally up to six sessions will be offered initially, after which treatments are reviewed. Treatments may be discontinued, or if there is a persisting need, further sessions may be agreed. You can be referred back to the Complementary Therapy Service at a later date.

Get in touch

If you would like to find out more about complementary therapies please contact us on 01284 766133 or at