Supportive Therapies and Counselling

Who is eligible?

Therapies and counselling are available to cancer patients and their carers living in Runnymede, Elmbridge, Spelthorne and surrounding areas. They are at the heart of CREST’s day-to-day activities.

What are therapies used for?

Therapies are not used to treat cancer but are widely used to support cancer patients and their carers during and after treatment and to help improve their quality of life. Many of the therapies listed are used in hospitals, pain clinics and hospices.

Which therapy?

supportive therapy

When deciding which therapy to choose, think about how you want the therapy to help you (e.g. relieve symptoms of cancer or side-effects of treatment, or help with relaxation and better sleep) and any safety issues. Not all therapies are suitable to use alongside certain cancer treatments, so if you are a patient it is recommended that you ask your doctor/nurse for advice.


supportive therapy

Acupuncture is used to treat a wide range of health conditions. Treatment involves the insertion of fine needles at specific points of the body to stimulate nerves in the skin and muscles. In cancer care, acupuncture may help relieve cancer symptoms or side-effects of treatment such as anxiety, stress and pain.

Bowen Technique


Bowen Technique is a gentle touch therapy that involves light and precise finger and thumb movements over muscles, ligaments, tendons and connective tissue in the legs, back, shoulders and neck. Bowen Technique may help to revitalise the whole person by relieving pain, stress and anxiety. Treatment is usually given with the client lying on a couch, fully clothed.


supportive therapy

Counselling is a talking therapy that takes place in a secure and relaxed environment. People may be able to talk openly with family and friends, but it can be difficult to share certain feelings with them. Counselling can help patients, carers and family cope better with emotions, thoughts and feelings, such as fear and anxiety, that they may have in relation to cancer and its treatment. Counselling may also help with relationships during this time.
Contact CREST for a list of specialist counsellors who are qualified to treat cancer patients and carers.

Cranio-Sacral Therapy

supportive therapy

Cranio-Sacral Therapy has its origins in osteopathy. It is a light touch, non-invasive therapy that aims to relax and restore balance in the subtle rhythmic motions in the body, particularly those in the head, spine and pelvis. Cranio-Sacral Therapy uses the link between mind and body to restore vitality and enhance the body’s self-healing capacity. Treatment is usually given with the client lying on a couch, fully clothed.


supportive therapy

Hypnotherapy is a mind-body therapy based on the belief that feelings and thoughts affect our health and well-being. In cancer care, hypnotherapy is sometimes used for specific phobias such as claustrophobia or fear of needles. The client is encouraged to relax deeply in order to bring about positive changes e.g. feel calm, stop smoking. Hypnotherapy can help relieve anxiety, low mood, pain and poor sleep. Treatment is usually given with the client sitting comfortably in a chair or lying on a couch.

Indian Head Massage

supportive therapy

Indian Head Massage is a traditional form of Indian massage which uses a range of movements and pressures such as deep kneading and compression to revitalise and relieve stress and tension. Indian head massage involves the head, face, neck, shoulders, which often hold stress and tension. Treatment is usually given with the client sitting comfortably in a chair or lying on a couch.


supportive therapy

Kinesiology is a relaxing, non-invasive, touch therapy that uses muscle testing to reveal imbalance and stress in the whole body. During treatment, the therapist places the client’s arm or leg in specific positions and applies light pressure to the muscles, which the client is asked to match. At no time should the client feel pain or discomfort. Kinesiology may relieve minor symptoms and ease emotional, physical or mental stress. Treatment is usually given with the client lying on a couch.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) for cancer patients only

MLD leaflet

MLD is a specialist form of massage, carried out by specially trained therapists. MLD is for patients who have been diagnosed with lymphoedema, a chronic swelling which often affects the arms and the legs but can affect any part of the body. Lymphoedema occurs as a result of disruption to the lymphatic system, either by surgery, radiation, trauma or infection. Treatment involves gentle, rhythmical pumping techniques to improve circulation in the lymphatic system. Contact CREST for a copy of our Lymphoedema Awareness leaflet and our list of qualified MLD therapists.


supportive therapy

Massage is a well-known touch therapy, involving a range of pressures and movements to the whole body or to face, neck, back, shoulders, hands and feet. As part of cancer care, gentle massage is recommended by a therapist who has had specialist training. Deep, vigorous massage should be avoided. Massage is used to relieve tension in muscles and improve circulation, and to relieve anxiety, low mood and fatigue. It is also sometimes used with other therapies to help patients recover from muscular injuries. Massage may be carried out by massage therapists and physiotherapists. It is not always necessary to remove clothing during treatment. Contact CREST for a list of massage therapists who are qualified to treat cancer patients.


supportive therapy

Osteopathy is a touch therapy, used to diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions. It is based on the idea that in order to work well, the whole structure of the body (skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues) must work smoothly together. Treatment involves moving, stretching muscles and joints to improve mobility, relieve muscle tension and restore the body to a state of balance.


supportive therapy

Podiatry is the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the feet, ankle and leg. In cancer care, podiatry can help minimise the effects of treatment such as damage to nerves and skin, and help patients maintain mobility and quality of life. Podiatrists treat medical conditions e.g. foot complications from diabetes, heel pain, nail and skin disorders, nerve problems, bunions, warts, fractures and sprains.


supportive therapy

Reflexology is a touch therapy based on the idea that areas of the feet, hands and face correspond to the organs and systems of the body e.g. skeletal, muscular, digestive. Reflexologists use gentle pressures and movements of fingers and thumbs to specific areas in order to stimulate nerve endings, relieve tension, improve circulation and promote relaxation and better sleep. Treatment is usually given fully clothed, with only footwear removed.


supportive therapy

A traditional Japanese therapy, Reiki (ray-key) is Japanese for ‘universal life energy’. Reiki therapists place their hands on or near various parts of the client’s body and work with the energy to promote a sense of calm, relaxation and improved sense of well-being. There is no massage or manipulation. Reiki can also be given at a distance. Treatment is usually given fully clothed. The client is made comfortable, sitting in a chair or lying on a couch.

For more information on our therapies please call us on 01784 613971.