On Saturday, 25th February, medical students from the University of Bristol gathered in the Wellbeing Centre at Weston Hospicecare in Uphill to learn more about the benefits of hand massage.
Sophie Herbert, a medical student who had previously done a work placement with Weston Hospicecare, initiated the project. Her experience in the hospice’s Wellbeing Centre, which acts as the hub for various complementary therapies and support groups, opened her eyes to benefits of such treatments. Gathering together other medical students, Sophie started ‘Hands On’, a group of medical students who, after their training, would visit chemotherapy wards to offer hand massages that can help reduce anxiety and create a sense of wellbeing.
The course was an all-day event that saw students learning communication skills, the benefits of massage and the things to consider regarding appropriate touch, as well as the basic skills of hand massage.
‘We’re pleased to be able to share our expertise with the wider community, and it’s so encouraging to see young medical students showing an interest in the benefits of complementary therapies,’ said Alison Bailey, the complementary therapy coordinator at the hospice.
The students are planning to go to the chemotherapy units in the next few weeks.
‘We cannot thank Alison and the rest of the hospice staff enough for Saturday’s efforts and for the weeks of planning running up to it,’ said Sophie. ‘I had a wonderful day, and we have received great feedback. I look forward to expanding the idea — we’re hoping to start a group in Nottingham from August onwards.’
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