Complementary Therapy Blog: April-June 2017

Hi everyone, I attended in April the National Kidney Federation (NKF) KPA Day/AGM in Birmingham. We showcased the service to representatives of KPAs across the country and I gave a presentation on the service and its progress. I was so nervous when doing my presentation but I must have done ok as this led to a visit to Salford Royal by the NKF Editor Deborah Duvall. She travelled up from Cornwall to interview myself and members of the team with a view to doing a profile piece for their newsletter on the Complementary Therapy team and what we do.

Deborah was really interested and we spent a lovely day with her. Her article can be found in the Autumn edition of ‘Kidney Life’ pages 8 and 9. See link below:

Complementart Therapy team

Group picture of our wonderful renal staff and some of the Complementary Therapists.


We received positive feedback at the Conference with an invite from a patient support group in London to give a talk about the service and demonstrate the treatments to clinicians and patients; and the NKF are also looking to include the Complementary Therapy team at their 3 day Conference in October.

We wanted to devise a way to acquire patient feedback about the complementary therapies on the dialysis unit and the team. Robert Ward, our Quality Improvement Facilitator, came up with the idea of us using ‘Speech bubbles’ to acquire this feedback. The patients found it fun and gladly took part.

Above – Victor Greenwood a patient at Wigan Dialysis Unit – his speech bubble says “it helped me to walk without pain when I went on my favourite walk which is something I haven’t done for some time; normally my legs would burn after about 100 metres. Following the massage therapy I walked, although slowly, for about a mile. Fabulous!”

Victor gave us the following statement about his experience of our therapies:

“Previously my legs and feet were burning. It starts at the back of the leg calf area and is really painful, burning sensation all the way through and very severe. It wasn’t very good at all. Along came Janet Cairnie, she offered to help by using the renal blend and massaging my legs. The pain was intolerable but as she started to massage the area it started to ease off a little, the relief was incredible. After the massage treatment there was no pain at all. I was really sceptical about therapies at first and didn’t think it would work; this wasn’t the case at all. It started to ease as she massaged, the pain went away”.

The International Federation of Aromatherapist’s (IFA) Conference which was held in London in June was an adventure. There were guest speakers from around the world that were highly respected in the Aromatherapy field. Speakers came from as far as Australia and Japan to talk about the wonderful world of essential oils. Myself and a fellow therapist, Belinda Abufares, who is the Volunteer Complementary Therapist for Wigan Dialysis Unit, accompanied me to this event to bring back learning for our dialysis patients care.

Pic (top) me and fellow therapist Belinda Abufares


Following this the Manchester Weekly News produced an article discussing the Complementary Therapy service which was published in the Salford Advertiser newspaper. We are doing really well in getting acknowledgement for the continued hard work and dedication of our team at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.

More information on our complementary therapy service can be found following the link below:

So – we have an ever-growing team of therapists now (21 and more going through the volunteer process!); these amazing volunteers give up their time and skills to spend with our patients to make that time on dialysis a little bit more bearable. Feedback from our patients is FAB, they love to have Complementary Therapy treatments. When one patient has a treatment it becomes contagious and another asks for a treatment, after seeing satisfied neighbours on their unit it doesn’t take long for other patients to realise that this might not be such a bad idea.

Until next time! See you soon.


If you have any friends, family members or colleagues that are interested in learning a new skill and training in a short course of Complementary Therapies in order to become a volunteer, then please get in touch – I’d love to hear from you!     Tel – 0161 20 64828         Tel: – 0161 20 68942



Our aim is to provide therapists in every renal unit within the North West.

My vision for the future is to be able to make therapies accessible to every renal dialysis unit in Britain.

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