St John’s Hospice offers Complementary Therapy treatments to our patients their families and carers. Complementary Therapy treatments are offered alongside conventional medicine in order to relieve symptoms, enhance wellbeing and aid relaxation.

What therapies are offered and what do they do?

Reflexology: this therapy uses gentle pressure to your feet or hands. Its aim is to bring about a state of relaxation, ease stress and anxiety, uplift mood and give a feeling of well-being. Aromatherapy blends can be used as part of this therapy

Massage: gentle massage can help to promote relaxation, ease tension, increase comfort and reduce pain. Research shows that massage can also help to decrease stress and ease anxiety as well as help improve sleep patterns and fatigue

Reiki: Reiki therapy is a way of guiding energy throughout the body to promote the recipient’s self-healing abilities. During a Reiki session the recipient lies on a couch fully clothed or in a comfortable sitting position and relaxes. The practitioner gently places their hands non-intrusively in a sequence of positions which cover the whole body. Reiki aims to calm the mind and emotions, reduce stress. Enhance relaxation, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep

Aromatherapy: this therapy uses aromatic plant oils (essential oils) to improve psychological and physical well-being. Aromatherapy can be given in the form of gentle massage using a blend of essential oils to induce relaxation, ease tension, reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and balance emotions.

All our Complementary Therapy treatments are offered subject to the availability of the therapist.

Meet Wendy, one of or Complementary Therapy Team here

Other services include

Pets therapy

Pets as Therapy, or PAT dogs, visit regularly to give patients who like dogs the opportunity to spend time with one. The companionship of an undemanding animal is proven to be calming and have a beneficial effect on patients and staff alike.

Patients are asked whether or not they would like to meet the PAT dog, – some prefer not to but most patients enjoy the presence of a calm and friendly pet.

Arts and crafts

Patients can work alongside our Activities Co-ordinator on a wide range of projects, including painting, baking, card making, as well as recording their memories and life stories for their families and friends.

Use of arts and crafts in palliative care is a powerful and effective way of addressing the practical, psychological, social and spiritual issues facing our patients.

Meet Richard, our Activities Co-ordinator here

Hairdressing service

The Hospice has its own hairdressing salon and hairdresser who provides a service to patients and carers whilst accessing the inpatient ward or the Day Therapy unit. This may be a wash and blow dry, a trim, colour or perm (a small cost applies to colouring and perms).

Our hairdresser is also able to offer manicures, facials and hand and arm massages to patients.

Referrals & appointments

Patients/carers can be referred to the Complementary Therapy Service by health care professional within the specialist palliative care team and specialist nurses.

Referrals to the Hairdresser and Activities Co-ordinator are made by the staff within each unit.

For more information contact the team at St John’s:

If you would like to contact a specific area or service there are more contact details on our contact us section.