From February 1, CancerCare will be providing ‘Palliative Aromatherapy Massage’, a holistic therapy that involves the use of essential oils and gentle touch to help relieve pain and stress. It has both physical and emotional benefits and will help to promote the wellbeing of hospital patients from across the Furness Peninsula.
CancerCare is currently based at the Trinity Church Centre on Warwick Street in Barrow and is planning to open its own support centre on Duke Street in Barrow in 2019.
Head of Client Services at CancerCare, Alison Dixey, said: “Palliative Aromatherapy Massage is a service that we have offered for 15 years at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
“We want to offer an equitable service across the whole of Morecambe Bay so it makes sense to extend it to the other hospitals.
“We also hope to introduce a service at Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal soon.”
The Palliative Aromatherapy Massage service at Furness General Hospital is for patients when they are in hospital and is done at the patient’s bedside. This therapy is carried out by highly trained members of CancerCare’s team as well as other specialists.
It is available to anyone who is having palliative care including cancer patients and people with other life-limiting illnesses.
Susannah Cogger, 43, a Complementary Therapist from Kendal who has provided this CancerCare service for 10 years in Lancaster, will be offering it at Furness General Hospital.
She said: “I love offering Palliative Aromatherapy Massage. I love meeting people and doing something positive.
“Aromatherapy massage is fantastic for symptom control and relaxation.
“It gives a person a supportive place to offload their worries, as often people won’t talk about their issues because they don’t want to burden their family and friends.
“It is not only for those at their end of life. It’s a service for anyone in palliative care.”
Research has shown that people who have received aromatherapy have reported increased wellbeing, improved sleep, reduced anxiety, improved pain and reduced nausea. All of these are clearly of benefit when a patient is in a palliative condition.
There is flexibility with the length of each session and it can be anything from five minutes to 30 minutes depending on what the individual prefers. There is no set time frame and the sessions are ongoing - usually twice a week.
Hospital patients at Furness General Hospital can request to have this treatment by asking a palliative care nurse.