Our physiotherapist and complementary therapists can help you to manage your symptoms. They aim to help you live your life to the full no matter what illness you may have.
Our specialist physiotherapist can help you with physical problems associated with your life-limiting condition. Physiotherapy can play a key role in palliative care and focuses on helping you to improve and maintain quality of life and to enable you to be as independent as possible regardless of prognosis. Some of the symptoms physiotherapy can help with are breathlessness, fatigue and pain.
Living Well Programme
For our patients that can attend our Day Centre we offer the Living Well Programme. The four week programme aims to provide education and practical tips on how to self-manage a number of symptoms including anxiety, fatigue and breathlessness. Patients and carers can be referred to us for an assessment by any member of clinical staff at the hospice.
Our complementary therapists work alongside the other hospice teams to help manage your symptoms. These might include insomnia, anxiety, constipation and other side effects commonly associated with treatment.
The therapies we provide are Reflexology, Reiki, Aromatherapy, Massage, Hypnotherapy, Visualisation/Relaxation techniques.
The course of treatments we provide will vary depending on individual needs.
A number of years ago Mat Atkins, one of our Complementary Therapists produced a Relaxation session lasting 20 minutes. Anyone who might feel that they may benefit from some quality “me time” during these challenging times can listen in and hopefully it will help.
The session is self guided and follows the classic relaxation sequence with positive suggestions for health and well-being and has received many positive comments and feedback from patients and carers over the years.
Reflexology is based on the theory that your feet are like mini maps of your body – with every organ and system interlinked to a corresponding region of the feet. By stimulating certain points of the foot, it can help revitalise energy pathways, reduce blockages and promote the body’s natural healing process; helping to address different symptoms and issues.
Studies have shown that reflexology can help to reduce the levels of stress hormones, thereby reducing anxiety and tension; lower blood pressure; improve sleep patterns and help with pain relief to name but a few.
Reflexology is a popular treatment here at the hospice of the valleys for patients, carers and bereaved relatives (as well as staff wellbeing)
Here a Hospice of the Valleys patient shares her experience of reflexology;
I was a rather reluctant participant to reflexology when it was first recommended to me. Firstly, I knew very little about it or whether it was effective and secondly, it involved someone touching my feet; I hate feet – my own included.
However, after months of various treatments including radiotherapy, a medley of medicine changes, seizures and other stresses and strains that invariably occur as a patient, I was willing to try anything that would make me feel the least bit ‘normal’ again.
Reflexology turned out to be the best medicine.
Surprisingly, there was no need to feel squeamish about someone touching my feet; there was nothing torturous or ticklish about the entire process. In fact, it was entirely relaxing. Pressure and massage applied to certain areas of my feet seemed to have a positive effect on other areas of my body. Sometimes, the effect was instantaneous; pressure to a certain point on my foot would cause ripples of stress and strain to evaporate from my neck, back or shoulders. Other times, the effects would be felt a day or two later; I’d feel more energised and less fatigued. Not to mention the positive impact on my general sense of mental health and well-being; being a busy mum meant that during the reflexology session I had a chance to get my mind back in tune with my body.
I am no longer reluctant about reflexology as a course of treatment; I leave each session feeling mentally and physically lighter, knowing that my body knows how to take and respond to the treatment. Reflexology is good for the sole and the soul.