Free 1-2-1 Therapies

CancerCare's wide range of FREE services complement treatments & advice from other healthcare professionals, delivered by our experienced team of therapists.

During your first meeting your one of our friendly team will explain all the therapies to you so that you can decide what you think would be most suitable for you. What’s more, all of the sessions are free.

Our Therapies


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Counselling provides an opportunity to talk about concerns you have in a respectful, supportive and confidential setting. Counselling can help you develop greater self-understanding, get a different perspective, find ways forward and in doing so reduce anxiety and stress. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to somebody outside your circle of family and friends. Being able to offload thoughts and feelings can make coping with everyday life easier.

Counselling can also help with coming to terms with a diagnosis, exploring feelings of loss & bereavement and coping with the demands of caring. The process can also help clients explore end of life issues and deal with changes in relationships such as coming to terms with loss of physical or sexual function.

Counsellor Dave James said “As counsellors at CancerCare, we are privileged to meet the courageous people who walk through our doors. My hope is that we meet them where they are at, and through empathy and acceptance, we support their journey through their often complicated and uncomfortable feelings.

“This allows people to learn to accept themselves and feel that they are not on their own, that they are understood and listened to.”

Aromatherapy & therapeutic massage

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Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils extracted from aromatic plants, flowers, fruits, herbs, grasses and trees. The technique uses gentle massage with an individual prescription of aromatic oils to relieve symptoms and promote relaxation and general well-being.

Therapeutic Massage uses systematic manipulation of a body’s soft tissues to enhance circulation and breathing, release muscle tension, improve sleep, modify anxiety, reduce pain and produce deep relaxation.

Aromatherapist Sandra Dacre said: “Aromatherapy is a gentle, subtle therapy using massage with natural essential oils which are distilled from flowers, seeds, herbs, spices, trees, shrubs, fruits and grasses. They are blended with a carrier oil to suit the needs of the individual and can help ease symptoms such as anxiety, stress, poor sleep, muscular tension and low mood.

Aromatherapy massage is generally received lying on a couch, or seated, depending on the needs and physical capabilities of the person seeking help.”

Indian head massage

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Indian Head Massage is a seated massage which can be given with or without oils, with clothing on or top half removed, or wrapped in a towel. The technique involves massaging the neck, shoulders, upper arms, scalp and face. The skull is covered with a thin layer of muscle which tightens when we are feeling tense, resulting in a headache and/or feelings of anxiety. By relaxing the muscles, a head massage can improve blood flow, alleviate anxiety and relax the whole body.

It can also help with stress relief and minor complaints such as earache, eye strain, tinnitus, aching jaws from grinding teeth, sinusitis, headaches and insomnia.

Therapist Kim Keith said: “Indian Head Massage is a very beneficial, relaxing massage that is carried out seated, which is ideal for those who can’t lie down. As well as pain relief, it can also boost the immune system, improve joint mobility and circulation and, as it stimulates the hair follicles, it can also help promote healthy hair growth.

“The head more than any other area of the body represents who we are and if the head feels good, we feel good.”

Reiki healing

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Reiki is a type of energy healing that was developed in Japan and involves using light touch which aims to change and balance the energy fields in and around your body. It aims to improve relaxation, ease stress and tension and help boost overall wellbeing. The treatment does not involve getting undressed and the practitioner will put their hands on, or a few inches above, the recipient’s body and work their way down from head to toe.

Reiki can help people cope with difficult situations and relieve emotional stress and tension.


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Hypnotherapy offers relaxation of mind and body. It helps prepare for and reduce the side effects of medical treatment, encourages self-confidence and resourcefulness. Hypnotherapy works at a deep psychological level to address and resolve personal problems and ease the physical and emotional effects of medical treatments.

Hypnotherapy can also help with high anxiety levels, relaxation, flashbacks, nausea, sleep problems, weight management, swallowing difficulties, needle phobia, smoking cessation & pain management.

Hypnotherapist Georgie Whittle said: “Hypnotherapy is the induction of a trance-like, or deeply relaxed, state using progressive muscle relaxation, breathing and the therapist’s tone and voice.

“There is no loss of control or being made to say or do anything against one’s will. The feeling can be a deep sense of calm and peace which in turn can help a range of stressful situations and experiences.

“When the body is relaxed, with practice, the mind also becomes relaxed and more receptive to positive ideas and suggestions. In a clinical setting it can help with anxiety about medical procedures and can equip people with coping skills or promote a more positive way of living.”

Alexander Technique

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The Alexander Technique teaches skills you can put into practise for yourself. 

You learn to be more aware of unhelpful patterns of tension, to release these and experience more ease and freedom of movement. This can help with management of stress and pain and enable people to feel more in control.  Other benefits include regaining a sense of the body as a whole and feeling more connected to the world around. For those in shock or recently bereaved, the quiet touch and gentle presence of the teacher can be very beneficial

Nutritional Therapy

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Our nutritional therapists work alongside the clients to offer a tailor made treatment plan which takes into account their unique needs and circumstances. We take a detailed case history to begin unearthing the cause of symptoms and then work towards promoting and optimizing wellness.  We are keen to emphasize that food is medicine and medicine is food so work in depth with clients about eating naturally and maximizing the nutrition and nutrients they get from their food. We also offer advice about foods to include and foods to cut out as well as discussing how lifestyle, emotions and our environments also contribute to health. 

Children & Young People's Service

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We offer a variety of therapies for children and young people who have either recieved a diagnosis themselves, have a family member who has or has experienced bereavement.

We have specialist children's counsellors and play therapists who can help children make sense of their world, feelings and the potentially upsetting events that may be going on in their lives. Instead of having to verbally explain what is troubling them, as often takes place in adult therapy, children are encouraged to explore their emotions through creativity and use play and toys to communicate at their own level and at their own pace in our specially equipped play rooms.

For older children we can provide more traditional counselling.

Grief, Loss & Bereavement in Teenagers leaflet

Grief, Loss & Bereavement in Children leaflet


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Reflexology is a gentle manipulation or pressing on certain parts of the foot to produce an effect elsewhere in the body.  It can help alleviate stress, improve general wellbeing and sleep patterns.


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With tutor Sue Garner. Featuring very slow, gentle movement and supported postures with space to rest and breathe, guided relaxation and meditation

Suitable for all physical abilities. Beginners welcome.  Those with experience have the opportunity to deepen their practice. Sue has a gentle approach and expertise in including a range of needs within a class, offering options and guidance so that each person can find their own way to enjoy and benefit from yoga.  


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Acupressure involves applying pressure to points called accupoints throughout the body. When these points are stimulated they release muscular tension, promote circulation of blood and enhance the body's energy to aid healing.

Simple Lymphatic Drainage

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SLD is an important part of lymphoedema treatment. It is a form of massage that helps stimulate the lymphatic system and encourages the flow of lymph fluid.  Our specialist therapists will also teach you how to do this at home. Please note: A referral from the Kendal Lymphology Centre will be needed to access this therapy. 

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