Complementary therapies

“For me being diagnosed with terminal cancer has been very stressful. The treatment I have received has helped me to cope by relaxing me. I have had more support from the Hospice than anywhere else. Thank you so much.”

– A patient at St Giles

At St Giles we offer a wide range of complementary therapies which can be received safely alongside the treatments and medicines prescribed by your doctor.

These therapies are not a replacement for your medical treatment, but are designed to improve your sense of wellbeing and relaxation, alleviate discomfort or pain and offer new ways of coping with your situation.

Complementary therapists visit the inpatient unit whenever possible and treatments can be requested through the nursing team. We also offer hour-long complementary therapy sessions in a group setting, including a range of therapies such as reiki, massage, sound therapy and mindfulness. One-to-one sessions are offered at our centres in Whittington, Sutton Coldfield and Uttoxeter.

Complementary therapies are available during our Wellbeing Day, held on Tuesdays at the Day Hospice at Whittington and many Day Hospice staff are trained to give short “M” Technique treatments. Day Hospice patients can also be referred for one-to-one treatments with therapists in our treatment rooms.

Some complementary therapy sessions last for a short time (such as a 10-15 minute hand massages) while others can last up to an hour. Treatments include:

Treatment can be administered to various parts of the body as required, such as hand, shoulder or full-body massages.

We only remove as much clothing as you are comfortable with to allow the therapist to apply oil to the skin. Plain oil can be used, or a pre-mixed oil blended with some safe essential oils.

Indian head massage involves the therapist using their hands to knead, rub and squeeze the body’s soft tissues around the back, shoulders and neck. A massage cream can be used as an alternative to oil, and the treatment can be carried out without the removal of clothing.

Reflexology is administered to the feet (and sometimes hands) helping the body to restore balance between itself, the mind, emotions and spirit. The whole body is mapped out on the feet, allowing a full-body treatment to be experienced with the therapist only touching the patient’s feet.

Energy field therapy helps to clear old or stuck energies, enabling the client to feel clearer and calmer. Sessions last between 45-60 minutes and there is little or no physical contact as the therapist is working almost exclusively in the energy field.

Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is an ancient Japanese hands-on energy therapy which works to create spiritual, emotional, mental and physical harmony.

Reiki is safe and non-intrusive. The client lies fully clothed on a therapy couch or sits in a well-supported chair and the therapist places their hands on areas such as the head, stomach, chest, hips, knees and feet.

“M” Technique is a sequence of gentle, structured strokes performed at a soothing and regular speed and is suitable for people who are stressed, very fragile, critically ill or actively dying.

“M” technique can be administered to the skin or through thin clothing to the whole body or to the hands and feet only. Oil does not have to be used.

Aromatherapy is the controlled use of essential oils extracted from plant sources such as flowers, which can be blended with a carrier oil or cream to create a therapeutic massage ointment or used in other mediums such as diffusers for inhalation.

At the start of an aromatherapy massage, the aromatherapist will create a blend of oils specifically for the client, based on the needs and symptoms that present on the day.

Hypnosis is a state where the patient is neither asleep nor awake, and all hypnotic states are characterised by a pleasant state of relaxation. The resulting altered state of consciousness allows a hypnotherapist to make beneficial suggestions into the unconscious mind of the client.

No one can be hypnotised against their will and, even when hypnotised, people can still reject any suggestions given if they are not appropriate. Hypnosis can be used to benefit both physical and emotional conditions.

If you have any questions or would like more information about the therapies available and any costs involved, please email our Supportive Care Team: or call 01543 434536.