Alternative Therapies at Penny Brohn for Cancer Patients in Bristol
One of the lovely services that Penny Brohn Cancer Centre in Bristol offers is access to alternative therapies such as reflexology, acupuncture and Shiatsu. I have attended Penny Brohn for a few retreats and on one of them I got the change to have a 1 hour alternative therapy session this time I chose a massage which was really good.
You do not have to attend a retreat though to experience the alternative therapies that they have on offer. They are currently offering 4 free sessions and then you can have further sessions at a reduced cost of £10 which is excellent value as I normally pay £40+ for a reflexology session.
I think this is excellent it means that the therapies are available to everyone as I am not able to work this means I can afford something that does actually help with side effects from cancer treatment I just wish it was available on the NHS as surely alternative therapies should work out cheaper than medication but thats another subject for me to discuss at a later date.
This time round I decided to have Shiatsu. I had this was I was first diagnosed with breast cancer and it really helped with fatigue and the aches and pains I was experiencing. Since I am not having extreme fatigue due to chemotherapy I wanted to try something that didnt involve popping a pill to help.
It was really easy to book a session at Penny Brohn I emailed first as I was googling late at night and I always forget to do things in the morning so to email was great whilst it was still in my head to book a therapy. They rang me the next day and offered me an appointment a few days later which was great.
I live abut 30 minutes from Penny Brohn and when I arrived I remembered how beautiful and peaceful the grounds are next time I am going to arrive earlier so I can have some time in the gardens. I was a little stressed when I arrived as I kept missing the turning in Bristol and I was running late but in fact this is one time my chemo brain confusion was on my side this time as I actually arrived early as I thought my appointment was at 3 but it wasn’t until 3.30. So I had time to have a complimentary tea they have lots of different herbal teas and alternative coffees and you can make a donation if you like. Its also possible to pay for a lunch if you are there at this time, the food is great and healthy at Penny Brohn.
I then went up to the 2nd floor to meet with my therapist who was really welcoming and I felt relaxed with him. I have had Shiatsu before so he didnt go into too much detail. He took some details from me such as what side effects I was having and he said a full session might be too much for me since I have extreme fatigue and need to drive home so this time I only had 30 minutes.
I laid on a mattress was fully clothed so its good to have comfy clothes on, and he applied pressures first to my feet, then back, neck, head, legs and finished with tummy which was a little uncomfortable as I didnt know how much pressure he was going to apply to my stomach as it is tender I was a little apprehensive but he didnt hurt me. I felt really chilled afterwards, not fatigue tired but nice and relaxed.
I booked in another session for a couple of weeks and hopefully over the next few days I should feel some benefits from this session. If you want to find out more about Penny Brohn then check out their website if you are a cancer patient past or present I highly recommend as it is a brilliant cancer charity in Bristol.