The role of the physiotherapist is to work closely with other members of the Hospice team and with patients in the In-Patient Unit, Day Care and Out-Patient Clinics.

The physiotherapist visits patients to assess their individual needs and advise on any treatment required. 

Physiotherapy can help the patient to:

  • Adapt to any changes in their condition
  • Manage symptoms such as pain and anxiety
  • Cope with breathlessness and fatigue
  • Remain as physically able and independent as possible

This may involve giving specific exercises for the patient to do or it may involve giving advcie to the patient and their family regarding the easiest and safest way of managing everyday activities, always with the aim of maximising their quality of life.

Occupational Therapy

The Occupational Therapist (OT) works closely with patients and families to plan a patient’s safe discharge home and ensure that they can manage at home with daily tasks such as getting a shower or a bath and preparing a meal.  It can be a daunting prospect for a patient planning to return home, particularly if they are feeling less well, so the OT, together with other members of the team, are available to support patients in doing this.

The plan for returning home may involve the OT making a visit to a patients' home in order to discuss practical changes such as loaning equipment from our community store or providing adaptations.  The OT may also be able to offer advice on ways to save energy so the patient can do the tasks they wish to do. If needed, the OT may also visit again once the patient is back home.

Day patients may also be assessed regarding maintenance of their independence and this can involve provision of necessary equipment, liaising with their community Occupational Therapist or referral to the wheelchair service.

Complementary Therapies

At St Michael’s Hospice, our team of qualified therapists offer a range of therapies which can be safely used alongside conventional medical and nursing treatments.  They may help with relaxation, to reduce anxiety and to give a sense of physical and emotional well-being.

All treatments are gentle and tailored to individual needs and may be offered to In-Patients, Out-Patients, as well as to carers and the bereaved.  We also run a clinic at Odiham Cottage Hospital for patients and families living in Hook, Hartney Witney, Old Basing and Odiham.

Therapies we offer may include:

Massage involves a variety of gentle, rhythmical techniques to help the body relax and to ease muscle aches and tension. Even a simple hand or foot massage can be very soothing.

Aromatherapy involves the use of natural essential oils extracted from plants.  The oils smell wonderful and may have  positive effects on emotional health and well-being.  We also have aroma inhalers for nausea, anxiety, insomnia or breathlessness.

Reflexology involves a specific type of massage to the feet (or hands).  It is believed that different points on the feet correspond to parts of the body and, by applying gentle pressure on these points, it may help release any stress and tension as well as helping with other symptoms.

Reiki means ‘Universal Life Energy’ in Japanese.  During a treatment, the therapist channels this energy by placing their hands gently on the body, aiming to bring about a feeling of deep relaxation and peace of mind.  People remain fully clothed throughout.

Bach Flower Remedies are very diluted plant essences which work on an emotional level and are aimed at helping people to cope in times of stress.  They are taken in the form of liquid.

Deep Relaxation involves a therapist guiding you into a state of deep relaxation where your mind may be opened to helpful suggestions. You remain fully in control and aware of your surroundings throughout.

Acupuncture (for patients only) involves inserting very fine sterile needles into specific points on the body which may boost the body’s natural painkillers and help with other problems. 

Dru Yoga (for patients only) involves gentle exercises combined with relaxation and visualisation. You remain seated throughout. N.B. Sessions must be booked.

For more information, please contact Nicola Middleton, Complementary Therapy Services Coordinator, on 01256 848 872 or email

Do you have a question? 

Visit the Healthcare Professionals section to find out how to refer patients to the In-Patient Unit.