Decisions about your healthcare are important. We strive to empower and support people living with HIV to lead healthy lives, and with that initiative we offer low-cost complementary therapies to people living with HIV.
As the service is not externally funded all therapies have a minimum fee, which contributes to the cost of running the programme. You may choose to support the programme by paying more than the minimum.
What are complementary therapies?
Complementary therapies are a series of healthcare treatments that are used alongside, or in addition to, conventional medical approaches advised by healthcare professionals. These therapies are designed to aid relaxation and ease tensions both physical and emotional.
Our therapists are volunteers, specifically trained in their therapies, fully insured and managed by our Complementary Therapy Coordinator.
We currently offer a range of therapies, including:
- massage therapy
- shiatsu therapy
Massage therapy consists primarily of hands-on manipulation of the soft tissues of the body to enhance wellbeing.
These tissues are: muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and joints.
Massage sessions last 50 minutes.
Hypnotherapy is a talking therapy involving hypnosis, which is an altered state of consciousness. It focuses your imagination and subconscious to help bring about positive changes to your thoughts, feelings or behaviours.
Using a range of different techniques, your hypnotherapist will relax you, make you feel comfortable and work with you towards achieving your goal.
Please note that it takes up to seven sessions for hypnotherapy to be most effective. We suggest booking your first three appointments at the same time in order to get the most from your hypnotherapy sessions.
Our hypnotherapist does not deal with issues surrounding smoking cessation.
Hypnotherapy sessions last 50 minutes.
Reflexology is a physical therapy that involves using massage on ‘reflex points’ found in the feet, hands, ears and head. It aims to restore balance and harmony and to release tension.
The practitioner will begin by examining your feet, and then start the massage movements by applying firm pressure using the side and end of the thumb, or sometimes fingers. All areas on both feet will be massaged.
A treatment session lasts 35-40 minutes. By the end of the session your feet should feel warm and you’ll feel relaxed. The number of sessions required will vary depending on the condition being treated.
Please note that clients will stay fully clothed during reflexology sessions. It is recommended to wear loose flexible clothing for your session.
Each reflexology session is 35 minutes long.
Osteopathy’s guiding principle is that your wellbeing depends on your bones, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue all working smoothly together. An osteopath aims to restore the normal function and stability of the joints.
The practitioner uses their hands in both gentle and forceful techniques that vary by patient and their symptoms, including:
- massage – releases and relaxes muscles
- stretching stiff joints
- articulation – your joints are moved through their natural range of motion
- physical manipulation – short, sharp movements to the spine (which can make a clicking noise like cracking your knuckles).
Osteopathy sessions are 40 minutes long.
‘Shiatsu’ is from the Japanese for ‘finger pressure’ and is a physical therapy that aims to restore and maintain wellbeing. It uses a variety of finger kneading, pressing, soothing, tapping, and stretching techniques. Shiatsu therapists use touch, comfortable pressure and manipulative techniques alongside posture awareness, breath work and physical exercises.
The shiatsu massage can be very deep, aiming to remove tension from the body, or light, to encourage relaxation.
Some therapists may recommend regular shiatsu treatments as part of preventive healthcare, as well as treatment for existing symptoms.
Each shiatsu session lasts 50 minutes.
How to book
Our current booking policy:
- You may book up to three massage therapy sessions with the same therapist over a three month period.
- Sessions can be back-to-back or spread over the three months.
- Further sessions can be booked with a different therapist in that time period.
Please fill in the form at the bottom of the page, referring to the calendar to see where we have appointments available. We will send you an automatic email with a payment link. When we have received payment we'll be able to confirm your appointment.
Note that your appointment is not confirmed until you have received a confirmation email from the team.
Each therapy session costs £20.
However, as the programme depends on your support you are encouraged to pay more if you wish to do so.
Any amount you pay above the £20 will go towards providing treatments for individuals who are unable to pay themselves, such as people on benefits or earning less than the minimum wage.
We suggest the following total amounts above the minimum £20 fee:
For your convenience, we offer the choice to book a block of two or three treatments in advance. As with individual treatments, you are encouraged to pay more if you wish to do so. This will help fund treatments for individuals who are unable to pay themselves.
Blocks of treatment will cost you a minimum of:
- £20 for 1 treatment
- £40 for 2 treatments
- £60 for 3 treatments
Your payment will secure your appointment. You can pay online with a credit card or debit card. Once you've booked, we'll email you payment information. Please ensure you provide your correct email address.
If you would like to book a therapy treatment but are unable to pay because you are on benefits or are earning less than the minimum wage, please email the Complementary Therapy Coordinator at [email protected] to discuss treatment options.
All complementary therapy sessions are held at King's Cross in central London.
You must be on time for your appointment. If you are late, the therapist will not be able to extend your session. It will end at the scheduled time and you will miss out on therapy you have paid for.
Please arrive 10 minutes early for your first appointment. You will need time to fill out appropriate forms.
In the rare event of the therapist being unable to make a session, you will be given at least 24 hours' notice, whenever possible, and the session will be re-scheduled.
Please give at least 24 hours' notice if you need to cancel an appointment so your session can be offered to someone else.
We ask you to pay for each session in advance. Please note, if you do not give 24 hours' notice of a cancellation, you will forfeit your appointment and the pre-paid fee for that session.