September 13th, 2019

“Complementary therapies are a wonderful way for both patients and their carers to relax and unwind”

Comp Ther Hand Massage Feb2011

Did you know that we offer a number of different types of complementary therapy are available to patients and their carers at Rowans Hospice?

This service is available thanks to professionally qualified practitioners who work on a voluntary basis at the Hospice, providing free treatments ranging from Reiki, Indian Head Massage and Reflexology to Craniosacral therapy as part of Rowans  offer to both patients and carers attending Rowans Living Well Centre.

Rowans Clinical Director, Erika Lipscombe explains:

“Complementary therapies are a wonderful way for both patients and their carers to relax and unwind. Each practitioner works closely with the hospice team to ensure that the therapies they use will be safe not interfere with their regular medication.”

She continues by saying: “Working alongside medical treatments, complementary therapies provide positive benefits from helping to reduce stress, tension and anxiety to offering personal physical comfort and providing relief from symptoms.”

Erika then states; “Rowans depends on over 1,400 volunteers, who support the charity right across the Hospice and its retail shops.  We are just so grateful for their help. It is due to our amazing volunteers, from processing donation, helping out on the ward, providing companionship at home to running free yoga classes, that we are able to offer an outstanding standard of responsive holistic care for people in our community who are diagnosed with life-limiting illnesses and their families. We cannot thank them enough!

“I would stand still completely lost and not be able to breathe”

Claire White, is a qualified yoga teacher that volunteers at Rowans Living Well Centre every Wednesday. Claire openly shares how yoga has helped her and the benefits that both yoga and accessing the support at Rowans Living Well Centre can provide.

“I’ve been practising yoga for the last 20 years but up until the last six years it had been ‘Asana’, posture based but I’ve learnt yoga is so much more than that.

Six years ago I lost my darling brother John after a very short and unexpected illness. I began to notice that my anxiety levels were at an all-time high, I didn’t want to socialise or even talk to people. I felt guilty, sad, shocked, and angry and a whole bunch of other emotions. In fact I actually said to my husband one day “Am I losing my mind?”  Well, turns out that I wasn’t. John’s kooky sister was just grieving. At times, it seemed as though the ground disappeared. I would stand still completely lost and not be able to breathe. This is when my new mindful yoga practise kicked in. I was able to feel the earth beneath my feet, slowly focus on my breath and begin to notice my surroundings.

Through practicing Yoga and getting the support, not just from the usually suspects i.e. friends and family, but also from those outside my grief bubble benefited me. People who could just listen without judgement, without comparing their emotions to mine, without trying to make them happy. Just like the wonderful people at Rowans Living Well Centre. In yoga we call this Asteya (non-stealing). Letting people feel whatever it is they feel and don’t take it away from them, even if it is sadness.

Yoga is not just about asana (postures). Yes, of course postures are part of the yoga practice but it is in some ways the easiest part. Focusing on the physical body is what we can all relate to but what we sometimes forget is that the body and the mind are connected. In class, much of what I teach is about breath (Prana-life force) and feeling grounded. It’s really the foundation, helping you connect with yourself, to be curious, to be aware, and begin to quiet the mind. Once you begin to ‘feel’, you can learn how to respond.

Self-care and throwing this ‘stoic’ attitude out of the window is key. Self-care, self-love (the practise of Metta) “put the oxygen mask on yourself first”. As what kind of energy are going to give if you are burnt out yourself?

These are lessons that I have learnt and am learning continuously. It is with love and gratitude that I am able to hold a safe space and pass on some of these things to Carers and Patients at The Living Well Centre.

Namaste: I respect you for all that you are and I respect me for all that I am.”


We are so grateful to our volunteers and our community that have made it possible to offer outstanding care to our community for the past 25 years. However since we opened our doors the needs and demands of our community has changed. This is why we have launched the Silver Jubilee Appeal.

Please support Rowans Silver Jubilee Appeal to make sure that Rowans Hospice is still able to meet the needs of our community tomorrow.