The Power of Physiotherapy and Universal Medicine in Palliative Care

by Gill Randall, Physiotherapist, Grad Dip Phys, Banbury, UK

I work as a physiotherapist in palliative care. Now, physiotherapy and palliative care are not always words that we might put together. I have often received perplexed looks when telling people where I work initially, and the response often comes with ‘how sad and dreary that must be’, but no, on the contrary, that is not true. However, I do understand their confusion. Physiotherapy is associated with healing, recovering, getting better, or rehabilitation. Palliative care can imply coming towards the end of life, giving up or giving in at the end of the journey. But I consider that we all have the opportunity to learn or to feel a difference in life, right until our last breath, and in the hospice environment, we aim to keep people as well as possible, even in the last days of life.

Life is the journey that we are all on to learn and to evolve. This isn’t a ladder going upwards, it’s often a reflection back for us to observe.

What we don’t learn in this lifetime, we will be shown again in the next one. What I have observed is that most palliative care patients are in a place of being very open to understanding this. As their present life is closing in, they are more willing to be aware of what they chose not to feel and see when they were well.

This is sometimes uncomfortable depending how they have lived, but sometimes there is an acceptance of their situation. They have often been on a rocky journey throughout their illness, have had a number of different treatments of radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy, been faced with lots of decisions, but also had many hopes and dreams raised and fallen.

No matter where we are or what our beliefs, the wake up call of a diagnosis of a life-limiting disease is going to stop most people in their tracks, to evaluate their lives and how they have been living. Some will feel passive and blame their genetics, bad luck, or feel guilt; others will be more open and philosophical about their situation. I have observed that many have an awareness that their past decisions may have affected this lifetime. For example, someone who has been a heavy smoker may be dying of lung cancer and become aware that their actions from the past have contributed to their illness. This awareness seems heightened at the end of life with all the emotions it may bring, sometimes regret, sadness or grief, sometimes frustration or anger that their lives have been curtailed and at other times, an acceptance of ‘it is what it is’.

As a physiotherapy practitioner, I bring my energy to support them physically, to aid their mobility, to assist the gentle movement of their limbs, to assess what walking aid they need, to encourage them on the parallel bars or up the stairs, and to keep them as well as can be.

As a person, I support the nurses and health care assistants, the doctors, the caterers, the gardeners and the administration staff as to how we can all look after ourselves. I am in a team of moving and handling trainers and in this mandatory annual training, we discuss how we can care for ourselves first and foremost and how this is our responsibility.

As a student of The Way of The Livingness, I bring my understanding of the bigger picture of life and death for everyone to feel how death is not the end of the road; we have many lifetimes and they are simply coming to the end of this lifetime in the cycle of lives and deaths. When someone receives a deep treatment of Esoteric Connective Tissue therapy with me, they may not have had a cure for their illness in this lifetime, but they have a choice to connect to something that they can feel is inside them, and receive a great healing if they choose to accept this. When they feel this to be true, they become very accepting of their present journey and can sometimes let go of a lot of their emotional reactions.

The energy of the hospice is one of support to the staff, the patients and their close family and friends who are also affected. These people have been supporting the person with cancer for many months or years and are often completely exhausted. They are usually very relieved that their loved one is out of the hubbub of the acute medical system and often feel the state of calm as they enter the door, but there is also sometimes a raised awareness that this may be the final move on the journey for their loved one and all the staff are very supportive of them.

I am greatly appreciative to my colleagues, working together in a multi-disciplinary team in a loving and lovely environment. And I am ever-grateful to Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, for showing me the way to reconnect to the love that lives within me, and within us all, for the teachings on self-care that offered the steps to that love, for the wonderful healing modalities, in particular Esoteric Connective Tissue therapy, and for re-awakening me to the bigger picture of life and death, that allows me to work with dying people with such grace and joy.

Read more:

  1. Sacred Esoteric Healing: True Health Care
  2. Fixing or Healing – which do you choose? 

556 thoughts on “The Power of Physiotherapy and Universal Medicine in Palliative Care

  1. Yes there is a much bigger picture of the cycle of life and death than we acknowledge. The quality of how we live will reflect our passing over which will affect our return. What kind of society will our children inherit and we come back to if we let so many live and die checked out and unloved as we do. The world needs a lot more Gill Randalls.

  2. When we bring a loving quality to what we do, it becomes caring for ourselves and others, so any unlikely relationship is not so unlikely.

  3. ‘for the teachings on self-care that offered the steps to that love’. Self care is so fundamental to everything in life and yet it is something we often don’t look at until we have an accident or become ill. Where ever we are at with self care, there is still another level to go to, it is an ongoing and ever deepening process. This then builds are appreciation of ourselves and our relationship with ourselves begins to blossom, which is then reflected in our relationship with everyone else. A truly win-win situation.

  4. When I am on my way out… I most definitely want Gill looking after me… What a blessing this would be… And what a responsibility we have to be providing such wonderful care for everyone

  5. “When someone receives a deep treatment of Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy with me, they may not have had a cure for their illness in this lifetime, but they have a choice to connect to something that they can feel is inside them, and receive a great healing if they choose to accept this.” I was witness to exactly this just recently Gill, when I gave someone an Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy treatment. My client, who lives with constant pain and discomfort from chronic arthritis was literally transformed after just one treatment and could not stop expressing how different she felt not only in her body, but also in her general well being. This beautiful, simple but deeply profound treatment literally can be life changing if there is a willingness to accept what is on offer, no matter what stage of life you are at.

  6. Thank you for sharing Gill it is beautiful to feel what you bring to your workplace not just in the practicalities of what you can offer as a physiotherapist but also in your wider understanding of the cycle of life and death. It is so important to care for our bodies until the end and to support those who are in a caring role both staff and family members and what you are offering is the way forward for palliative care.

  7. Palliative care is so often seen as the end whereas what you are presenting is that it can be the beginning of the next cycle and it is awesome that you are there to support those who have a recognition of this.

  8. Hearing those two together is delicious – why not help people to feel what is going on inside their bodies no matter what age? Whether that is introducing it for the first time (strange but true) or helping them to adapt to the inevitable changes. The opportunity is there for all.

  9. It is no easy feat, to come face to face with the truth of how we have been living, and to accept that we are the ones that are responsible for making every choice which has delivered us to the point we are at in our lives. There is nothing more healing to have from another, the loving support to explore for ourselves the truth behind our choices. It is a gift to feel that we are held by love as we address our unloving choices and let go of emotions, hurts and beliefs that have led us away from being and living the love we truly are in essence. In this time of transition, preparing to pass over is often filled with anguish and struggle, what a gift it must be Gill to have your support and presence at hand.

  10. What a truly wonderful modality Esoteric Connective Tisssue Therapy is, as it offers so much on so many levels not only to the body but to our general state of health and well being. How incredible would it be if this treatment was available and offered across the board for any health condition, both physical or mental. There would undoubtedly be a significant change in our general state of health in society if this was the case.

  11. Surrender is the word that comes to me when I think of the last period of life. This is something that may happen or not, but I’m sure that Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy and the quality of your approach to people in the end of their lives has much to do with it.

  12. I can imagine that some people view palliative care as simply caring for someone in their last days and therefore cannot see much point in assisting them develop more mobility, but if we viewed palliative care as a preparation for our next life, which in many ways it is, perhaps we would view it very differently.

  13. I didn’t really know much about palliative care before reading your blog. I suppose I have never met someone that works in the industry nor have I had anyone close to me use this service. I am not over exaggerating when I say, this deeply warmed my heart, it was so touching. The way that you care for your patients and staff equally and the true passion you have in helping people release and heal as such as possible before they pass, is just stunning.

  14. Death is an incredible opportunity to strip away all the fluff we get caught up in during the life and get back to the big, simple questions. What are our relationships like, how much love is there in our lives – either of ourselves of others. It all gets reflected back and no room to wriggle, but plenty of opportunities to do things differently.

  15. This is a beautiful sharing Gill, and one I feel would support many who are in a similar situation either as a patient or family carer. What a wonderful work situation you share and contribute to. You offer so much to all the lives you touch with your work and wisdom.

  16. It is a shame that many require an illness to recognize the part they have played in contributing to their ill however it is a blessing nonetheless, for any awareness and learning in those moments allows for the inspiration to then move differently from that moment on. We often don’t realise the enormous power of our choices until they have accumulated but each step is of paramount importance in carving out a life of unsettlement or suffering… or one of true quality.

  17. Beautiful to read your blog today Gill, I so felt the care and support you and the palliative team offer in your words, there is so much that can be offered to those who are about to pass over preparing them for their return, where we get to readdress many choices from the past that we have made.

  18. “As a student of The Way of The Livingness, I bring my understanding of the bigger picture of life and death for everyone to feel how death is not the end of the road; we have many lifetimes and they are simply coming to the end of this lifetime in the cycle of lives and deaths. ” I see this palpably in my work on a maternity ward. Some of the newborn babies are so obviously reflecting their past life in their faces. Some seem so peaceful and calm and some are tormented it would seem. The cycle continues…..

  19. What I felt from your discussion of your work Gill is if a patient who is in the last stage of their life is willing to continue with physiotherapy, they are preparing themselves to be fit for their next life, for even though they will obviously be in another body, the vitality, quality and willingness we pass over with will be what we return with in our next life. Love your work.

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