Hospice: 0191 2850063   
Fundraising: 0191 2469123   
Retail: 0191 2468123

Relief and comfort for Complementary Therapy patient

A Hospice patient with a rare neurological condition receives complementary therapy treatments to help relieve pain caused by his condition.

Alan Burke and wife Jan, from Whitley Bay, have both received complementary therapy. Alan has a rare neurological condition called familial amyloid polyneuropathy and comes to the Hospice for massages to relieve pain caused by his condition.

The couple first heard about the service when they attended Positive Steps.

Alan said:

Complementary therapy treatments to relieve pain caused by my condition, which is mainly in my hands and shoulders. Not only that, the treatment is a welcome distraction and I feel comforted when I come to the Hospice. My therapist is genuinely interested in me and always remembers the little details.

Jan, Alan’s wife, added:

I also receive treatments as Alan’s carer. I have benefited from reflexology, which has been a really relaxing experience. At the Hospice they don’t just see Alan as a condition, they treat the whole person. Although our main purpose for coming to St Oswald’s is for complementary therapy, I know if we have any other problems we can talk about them and the staff and volunteers will go over and above to help us.

Jayne Welch, Complementary Therapist at St Oswald’s, said:

Complementary therapies at St Oswald’s Hospice are used to complement, to improve wellbeing, reduce stress and anxiety, ease muscle tension and chronic pain, and provide a distraction from pain and worries.


The oils I use when massaging Alan help to relieve some of this tension from Alan’s shoulder and help reduce joint and muscular pain. He also has poor circulation due to his condition, which affects his hands. When he comes to the Hospice his hands are very cold but after the massage treatment they are much warmer. As well as the physical benefits, Alan comments that he feels more relaxed after his treatment.  As a therapist it’s rewarding to think that the treatment you are giving is improving the quality of life of our patients.

Find out more about our Complementary Therapy Service.