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Complementary massage therapy service comes to Chase Farm hospital

Keith Hunt MBE and his team give more than 30,000 massages annually to patients at the Royal Free Hospital, and from 13 January 2016 this service was extended to Chase Farm Hospital.

Patients at CFH will now have access to treatment that reduces the pain and anxiety of being in hospital, helping patients cope with their illness better. 

Massage therapy is about treating the person and not the illness, and for many patients it is the high point of their day. Massage complements medical treatment and patients with any condition can be considered for this therapy, which eases pain and anxiety, lowers blood pressure, and promotes relaxation and healthy sleeping patterns.

Keith said: “At Chase Farm we will be staring with oncology and haematology patients, and also rehabilitation patients to provide some very gentle massage.

“Our work is focused on us being a treat not the treatment, and looking after the person behind the illness while the doctors and nurses are tackling the disease or illness.

“All treatments are carried out with the relaxing Swedish method, with no depth and no pressure points used.  It’s a repetitive stroke and in just 15 minutes a difference can be felt.  The sessions are free to patients, who will be referred to us by staff.

“Eventually we will add other medical conditions to our work and extend the service to other patients at Chase Farm Hospital.”

The first patient to receive a massage at Chase Farm hospital from therapist Jill Alexander was chemotherapy patient Chris Sterakides who said afterwards “When I came in today for chemo I was stiff around my neck and it’s really helped. I think patients will be really up for a massage.” 

The service started at Barnet Hospital in April 2015 and in its first seven months provided 1,693 massages to patients. Louise Edwards, the Lead Nurse for Chemotherapy at both Barnet and Chase Farm hospitals said “It’s such a lovely service for the patients. Initially I wasn’t sure what the take up would be but the patients are really keen and I can see at Barnet how they benefit from it, and I know they will at Chase Farm too”.  

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