Sitting in our new state of the art Complementary Therapy room, with our amazing new Hurricane Tube aglow (donated by a patient’s family) and relaxing music on, we spoke to Sinji, a Cardiff Metropolitan University student who volunteered with us on one of her placements.
Originally from Oxford, Sinji moved to Cardiff to study Complementary Healthcare (with Practitioner Status), specialising in massage, aromatherapy and reflexology.
“I was doing Massage Therapy at college, and there was so much I wanted to know about it that I wasn’t learning at college, so I decided to go and do a university degree in it. I did apply to study Psychology but I was so fascinated by what was happening to the body during massage and how people felt during treatments, that I joined the Complementary Healthcare course at Cardiff Met and I’m now in my third year. I’ve done quite a lot of volunteering but nothing quite like I’ve been doing at City Hospice.”
Sinji saw that her university was offering some really great placements and was pleased when they said she would be coming to City Hospice for some on-the-job training. She’d never thought about doing complementary therapy in palliative care before and was amazed by how much she learnt.
“Before coming to City Hospice, I’d never dealt with patients with life-limiting illnesses before. I’d never treated anyone with cancer or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The placement was teaching me how to communicate with these people and what sorts of treatments could really help them. It has been such a development for me and great experience.”
Sinji sees complementary therapies as a way of giving patients control over what they want as this can rarely happen when they’re ill.
“If you’re a cancer patient, you’re told about what treatments to have, what you need to do and where you have to be. It’s a constant reminder of your illness and ‘we’re going to do this to you’ rather than you choosing what happens to you. For you to say to me, ‘All I want is a 20minute treatment’ which can be stopped when you want, it gives you the power you might feel you’re lacking.”
During her time with City Hospice, Sinji enjoyed meeting patients, family members and carers, and felt like she was really helping them.
“I’m a very nurturing person quite naturally and I just wanted to be there for the people I met. It was quite hard because you can’t always be there for someone. You can’t take away their pain and you can’t take away their illness. It hits home a bit as I myself have lost people to cancer and I’ve got people in my family who have been diagnosed so it’s really hard to break that connection when it comes to clients. Helping to get them through that stage of life is, however, very rewarding. Seeing the change from when they walk in the door to when they leave is incredible.”
We can’t thank Sinji enough for all that she gave to our patients, families and carers in placement and for that, we’re really grateful so thank you Sinji!
If you’re a patient, family member or carer of someone being seen by City Hospice, ask the doctor/nurse next time they visit about our Complementary Therapy service and what we offer, or you can call us on 02920 524150.