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 patients and their immediate carer are offered six free sessions by appointment.
We currently offer Massage, Aromatherapy Massage, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage, Reiki, and Bowen Technique.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Supporting anyone affected by cancer at centres in Exeter, Okehampton, Tiverton and Honiton
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 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.
Reiki is a therapy which relaxes the body, promoting a calm and peaceful sense of well-being. Clients remain clothed and can either lie on a couch or sit on a chair. The therapist will place their hands on or near the body but there is no massage or manipulation.
Bowen Technique is a gentle, non-invasive therapy which treats the whole person. The therapist uses rolling type movements over specific points on the muscles. This stimulates the muscles, soft tissue, nerves and energy within the body. After each movement, the therapist leaves the client for a minute or two, allowing messages to pass between the brain and the muscles to aid the rebalancing process. The aim of this treatment is to promote relaxation and help the body recharge and rebalance.
Our therapists do 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
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.
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 eight-week yoga courses, led by a specialist teacher, focusing on gentle exercises and breathing techniques to help with symptom relief while recovering from cancer. There are three courses per year on a Wednesday afternoon (2.30-3.30) with small class sizes of six people. This is a general cancer recovery yoga class rather than focusing on specific conditions and will help you learn what is useful for you throughout your cancer recovery and ongoing general health and well-being. For more details please call Louise on 01392 403094.