17 September 2019

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Marcos’ story

Marcos Viliotti, Complementary Therapist, tells us why he loves his job

Marcos spent 20 years working in IT before he had a calling to do something different. He quickly discovered his passion for complementary therapy and has now been working at St Christopher’s for over eight years.

“I had spent 20 years working in IT, when I realised that computers weren’t for me anymore. I started doing weekend courses in complementary therapies, just out of curiosity, and 18 months later I realised how much I was in love with it. I felt a call to work with people in a different way. So, in 2008, I left the IT business behind and changed my career altogether.

I volunteered in a hospice for two years, using my new skills, and I really enjoyed working with people at the end of their lives. Then, three months later, the perfect job came up at St Christopher’s and I joined the team in 2011 – eight and a half years ago now.

In the hospice I see outpatients and people on the wards. I deliver reflexology, massage, relaxation techniques and manual lymphatic drainage for people with lymphedema (swelling in arms and/or legs). Other members of the team also see people in the community and run a drop-in clinic for acupuncture.

I love everything about my job – I love working at St Christopher’s, I love my team, my colleagues and the people I treat

I think one of the main benefits of complementary therapies is relaxation, because people have time to switch off. This in turn helps them feel more able to cope with their pain levels. Reflexology is really effective in relieving symptoms and side-effects of medication, such as constipation and breathlessness.

Everybody under the care of St Christopher’s is able to access the complementary therapy services and they are extremely popular. We currently have 220 people on our books.

I love everything about my job – I love working at St Christopher’s, I love my team, my colleagues and the people I treat. I feel so happy to be able to help people in a way that goes beyond the medical treatment they may be receiving. When they come to me for a massage, it’s something completely outside their usual routine. It gives them a bit of breathing space, time for themselves and a chance to forget about anything else on their mind for a little while.

What may initially be considered a luxury soon becomes a necessity when people see the many benefits of complementary therapies.”

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