Quote of the week

Beauty therapists.jpg

In the Winter issue of International Therapist, former president of the FHT, Wendy Arnold, SFFHT, talks about the value of all therapists, in improving health and wellbeing. Speaking in defence of beauty therapists, Wendy says, ‘I have met some amazing beauty therapists throughout my career, whose aim is to make their clients feel good—whether that be physically, emotionally or cosmetically.’

Find out more about International Therapist

Knowledge is great, but it’s of no use if you can’t put it into practice

Dr Apte - web picture black and white circleThis week we speak to Dr Deepa Apte, a medical doctor, Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher. Dr Apte will be speaking about diagnostic techniques in Ayurveda at the 2019 FHT Training Congress.

Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

I come from a family and background in India where Ayurveda has been followed as a tradition in the family. Be it the festivals or various ceremonies that take place at home for example weddings etc, they were all followed according to Ayurvedic principles. Therefore, I was introduced to this great science as a child. Growing up, I studied general medicine to become a medical doctor. After I completed my medical studies, I went back to studying Ayurveda as it was the one science that intrigued me the most because it’s not just a science or philosophy, it’s a way of life, aiming towards true health, balance and harmony.

Give us an insight in to your normal day-to-day schedule…

My typical working day is quite varied. I work both on weekdays and weekends and hence each week or day could be very different. As well as working as a doctor and therapist at my ayurvedic health spa in London, I am the director and founder of a company, Ayurveda Pura Ltd, that manufactures ayurvedic products, from herbal teas to massage oils and spa supplies. I also run an academy that trains ayurvedic practitioners and yoga teachers. Plus, I do a fair bit of travelling round the globe, giving lectures and seminars.


What interests you outside of work?

I love creativity. Outside of my work, I spend time painting, drawing and any kind of handicraft or creative work. It’s not about just the relaxation part of the hobby, but also to make it useful for the people out there who need help the most. Hence, I sell my artwork and money raised is put towards charitable organisations so that the money can be put to good use.

I also love meeting people and networking. Especially those who inspire me to be able to do my kind of work in a better way.

What is your Training Congress seminar about?

Diagnostic techniques in Ayurveda to help support your practice. Ayurveda has various diagnostic techniques to understand what is happening in the body and mind. Join me to explore the most essential diagnostic techniques used in Ayurveda, like Ayurvedic pulse diagnosis, Ayurvedic tongue diagnosis, Ayurvedic facial diagnosis and how you can integrate them into your practice and clinic.


What is it about your topic that appeals to you and why is it useful for therapists?

Diagnosis, especially precise diagnosis, is key to the success of any therapy or management. Without correct diagnosis and conclusion, one cannot apply the right tools of management. And this is the whole focus of this workshop. Correct diagnosis also gives the therapist complete confidence to apply their principle of practice precisely and hence the result is positive.

What will attendees of your seminar expect to come away with?

They will understand various tools of diagnosis, become aware of them and how they are able to put it into practice. The aim of this workshop is also to point out that diagnosis is easy if the right techniques are applied. And most importantly, the therapists will be able to take away all the information and avenues of various ways of diagnosis and its practice.

Are there any other seminars in the programme which look particularly interesting to you?

I am quite interested in Dr Toh Wong’s seminar. I know him personally and his talks are always very inspiring.


What would be your one piece of advice for therapists wanting to grow and develop their therapy practice?

In Ayurveda there is a saying, knowledge is great, eternal and bliss, but it’s of no use if you cannot put it into practice. Likewise, make sure that your therapies are practical, easy to follow and effective.

Communication is also key. In today’s world of digital marketing, it’s important to become abreast with the latest tools and to network and meet more likeminded people.

Learn more

Join us at the 2019 FHT Training Congress from Sunday 19 to Monday 20 May at the Holistic Health Show, NEC Birmingham.

For more details about the talks and to book, visit fht.org.uk/congress


FHT shares the benefits of the Bowen technique with In the Moment readers

In the Moment cover March

We recently published an article about the Bowen technique in high street consumer magazine, In the Moment.

The article, featured in its March issue (#23), is a one-page article written by the FHT, where we look at what a Bowen technique treatment would typically involve, as well as five key benefits of the therapy.

The article is part of a ‘Have you tried?’ series in the magazine, which puts a spotlight on different therapies practiced by FHT members.

The FHT regularly contributes to national consumer publications to promote the FHT, its members and the therapies they practice.

In the Moment is a monthly lifestyle magazine, covering wellbeing, creativity, good living and travel.

Read the full article

Paintings in Hospitals secures National Lottery support on its 60th anniversary


Paintings in Hospitals has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £9,800 to explore and share its heritage. The People, Paintings and Positivity project has been made possible by the monies raised by National Lottery players. It will focus on Paintings in Hospitals’ pioneering 60-year history and its impact on the nation’s health and wellbeing.

Supported through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the People, Paintings and Positivity project will draw together narratives from Paintings in Hospitals’ extensive archives, from its unique art collection, and from the stories of the people involved, both past and present. The project will culminate in a free public exhibition at the Menier Gallery in London, co-created in collaboration with healthcare staff, which will include a soapbox talk event. The gallery exhibition will later become a touring display that will travel to two UK healthcare sites, enabling people from across the country to discover and discuss the hidden history of this unique organisation and how visual arts have supported the UK’s health and wellbeing over the last six decades.

Paintings in Hospitals is a national charity dedicated to inspiring better health and wellbeing through art. Founded in 1959, Paintings in Hospitals was an early pioneer of the now flourishing ‘arts in health’ sector and, today, its art loans, artist projects and creative workshops touch the lives of two million patients and carers every year. People, Paintings and Positivity participants and exhibition visitors will gain insight into a hidden history and gain a deeper knowledge of how art can benefit our day-to-day mental and physical health.

Commenting on the award, Ben Pearce, Director of Paintings in Hospitals, said:
“We are delighted that The National Lottery Heritage Fund are supporting our work. We are very excited to begin celebrating 60 years of Paintings in Hospitals. For the past six decades, we have been working across every type of health and social care site – from hospitals to care homes – to transform the UK’s health through museum-quality art. Art is proven to help us stay well and aid our recovery from illness and injury. Now more than ever, it is vital that people are aware of the enormous contribution art has made and will make to public health in these challenging times.”


Swedish massage can help improve sleep


One in five people experience excessive tiredness at any given time, while one in 10 have chronic fatigue (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2018)

Fatigue and depleted energy could be addressed with weekly Swedish and Thai massage, suggests a study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies (MacSween et al, 2017).

Researchers from Teesside University and the University of Leeds invited 20 participants with fatigue and/or depleted energy to receive treatments with a massage therapist. The participants all agreed to commit to a six-week study and complete diary entries on how they felt after treatments in Swedish and Thai massage, administered by Susan Lorrimer, a member of the FHT.

The participants were split into two groups and half of them received three weekly 45-minute Swedish massage treatments. This was followed by three in Thai massage therapy from weeks four to six. The treatment order was reversed for the other 10 participants.

The results showed that both Swedish and Thai massage relieved symptoms of fatigue or depleted energy by reducing stress, promoting relaxation, relieving pain and improving energy.

However, Swedish massage was more effective than Thai in improving sleep, promoting relaxation and de-stressing. Thai massage was more energising, rejuvenating and motivating and had longer lasting benefits than Swedish.

Read the study abstract here


For full references, go to fht.org.uk/IT-references

Photo by Kevin Grieve on Unsplash


We hope you enjoyed this article, which was first published in the Spring 2018 issue of International Therapist!

International Therapist is the FHT’s membership magazine. Published on a quarterly basis, it offers a broad range of articles – from aromatherapy and electrolysis, to sports injuries and regulation updates. The magazine is a membership benefit and is not available off-the-shelf or by subscription.

Join today to start receiving the leading magazine for professional therapists.

Doctor in the house

Toh Wong.pngThis week we speak to Dr Toh Wong, a practising GP, acupuncturist, hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner. Dr Wong will be speaking at the 2019 FHT Training Congress about how to get into GP practices.

Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

I am a medical doctor, graduating from the University of Leicester Medical School in 2001, and a GP since 2006. I work as a GP Principal and GP Trainer at the Westbank Practice, a semi-rural practice in Devon, near Exeter. Over the last 10 years, I have learned and practice acupuncture, NLP and hypnosis regularly both in my practice and privately.

In 2018, I organised the Integrative Health Convention, a showcase of different complementary and conventional therapists, attended by doctors and complementary therapists to begin connecting doctors and therapists with each other and appreciating the work that each does in their respective fields. This was done in association with the College of Medicine of which I now have the honour of being a council member.

I also run courses under Neurolinguistic Healthcare Ltd in advanced communication skills and therapeutic techniques for healthcare professionals.


Give us an insight in to your normal day-to-day schedule…

I work full-time as a GP. As GPs, we see on average 40 patients a day. Fortunately, I tend to see only 30 patients a day in my lovely semi-rural practice but can have up to over 40 contacts a day. This includes morning and afternoon clinics and home visits in between. During this time, I see conditions varying from simple colds and sore throats (rare) to musculoskeletal conditions (20-30%), and have to deal with detecting cancers, test results, dealing with hospital letters, minor surgery, and palliative care, as well as long-term care including heart and lung conditions, and dementia. We also see many children. All, utilising a holistic approach to healthcare.

To have enough time, it is important to keep interests varied and attention focused by practices such as exercise and meditation which I do daily.

What interests you outside of work?

I love spending time with my nine-year-old son and enjoying nature in Devon. Learning takes up a lot of my time and I enjoy learning new skills and taking in different viewpoints immensely to improve care for my patients. Organising the Integrative Health Convention and our courses and managing the long hours at work takes up the rest of my time.


What is your Training Congress seminar about?

From my varied interests in different forms of complementary therapy, I noticed some complementary therapists struggling to make ends meet despite their good intentions of helping people with their skills, and so I created a guide as to how to get noticed and more referrals from doctors, particularly from GPs who every patient in the UK is registered with. As GPs are often the first port of call for many patients, this would be an ideal place to start getting referrals from. I have tested this method and it has worked and been found to be useful.

What is it about your topic that appeals to you and why is it useful for therapists?

From my contact with complementary therapists, I realised that their skills can be very beneficial to patients and that not knowing about the many therapies out there could mean doing a disservice to our patients. In fact, it is in the medical school curriculum to be aware of the different types of complementary therapies, yet knowledge of this is still lacking. Thus, my topic will introduce complementary therapists to how to get in the GP door, give something useful to them, educate them, and in return possibly get referrals or recommendations from GPs in the hope that all of us can work together for the good of the patient.


What will attendees of your seminar expect to come away with?

I have a step by step approach on how to get into GP practices and what they want to hear to make the most use of this unique opportunity. This will save them time effort, and money to avoid useless marketing materials and really do something that works.

They can also ask questions to a full-time practising GP with a unique insight into both worlds – that of complementary therapy and conventional medicine.

Are there any other seminars in the programme which look particularly interesting to you?

I like Dr Deepa Apte’s Ayurveda talks as she is a wonderful speaker and teacher who spoke at the 2018 Integrative Health Convention. Also, I think meditation is extremely useful and evidence-based for today’s busy world. I do prefer a type of concentrative meditation rather than guided but all of it is a start to greater awareness of the power of these techniques. I also think trigger points are an important concept in manual therapies and I am glad this is being covered. Overall, it seems a varied programme that would be useful to all attendees.

What would be your one piece of advice for therapists wanting to grow and develop their therapy practice?

Have an open mind and good relationships with the GP or Medical Team around you – all of us are working towards the same thing, the wellbeing of the patient in front of us  (although it might not always seem that way to both parties).

Learn more

Join us at the 2019 FHT Training Congress from Sunday 19 to Monday 20 May at the Holistic Health Show, NEC Birmingham.

For more details about the talks and to book, visit fht.org.uk/congress


People with Alzheimer’s at greater risk from head injuries


People with Alzheimer’s disease are 30% more likely to experience head injuries and 50% more likely to experience traumatic brain injuries than those who don’t have the disease, a recent study from University of Eastern Finland shows.

This is the first study that has assessed the incidence of head and traumatic brain injuries among people with Alzheimer’s. Falls are the most common cause of head injuries in older adults, and those with Alzheimer’s are known to have a higher risk of falling. The findings of this study highlight the importance of fall prevention, as head injuries can shorten the life expectancy and deteriorate functional capacity. When people with Alzheimer’s experience head injuries, this can dramatically reduce their ability to perform daily tasks and live independently, even at early stages of the disease.

The study included all ‘community-dwelling’ people who received an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis in Finland between 2005 and 2011. From the overall cohort, 67,172 persons without a previous head injury were selected for the study. For comparison, a matching person with neither Alzheimer’s disease nor a previous head injury was identified with respect to age, sex and university hospital district.