Complementary Therapies

Work is much more than a nine to five slog for one member of the East Cheshire Hospice team.

Complementary therapist Gill Black from Macclesfield, describes her job as “fabulous” and “a dream” after having worked as a nurse for 45 years under often pressurised conditions.

Gill, 63, now leads a small team of therapists at the Hospice who offer a range of free complementary therapies, including reflexology and Indian head massage to both patients and their carers and sometimes even staff.

“My job is extremely rewarding and hugely satisfying,” says Gill. “The people we work with are undergoing life limiting illnesses and often have lots of anxiety and worries under incredibly difficult circumstances .

“The aim of our work is to help people cope and relax and to alleviate some of the pressure”.

Citing reiki and aromatherapy as her favourite therapies, Gill trained at Macclesfield College whilst still working full-time as a nurse at Lyme Green Settlement which provides accommodation for men and women with spinal and other injuries.

“I started off learning massage as many of the residents there where in wheelchairs and would often have aches and pains in their shoulders,” says Gill. “I could see the enormous benefits and went on to learn other therapies.

“The methods we use can be passed on to our patients, enabling them to learn relaxing techniques which can last much longer than the therapy session, says Gill.

With colleagues Helen Wilkinson and Cath Miller and a small team of volunteers, the therapy service is available six days a week including occasional evenings

The Hospice has two therapy rooms in the Sunflower Centre and a further room within the in-patient area allowing Gill and her team to see a wide range of individuals who use the Hospice services.

Like a lot of the Hospice services, Gill is keen to take the therapies into the community to help patients and carers in their own homes.

“ We’d love to extend the service with additional funding,” says Gill. “Hopefully, that can happen in the future.”