Complementary Therapies

There are many different forms of complementary therapies available to those receiving care from St Wilfrid’s Hospice. Many have been found to be helpful in improving feelings of well-being and helping you to relax and relieve anxiety. Some have also found that treatments can help with symptoms such as dry skin, sleep problems and pain.

Complementary therapies are not to diagnose or cure, they simply stimulate the body’s own natural balance. They work alongside and support the medical treatment provided at the hospice. All treatments are gentle and tailored to your individual needs. You can receive the treatment either sitting in a chair, wheelchair, lying on a couch or at your bedside.

Here are some of the therapies we currently provide patients and their families:

Aromatherapy uses natural plant essential oils combined to help promote emotional and physical wellbeing through a relaxing massage and inhalation. Aromatherapy can help reduce anxiety, improve sleep, reduce pain and help alleviate depression.

Bach Flower Remedy is a very gentle therapy which helps on an emotional level. A consultation with the therapist will help determine what remedies to select out of the 38 to choose from. They can help balance a range of emotions from anger, guilt, fear and exhaustion and help to regain a positive emotional balance. The therapist then creates your bespoke remedy bottle for you to take home. Bach clinics are held every Wednesday.

EFT or ‘tapping’ is based on energy points which are used in traditional acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments. EFT is done with your own fingertips on specific points on the head, chest and hands will be voicing positive affirmations. It may help dealing with stress, pain relief, and insomnia.

Group relaxation sessions are a one hour ‘Relax Yourself’ group session introducing basic ideas and techniques.  Please ask us for details of dates.

Indian Head Massage is a gentle massage of the head and shoulders. It can be beneficial for relieving stress and physical and emotional tension.  The treatment can be given fully clothed.

Massage is a gentle and soothing ‘hands on’ therapy, using a variety of strokes with an unscented oil or lotion to bring about physical and emotional ease. Many people enjoy having their hands or feet massaged.

Neutral Space Relaxation (NSR) is a very gentle relaxation treatment which may help to re-balance on a physical and emotional level. The treatment is done fully clothed with the therapist gently placing their hands on specific points (head, shoulders, legs etc.) and a series of gentle holds and rocking motions are done which is thought to help the energy flow in the body and promote a deep sense of relaxation.

Reflexology involves using specific pressure work and massage on the hands or feet.  Foot coverings only need to be removed for this treatment.

Reiki is a very relaxing therapy which helps improve your overall feeling of wellbeing.  You remain fully clothed for the treatment in which the therapist places their hands on or just above your body allowing energy to flow.

Who provides the treatments?

We have a team of fully trained complementary therapists who volunteer their time to provide the treatments.  We also have trained some of our own hospice volunteers to provide hand and foot massage treatment.

Would you like to receive a complementary therapy treatment?

  • If you would like to receive a treatment, please speak with any member of staff at the hospice and ask to be referred to the complementary therapy service. You will then be contacted by a member of the therapy team to arrange a convenient appointment.
  • Treatments are provided free of charge, although donations to the hospice are always gratefully received.
  • Treatments are automatically offered to those attending the Living Well Services and those on the In-Patient Unit.
  • With the exception of those on the In-Patient Unit, all treatments take place within the Living Well Centre. This is at the rear of the Main Hospice where there is parking available.
  • If traveling to the hospice for an appointment is difficult, we may be able to provide transport.  Please ask at the time of booking your treatment session.

If you would like further information on the therapies and how they might benefit you, please contact us on 01243 755 833 or emailing