New complementary therapies for patients living with cancer

A new complementary therapy service will be offered to cancer patients, carers and staff on Mulbarton ward from January, thanks to £45,000 to fund the project for 18 months from the N&N Hospitals Charity.

A new team of two therapists and a co-ordinator will offer a range of complementary services including massage, reiki, aromatherapy, reflexology and M technique – a type of massage which works on the sensory skin receptors, which is particularly suitable for frail, unwell people and patients at end of life. Therapies will be given in adherence to NICE guidelines to patients who are living with cancer.

Complementary therapies are used alongside and in support of medical healthcare treatment. They are natural and holistic interventions that can be used in addition to standardised cancer treatments to enhance wellbeing.

The aim of the service will be to:

  • Promote relaxation
  • Help manage anxiety, depression, stress and tension
  • Improve symptoms such as pain, muscle fatigue and tension
  • Assist sleep patterns
  • Reduce psychological distress, provide emotional comfort and support
  • Improve wellbeing and quality of life
  • Improve skin conditions and stimulate circulation
  • Stimulate energy and fitness levels
  • Support management of fears related to a condition or treatment
  • Provide emotional outlets and teach coping techniques.

Daniela Ayre, Specialist Palliative Care Nurse and Educator, said: “This is an amazing development for our patients living with cancer. This is a holistic approach looking at the emotional and psychological needs of patients, as well as the physical. These services have been proven to be beneficial for wellbeing. They have been proven to reduce anxiety, improve quality of life, and may contribute to prolonging life.”

Helen Payne, Mulbarton Ward Manager, said: “We will also be offering these services to carers and our staff as well. We are extremely grateful to the N&N Hospitals Charity for funding this project. It is amazing we can offer our very own homegrown service.”