Marie Curie (2019, [Online]) describes palliative care as the “treatment, care and support for people with a life-limiting illness, and their family and friends”. Its aim is to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
Reflexology for Palliative Care
Reflexology can help both emotionally and physically to overcome the shock of being diagnosed with illness as well as aiding symptom relief, general well-being and improving quality of life.
I am a volunteer reflexologist at St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney working with patients and carers affected by cancer.
Some benefits to using Reflexology as part of palliative care include:
- Reflexology can help support emotional well-being and often improve quality of life
- Reflexology can help to relieve anxiety, stress and depression in both patient and carer (symptoms which often occur following a diagnosis of cancer) helping them to cope with what is happening
- Reflexology can help improve sleep
- Reflexology is often found to help in reducing pain
- Reflexology can help to boost the immune system, assisting the body to heal following treatments such as surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy
- Reflexology may help reduce oedema in the ankles
- Reflexology is non-invasive and does not require the patient to remove lots of clothing nor does it invade personal space as much as some of the other touch therapies
- Reflexology can be carried out on a chair or in the bed so can be adapted to different settings
- The one-to-one space between the therapist and client allows for either quiet relaxation, or a space for communication if the client wishes
- Reflexology helps to balance the body
- Reflexology can boost energy levels and improve a sense of well-being