Reflexology and Palliative Care
After attending a fantastic course about adapting reflexology for palliative care, I have learnt a lot about how much Reflexology can actually help in all stages of Cancer Care.
Complementary therapies can be used alongside conventional medical treatments to aid, support and boost cancer patient’s physical and/or emotional health. Research and trails have been done by Doctors, nurses and therapists, to develop a better understanding how Complementary therapies help Cancer and Palliative Care. After research was conducted into reflexology in breast cancer, the following conclusion was made by Sharp et Al (2010);
“The findings reported here suggest that when compared to SIS, reflexology and massage have statistically significant, and, for reflexology, clinically worthwhile, effects on quality of life following surgery for women with early breast cancer accessing a UK NHS support centre.
Reflexology can therefore be considered an evidence-based complementary intervention for improving the quality of life of women with early breast cancer.”
What can Complementary Therapies do?
Complementary therapies treat a person as a whole and not just the cancer that is being presented, but all the emotional and symptoms that need addressing also. The diagnosis can largely effect the client with cancer, but can also effect all the family and friends close to the client. For this reason, complementary therapies can really help everyone involved.
Reflexology can often help on both an emotional and physical level, by initially helping to overcome the shock and then aiding symptom relief. Reflexology can help improve quality of life by supporting the patient’s emotional well-being and often helping to reduce the side effects that are often brought on by medical treatments. Emotions such as anxiety, stress and depression may often occur following a diagnosis of cancer, both for the patient and their carers. These can often be eased with reflexology treatments. Other benefits of reflexology have been found, such as improving sleep, reducing oedema, boosting energy levels and reducing pain. Treatments can be given before, during and after the medical treatment of cancer.
There are several organisations and Charities in the UK that offer Complementary Therapies as part of the treatment of Cancer. Macmillan cancer support is an amazing organisation that covers all aspect of advice and support. Macmillan have made the following points about how complementary therapies can help someone who is suffering from cancer;
“There are many reasons for using complementary therapies. They can be a good way of helping you cope with some of the stresses caused by cancer and cancer treatments. Many therapies are relaxing, and having an enjoyable experience may lift your spirits when you aren’t feeling your best. Some complementary therapies can also help to relieve specific symptoms or side effects caused by cancer or its treatment.”
The power of touch is an amazing thing. Complementary therapies provide a safe, warm, quiet place where patients can spend time to think, have time out from everything else, able to have a chat and feel relaxed.