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Complementary Therapies

Complementary therapies are increasingly used within hospital settings to support cancer patients and their families during the medical treatment of their illness.

Therapies can help reduce stress and increase a sense of wellbeing during what is often a very challenging time for both patient and family.

There is also some evidence that complementary therapy of this kind can sometimes help reduce the more unpleasant side effects of treatment.

More information on this research can be found on the Cancer Research UK website.


Reflexologist and Holistic Therapist -  Claire Harris

In 2000 I qualified as a primary school teacher and spent the next 16 years working in various primary schools around Gloucestershire, mainly teaching 5-7 year olds. Then in 2016, after having two daughters, I decided to leave teaching to gain a better life/work balance. After a much needed break, I registered as a childminder and cared for teachers' children so I could enjoy the school holidays with my own.

I'd always enjoyed having reflexology, finding it relaxing and calming, as well as a bit of time for me! Knowing that my childminding days were coming to an end, I started to train in reflexology at the Cheltenham School of Complementary Therapy. I completed this in early 2021. I then went on to learn Indian head massage, holistic facials and more recently thermal auricular therapy. I now work from my own purpose built studio in the garden of my home in Cheltenham. Alongside this, I also provide reflexology sessions at my local infant school, specifically with children who have stressful lives or special needs. The children look forward to my weekly sessions and call me 'Foot Pamper Claire'. The staff can really see the difference in the children's behaviour post reflexology and say they're calmer and more open to listening.

Reflexology is a therapy that I carry out on the feet (or hands if preferred) to restore physical and emotional wellbeing. It is a touch therapy based on the theory that different points of the body on the feet, lower leg or hands correspond with different areas of the body and reflexologists work these points and areas. Reflexology is a relaxing, gentle therapy; I use my fingers and thumbs to manipulate the reflexes which in turn encourage the body to naturally rebalance itself as well as helping it to revitalise and nourish a tired body, all whilst calming the mind. Reflexology is suitable for all ages and can help support individuals who experience a variety of chronic conditions.

Some of my clients quote:

"I've slept so well after my reflexology. I feel rejuvenated."
"My feet feel so light and feel so nourished."
"I just feel calm, relaxed and balanced."
"I felt emotional, this is the most relaxed I've been in such a long time, I need more of this in my life."

I love what I do and bringing calm and relaxation to my clients is extremely rewarding and special.


Reiki Therapist - Raina Nahar

I have been a Reiki practitioner and teacher since 2008. Before that, I was a yoga teacher and aromatherapy therapist. I taught yoga in London one-to-one and in financial institutions to help reduce stress and bring peace to heart, mind and body. I continued this work but with Reiki, and I have been offering this service at the TYA unit since 2018. I am grateful to have the opportunity to help patients, families and staff in this way.


Music Therapist - Claire Fraser-Tytler

Music therapist Claire Fraser-Tytler is holding up a percussion instrument

Music therapy offers a valuable creative outlet for the many different and sometimes challenging feelings that you may experience during your stay on the TYA.

There is no need to have any prior musical experience; it can be used as a space for chat and for music.

Music therapy provides a space to listen and to be listened to, to interact and express feelings without the need for words. It can be stimulating, or have a relaxing effect.

Claire is available to both inpatients and outpatients.

Each week at 3pm (after tea and cake) there will be an open group available to patients and their families and friend as a way of socialising and supporting others going through the same process.

1-2-1 sessions are also available.


Complementary Therapy Schedule

Reflexology and Indian head massage

Tuesday and Wednesday: 10.00-15:00

Area 61 Teenage and Young Adult Unit, BHOC (treatment available for inpatients and outpatients)


Wednesday: 09.00-15.00

Bristol Royal Hospital for Children

Friday: 09.00-15.00

Area 61 Teenage and Young Adult Unit, BHOC (treatment available to inpatients and outpatients)


Tuesday and Thursday: 12:30-16:30 on the TYA Unit.

How to book a session:

Music Therapy

For more information or any further questions please contact the Music

Therapy department on 28778 (Monday to Friday) or email 

Reiki or reflexology

To book a session, further information or if you have any questions please contact the TYA Office on 01173427592, email or speak to your CNS or support worker.

This is a charity funded service. Thank you to:

  • Teenage Cancer Trust
  • The Grand Appeal
  • The Sam Buxton Healing Trust