The term complementary therapy covers a wide range of health related practices, not taught at a conventional medical school, which are used alongside conventional cancer treatments. They are not given with the aim of curing disease but rather to support physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. They can help to rekindle your spirit and passion for life, support you in making lifestyle changes and motivate you to find a way forward after cancer.
Some practitioners are trained in specific therapies such as shiatsu, reflexology, reiki and massage which use the power of appropriate, focused touch in the right place at the right time. In aromatherapy this will be combined with the use of appropriate oils.
It is quite normal to feel ‘stuck’ after diagnosis and at many points on the journey. You may feel unable to move on, frozen, everything is on hold, feeling out of control. Hands on complementary therapies provide physical connection with someone who understands. They can encourage you to talk in your own time and allow gradual release of emotions.
Other complementary practitioners offer support through nutritional therapy, homeopathy, herbs, flower essences, acupuncture, healing, music, art, tai chi, etc.
Practitioners working in the field of cancer care also have well developed counselling skills and integrate these within their particular therapy. In addition many offer support with breathing techniques, relaxation, imagery and meditation to calm the mind.
The practitioners we work with are very aware that many people affected by cancer are feeling vulnerable and may be on a roller coaster search for a cure.
We make it very clear that our work supports conventional treatments and is not an ‘alternative’. Equally it is not our role to push people in any particular direction.
Choose a therapist with whom you can feel at ease, and a therapy you enjoy, from the Practitioners column on the right.