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Visiting suspended at Queen Alexandra Hospital (QA)


A stay in hospital can be a daunting time for anyone whether it is for a short or long time. But having someone with you can help you recover and make you feel more at ease.

Keeping in contact with friends and family is important to patients. It is recognised that a balance is needed between maintaining that contact and allowing for rest and recuperation. In response to feedback from patients, families and carers wards and departments have local guidelines about visiting times so please do check before visiting. 

Visiting suspended at Queen Alexandra Hospital (QA)


At Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, we are proud to provide expert, compassionate care.

We are here for our local population of about 675,000 residents across Portsmouth and south east Hampshire and care for many people beyond, including providing some tertiary services to a catchment area of more than 2m people.

During your stay in hospital you will meet a number of different members of staff.  All members of staff wear name badges, but if you are not sure who someone is or what they do, please feel free to ask them to introduce themselves and explain what they do. 

If you have any questions about your treatment, please ask a doctor or a nurse.

There are lots of opportunities for you to get involved with the Trust, from volunteering to attending our public meetings, our Annual General Meeting or our hospital open day which is held every year.

Complementary Therapies

Last updated: 16 December 2019

We offer complementary therapies alongside your medical treatment with which we aim to

  • Promote relaxation and reduce anxiety and low mood
  • Relieve stress related symptoms e.g. pain muscle tension, poor sleep patterns
  • Promote feeling of wellbeing.

Available Therapies

Complementary Therapies currently offered in the Macmillan Centre are:

  • Body Massage
  • Aromatherapy
  • Reflexology
  • Reiki
  • Indian Head Massage

Click the links to the below to learn more about a specific therapy. 

Who provides the therapies?

All of our therapists have the necessary qualifications and are members of one of the main professional associations. They have all carried out additional training to enable them to treat people with cancer. All of our therapists are volunteers.

Is there a cost?

Every patient and a nominated person are offered a number of sessions per year, free of charge. If you choose to make a private appointment with a therapist this outside the remit of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust. It is advisable to check and agree the costs and details of the treatment beforehand with the therapist.

How do I book?

You can contact the Macmillan Centre or simply ask a member of  the centre staff. Each appointment lasts approximately one hour. All therapies are tailored to the individual's needs. Therapies take place either within a dedicated room in the Centre or on the ward, your privacy and comfort takes priority.

Massage is among the most straightforward and most ancient forms of health care treatment used for getting rid of aches along with pain in your body and also for improving psychological issues like stress and anxiety. The massage involves the therapist pressing and rubbing the muscles and other soft tissues of the body, while employing varying levels of pressure.

Swedish massage

Swedish massage is often referred to as therapeutic massage. In this program, the therapist uses sleek and prolonged strokes, circular as well as kneading moves gently on muscles, using essential oil or product. This is very comforting and soft. If you have little or no past experience with massages then this is an excellent treatment to start with.

Aromatherapy is the methodical use of essential oils in holistic treatments. Essential oils, extracted from plants are thought to possess distinctive therapeutic properties.

These natural plant oils are applied by massage, blended with a grape seed carrier oil.

An essential oil is an aromatic substance extracted from a single botanical source by distillation. Essential oils have been utilised in fragrances, flavours and medicines for thousands of years.

As with all treatments, a full consultation should be completed with your therapist to ensure that aromatherapy is right for you.


Reflexology is an ancient form of treatment which is based on the principle of reflex areas in the feet and hands which are believed to correspond to parts of the body. It is a non-invasive touch therapy using particular forms of pressure, predominantly to the feet. It may ease some symptoms or help you cope with the side-effects of treatment. It is also a very pleasant way of relaxing. A reflexology treatment takes about 60 minutes.

As with all treatments, a full consultation should be completed with your therapist to ensure that reflexology is right for you.

Reiki is a Japanese, energy based therapy that promotes relaxation and overall wellness. Reiki is a non-invasive complementary therapy, said to use natural energy flow for well-being.

Reiki may be used on the whole body or can be localised to a specific part of the body. A full body treatment can last between 45 to 60 minutes, with a localised treatment lasting approximately 20 minutes.

You will remain fully clothed and usually be asked to lie on a massage table or be seated in a chair. Your therapist may need a few minutes to enter a calm state and will then place his or her hands on or near various parts of the body, including head, torso, knees and feet. The hands will remain in each position for up to three minutes before moving to the next position.

As with all treatments, a full consultation should be completed with your therapist to ensure that Reiki is right for you.

Indian head massage has been used in Asia for over 5,000 years. The massage helps to ease tension and promote relaxation and well-being. Other parts of the body may respond to this relaxed state. The areas covered are the head, scalp, face, neck, shoulders and upper back. Indian head massage comes from an ancient method involving natural therapies, which takes into account mind, body and spirit.

An Indian head massage usually lasts for approximately 30-45 minutes.

You will be invited to take a seat and relax on a low backed chair. The use of oils is optional. If oil is used, a towel will be used to ensure your modesty. Alternatively, you can remain fully clothed.

As with all treatments, a full consultation should be completed with your therapist to ensure that Indian head massage is right for you.

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