Complementary therapies support married couple

Complementary therapies are an important part of the care we offer to patients and family members and can have a positive effect on both physical and mental health.

Therapies can aid relaxation, promoting sleep, reducing anxiety and easing pain and discomfort. All treatments are offered free of charge to people receiving care from John Taylor teams.

Treatments are provided at the hospice by experienced Complementary Therapist Angela Vigus in our peaceful and comforting therapy room. There are a number of therapies available including hand and foot massage, aromatherapy, Indian head massage, reiki and reflexology.

For husband and wife Phil and Gaile Sullivan, complementary therapies have had a therapeutic effect – helping to manage Phil’s pain and enabling Gaile to relax and unwind.

Phil, who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in July 2018, was referred to the service through hospice Community Nurse Specialist Sandie Robinson. “I have to admit I started out with a great deal of scepticism,” explains Phil, 76.

“But now I’ve gone full circle and regularly have massages and reiki – it’s definitely widened my horizons! The treatments help me to relax and relieve some of the discomfort I’m in. Angela has become a good friend and I always look forward to our appointments.”

Gaile, 60, cares for Phil at their home in Erdington and the couple have been married for 24 years. She also receives complementary therapies at the hospice. Gaile says: “Phil and I do everything together so the fact we can both have complementary therapy treatments is very special to us. As a carer it’s incredibly important to look after yourself too.

“If I’m not strong physically and mentally then I won’t be able to support Phil. Angela and I chat, she reassures me, I get helpful tips and I can have a back and shoulder massage. I’ve benefited so much – it gives me the boost I need to be able to cope.”

To find out more about complementary therapies please visit the Care and Support pages of our website.

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What our patients think

“I’d have really struggled without them”

“They’ve been ever so good to me and that’s why I wanted to fundraise and do something to help just like they’ve helped me.”

Philomena Sharpe

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“The community nurses were so helpful and they’re lovely people. They put my mind at rest and it’s such a comfort to know you’re not on your own.”

Jackie Day

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“I can’t thank Angie (patient and family support worker) enough for everything she’s done for us. She’s so reliable and professional – a wonderful person. She took away all these worries and was there for me in my time of need.”

Patricia Smith-Evans

“I’ve really enjoyed it”

“The FAB Programme has helped me to get fitter and my walking is better. Everyone is really nice at the hospice, they’re friendly and they’re good company. I’d recommend it to anyone who is in a similar situation to me.”

Don Bell

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