Cancer patient’s relief after reflexology treatmentJason Firmager
Complementary Therapy for a good night’s sleep
A cancer patient who has been experiencing hot sweats at night time as a result of his cancer is now able to get a good night’s sleep thanks to a reflexology treatment at St Oswald’s Hospice, based in Newcastle.
Shaun Fawcett, 67, from Whittingham, Northumberland, has been coming to the Hospice for pain and symptom management since September 2015. He has Multiple Myeloma, which is a type of bone marrow cancer.
During Shaun’s stays on St Oswald’s adult inpatient unit, he sees a complementary therapist to help keep his hot sweats under control and to help him to have a comfortable and relaxing night’s sleep. Shaun’s wife, Nancy, tells us more:
“Shaun’s cancer makes him sweat profusely at night time, sometimes it can be so bad that I have to change his t-shirt five or six times a night. The nurses at St Oswald’s frequently change Shaun’s bedding a couple of times a night too. This obviously impacts severely on Shaun’s sleep and mine too.
“After speaking to a member of the nursing team about Shaun’s hot sweats, they arranged for us to see one of their physiotherapists. For a while, acupuncture worked for Shaun’s condition but as it became more complex, his hot sweats came back. It was at this point we met with Gaenor, a Complementary Therapist at St Oswald’s.
“Gaenor suggested that we try reflexology, and the difference has been extreme. Shaun barely sweats thanks to the treatment, which means we both sleep so much better. This not only impacts on us at night time, but throughout daily life as it means we’re not tired all the time, which no one wants, especially when you’re unwell.”
Gaenor Evans, Complementary Therapy Team Leader, said: “At St Oswald’s Hospice we work holistically with our patients to support and promote their physical, psychological, social and emotional wellbeing. Reflexology is a non-intrusive complementary therapy and is based on the theory that feet correspond with different areas of the body. It uses a unique method of stimulating reflex areas on the feet whilst applying gentle pressure with thumbs and fingers.
“Some people find it works and fortunately it did for Shaun. After one aftertreatment, Shaun’s hot sweats significantly reduced and the effects lasted up to three days post treatment. Shaun told me his reflexology treatment reduced his night sweats and improved his quality of life.”
St Oswald’s Hospice offers a Complementary Therapy service to all patients accessing Hospice services. This including Aromatherapy, Massage, Indian Head Massage, Reflexology, Hot Stone Massage, Reiki and the M technique.
St Oswald’s provides hospice care to adults, young adults and children from across the North East. No charge is made for the service, ensuring care is available for all. They need to raise £7million through voluntary giving each year to continue their services. To find out more about St Oswald’s please visit www.stoswaldsuk.org, find them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Emma Wharfe, Clinical Communications Officer
Tel: 0191 285 0063 ext 328
To donate to St Oswald’s text the word ‘HOSPICE’ to 70300 to donate £10.
PICTURED: A St Oswald’s Volunteer Complementary Therapist and patient