Q&A (blog) with Beatson Cancer Charity Podiatrist and Therapist Laura
14th Feb 2018
We caught up with our very own Podiatrist and Complementary Therapist, Laura Ross, to find out more about what reflexology is and how this therapy can help cancer patients.
Laura, what does your role involve?
My role as a Podiatrist and Complementary Therapist involves me working both in the wellbeing centre and in the wards within the Beatson. I also work in two of our satellite locations, the New Victoria Hospital and The Lanarkshire Beatson. I am able to offer podiatry, reflexology and reiki to patients and their families within these locations. I try my best to always create a calming and tranquil environment (which can sometimes prove challenging on a busy ward) to allow patients to have a positive and relaxing experience.
Tell us a bit about relaxation therapies?
Complementary therapies have become increasingly popular as a means of relieving stress. The holistic approach aims to ease the emotional, mental and physical effects cancer may have on patients and their families, friends and carers.
Reflexology - what is it?
Reflexology has been used for many centuries. It is originally thought to have been developed by the ancient Egyptians.
It is a holistic, non - intrusive therapy based on the principle that there are areas and points on the feet and hands that map via the nervous system to corresponding areas of the body. The left side of your body is represented on your left foot and the right side of your body on your right foot. For example your left big toe represents the left side of your head, and the point around the ball of your right foot represents your right lung. When pressure is applied to these areas and points, it stimulates the movement of energy along the nerve channels releasing the body’s natural healing powers and helps to restore balance in the body. A sharp or tender feeling (or what reflexologists sometimes describe as a crunchy sensation) can indicate that an area of the body is out of balance. Therapists believe that illness can occur when energy pathways are blocked, and subsequent unblocking can restore energy and balance.
After a treatment your tension may be reduced and you may feel more relaxed. You may also notice yourself sleeping better and find your mood and sense of wellbeing improving. Other benefits include its ability to stimulate nerve function, increase energy, boost circulation, and eliminate toxins.
How can reflexology help cancer patients?
A cancer diagnosis can be a traumatic and life changing event, not just for the patient, but also their family. There is no scientific evidence to support the use of reflexology as a treatment for cancer. However it can help to alleviate aches and pains as well as reduce stress, anxiety, and aid relaxation. It aims to ease the emotional, mental and physical effects cancer may have on patients and their families.
What do you enjoy most about working for the charity?
I enjoy many aspects of working for the Beatson Cancer Charity. I feel very honoured to be able to provide help, comfort and support to patients and their families who are going through what can be a very difficult and challenging time. I also love the variety of people I meet in my job. I can honestly say hand on heart that I look forward to coming into work each day and working within such a close, supportive team.
Here are some testimonials from patients who have recently benefitted from reflexology while undergoing treatment:
Eric Simpson in ward B7
"It is so good to experience sensation where there has been none for several months. It's just so relaxing and I find it so hard not to fall asleep. It's just fantastic".
Clinic P patient who wished to be anonymous
I think it is a very special therapy and leaves me feeling so relaxed. It makes me drift away into total oblivion".
At Beatson Cancer Charity we provide a comprehensive range of wellbeing, specialist and complementary therapy services delivered by charity staff and volunteers through the unique and award-winning Wellbeing centre and throughout The Beatson Cancer Centre and related facilities across the west of Scotland. It costs just £25 to fund an hour of complementary therapy such as reflexology, which can have a massive impact on patients wellbeing while undergoing treatment. To donate or find out more about our services visit the links below: