Complementary therapies for children and families

A soothing touch

Complementary therapies are often seen as a treat. At Acorns Children’s Hospice they can be much more than that. Let Glen from our hospice in Worcester tell you more.

Having a massage or a bit of pampering is quite a luxury for most of us. It’s also something most people wouldn’t associate with a children’s hospice as they think of it as a medical environment.

But, at Acorns, we take a holistic approach to our care. This means we consider all aspects of a child’s wellbeing, rather than just treating their medical condition.

At each of our hospices we offer complementary therapies alongside our palliative care to help with muscle aches and tension, but also to help improve wellbeing.

A soothing massage allows the child to relax and makes them feel good physically and mentally. It’s a touch which is not invasive, it’s not feeds or medicines or personal care, it’s just a nice gentle touch. It’s like a hug really.

Many children are very restricted with their hands and feet, but with gentle massage, you can help them to move a little bit. By the time you’ve given a massage, hopefully, they’ll be able to stretch out their feet or fingers.

We have beautiful therapy rooms which are warm and full of soft lights and calming music, and we can offer a range of treatments. Ones you might find at a spa.

When a child is with us for a stay, I’ll either bring them into my therapy room or I may give them a treatment in a space they are comfortable in. I tailor what I do for each child.

Something I love is offering therapies to the extended family. For parents with a child who has complex needs, finding time for yourself can be difficult. Most of your time is focused on making sure your child is happy and healthy, so you tend to forget about yourself.

At Acorns the parents can completely relax for once as their care team, who they fully trust, is here to look after their child.

Every Tuesday I set aside my morning to offer treatments to the parents, carers and grandparents. They can book in for a massage, reflexology, facial- whatever they would like. They can then have some time for themselves to relax, and time for them to talk if they want to.

It’s not very often that they get time to talk, and people to talk to who understand if they’re sad or upset. I think that’s part of the therapy, it’s the holistic approach where we are here to support the whole family, not just the child.

I absolutely love my job, I really do. By the time I’ve finished a session it makes me feel so happy that I’ve given somebody some relaxation. Especially with the children it’s just magic really.

Complementary Therapist and Health Care Assistant
Acorns for the Three Counties


could help pay for sensory lights and massage oils


could help give a parent time to relax and talk about their feelings


could fund a 30 minute complementary session