Mind, Body And Soul
Mind, Body And Soul

Good For The Mind, Body and Soul

Widow Louise Keehan feels as if she is “on cloud nine” when she emerges from the complementary therapy sessions provided by ellenor.

She said: “Complementary therapies using the human touch make you feel as if someone is caring for you, as if you are in safe hands. And it is just so relaxing. You can really switch off from your cares and woes and worries.

“You come out feeling so much lighter. It’s so good for the mind, body and soul. I would recommend it to anyone, and there are probably a lot more people out there who could benefit from it, especially over the Christmas period.”

Louise is lucky to be part of a supportive family network, Des’s family have been an invaluable source of support as have her mother and brother living nearby, and her son Aaron just down the road from her in Wilmington. She hopes all three of them will spend Christmas with her this year, with maybe some other family members also popping in.  

The retired primary school teacher began having complementary therapies at ellenor when her late husband Des discovered the benefits of massage offered at the Gravesend hospice.

She said: “Des always looked forward to going and it helped to calm him down, so when I was offered some, I decided to give it a go.

“I had some treatment while he was having his and I’ve carried on. I’ve had reiki, massage and reflexology. It’s really relaxing and calming and very therapeutic. I like the holistic approach. It helps your body, but it also deals with the mind. Afterwards I always feel a lot lighter and a lot calmer.”

Des, who suffered from Motor Neurone Disease (MND), died in June 2020 at the age of 62. During his illness and after his death Louise found the wide range of support from ellenor invaluable.

She said: “They were really good at dealing with Des and got to know him over time. It’s so much more than just looking after someone when they are dying. I’ve had so much support from ellenor.

The carers course run by ellenor family support worker Terrie May was a great help to Louise, particularly when she was grappling with the financial side of things.

She said: “that was something I didn’t have a clue about, so doing that course did really help.”

After Des died Louise found friendship and support at ellenor’s Bereavement Cuppa, where people who have lost loved ones can meet for a chat.

Louise is glad to still have the support of the Wellbeing team at ellenor, and of her family and friends. Her nephew James also recently completed an Ironman triathlon in Des’s memory, raising about £6,000 for ellenor and an MND charity.

She said: “I think that particularly during Covid, people have really missed human touch. Not being able to hug the people you love has been so hard.

“You come out of a complementary session feeling on cloud nine. After reflexology a smile comes back on my face. I am in my happy place, and I always sleep well.

“There is such a range of therapies you can have at ellenor. Some people might feel a bit self-conscious about the touch side of things at first but Sally does reiki, where her hands hover above the body if you don’t want to be touched. It just feels like someone cares about you and is looking after you.”

Louise has also taken part in mindfulness and therapy for the senses sessions with senior complementary therapist Sally Baker on Zoom.

She said: “I particularly got a lot from the mindfulness sessions. And when I’m feeling a bit stressed, I put on the mindfulness CD that you can purchase by donating £12 on the ellenor website stating that your donation is for the CD). I also listen to it when I go to bed. Sometimes it is very difficult to sleep, but all these therapies do help.

“The people at ellenor are very kind souls.”