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Complementary therapies at the LJMC

Our complementary therapy service has been at the heart of the LJMC's service since day one. A range of therapies is offered, mainly to relieve stress or stress-related symptoms. We invited a couple of patients to share their experiences.

While Elaine was waiting for her radiotherapy appointment one day, she started chatting with another patient who told her about the LJMC. She recommended the centre as a lovely place to go, with kind staff with whom she could chat and take time out from all the 'medical madness' that was going on.

With such an enticing description, Elaine dropped in and was told about the complementary therapy service.

"I'd always felt we can be too quick to use drugs for every ailment and that there must be healthier, more natural ways of dealing with some aspects of illness," she said. "I didn't really understand about complementary therapy and how it could help so I decided to give it a try."

Elaine chose to try Reiki. This was a therapy about which she had read a bit and she was intrigued as to how it might help. "From the very first session, the sense of peace, calmness and feeling of wellbeing was amazing," she said. "I even cried because it was so lovely and made me feel peaceful. I felt in control again and able to deal with everyday life."

The positive feelings continued long after the sessions at the LJMC. Elaine told us that she felt energised by the treatment, more connected with her surroundings and less stressed by life's little irritations.

"My family and friends have noticed a difference in me and I constantly tell them that Reiki is the answer."

Cathy, on the other hand, opted for aromatherapy. She had had massages before and she already knew that this therapy would be helpful for the sore shoulder and back ache she had developed following surgery.

"The sessions were lovely," said Cathy. "I felt fully involved in the process of choosing the oils and the massage was so relaxing. I always left feeling great and that feeling was with me for the whole day. I also slept very well following treatments. To be offered this treatment at such a time felt like such a lovely treat."

Both Elaine and Cathy enthused about their therapies and fervently encourage others to try complementary therapy as a way to cope during treatment for cancer.


Aromatherapy take-away

Mandarin is used to aid sleep in our aromasticksRe-capturing the atmosphere of an aromatherapy session is now possible thanks to our fledgling service of the sale of aromasticks.

These pocket-sized inhalers are impregnated with essential oils that patients can gently smell.

We have three types generally available:

  • For sleep: mandarin, lavender and mandarin petitgrain
  • Soothing & calming: geranium and orange
  • Enlivening: lemon eucalyptus, palmarosa and grapefruit
  • If there is a particular blend of oils that someone especially likes or needs, we are also able to make a special blend for them.

The therapies offered at the LJMC are intended to complement conventional treatment. They are not alternative treatments and are not intended to replace the medical treatment of cancer.

Lavender is used to aid sleep in our aromasticksAll the therapists who work at the LJMC are fully qualified, professionally registered and have trained to work with people with cancer.

Therapists work on an outpatient appointment basis in the LJMC. Our team of volunteer therapists also visit the wards and waiting areas of the Cancer Centre.

The service is funded entirely by charitable donations and we are extremely grateful to those who support this aspect of our work.



Last updated: November 9, 2017

Lemon eucalyptis is used in our enlivening aromastick

This article first appeared in the Autumn 2017 issue of the LJMC newsletter, Open Door.