Complementary Therapy

Reiki-handsThe Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford offers complementary therapies which I have been interested in. My Macmillan nurse said he would refer me for treatment and a couple of weeks later I received a phone call asking if I’d like to go along to the hospice on Wednesday 20th March. I wasn’t given any information on what therapies were available, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

I left for the hospice fairly early to make sure I could find it and be there on time. I have been there before, but only once. The last time I was there I dropped in a cheque for sponsorship from a 100 mile charity bike ride I took part in. How different things are now!

I waited for about 15 minutes in the reception area until a lady appeared who introduced herself as Sheila. She told me there were a few therapies available at different times and days but she was a Reiki practitioner and reiki was the only treatment she did. Sheila asked me if I’d had any complementary therapies before and I said I’d dabbled with natal hypnotherapy before having Maia; I thought it really helped with the birth. I did not know about reiki though.

Sheila told me a bit about reiki. It sounded rather strange to me and I was rather dubious how it can possibly do anything, but I thought I may as well embrace it and give it a go. We had a short walk to the ‘Day Room’ where she said I was welcome any time. I was interested, but I can’t see myself going there; it rather resembled the day room of an elderly persons home. Shame.

Afterwards, Sheila showed me to a small room with a bed. She asked me to lie on the bed and get as comfortable as I could. I lay down and covered myself with a light blanket. I closed my eyes and tried to relax. Sheila put on some pan-pipey music and began the treatment. I kept my eyes shut throughout so I’m not really sure what she did, but at first I could feel her hands near my cheeks and mouth. She held them there for what seemed like quite a few minutes before moving them to near the top of my head. I think she then moved her hands to other parts of my body, just hovering them over and not really touching at all.

I tried to clear my mind and maybe let something profound enter, but I kept thinking about what I’d been doing that morning (scrubbing vegetables!) and what I was going to do that afternoon. About half-way through the treatment I got a really strong headache, and that continued until the end of the treatment, so I’m not sure what that was about.

When Sheila finished I got up and she offered me some water, which I have to say was most welcome. Apart from feeling a bit dazed and headachey, I can’t say I felt particularly different, but I don’t know if I was meant to.

Anyway, I arranged to go back again the following week. Whilst I’m unconvinced of reiki’s effectiveness at the moment, I am willing to give it a chance, and it can’t do any harm. I admit that so far my energy levels this cycle do seem to exceed how they were last cycle. Could it be the reiki? Who knows?

Top 5 Beauty Products: Counter-Chemo

It’s no secret that chemotherapy does some nasty things to you. I have found some beauty products that have helped me with some of the cosmetic related side-effects. Here I share my top-five favourites.

  1. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor Deep Conditioner
  2. aussie_reconstructor

    Thus far, I’ve not lost my hair, but it’s definitely thinning. At first the chemo just made my hair feel awful – really rough, dry, brittle and sort of sticky from the chemicals. I wanted something to help. I always use Aussie products – I like their Mega shampoo and conditioner, but I decided to tried their Reconstructor Deep Conditioner and I love it. It has been wonderful at smoothing out and softening my hair and keeping what’s left of it in great condition. Also, it smells really nice, like an expensive salon conditioner.

  3. Burt’s Bees Citrus Facial Scrub
  4. burtsbees

    The chemotherapy sometimes makes my skin feel like it has a thin sticky film over, which blocks pores. This scrub from Burt’s Bees is great. As well as effectively scrubbing away all that dirt and the chemicals, it smells divine. Like Christmas cake. The pot is quite small, but you only need a tiny amount. I make a tiny amount into a paste using a couple of drops of water and rub in on my face. One pot has lasted me nearly 6 months and I shall soon be purchasing more of it from Amazon.

  5. Udderly Smooth Hand Cream
  6. 12ozhandcreamsmall

    Chemo is notorious for causing dry skin. Hands and feet can get particularly bad, so you need a good hand cream. Udderly Smooth hand cream is great. I was sneaked a sample tube by Susan on the Chemo Day Unit and it’s brilliant. It isn’t at all greasy and absorbs into your hands quickly, leaving them beautifully soft.

  7. The Righteous Butter Body Mosturizer
  8. righteousbutter

    I’m not usually big on using body moisturisers, but unfortunately the skin on my abdomen and backside has been getting super flakey at points in the chemo cycle. Usually I grab a good ol’ tub of aqueous cream, but a friend gave me some moisturisers she had (she obviously isn’t big on them either), and amongst them was a tub of ‘Righteous Butter’. I have to say I was surprised how much I like it. Again, it smells lovely and absorbs very nicely leaving your skin feeling very soft and smooth.

  9. Clinique Moisture Surge
  10. Moisture-Surge-Extended-Thirst-Relief

    I love this facial moisturiser. It is so, so light yet hydrates the skin brilliantly. It really is like giving your skin a drink. It is very expensive, but if you hunt around you can find it tons cheaper than the Clinique price. I bought some of Ebay for just a few pounds (and no it didn’t turn out to be dodgy).