International Therapist Issue 130 (Autumn 2019)

01 coverAs a member of the FHT, your Autumn issue of International Therapist will be arriving soon!

Knowing how passionate our members are about the environment and sustainability, we’re also delighted to announce that after a small but successful trial, your latest issue of the magazine will arrive in a biodegradable wrapper (please see the carry sheet enclosed for advice on how to dispose of the wrapper appropriately).

In this issue, you will find:

  • A special reflexology feature, providing case studies of how this therapy can be used to support a four different client groups, plus results from our special 2019 FHT Reflexology Survey
  • An introduction to the Full Circle Fund, an integrated service for hospital patients with life-challenging illness, by Suzanne Ruggles, MFHT
  • How to identify your dream client, by Jill Woods
  • Providing complementary therapies as part of a social prescribing project, by Teresa Meeking, MFHT
  • A look at green products and initiatives from seven of FHT’s valued advertisers
  • A look at common injuries in breakers (break dancers)
  • How to get GP referrals, by Dr Toh Wong

Plus an essential oil profile on frankincense; the latest FHT local group news; a day in the life of Hazel Tudor, MFHT, complementary therapist and local group coordinator; the latest research; expert advice; medical A-Z; an interview with Dr John Hughes, director of research at Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine and co-chair of the Research Council for Complementary Medicine; a look at the 2019 FHT Training Congress; public affairs and lots more…

And don’t miss the opportunity to win one of four Physique Taping Starter Kits, worth more than £40 each, and a £20 John Lewis & Partners gift card and FHT poster of your choice in the latest spiral quiz.

Landing on your doorstep from Thursday 17 October. You can also log in to read this issue (from Thursday 17 October) and past issues online at

Study shows reflexology eases anxiety and depression in patients


It has been reported that up to 20% of patients with cardiovascular diseases experience anxiety and depression during hospitalisation (Chamberlain et al 2011, Meneghetti el al 2017).

A study recently published in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork looked at the effects of foot reflexology massage on anxiety and depression in female older adults suffering from acute coronary syndrome (Bahrami T et al, 2019).

Ninety female patients over the age of 60 who had been hospitalised for one day in an Iranian cardiac care unit were randomly assigned to either an intervention group or control group. Those in the intervention group received routine care and a 20-minute reflexology treatment, which included a general foot massage and working the solar plexus, pituitary gland, brain, heart, large and small intestines, vertebral column, adrenal and kidney reflexes. The control group received routine care without foot reflexology massage.

Measurements taken before and immediately after the sessions showed that hospital anxiety and depression in the reflexology group significantly decreased compared to that of the control group.

The researchers concluded that foot reflexology massage is an efficient, ‘safe and non-pharmacological intervention that can be used, along with pharmacological measures, to reduce psychological symptoms and improve quality of care in patients with acute coronary syndrome’. They also recommend that ‘future studies with a larger sample size and long-term follow-up are needed to examine the effect of foot reflexology massage on psychological parameters in cardiac patients’.

Read the full study

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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

FHT’s Mary Dalgleish provides an introduction to aroamtherapy at 2019 Integrative Health Convention

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Now in its second year, the Integrative Health Convention gathers together professionals involved in conventional medicine, complementary therapy and self-care, to explore ways of working together to improve health outcomes in patients, limit overprescribing, manage stress, and possibly reduce overall NHS spending.

The Convention is organised by Dr Toh Wong and Dr Naveed Akhtar in association with the College of Medicine, and helps to raise the profile of complementary therapies and other health interventions that are safe and appropriate, bridging the gap with conventional Western medicine.

FHT Vice President, Mary Dalgleish, was invited to give a presentation on aromatherapy, providing delegates with an insight into the therapy’s history, how different essential oils are produced, their therapeutic properties, supporting research, and guidance on safe practice.

SM Mary Dalgleish at IHC“I was privileged to represent the FHT and our aromatherapy members as a speaker at this year’s convention, which took place in London on 5 and 6 October. The audience included doctors, medical students and complementary therapists, and it was an honour to be able to share my passion for aromatherapy and answer questions on the topic. I also attended several talks myself and participated on the Q & A panel at the end.

“Overall I found it to be a very inspirational event that brought together different therapists and representatives of the medical community. As well as discovering more about other therapies, I was very impressed to learn about different integrated health initiatives already happening all over the UK. My thanks to the organisers, Dr Wong and Dr Akhtar, for setting up such an amazing event.”

If you are passionate about integrated healthcare, we still have some places left at this year’s FHT Conference taking place at The King’s Fund, London, on 29 November. See the full programme and book your place at But hurry – tickets are selling fast!

Research shows pressure massage may help Achilles tendinopathy

Blog achilles tendionpathy SM

Achilles tendinopathy (AT) is a common problem that affects runners and other athletes, as well as the general population.

According to a recent study published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine (Stefansson et al, 2019), pressure massage may be a useful therapy for supporting clients with AT.

A team of researchers from the University of Iceland and University of Copenhagen conducted a randomised controlled trial to determine whether pressure massage to the calf muscles is a useful treatment for AT, by comparing it with an eccentric exercise protocol.

Sixty patients with AT were recruited and randomly assigned to three groups: one with the eccentric exercise protocol, another with pressure massage, and a third where participants underwent both the eccentric exercise protocol and pressure massage. The researchers asked the participants to complete a questionnaire and to undergo a series of tests to monitor progress.

The exercise protocol required participants to stand on a step, lift up their toes, put weight on their injured leg and slowly lower their heel as far as possible until a maximal stretch was felt. This was performed with both straight knee and bent knee for 12 weeks.

In group two participants received pressure massage from a therapist twice a week for six weeks and once a week for the next six weeks.

The results showed that symptoms improved in all three groups, but the pressure massage group improved significantly more than the eccentric exercise group after four weeks, suggesting that although both interventions improved outcomes, pressure massage achieved faster results. Improvements in range of movement were found equally across all three groups.

In the conclusion, the researchers stated that: ‘Pressure massage is a valid treatment for AT and is at least as effective as eccentric exercises as measured with the VISA-A-IS questionnaire and ROM in ankle dorsiflexion’ and ‘Because trigger points might contribute to the pain in AT, we suggest that treatment to the calf muscles be included in future treatments for Achilles tendinopathy.’

View the full study

Access references (see ‘Research’ section)

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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

FHT introduces Natural Health readers to the power of thyme

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We are delighted to regularly contribute to Natural Health magazine, to promote the FHT, our members and the therapies they practice.

In the October issue, we look at the health benefits of thyme, examining its historic therapeutic use and how the plant’s essential oil can be used to strengthen the immune system and prevent and fight infection.

Read FHT’s introduction to thyme

Congratulations to winners of the National Massage Championship 2019


NMC 2019 Monica and Tamer

We would like to say a huge ‘Congratulations!’ to the winners and runners-up of the National Massage Championship 2019, sponsored by the FHT, Massage World, CityLux London and Massage Warehouse.

In particular, we’d like to give a special mention to four FHT members and one of our accredited course providers who received an award:

Tamer Morsy, MFHT – joint first in the Freestyle Massage category (two-person massage) and second place in the Advanced Massage category.

Monica Paslaru, MFHT – joint first with Tamer in the Freestyle Massage category and second place in the Eastern Massage category.

Jevgenijs Jarecs, MFHT – second place in the Freestyle Massage category.

Una Tucker, FHT accredited course provider – third place in the Chair Massage category.

Georgia Curry, MFHT – special award from judges for Most Caring Therapist.

Hosted by Olympia Beauty on Sunday 29 and Monday 30 September, the National Massage Championship is the only UK competition of its kind.

FHT Vice President, Mary Dalgleish, was a judge for the second year running and also featured in a short promotional video, explaining why taking part in industry awards and events like the National Massage Championship can help to raise the profile of complementary therapies and promote high standards of practice.

Speaking about this year’s Championship, Mary (second left in the picture below) says: ‘I was delighted to participate as a judge on behalf of the FHT. Kate from CityLux London and Carl from Massage World magazine did an amazing job helping to organise this wonderful event, and it was a real pleasure working alongside the other judges.

NMC 2019 Mary judges cropped

‘The Championship was an excellent platform for the 100-plus therapists who participated, to show the world their skills and learn from each other. The standards were very high and although there were winners, there were certainly no losers, as everyone who participated showed skill and great courage in stepping out of their comfort zone.’




FHT offers guidance to Natural Health readers looking for a therapist

Quote NH magazine

In the October issue of Natural Health magazine, FHT’s Registrar and Compliance Manager, Julie McFadden, offers readers a brief overview of how complementary therapies can help to support health and wellbeing, along with some top tips on what to look for when choosing a therapist.

As well as offering guidance on which type of therapy readers might like to explore first, Julie explains the benefits of choosing a therapist who belongs to the FHT and is listed on an Accredited Register, and outlines some questions that readers might like to ask before booking an appointment.

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

Read the full article