Complementary therapy is a non-invasive treatment which can work alongside approved conventional medicine. Treatment provided by our team of highly qualified volunteers and one employed complementary therapy co-ordinator can help you to relax, sleep better and generally feel better at a difficult time. The team provides therapies such as:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Reflexology
  • Swedish Massage
  • Hand Massage
  • Foot Massage
  • Indian Head Massage
  • Reiki
  • Shiatsu
  • Bowen Technique
  • Bach Flower Essences
  • Lymphoedema Taping
  • Indian head massage


Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy using essential oils derived from plants, flowers and trees. Essential oils are used to promote relaxation, stress-relief, may help to relieve constipation, skin conditions and improve well-being. Aromasticks are given for respiratory conditions to help breathing, to reduce anxiety and aid sleep.


Reflexology is the technique of applying gentle pressure to the reflex points of the hands or feet. It brings a deep state of relaxation, stimulates the body's own healing process and helps the person return to a state of balance and well-being. The body's systems are mapped out on the feet and hands and by stimulating the reflexes, energy blockages are released.

Swedish Massage

Swedish body massage is a holistic treatment to relax the mind and body. The massage movements relax the muscle fibres and have many benefits such as boosting the blood circulation, soothing the central nervous system, improving lymphatic drainage and relieving aches and pains.

Hand Massage

Touch is an important part of making patients feel that they are cared for which imparts warmth and happiness into our lives. Soothing movements are performed on the hands and forearms to relax and sometimes to de-stress a patient by reducing anxiety levels. Patients often fall asleep during a hand massage.

Foot Massage

A gentle massage using soothing techniques on the feet to relax or more stimulating movements to invigorate a patient. This is a popular treatment which can be given when a patient with mobility issues is lying in bed. Carers can also learn the foot massage.

Indian Head Massage

Indian Head Massage focuses on massaging the neck, back, arms, face and scalp, given through the clothes or straight onto the skin if the client prefers a massage this way. Indian Head Massage can relieve headaches, sinus problems, shoulder aches and pains.


Reiki is a Japanese technique of placing hands on or just above the body to soothe, relax and reduce stress. Reiki helps to free unblocked energy which creates discomfort and pain to promote a sense of wellbeing to balance the body. This non-invasive treatment can be hugely beneficial to those who are anxious and can be carried out in a bed, chair or massage couch with the person fully clothed.


Shiatsu is the Japanese version of acupressure where the practitioner uses their hands, knees, elbows and feet to apply pressure to points along meridians to balance the body and can help to relieve pain. A simplified version is performed on individuals which is more conducive to therapies offered at the hospice.

Bowen Technique

Bowen Technique is a hands-on therapy that can be given through light clothing. It involves a gentle rolling of skin over muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissue at precise points of the body. Only a tiny amount of pressure is used. Between each set of moves, the body is allowed to rest for a few minutes to allow the body to absorb the information it has received and initiate the healing process. Bowen Technique can restore balance to the body and has a strong record of success particularly with respiratory difficulties, emotional problems and joint and muscle pain.

Bach Flower Essences

Bach Flower Essences (with Consultant approval for patients) are used to treat patients, carers, staff and the bereaved who need emotional balancing to help them cope with their situation. The right combination of Bach Flower Essences may help to reduce panic, anxiety, grief, trauma and shock.

Lymphoedema Taping

Lymphoedema Tape is often applied to acute localised swelling often in the legs, arms or breast to minim the effects of manual lymphatic drainage. Moving lymphatic fluid from congested areas to non-congested areas.

This adhesive tape (often used for sports injuries) is applied to the skin after a 24-hour patch test to ensure that no allergic reaction occurs and lifts the skin reducing pressure on the lymphatic system underneath. Some patients have noticed a reduction in pain, swelling and an increase in mobility.

We are currently looking to recruit volunteers who are qualified in any of the above therapies to offer a regular timeslot of four hours on a fortnightly basis. Committed therapists will receive training and support to develop their skills and knowledge in a hospice setting.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact our complementary therapy coordinator Camilla Davies on 01722 425113 or email: