Complimentary Therapies

Complementary therapies can be used alongside conventional (approved) anti-tumour treatments. People affected by brain tumours may use them to help manage the side-effects caused by their medical treatments or to improve their mental and/or physical well-being.

Here are some therapies people affected by a brain tumour often find helpful:


Some people find that acupuncture helps them with controlling pain, nausea, dry mouth, hot flushes, fatigue and breathlessness.

During therapy the acupuncturist will insert very fine sterile stainless steel needles into the skin at various points on the body. Acupuncture is thought to work by releasing natural morphine-like substances in the body, such as endorphins, which can ease symptoms.

Go to to find an approved acupuncturist near you


Aromatherapy involves the use of herbal oils such as lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus and camomile. The essential oils can be rubbed onto your skin during a massage session, added to a warm bath, added with water to an aromatherapy oil diffuser, so the vapour spreads the aroma into the air.

The oils are absorbed through the skin (when rubbed) and/or through the nose (when you inhale them as vapour).

People have reported that aromatherapy helps them cope with anxiety, pain, depression, stress and fatigue

A certified aromatherapist can guide you through the variety of essential oils used and suggest which might be more appropriate for you.

Find an aromatherapist near you

Massage therapy and reflexology

People usually have massage therapy or reflexology to help manage physical symptoms such as pain, muscle stiffness, breathlessness and/or emotions such as stress and anxiety. In massage therapy, a trained therapist will use their hands to rub your muscles. Reflexology involves gentle pressures on the feet or sometimes the hands.

Find a massage therapist near you or go to to find a reflexologist

Talking therapies

A brain tumour diagnosis can be devastating and may cause unmanageable feelings of stress, fear, anxiety and depression. Talking therapies, such as counselling, psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), involve a therapist who you will talk to you and help you deal with the emotional side of living with brain tumour and going through treatment. Make sure you use a qualified therapist.

You can obtain talking therapy through your doctor or go to

Support Centres

Find your local  Macmillan Support Centre or Maggie’s Centre