MASSAGE therapy for cancer patients at the Vale of Leven Hospital has been praised for helping to give people a lift when they are at “rock bottom”.

The Beatson Cancer Charity therapy, which was introduced at the beginning of this year, currently serves four patients, two days a week, in a bid to help them relax while receiving their cancer treatment.

The service recently expanded to include the massage therapy and the treatment has been welcomed by patients and supporters.

Local Reverend Ian Miller, a longtime supporter of Beatson, told the Reporter: “The Beatson has a very personal connection for me as three years ago my wife was diagnosed with cancer.

“The Beatson really helped all through her treatment, after the radiotherapy and chemotherapy you can be left feeling so low and what the Beatson do just helps lift people up a bit.

“The care being offered is five star. I just spoke to a patient who was saying that when you’re at rock bottom this lifts you up a little and when you’re at rock bottom even being a foot off the ground is a big deal.”

Therapist Elaine Stokes, who has been treating the patients since the beginning of December, said she has noticed a marked difference in the attitudes of the patients following the treatment.

Gerry O’Hare, oncology specialist nurse, said: “The advantage of having support from the Beatson is that cancer diagnosis is a particularly anxious time, probably the most anxious time for many patients in their lifetimes and attending a unit is a period of anxiety as well and we want to create an atmosphere where patients can be calm and relax as much as they are able.

“We want them to relax and be open to discuss worries that they have. We don’t want them to necessarily fear attending the unit, we want it to be a means of support as well as treatment.

“This is an example of a means of support for patients who can have relaxing treatments and therapies with the experienced therapists.

“In our experience over the past few months the patients derive a great deal of support from the treatments like head massages, reflexology and things like that.”

John Munro, who has received the treatment, said: “It’s absolutely beautiful what they do here. I have got limited walking ability and bad circulation particularly in my feet and this really helps.

“I’ve been coming in for two months and I’ve really felt the benefit. It’s a terrific service.”

Marjory Greig, another patient, added: “What they do is brilliant. Last time I was in I had a shoulder rub and it was absolutely fantastic.

“This is just my second visit but the treatment makes you feel so much better and really pulls you up.”