Complementary therapies are gentle and relaxing to receive and can have a positive impact on your wellbeing.  These therapies work alongside medical treatment and are not an alternative to it.  They can help to improve sleep, reduce anxiety and tension, ease pain and improve joint mobility.

Complementary therapies are available to patients of the Michael Sobell and Harlington Hospices and the people who care for them.   They are available on the inpatient unit and in the Wellbeing Hubs.  If a patient is not well enough to come to the hospice, our therapists can visit them at home.

We currently offer the following therapies:

Acupuncture is a treatment that has its origins in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  It involves the insertion of fine needles into the skin in order to balance the energy of the body.  It is proven effective in relief of pain, nausea, breathlessness, dry mouth, fatigue and hot flushes.

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils, which are derived from plants and flowers, for their therapeutic effect.  They may be used holistically for emotional and psychological support, for a specific clinical effect such as relief of pain or nausea or, more usually, a combination of both.  Aromatherapy is often applied in massage but may also be used in baths, compresses, inhalations or creams.  The aromatherapist will usually use a blend of essential oils chosen specifically for each person based on their medical history and the desired effect or outcome.

Indian Head Massage has been adapted from ancient treatments given in India to meet the needs of a busy western world.  The aim is to reduce the tensions and stresses of everyday life through massage of the head, neck, shoulders, back and face.  It is a seated massage and carried out through clothes and without oils.

Massage is a physical therapy involving manipulation of the muscles and soft tissues of the body.  Massage is proven beneficial in reducing feelings of stress and anxiety and enhancing relaxation and wellbeing.  It is also used to improve circulation and can help with the management of some painful conditions, particularly pain of the head, neck and shoulders associated with stress and anxiety.

Reflexology is a specific massage therapy usually practiced on the soles of the feet and is based on the idea that different parts of the feet (and hands) are associated with particular parts of the body.  By working on the soles of the feet the reflexologist can treat the whole body. The touch is light but firm so it does not tickle.  The treatment is generally found to be relaxing yet energising and can also be used to treat specific symptoms such as proven benefit in the treatment of lower back pain.

Reflexology Lymph Drainage (RLD) is an award-winning reflexology technique that focuses on stimulating the lymphatic reflexes on the feet. The aim is to cause an effect on the lymphatic system in the body, helping lymph to flow and swelling to reduce.

Reiki is a gentle therapy that originates from Japan. Pronounced ray-key, Reiki means 'universal life energy’ in Japanese. 

Reiki therapists have an understanding that our physical body is surrounded by an energy field. When we become unwell physically, emotionally or mentally this has an unbalancing effect on our energy field.  The Reiki practitioner uses simple hands-on or non-touch techniques to communicate harmonising energy to the patient. This allows their energy field to rebalance, which in turn may ease symptoms physically, mentally and emotionally.  Most people find Reiki very relaxing to receive.  It can help to reduce anxiety, improve energy levels, ease symptoms and aid restful sleep at night.

We can work with you to design the Wellbeing plan that best suits your needs. This might include therapies to enhance your physical and emotional wellbeing. It might also include clinical planning if requested.

The Wellbeing services are available to you, those close to you and your support network.

If you would like to speak about a care plan for yourself or someone you care for please contact our referral team on 0208 759 0453 or email [email protected]