Natural Health article tackles four common myths about therapies 

As well as promoting FHT members and the amazing range of therapy services they have to offer, we also take great pride in promoting best practice in popular consumer titles.  

In an article published on Natural Health’s website this month, the FHT addresses four common myths about complementary, beauty and sports therapies… 

Myth 1: ‘Alternative’ and ‘complementary’ therapies are the same thing.  
We highlight the importance of using therapies alongside conventional medicine, and not as an ‘alternative’. 

Myth 2: If something is natural, it’s safe.  
Here we emphasise that while essential oils have amazing health-boosting properties, they can cause harm if not used properly. 

Myth 3: Beauty therapy is just about aesthetics and ‘looking pretty’. 
We touch just a few different ways that beauty therapy can be used to help support people with serious health problems and body esteem issues. 

Myth 4: Sports massage is only for athletes. 
Far from it! We explain that sports massage can be used to tackle a range of muscular aches and pains caused by everyday activities. 

At the end of the article, readers are directed to FHT’s Directory to find a local therapist who is professional, suitably qualified and accountable. And to promote our members even more, we also have a direct link to the FHT Directory on the Natural Health website homepage throughout September, as well as a full page advert in the September issue of the printed magazine. 

Click here to read the full article on Natural Health’s website 

Blood pressure checks to be made available from NHS pharmacies

From October, every NHS pharmacy in England will be able to provide blood pressure checks to people aged 40 and above, following a new deal between pharmacies and the NHS.

It is estimated that this new initiative could prevent more than 3,700 strokes and 2,500 heart attacks over the next five years, and save around 2,000 lives.

The aim is to detect thousands of people living with cardiovascular disease earlier, helping to prevent over 150,000 heart attacks, strokes and dementia cases, which is a key objective of the NHS Long Term Plan.

As part of the new contract, local chemists will also help to support NHS smoking cessation services by offering advice and care to smokers who have recently been discharged from hospital. Patients will be able to receive support sessions over a 12-week period with a trained member of the pharmacy team.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS National Medical Director said, ‘It has been an extraordinary year for our pharmacy teams who have continued to ensure millions of people have access to medicines and health advice as well as playing a vital role in delivering the NHS COVID vaccination programme.

‘More high street heart checks for blood pressure will mean more rapid detection of killer conditions and quicker treatment for patients who need it.

‘Pharmacies are in the heart of communities and so they are ideally placed to provide these convenient checks so if you are worried about your health, please do get tested – it could save your life.’

For more information, see the NHS England website


Cancer charity seeks volunteer therapists for 2021 London Marathon runners

The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity (RMCC) is looking for two volunteer therapists to provide post-event massage to runners helping to raise money for the charity at this year’s London Marathon.  

The volunteer therapists would be required to work from midday to 6pm on the day of the event (Sunday, 3 October 2021). 

The RMCC will be able to provide: 

• Massage tables 

• Massage oil 

• Towels/paper towels. 

The location of where the massages will take place is yet to confirmed but if you are interested in supporting RMCC’s runners, please email Rachel at for further details.

If you are an FHT member and taking part… 

Please ensure that your FHT membership and insurance is current on the day of the event and that you hold a relevant Level 3 qualification in massage that meets the FHT’s criteria.  

We’d also welcome a photo and small post-event write-up to share in FHT’s communications. Please send information and photos (with relevant permissions from anyone photographed) to  Thank you! 


Reflexology research

In each issue of FHT’s membership magazine, International Therapist, we publish a research section that features a short summary of four or five different studies that have recently appeared in peer-reviewed journals. As these studies help to highlight the potential health and wellbeing benefits of different therapies – often in a healthcare context – it’s not surprising that our members consistently vote* this as one of their ‘Top 3’ regulars in the magazine. 

With just over two weeks to go until World Reflexology Week (20-26 September, 2021) we thought we’d take this opportunity to share four research summaries that focus on reflexology, which we have re-published on our blog for all to enjoy… 

Reflexology reduces anxiety and improves sleep in informal carers of cancer patients  

Reflexology reduces back pain following coronary angiography 

Reflexology eases anxiety and depression in patients 

Hand reflexology and acupressure are equally effective for anxiety 

If you’d like to learn more about International Therapist and some of the many other benefits you receive as a member of the FHT, please visit 

*In our 2021 FHT Member Survey, 70% of respondents chose research as a section of International Therapist that they were most likely to read and engage with. 

Revisiting some of your reflexology favourites

As World Reflexology Week (20-26 September) draws nearer, we thought we’d re-share a short self-help video and a handful of reflexology articles published in International Therapist magazine. Enjoy!

Hand reflexology routine
In this short video, Kate Mulliss, MFHT, shows viewers how to work reflex points on the hands that can help to address stress and anxiety.
Watch Kate’s video

Steps to health
Six FHT members explain how they are supporting clients with different health and wellbeing needs, from pregnancy and Parkinson’s disease, to cancer care and fibromyalgia. (First published in International Therapist, Autumn 2019.)
Read the full article

Reflexology – pregnancy and labour
Dr Julie McCullough talks about researching the effects of antenatal reflexology on pregnancy and labour outcomes. (First published in International Therapist, Spring 2018).
Read about Julie’s research

Stress reflex
Carol Samuel, PhD, FFHT, examines the link between stress and pain, and looks at how reflexology can help. (First published in International Therapist, Autumn 2017).
Read Carol’s article

Reflexology and autism
Lorraine Senior, MFHT, talks about introducing reflexology to a school for children with autism. (First published in International Therapist, Winter 2018.)
Read Lorraine’s article

A big thank you to our lovely reflexology members who contributed to the video and articles above.

Did you enjoy these articles?
The FHT regularly publishes articles on reflexology in International Therapist magazine. To find out more about the many benefits of being an FHT member, visit

Picture: VTCT

FHT promotes reflexology to Natural Health readers

In the run-up to World Reflexology Week (20-26 September 2021), we have been busy sharing information about the benefits of this gentle but powerful therapy with some of our favourite health and wellbeing titles.

On Natural Health’s website, you’ll find an article that provides a short introduction to reflexology, along with five different ways it can benefit clients – from reducing stress and anxiety and supporting those affected by cancer, to helping women struggling with symptoms associated with the menopause.

At the end of the article, readers are directed to FHT’s Directory to find a local therapist who is professional, suitably qualified and accountable. And to promote our members even more, we also have a direct link to the FHT Directory on the Natural Health website homepage throughout August, as well as a full page advert in the August issue of the printed magazine.

Click here to read the reflexology article on Natural Health’s website

Have you downloaded your World Reflexology Resources from FHT’s website yet?

If you are an FHT member and qualified in reflexology, you can get involved in our ‘treat your feet’ campaign and help to spread the word through a range of free resources available via the Members’ Area of our website. Log in, download and start sharing today!

Picture: Anete Lusina at

Massage helps reduce anxiety in surgical patients

Studies have shown that high levels of anxiety surrounding a surgical procedure can activate changes in a patient’s nervous and immune systems and potentially cause hypertension, impact pain thresholds and post-operative pain, delay surgery being started or completed, and delay patient discharge. Furthermore, pharmacological treatments that can be used to help control peri-operative anxiety may be short-acting or produce undesirable side-effects, such as nausea and vomiting (Guo et al, 2020).

A meta-analysis recently published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice aimed to “evaluate the effect of massage on peri-operative anxiety in adults who were about to undergo, were undergoing or were recovering from major and minimally invasive surgical procedures to provide appropriate and practical suggestions for future research and practice.”

A total of 25 studies met the eligibility criteria for the meta-analysis, comprising 2,494 participants. The authors noted the following key findings:

  • That massage can significantly reduce peri-operative anxiety for most types of surgical patients;
  • In order to be therapeutically beneficial, massage lasting 10 to 20 minutes per session was worthy of recommendation in a busy clinical setting;
  • Acupoint or specific body reflex area massage had a better effect on peri-operative anxiety than general massage;
  • Massage delivered by both massage professionals and non-massage professionals (eg. short-term trained nurses and hospital staff) were both effective.

The authors concluded, “This meta-analysis demonstrated that massage is a simple, safe and effective approach for alleviating peri-operative anxiety in most types of surgical patients. More RCTs [randomised controlled trials] with high-quality and rigorous design are warranted to confirm our findings and to clarify the most suitable time at which to start massage in the peri-operative period, the duration of massage efficacy, the minimal effective dose, and the appropriate frequency of massage”.

Click here to access the study abstract

Did you enjoy this research summary?
The FHT features research summaries in each issue of International Therapist magazine. To find out more about the many benefits of being an FHT member, visit

Guo PP, Fan SL, Li P, Zhang XH, Liu N, Wang J, Chen DD, Sun WJ, Yu L, Yang S, Zhang W. The effectiveness of massage on peri-operative anxiety in adults: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and controlled clinical trials. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 2020 Nov;41:101240. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2020.101240. Epub 2020 Sep 17. PMID: 32977216.

Picture: Racool_studio at

Announcing our 2021 FHT Excellence Awards finalists

Thank you to everyone who entered and nominated in the 2021 FHT Excellence Awards. It’s never been more important to showcase your work and the different ways you help to improve your clients’ health and wellbeing, as well as supporting others in the industry and your local community.

We’re delighted to announce our finalists for…

FHT Complementary Therapist of the Year

  • Malminder Gill
  • Basma Gale
  • Caroline Purvey
  • Stephanie Quigley
  • Alexandra Skanderowicz
  • Angela Vigus

FHT Beauty Therapist of the Year

  • Alison Day
  • Geraldine Flynn
  • Nima Shah

FHT Student of the Year

  • Suzanne Julian
  • Tracy Butler Simmons
  • Anya Rae

FHT Tutor of the Year

  • Sandy Newbigging
  • Clare Riddell
  • Elaine Wilkins
  • Marie Duggan
  • Sally Kay

FHT Local Group Coordinator of the Year

  • Sarah Holmes
  • Jackie Hamilton
  • Alison Brown
  • Janet Cairnie

FHT Green Therapy Business of the Year

  • Glynis Finnigan
  • Philippa Lee
  • Hannah Lovegrove
  • Melanie Price
  • Rima Shah
  • Lucy Stevens

Finalists for our brand new category, FHT Inclusive Therapy Business of the Year, are:

  • Hinna Bashir
  • Ana Bott
  • Beverli Taylor
  • Farrah Idris

Finalists, you will shortly receive a logo to proudly display on your marketing materials.

Congratulations to you all!

Winners will be announced in November and the winner of each category will receive a certificate, trophy, logo for marketing materials and PR support to help spread the word in their local area, and nationally.

We wish you all the best of luck!

World Reflexology Week 2021 ‘treat your feet’ resources for FHT members

World Reflexology Week 2021 runs from 20 to 26 September and we are hopeful that this year, our members will be able to demonstrate how this wonderful therapy can help to stress and anxiety, encourage relaxation, improve mood, aid sleep and so much more.

If you are an FHT member and qualified in reflexology, you can get involved in our ‘treat your feet’ campaign and help to spread the word by:

  • Downloading our free promotional leaflet/poster, to print and distribute in your area.
  • Downloading our promotional image and cover/banner image for use on your social media profiles.
  • Contacting your regular clients and local businesses, offering a discount of your choice on reflexology treatments booked or carried out during World Reflexology Week.
  • Contacting your local newspaper or radio station, or sending them a press release, telling them what you are doing for World Reflexology Week – remember to insert your special Accredited Register mark.
  • Getting together with other FHT members from your local group to organise an event where taster treatments are available. You might want to consider donating all or a portion of the proceeds raised to a local charity or other worthy cause – it is likely whoever you are supporting will help to promote the event in return, which means more feet to treat!

Please send any short write-ups and pictures to Karen at writing ‘World Reflexology Week’ in the subject box, so that we can share this with our members in International Therapist and online.

Log in to the Members’ area and download your resources

FHT shares five reasons to try complementary therapy with Oh Magazine readers

This August, we shared five great reasons why Oh Magazine readers should try complementary therapy, focusing on how it:

  • Can help to tackle the cause, not just the symptom
  • Can help to improve sleep quality
  • Offers a holistic, ‘whole-person’ approach
  • Involves positive touch
  • Empowers people to manage their own health and wellbeing.

At the end of the article, readers are encouraged to visit FHT’s website to find a professional therapist in their area. We will also be promoting our members with a full-page print advert in the September issue of Oh Magazine, so keep a look out for this soon!

If you’re not familiar with Oh Magazine, this beautifully illustrated publication has a readership of 120,000 and offers a fresh perspective, covering new ways of looking inside ourselves and out. Oh offers mindfulness for everyday living, with mindful activities and adventures for readers who want to live ‘on purpose’.

Read our article on Oh Magazine’s website

Picture: Toa Heftiba on Unsplash