Complementary therapies work alongside medical treatments and can be a valuable aid to relaxation, helping promote physical and emotional well-being.

FORCE Cancer Support Centre offers a range of complementary therapies, delivered by qualified therapists – some of whom are volunteers.

We have two purpose designed therapy rooms where new patients and their immediate carer are offered four free sessions by appointment.

We currently offer Massage, Aromatherapy Massage, Reflexology and Indian Head Massage.

When possible, we also offer Acupuncture sessions by appointment and via referral from specialist nurses for patients who have had radiotherapy for head and neck cancers.

If you need to cancel your appointment please call 01392 402086 or email

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Offering support to anyone locally affected by cancer since 1987

FORCE Cancer Charity

Corner House, Barrack Road, Exeter EX2 5DW

FORCE nursing team, including benefits advice

01392 406151

Psychological and emotional support

01392 406168

Specialist oncology physiotherapy

01392 403094

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Massage is a hands-on treatment in which the therapist manipulates muscles and other soft tissues of the body with a base oil to improve health and well-being.

Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy is similar to massage but, in addition, essential oils are used to suit individual requirements.


Reflexologists work on the reflexes in the feet with their thumbs and fingers, using specialised massage techniques. Clients need remove only shoes and socks or tights.

Indian Head Massage

This is a light massage to the head, shoulders and upper back while sitting comfortably in a chair. No oils are used and there is no need for any clothing to be removed.

Ward visits

When possible, our therapists visit oncology patients on the wards so please let us know if you would like us to see someone who can’t get to our Support Centre.

Make an appointment

Complementary therapies are offered free of charge but you must make an appointment. For further information or to book an appointment, please call Carol on 01392 402086


When possible we offer acupuncture at the FORCE Cancer Support Centre to patients who are experiencing fatigueanxiety or hot flushes as a result of their cancer treatment.

Acupuncture is also offered – via referral – for patients who have had radiotherapy for head and neck cancers. This can result in an unpleasant side effect known as xerostomia (dry mouth) which occurs when the salivary glands are damaged by radiation.

Symptoms may include dry mouth, difficulty chewing, swallowing, tasting or speaking, a burning feeling in the throat, cracked, sore lips, a dry, rough tongue.

How can acupuncture help?

Techniques similar to acupuncture were originally developed in the Far East and have been used for more than 5,000 years. Patients often notice an improved sense of well-being and it may also help some of the symptoms of xerostomia, fatigue, anxiety and hot flushes.

What should I expect?

Acupuncture sessions are held in small groups and last for 60 minutes. Acupuncture needles are very fine. Treatment is generally pain-free but a tingling, dull sensation may be experienced.
You will be seated comfortably for the duration and there is no need to remove any clothing. The acupuncturist will explain the treatment and a small number of needles will be inserted into specific points on the outer ear and thumbs. These are left in position for up to 30 minutes.
Once the needles have been removed, your treatment is complete and you are free to leave.

How often do I need to have acupuncture?

For xerostomia treatment you will be offered 4 weekly appointments followed by 3 monthly appointments.

The hot flush, fatigue and anxiety groups will be offered six weekly appointments. These are booked in advance.

When are sessions held?

• Fatigue and anxiety group – Tuesdays at 12 noon
• Hot flushes group – Tuesdays at 11am

Contact the centre for xerostomia session times.

Acupuncture is offered free of charge but you must make an appointment. 

Patients experiencing fatigue, anxiety and hot flushes should call Jayne on 01392 406151. 

Head and neck patients need a referral from the Head and Neck Specialist Nurse, who can be contacted on 01392 402215.

Yoga for symptom relief

FORCE offers an online yoga class, led by a specialist teacher, focusing on gentle exercises and breathing techniques to help with symptom relief while recovering from cancer. Classes are held weekly, delivered via Zoom on Wednesdays at 3pm. This is a general cancer recovery yoga class. Rather than focusing on specific conditions, it will help you learn what is useful for you throughout your cancer recovery and ongoing general health and wellbeing. For more details please contact or call 01392 402086.