Complimentary Therapy and Cancer Patients

For some time now I have been volunteering at my local hospital within the oncology unit where free complimentary therapies including reflexology and Indian head massage are offered to people suffering from cancer.

Why did I become a complimentary therapist and what made me want to volunteer?

Starting out with a career in the food industry 30 years ago I was thrown into stress and fast paced working, fine in my 20's but it took its toll on my stress levels as I got older. Alongside working I experienced alot of different complimentary therapies to reduce my stress level and ended up training in massage, Indian head massage and later reflexology.

I now run a reflexology business from my home and have always been drawn to helping people. Cancer touches us all in one way or another and I felt I wanted to share my time and skills with people who were going through a difficult time. I therefore applied for a voluntary position within the Oncology Unit at Cheltenham General. I volunteer one morning a fortnight and I love it. I had previously attended a reflexology for cancer course at the Christies hospital in Manchester and am fully trained and insured.

 My typical morning would be as follows:

  • Touch base with the unit manager and obtain patient lists
  • Set up therapy room and couch
  • Prepare consultation forms for patients
  • Welcome and provide either reflexology or Indian head massage to 4 patients ( usually outpatients, but occasionally inpatients), allowing 30 minutes each
  • Write up notes and tidy treatment area

I meet some wonderful people, many of whom are scared, angry, tired or overwhelmed or who just want to be in a space where there is no medical intervention, a place just to lie/sit and just 'be'. Many of them say how relaxing and beneficial their sessions are and they come back regularly throughout their treatment

It is such a priviledge to help people even a little bit on their journey and I feel happy I can make a bit of a difference at a time where they need the support.