Heidi Hewitt from Soul Reflexions provides a range of holistic therapies at Cheshire Lasers Clinic, including therapies for cancer patients.
Heidi has a special interest in complementary therapies including Reiki and Reflexology for cancer patients and has worked in this field for many years. She has a lot of experience on this field having worked for some years on the Cancer Unit at Leighton Hospital and at St Lukes Hospice.
Questions and answers for using complementary therapies for cancer patients:
How does using complementary therapies benefit cancer patients?
Diagnosis and subsequent treatment can bring on many emotions and symptoms including stress, mild to moderate depression, fear, worry and anxiety-induced nausea.
Heidi’s personal experience has found that by combining a range of specific therapies, her patients feel a marked improvement in some of their symptoms and generally feel calmer. She often uses a combination of therapies including Reiki and Reflexology as well as advising on relaxation techniques to use at home.
Heidi also has experience in talking to and treating family members and carers acknowledging the impact cancer has not just on the patient but the whole family.
Is there scientific research into using complementary therapies for cancer patients?
Reflexology cannot cure cancer. However, it may help with some of the side effects of chemotherapy, i.e. neuropathy, sickness, insomnia, pain etc. There is ongoing but limited research, however, some studies have looked at using Reflexology to help with symptoms such as pain, sickness and anxiety with evidence showing that patients relax which enables them to cope with stress and anxiety and can lift their mood. (cancerresearchuk.org)
The Christie run specific courses in therapies for cancer care, recognising and promoting the benefits of complementary therapies. Heidi has attended several courses at The Christie and has a diploma in ‘complementary therapies in cancer and supportive care.’
Will the therapy interact with any medication that I am currently having?
A full medical consultation where a list of all medication is taken before your first therapy. Heidi will then advise accordingly and offer a treatment plan which will be closely monitored and amended as required.
Are there any side effects of having complementary therapy with cancer?
Reflexology for cancer patients is very gentle, it is not as in-depth as a therapy would be on a person who does not have cancer, therefore most patients will feel more relaxed afterwards and some of the symptoms and side effects may also subside. As Heidi will do a full initial medical consultation, followed by a short discussion before every subsequent treatment, she will be able to monitor and adjust her therapy accordingly. You will also be given aftercare advice at the end of your therapy.
How many treatments will I need?
This varies from patient to patient. Initially, Heidi usually recommends a course of 4 to 6 treatments approximately once a week. She will then reassess and advise you further. Most people continue with treatment every 4-6 weeks for maintenance.
Is it common for cancer patients to use complementary therapies?
In the UK, up to one-third of people with cancer (33%) use some sort of complementary therapy at some time during their illness. For some types of cancer, such as breast cancer, this number is even higher at almost half (50%).
There is no evidence to suggest that any type of complementary therapy prevents or cures cancer. However, people are still using complementary therapies for many reasons.
People often have complementary therapies to help them feel better. The therapies can help them cope with the effects of the cancer and also the effects of the treatments. How you feel plays a part in how you cope.
Many complementary therapies concentrate on relaxation and reducing stress. They might help to calm your emotions, relieve anxiety, and increase your general sense of health and well being.
Many doctors, cancer nurses and researchers support the idea that positive emotions can improve your health.
To arrange an appointment contact, Heidi, on 07815 909103 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org