Client Services – Therapies
With over 50 fully trained and insured therapists, Cancer Wellness Support provides our member clients and their families/carers with a large range of subsidised therapies including Acupuncture, Bowen Therapy, Counselling, Lymphoedema Management, Massage, Naturopathy, Reflexology and Reiki.
Cancer treatment can be enhanced by the use of natural therapies. Therapies may assist in managing the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy through reducing the severity of symptoms and promoting self care and relaxation.
Acupuncture is a traditional form of Chinese medicine in which fine sterile needles are inserted into points along the energy channels (meridians) in the body to re-balance energy. Acupuncture may address both the symptoms of vaiour cancers as well as the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Recent advances in acupuncture clinical research suggest that acupuncture may provide clinical benefit for cancer patients with treatment-related side effects such as:
- nausea & vomiting
- post operative pain
- cancer related pain
- chemotherapy-induced leukopenia
- postchemotherapy fatigue
- quality of life
A typical acupuncture session begins with a discussion of your problem and a physical examination.
The acupuncturist may then stimulate certain points on the body, either by inserting the fine metal needles or using a laser.
The needles used in acupuncture are typically much finer than the needles used to take blood, and the process is usually painless. Once the needles are inserted, they will be left in place while you lie still, and hopefully relax! As many as 20 needles may be used in one session.
The needles may be turned or wobbled as part of the treatment. The needles will be removed at the end of the session.
Bowen therapy consists of a series of gentle rolling moves on the skin over muscle, tendons and ligaments in the body. Frequent pauses, usually 2 minutes, are allowed between moves to give the body time to respond. It is gentle, effective, relaxing and addresses the body and mind from a truly holistic approach.
Benefits of Bowen Therapy
- One of the first things that you notice from a Bowen treatment is the feeling of relaxation and well-being
- The level of touch used in a Bowen treatment is very gentle, making the therapy suitable for everyone
- It can be performed anywhere as long as the client is comfortable. The client can be lying on a treatment bed; sitting on a chair or lying in their own bed during home visits
- Bowen Technique allows the body to balance and heal itself, stimulating positive energy flow
- Stimulates the release of toxins through lymphatic drainage procedures
- Bowen helps to release trauma held in the body thereby improving the quality of life and reducing stress levels
- Assists the body to relieve pain; general body stiffness; back and muscle pain
- Can improve sleep; fatigue; stress; headaches; anxiety; nausea and depression
- Can help with digestive issues including constipation and lack of appetite
- Assists every organ in the body to work more efficiently, including heart, liver, gall bladder, kidney and lungs
Cancer can be an unfamiliar and uncharted territory for a person and for their family and friends. Worry can make it hard to think straight, and our usual behaviours may not work in unusual conditions. Other aspects of your life and relationships, seemingly unconnected to your condition, can become problematic. Nothing seems the same anymore - including you!
Counselling allows the exploration of problems and emotions in a safe, objective environment and can improve:
- decision making
- emotional healing
A professional counsellor is able to hear you, and help you make sense of what is going on. There may be practical suggestions to be considered, and sometimes it is just a relief to unburden to someone who is trained to listen, and won’t freak out at what you need to talk about. In difficult times it is important to be able to keep making informed and considered decisions.
Counselling is confidential and supportive. Some strong opinions may be voiced, but we understand and respect your need to make the decisions for yourself that feel right for you. You may already have quite enough people around you trying to tell you what to do, where to go, who to see, what to eat. Counselling can help create the space to look at and make sense of your thoughts and feelings
Cancer Wellness Support has a wide range of counsellors available who cover the Blue Mountains and Penrith area.
Hypnosis is an effective tool in cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery. It has been consistently shown to improve clinical outcomes. The vast majority of cancer patients will undergo surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy which may be accompanied by pain, nausea, fatigue, anxiety and depression. Hypnosis has shown promise in improving the patient experience of each of these treatments and quality of life.
Benefits of Hypnosis include:
- pain management
- stress reduction
- promotes deep relaxation
- improves sleep
- treats anxiety & depression
Many people expect hypnosis to be a passive process where you just sit in a comfy chair, chill-out, and let the therapist ‘re-program’ your mind. The reality though is that hypnosis is a collaborative experience where you are always fully in control.
Lymphoedema can occur after treatment for cancer, when lymph nodes are removed by surgery or damaged by radiotherapy. This can stop the lymph fluid from flowing freely through the lymphatic system and can cause fluid to build up in some parts of the body, typically in the arm after treatment of nodes in the armpit, or the legs if nodes in the groin are removed.
For CWS members who have lymphoedema or who are concerned about developing lymphoedema following treatment for cancer, a CWS therapist specifically trained in Lymphoedema Management can help you. This therapist is trained to provide manual therapy as well as to make recommendations specific to your needs, to avoid and/or to treat your lymphoedema.
Management of lymphoedema involves all or any of the following:-
- Specific manual lymphatic massage techniques
- Skin care
- Self Management Techniques and Elevation
- Compression garments
Early attention to the risk of lymphoedema can help to avoid the condition. There is no cure for diagnosed lyphoedema, but good advice about daily care can reduce swelling, improve movement and prevent infections.
Cancer Wellness Support offers our clients the specialised methods of Oncology Massage and Lymphoedema Treatment by highly qualified therapists.
The Cancer Council NSW has recently acknowledged the benefits of therapeutic touch through the use of gentle massage. Regular massage helps the lymphatic system of the body drain naturally and helps increase blood flow to areas that have a poor supply invigorating and stimulating the natural healing process. Current studies support the use of massage therapy for cancer patients and patients with serious chronic illnesses, or recovering from serious illness. The Cancer Council NSW has recently acknowledged the benefits of therapeutic touch through the use of gentle massage. For example: to alleviate the side effects of cancer treatments, improve and individual's immune health, and develop a greater sense of well-being. Gentle lymphatic/lymphoedema massage delivers significant improvements for Lymphoedema patients.
The gentle massage techniques do not contribute to the spread of cancer and can be safely given to people at all stages of their cancer journey.
Benefits of massage:
- Relieve pain
- Improve functional mobility
- Increase relaxation
- Decrease physical effects of stress and tension
- Reduce muscle spasms, muscle restrictions and tightness in the back
Other benefits can include improvements to:
- Nerve damage or disturbance
- Quality of life
- Mental clarity and alertness
Discuss your health and treatments with your massage therapist so adjustments to the massage technique can be made to suit your individual condition.
Naturopathy is a holistic approach to wellness based on the principle that the body has the inherent ability to heal itself. Using the healing power of nature and gentle therapeutic techniques, the body, mind and emotions are supported during the healing process.
Naturopathic principles are based on treating each person as an individual and treating the whole person, not just the affected area.
Naturopathy typically includes nutrition and herbal medicine as the core therapies, with some naturopaths also including massage and other therapies. Naturopathy at Cancer Wellness Support is focused on supporting the person at whatever stage they are at. Nutritional advice can help prepare you for surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy by providing the key nutrients to tolerate the treatment and recover well. Diet and nutritional supplements are also extremely helpful in managing symptoms of disease and of treatments, such as fatigue, stress, digestive upset and lowered immunity.
Herbal medicine is aimed at supporting the person rather than directly treating cancer. For example, herbs such as Withania or Rhodiola can help with fatigue and to increase stamina, and herbs like Turmeric and Echinacea can help with inflammation and immune function. Another area herbs can be very helpful with is stress and sleep, and herbs can be taken as teas, tablets and capsules or liquid extracts.
Reflexology is a type of bodywork where the practitioner massages zones on the feet that relate to different parts of the body. By pressing on reflex points, energy meridians are unblocked, which may relieve pain, nausea and fatigue and assist the body to eliminate accumulated toxins.
Reflexology may be a good choice for patients who don’t want to be touched, or who can’t be touched or moved during treatment. Unlike massage, it involves only the feet, with no repositioning or undressing required.
Although reflexology is carried out on the feet, it is much more than a foot massage. Even when practised in its simplest form reflexology can be incredibly effective. Existing treatments - medical and complementary - are enhanced.
Reflexology stimulates the lymphatic, circulation and nervous systems and can be a reprieve from the stresses of cancer diagnoses, treatments, and everyday life.
Benefits of Reiki
- Supports conventional medical health care
- Improves surgical recovery
- Reduces the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy
What is involved in a Reiki treatment?
- Reiki is given by hand positions gently placed on the front & back of the body (head to feet)
- Wear comfortable clothing (you do not undress for a Reiki treatment)
- You may feel warmth or slight tingling sensations
- Deeply relaxing
Some of the benefits for cancer patients
- Reiki may benefit your physical, emotional, mental or spiritual energies
- Relief from anxiety, pain, nausea and fatigue
- Calming effect and is safe for every stage of the illness and/or medical treatment