The Hands of an Angel

The Hands of an Angel

Meeting Rosemary, our Complementary Therapist, for the first time is like encountering the trusted friend that you always wanted. Her ever present smile, soft Irish tone and embracing manner belies more than four decades of intensive care for others. 

Rosemary joined a newly established Beaumond House as a Care Assistant in 1994 having already served fifteen years as an auxiliary nurse at the old Hawtonville Hospital (now Newark Hospital). Interestingly, one of the ward doctors there was a certain Peter Jones, co-founder and chairman of Beaumond House (“A wonderful man’’). It was at Beaumond House where a visiting instructor recognised her interest and skill in providing therapeutic massage. He strongly encouraged her to train and take it up full-time. In the cosy, warm massage room her desk wall is nearly hidden by a plethora of framed certificates that display her qualifications. Sitting proudly in centre position is the one dated 1997 that confirms “Imelda Rosemary” as a Practitioner in Therapeutic Massage.

’I went to the Derby Holistic School of Alternative Medicine on a Friday evening and finished on the Sunday evening every week so it didn’t affect my work. It was £50 each month and altogether cost £900 which was an awful lot of money to me. But it was worth it’’

Beaumond House offers six or more massage sessions to patients and up to three sessions a year to carers or the recently bereaved. A session takes about two hours and Rosemary provides massage to two or three people each day. Beside the most obvious benefit that massage delivers on a physical level, there is another equally important service that she provides:

“It’s not always about massage. It’s about being able to talk to somebody about how they’re feeling”. Rosemary often sees newly diagnosed patients with life threatening illness at an initial consultation. For some, those first steps through our famous front door are like climbing Everest. They arrive, usually ‘very shy and sometimes shaking, having taken a long time just thinking about coming in’. That first session can be truly emotional but they soon feel safe, relaxed and ‘open-up’. Rosemary confides:  “Sometimes I cry with them – but can I say that?”

Often there is little time for massage after the person has off loaded their anxieties to the gently smiling therapist who listens intently by their side. A rapport between the patient/client generally develops over the sessions. On subsequent visits they ‘nearly have to be pushed out through the door, always leaving with a smile’, says Rosemary laughingly.

 ‘From the time my Macmillan nurse put me in touch I have never looked back. Rosemary is always bright and cheerful. She has the hands of an angel’.And many would also say the heart of one too.

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