‘To say that this year has been challenging is of course an understatement. Unable to carry out face to face treatments we have all had to utilise our skills in other ways, writes Amanda Vickers, MFHT.
‘I work within a team of complementary therapists at the NHS Mustard Tree Macmillan Cancer Support Centre. Ensuring cancer patients and their families could continue to receive support throughout the pandemic, I adapted my sessions to be carried out over the phone or virtually. These sessions supported them with self-help techniques, designed to aid relaxation and to reduce anxiety.
Individual sessions of virtual and telephone-guided reflexology hand massage proved to be extremely popular. Although providing this over the telephone was not ideal, if I was specific with my instructions, it worked really well. If you had told me a year ago that I would have been providing treatments over the phone, I would not have thought it was feasible but feedback on these sessions has been overwhelmingly positive.
I was asked by the team at the centre to produce a short self-help video which has been added to the toolbox of techniques that the centre had to offer. This video can be watched at plymouthhospitals.nhs.uk/mustard-tree-our-services.
Amanda Vickers, MFHT, has been a reflexologist for over 20 years in private practice. For just over a year, Amanda has been working as a complementary therapist for the NHS for the Mustard Tree Macmillan Cancer Support Centre at Derriford Hospital, in Plymouth, Devon.