The complementary therapy team has been delivering a service at the Royal Free London for more than three decades. The service is funded by the Royal Free Charity.

They offer massage therapy to enhance our care for patients, and they offer support to our staff across all of our sites.

Research has shown that massage can:

  • reduce stress
  • reduce anxiety
  • reduce pain
  • help people cope better with the illnesses and uncertainties they face 
  • shorten the amount of time a patient needs to be in hospital

Our therapists focus on looking after the whole person, rather than the disease.

The type of massage offered is clinical massage, which is gentle and based on the “Swedish” technique — adapted to consider the patients’ physical and emotional needs.

The team use oils which have been specially blended for safe use within the hospital. The service is constantly evolving and looking to incorporate other therapies.

Patients need to be referred by a member of the multi-disciplinary team, as the therapists need to be aware of certain medical conditions and surgical areas that need to be avoided.


Please inform staff you would like to be referred for massage therapy. If appropriate and we have received the referral form, we will do our best to see you within 24 hours (service available Monday to Friday from 9am to 4.30pm).


If you are attending the chemotherapy suites at Chase Farm Hospital, Finchley Memorial Hospital or the Royal Free Hospital, please inform staff you would like to be seen.

Outpatients attending the planned investigation treatment unit or the Institute of Immunity and Transplantation at the Royal Free Hospital, please inform staff you would like to be referred.

Radiotherapy outpatients

While attending for radiotherapy, you can be referred for one massage treatment per week for the duration of your course. Please ask radiotherapy staff to complete a referral form.

Scar tissue outpatients

Scar therapy treatment is a non-invasive massage treatment that has been developed to treat scar tissue, fibrosis and adhesions following surgery or injury. The scar therapy tissue clinic at the Royal Free Hospital operates on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 2-4pm, by referral only.

Inpatients are treated within the comfort and privacy of their own bed space — where possible we try to ensure you will be seen by the same therapist.  

Outpatients are treated within the specialised units they are attending, or in the treatments at the Royal Free Hospital, if appropriate.