Derrick Evans

Derrick Evans, Christie patient

Complementary therapy helps to treat the whole person

Going through cancer treatment can be a traumatic experience and physically challenging for many patients.

Our complementary therapy team is there to help patients cope with difficult medical procedures, reduce symptoms of cancer and side effects of treatment and help patients and carers cope with the stress and anxiety of living with cancer.

Thanks to charitable funding, our award-winning complementary therapy service is free of charge to patients and carers. Every year, demand for the service grows as the benefits of complementary therapies alongside conventional cancer treatment become more widely known.

This year, our charity contributed £83,000 towards the Calm service. The Calm service offers relaxation techniques and hypnotherapy to help patients cope with medical procedures they may find difficult or make them feel anxious.

These sessions can involve the use of progressive muscle relaxation, imagery, visualisation and breathing techniques to help patients cope with medical procedures such as needle cannulation during chemotherapy. The techniques can also help patients who suffer from claustrophobia or feelings of panic during scans or radiotherapy.

Derrick Evans, aged 42, has been treated at The Christie for lymphoma since 2007. He credits his life in part to the complementary therapy team – without whom he wouldn’t have had the vital chemotherapy treatment he needed.

He said: “The very first time I was treated, I had to have a procedure to have a Hickman line inserted so the drugs could be given intravenously. My fear and anxiety was so real and intense, I ran out of the door. The team called me back and promised me I would receive the help I needed through complementary therapies.

“Without doubt, that intervention saved my life as I am fully convinced I would’ve otherwise refused the treatment. They taught me how to cope with relaxation techniques and how to deal with my nausea so I could have the chemotherapy I vitally needed.

“I owe them so much over the years of my treatment and I am now a massive advocate for patients being offered the right support to get them through.”

April 2018