Last week I started to give massage treatments at the Macmillan Horizon Centre in Brighton. This is a custom built centre opposite the hospital, which offers free information and support for people affected by cancer. It offers a wide range of complementary therapies, and patients are entitled to six free sessions of any they would like to choose. The centre has a lovely calm feel to it when you walk in, and a beautiful seating area inside and outside with sea views next to the cafe. There are several rooms available for complementary therapies, all well equipped and calm. I even found a Brian Eno sound and light room at the end of the corridor where you could just sit and enjoy the changing glows.
After familiarising myself with my treatment room, which even had green bean plants and sweet peas growing up outside the windows, the first person arrived. The treatment went well, the client asked for some low back pain and the usual stressed shoulders to be addressed. Then it was a quick change of covers and towels before the next client arrived. The afternoon passed by quickly and easily, and before long it was time to hop on to my bicycle to come home again.
Massage benefits for people who have or have had cancer are immense. The relaxation it induces can help with reducing anxiety and depression, increase alertness, and improves sleep. It can offer some pain relief to muscle soreness, stimulate the lymphatic flow, and improve a persons mobility, especially if they have had to stay in bed for a stretch of time.The symptoms from chemotherapy and radiotherapy have been shown to decrease with massage, oedema and lymphoedema are decreased, and wound healing is faster. The skin too, which so often can become dry and sore, is also helped.
I look forward to my next afternoon at the Macmillan Horizon Centre, it feels like a calm haven in the middle of busy Brighton.