Before I started working at St Gemma’s I remember driving past the Hospice on numerous occasions. I just felt the need to be able to put my work as a complementary therapist to extra special supportive use. I have always believed and felt very passionate about using complementary therapy alongside conventional medicine for a complete holistic approach.
I was delighted to be accepted to join St Gemma’s Hospice as a voluntary team member, although I did feel very nervous to begin with as I had not worked in a hospice environment before. I was quite anxious as to how I would cope, communicate and help with patients and carers at such vulnerable times. Luckily my concerns were short lived as it is such a lovely atmosphere within St Gemma’s and everyone works so well as a supportive team.
I use both reiki therapy and massage at the Hospice, reiki being especially popular as it a gentle, extremely relaxing almost meditative and is beneficial in bringing calming and stress reducing effects to body and mind.
I find that when patients and carers are referred onto complementary therapy that it not only helps them with deep relaxation, but also builds a trust and great rapport between patient or carer and therapist – this gives the chance to get to know them well and leads to them feeling they can chat and open up more freely if they feel the need.
They may be living with or caring for someone with a terminal illness, but also appreciate being treated as ‘normally’ as possible being able to chat about everyday things, family and friends, likes and dislikes. I have found that once you get to know a patient or carer’s personality you just know the best way to help and uplift them as an individual – uplifting people is one of the most important parts of my job.