Complementary Therapies

Complementary Therapies

Complementary therapies can help to reduce the stress and anxiety associated with cancer or other serious illness. In particular, they help to reduce the feeling of panic by calming the mind.

The physical benefits of complementary therapies can include easing tense muscles and reducing pain.

Aromatherapy and reflexology can help to aid sleep and leave you feeling revitalised.

Therapies are available to anyone within Forest Holme and this includes aromatherapy, reflexology, Indian head massage, Yoga, Change 4 Life classes and Emotional Freedom Technique.

Patients can self-refer for Complementary Therapy treatments, which are available free of charge to in-patients at Forest Holme, Sandbanks Ward, Durlston Ward and also to those visiting for chemotherapy treatment.



Aromatherapy uses the essential oils of plants. The oils are absorbed through the skin during massage, helping to promote relaxation and a feeling of well-being. Our therapist offers patients a half-hour treatment comprising hand and foot massage.

Indian Head Massage

Indian head massage is a treatment based on Ayurvedic techniques involving work on the upper back, shoulders, neck, scalp and face. A variety of massage movements are used to relieve accumulated tension, stimulate circulation and restore joint movement. The treatments help to reduce stress and fatigue, improve sleep and relaxation, and release neck and shoulder tension.

Emotional Freedom Technique

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a psychological therapy that may help with the anxiety and stress associated with cancer and its treatment. In particular, it can help with pain relief, panic attacks, fear of needles and anticipatory nausea.


Reflexology uses pressure applied by the therapists’ hands on reflex points on the feet and helps alleviate all types of side-effects.


Rei is translated as sacred – soul or spirit – the wisdom and knowledge of the Universe, while Ki is the life force energy which flows through every living thing – plants, animals and people.

Reiki is a gently therapy that helps to increase the energy flow throughout the body. It works through the Therapist placing their hands in different position and over the main Chakras of the body. The client is fully clothed throughout the treatment and can lay on a treatment couch or the treatment can be carried out while they sit in a chair.

Chakras are an essential part of our body’s energy system, because they are connected to our physical and mental health and Reiki is an important treatment in helping to balance these Chakras. Each Chakra is linked to a specific part of the body and to the systems within. Chakras are affected by everything that happens to the body, and Reiki helps to rebalance and recharge them when they have become blocked or damaged. When Ki is flowing freely around our whole body we feel healthy, strong and full of energy.  We also feel confident, ready to enjoy life and take on its challenges. If our Ki is low due to a blockage that restricts the flow, we feel weak tired, listless and more vulnerable. Chakra means a wheel or vortex and there are 7 major chakras in the human energy body.

Root – base of spine
Sacral – near the navel
Solar plexus – just on the stomach/gut
Heart – on the breast bone
Third eye/on the brow
 – top of the head


Gentle yoga sessions are offered weekly and are especially designed for cancer patients. Prior experience is not essential and patients are supported throughout in a small group.

Dorset Cancer Centre has a small team of two part-time qualified and registered therapists and three volunteers.

If you would like further information on these services, please contact a member of the Complementary Therapies team, between Monday and Thursday, on 0300 019 8268

Get in touch

If you’re interested in finding out more or to book an appointment please contact us by email below.

Email Complementary Therapies

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