Reflexology Cancer Treatment

Reflexology for treating Patients during Cancer Treatment 

For patients living with any form of cancer, life can be a physical and emotional struggle every day. But it’s still possible to promote well-being and quality of life, and doing so should be considered a priority for all patients, whether they’re still receiving treatment or are coming to the end of their life.

Complementary therapies work alongside medical intervention to help patients with advanced cancer relax their body and mind, as well as provide opportunities for symptom relief.

Claire using her unique reflexology and HEARTS skills to work with cancer patients

Reflexology is a non-invasive touch therapy that promotes relaxation, wellbeing, and can help provide relief from some physical cancer symptoms and side effects of treatment. Reflexology is based on the theory that that there are certain points on the feet and hands that correspond to the organs and glands in the body. Massaging these points can help restore balance in those areas.

Reflexology is a complementary therapy, which means it’s used alongside medical treatment that’s being given or planned, to enhance the physical and emotional wellbeing of the individual. It is not a treatment or a cure for cancer.

Helping patients with cancer, advanced cancer or palliative care to achieve relaxation and calm is so incredibly important during this stressful and frightening time in their life. Studies have found that reflexology can help provide a deep sense of calm and relaxation, provide pain relief, and lift the mood. Although there is limited published studies, reflexology may also help reduce nausea and vomiting, increase energy levels, improve sleep quality, lift mood, and relieve pain and anxiety.

If you’re considering having reflexology alongside your medical treatment, or if you’re considering it for a loved one, discuss it with your (or their) doctor first.

Please note, patients with cancer should only receive treatment from a reflexologist with specific training or experience of treating patients with cancer.

My Combined Approach to Reflexology for Patients with Advanced Cancer and Palliative Care

I qualified as a clinical reflexologist in January 2020, and I’ve attended training at the specialist cancer hospital The Christie Hospital, as well as having treated many patients with cancer (and their carers) professionally in both a hospice environment and through my own private practice. Before Covid, I volunteered at St Ann’s Hospice as one of their Complementary Practitioners offering treatments to patients and Carers.

I offer mobile reflexology treatments for patients with advanced cancer, where I come to you (or your loved one), and treat you in your home, or in a hospital or hospice (as the local policy allows). During my treatments which last around an hour, I combine another “hands-on” relaxation technique called “the HEARTS process”, followed by a session of hand or foot reflexology.

The HEARTS process was a technique developed over time by a massage and aromatherapist who began working with cancer patients in Manchester in the early 1990s. She felt that she had to adapt her practice from her initial training to account for the challenges the cancer patients were facing, such as pain, fragile skin, fatigue, limited movement, and body image issues.  HEARTS stands for Hands-on, Empathy, Aromas, Relaxation, Textures, and Sound, and I tailor the different aspects of this to suit you and your needs, using aromatherapy and music in the session if you wish.

The whole treatment is given while you are in bed, and the “hands-on” aspect of HEARTS is done through fabric like clothes or bed covers, so there’s no need for you to undress and your dignity is maintained throughout.

With your consent, I’ll create a relaxing ambience by adjusting lighting and using aromatherapy and background music. You are of course free to decline any element of the process. Next, I’ll remove your socks if you’re having foot reflexology and gently cleanse your feet with some wipes (or I’ll cleanse your hands if you’re having hand reflexology instead).

Then I use a very light touch to slowly move my hands along your body (but over your clothes or bed covers) while you close your eyes and relax. At this time, I can gently talk to you, or talk you through a guided meditation also if you wish. This part of the treatment will last around 15-20 minutes, and then I’ll move on to the reflexology session on your feet or hands.

Patients have told me that they feel completely relaxed during the treatment and for the rest of the day and that they enjoy the warm feeling of my hands and find the treatment incredibly soothing and calming.

I also offer treatments for caregivers and family members, as cancer affects everyone close to the patient also.

For a patient living with any form of Cancer life is physically and emotionally draining. Supporting patients’ emotional needs at this time is crucial in promoting wellbeing and quality of life.

Reflexology, in particular when combined with the HEARTS process, can help the patient achieve relaxation and calmness, decrease their anxiety, and can also help relieve some physical symptoms that patients experience from their cancer or treatments. Reflexology and the HEARTS process can be performed by a suitably qualified and experienced therapist, and (following medical approval) is recommended for patients in any stage of advanced cancer, including end of life care.

If you’d like to know more about my services and the areas I cover then please send me a message on 07872023417 or email me at info@clinicalreflexologybyclaire.co.uk, leave your details, and I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.