Final event programme released for the 2019 FHT Conference


Just over one week until our 2019 FHT Conference, which is taking place on Friday 29 November at The King’s Fund London.

We’ve just released the final event programme*, which includes talks from leading experts in integrated health, education and research. There are a limited number of tickets available for purchase until Monday 25 November if you want to learn more about how you, as a professional therapist, can be part of the future of health and social care and earn 5 CPD points for attending the full day of talks (FHT Members only).


9.00am – 9.30am Registration and refreshments
9.30am – 9.45am Welcome
9.45am – 10.30am Dr John Hughes

Patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) in integrated medicine

10.30am – 11.15am Dr Fiona Holland

The therapist’s role in enhancing body image and body esteem in clients

11.15am – 11.45am Refreshments
11.45am – 12.30pm Gwyn Featonby and Sarah Grant

Integrating complementary therapy into the NHS through training and evidence-based practice

12.30pm – 1.15pm Dr Laura Marshall-Andrews

Integrated practice, slow medicine and linking with health professionals

1.15pm – 2.15pm Hot fork buffet lunch
2.15pm – 3.00pm Suzanne Ruggles, MSc, DipHE

Ground-breaking work of the Full Circle Fund

3.00pm – 4.00pm 2019 FHT Excellence Awards presentation
4.00pm – 5.00pm Drinks reception

*FHT reserves the right to adjust talk subjects and timings where necessary

Tickets are available until Monday 25 November and cost just £85 for FHT members (£105 for non-members). The price includes access to each talk, buffet lunch, drinks reception, and refreshments throughout the day.

Talking therapies with healthcare professionals  

Blog Julie Croad hospital talk with doc

Julie Croad, MFHT, writes about her experience delivering a talk about therapies to staff at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital with her colleague, Jazz Roberts. 

Jazz and I consider ourselves extremely lucky to work for Rowan Tree Cancer Care, a charity that places therapists in local GPs surgeries. We were recently asked to deliver a talk at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital and our brief was to inform the trainees about the health conditions that can be helped by complementary therapies.    

Now, GPs are scientists and I know that scientists want hard facts, figures and evidence. All their work is evidence based, so they are reluctant to signpost anything that isn’t proven. With this in mind, I came prepared with information about two treatments I know have had clinical research: reflexology and massage for pre-term infants. 

Luckily, the Autumn 2019 issue of IT contained a few articles about integrated health, so I brought a few copies along with me. The three articles I highlighted to them were: ‘Full Circle Support’ by Suzanne Ruggles, MSc, DIPHE; ‘Being Part of Social Prescribing’ by Teresa Meekings, MFHT; and ‘Getting your Foot in the GPs Door’ by Dr Toh Wong, an article about how therapists can get referrals from GPs. The trainees were very interested in the articles, particularly ‘Full Circle Support’ and ‘Getting your Foot in the GPs Door’.  

I began the talk by explaining that, while our industry is not statutory regulated, we have taken on voluntary regulation to ensure practice is carried out properly and safely for both clients and therapists. I introduced the FHT, explained the conditions of membership, the code of conduct and that the FHT runs the largest Accredited Register of complementary therapists, as part of a government-backed programme 

We then went on to explain the physical effects of massage on muscles and soft tissue. I explained that the different massage movements and pressures can be helpful in breaking down tension, knots and easing muscles that have become tightened or strained by overuse.  

Jazz then spoke in depth about the many benefits of reflexology, manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) and reflexology lymph drainage (RLD), the latter particularly in the management of lymphoedema in cancer care.  

For many years my interest in providing therapies has been their stress relieving effects and so I spoke at length about the emotional effects of therapy, how treatments can lift mood, relax the mind and allow the body to recover from the physical and emotional problems caused by stress.   

We ended the session by offering taster treatments. The GPs who accepted reported feeling relaxed afterward. One was very surprised how relaxing having his hands massaged was.    

Before we left, I asked all the GPs if they felt they had learned something. The answer was a firm, ‘yes.’ I asked if they thought they would remember complementary therapies as an option to treatment when they were qualified and again the answer was ‘yes’. 

On a personal note, I believe social prescribing is the way forward for wellbeing in the UK. Complementary therapies fit so well into this system and could lessen the burden on today’s NHS. Life has changed very much since the NHS began and healthcare needs to change in order to fit the different health issues of today’s society.   

The Royal Glamorgan Hospital is organizing a wellness event next year and we have been asked to take part. We are very proud of our industry and to be able to work with conventional medicine practitioners is a privilege.   

Ayurveda: the story behind Urban Veda’s brand

Urban Veda final


With so many wellness trends popping up from time to time, the 2019 wellness trend that is Ayurveda is certainly here to stay. Sister subjects to Yoga and Meditation, Ayurveda not only unites the two under the concept of balance, but also even further promotes the need for balance through other areas of life: exercise, sleep, food, skin.

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda dates back 5,000 years ago and originates in India. This ancient system is one of the oldest health and wellbeing systems in the world that draws on nature to heal and promote good health. It draws on the five elements and how the different dominating levels balance everything that surrounds us, including us. Ayurveda revolves around this idea of balance and how maintaining balance helps us to perform to the best of our abilities and really strive in all areas of life. However, maintaining balance can be difficult, what with physical and emotional factors to take into consideration, as well as hormonal and environmental interruptions too.

The Ayurvedic way of life very much promotes simplicity and tapping into our natural surroundings to heal. Ayurveda works to dig deep to determine the root cause of the health problem, working to prevent it and ultimately ridding the body of those symptoms. We can bring ourselves back into balance through yoga and meditation, with yoga being the physical and meditation the mental form of doing so. Ayurvedic herbs heal the body internally and when all of these are combined, we can truly enjoy good health and well-being.

What is a dosha?

Within Ayurveda, there are the doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Your dosha is your sense of holistic well-being and who you are both mentally and physically. Knowing your dosha enables you to recognise typical dosha traits of imbalance and you can therefore adjust your diet, exercise routine or sleep pattern consequentially.


The Vata dosha is ruled by the elements of Air and Ether. Naturally creative, this dosha is sociable and the life and soul of the party. However, due to the combination of two air elements, Vata’s can suffer from digestive issues and really benefits from eating warming foods to not only warm them up from the inside (as they are always cold due to poor circulation), but also help to smooth over their naturally dry digestive system. Turmeric is an excellent spice for Vata’s. It’s anti-inflammatory properties will help their internal issues, but also when used in skincare, provide their typically dull and dry skin with a natural glowing complexion and boost in hydration.

Shop Vata skin here


The Pitta dosha is governed by Fire and Water. The Fire element makes this dosha type highly ambitious, driven and won’t stop until their goal is achieved. When out of balance they can become quite hot headed and fiery. They are also prone to rashes and inflammation on their skin, which also burns easily in the sun. Pitta’s can benefit from calming scents such as sandalwood. This ingredient not only calms any aggravated skin issues, but also helps to calm and soothe the mind.

Shop Pitta skin here


Earth and Water are the two elements that dominate the Kapha dosha. This dosha is extremely grounded, affectionate and kind. However, due to the gravity pulling elements, they can become quite lazy and lethargic when out of balance. Their skin can also become quite congested and acne prone when out of balance. The key to maintaining Kapha balance is to be surrounded by uplifting scents which really motivate them to stick to a daily routine. Ingredients such as mint, tea tree and Indian neem all help to motivate Kapha and also control their naturally oily skin.

Shop Kapha skin now

Urban Veda is a sponsor of the 2019 FHT Conference, being held at The King’s Fund, London, on 29 November 2019. See the full programme and book your place at the 2019 FHT Conference.




The importance of meaningful friendships, the latest podcast by Dr Chatterjee


Dr Chatterjee’s latest podcast looks at friendship and why it’s a necessity for good health.

Dr Rangan Chatterjee is a GP, TV presenter and best-selling author of The Stress Solution and The 4 Pillar Plan, who kindly contributed an article to International Therapist (IT) magazine last year about lifestyle medicine. He also produces Feel Better, Live More, the number one health podcast in the UK.

In his latest podcast, Dr Chatterjee interviews Dhru Purohit, who Dr Chatterjee dubs the ‘professor of friendship’. Purohit explains that loneliness is an epidemic, with a fifth of men in the UK who say they don’t have any close friends. He goes on to discuss that although social media allows us to feel connected to others’ lives, it can often lead to a lack of deep meaningful relationships in our lives.

Purohit says that friendships can positively impact every aspect of our life, from our health to our happiness. He explains that every area of our lives is touched by friendships but, like stress, it’s not always immediately noticeable.

Dr Chatterjee said, ‘I thoroughly enjoyed this conversation, I hope it inspires you to take some time out to sit down and talk to one of your friends.’

Listen to episode 80 of Dr Chatterjee’s Feel Better, Live More podcast  

N.B. The Winter issue of IT magazine will feature a short excerpt from Dr Chatterjee’s new book, Feel Better in 5. Feel Better in 5 is published by Penguin and will be released on Thursday 26 December. The Winter issue of IT magazine will be published on Thursday 23 January.



Meet our 2019 FHT Conference host, Janey Lee Grace… 


Now that we’ve introduced you to all of the expert speakers joining us at this year’s FHT Conference, we thought we’d dedicate this blog to the expert presenter who will be introducing them to you on the day Janey Lee Grace. 

Janey’s early career was as a backing singer to stars such as George Michael and Wham, Kim Wilde and Boy George. She also had a top ten hit record in the 90s with Cola Boy (Seven Ways to Love).  

Today, you are more likely to hear Janey on BBC Radio 2’s Steve Wright in the Afternoon show or on UK Health Radio, where she runs her own health and wellbeing programme called the Spotlight Show. She’s also a regular on TV and has appeared on Good Morning Britain, Celebrity Antiques Road Trip, The Wright Stuff, BBC Breakfast and Sky TV Entertainment News. 

Janey has long been a champion for all-things natural and organic. As well as being an Amazon best-selling author, Janey runs the health and wellbeing website, Imperfectly Natural, and has been voted number one in the ‘Who’s Who in Natural Beauty Industry’ yearbook for three consecutive years.   

Janey’s latest venture is the launch of a new online community, The Sober Club, after she gave up alcohol in 2018 – a topic she covered in a recent TEDx talk. 

If you haven’t booked your place at the 2019 FHT Conference yet, hurry – ticket sales close on Monday 25 November!  

Join us at The King’s Fund on Friday 29 November for just £85 105 for non-FHT members) and enjoy talks from leading experts in research and integrated healthcare, networking opportunities, a hot fork buffet lunch, awards presentation and drinks reception.  

Book your tickets to the 2019 FHT Conference 


Lorraine Senior, MFHT, founder of Functional Reflex Therapy (FRT), receives humanitarian award

Blog Lorraine Senior wins ICT humanitarian award

At the 2019 International Council of Reflexologists conference held in Anchorage, Alaska, FHT accredited course provider, Lorraine Senior, was honoured to receive a humanitarian award in recognition of her voluntary work in Zambia.

‘Functional Reflex Therapy Global Projects is a foundation which is very early in its development,’ says Lorraine. ‘Its aim is to encourage sharing nurturing touch through the FRT Rainbow Relaxation Routine for children and adults, reaching out to those living in challenging environments and communities throughout the world.

‘Our project began in July 2017, when FRT travelled to St Mulumba school in Choma, Zambia, Africa. St Mulumba is a special place that provides a home, education and family support for over 200 children with physical, emotional and life changing conditions.

‘We felt very privileged to share our skills with many of the staff and pupils. I am now working with the senior education officer in the Southern Province in Zambia to continue developing the programme in 2020.’

Lorraine received an FHT Tutor of the Year award in 2017, which recognises and celebrates excellence in therapy education.

For more information, video links or to donate to Lorraine’s Global Projects, visit

Read an article about Lorraine’s FRT work at a school for children with autism, first published in International Therapist (Winter 2018, Issue 123).

Blood pressure tablets found to be more effective if taken in the evening


People who take their blood pressure medication before bedtime are 66% less likely to die from heart and circulatory conditions, according to research published in the European Heart Journal (EHJ).

Globally over 10 million people per year die from conditions related to high blood pressure. This study finds that taking blood pressure tablets at a different time of day can reduce the risk of suffering a heart attack by 44%, heart failure by 42% and stroke by 49%.

The Hygia Chronotherapy trial is the largest of its kind to date, looking at 19,084 Caucasian Spanish men and women over a period of six years. Patients were split at random into two groups with one group asked to take their medication in the morning and the other in the evening.

Experts believe a person’s circadian rhythm or ‘body clock’ can change the effect of medication. The study found those who took their medication before bed saw their blood pressure dip lower at night than those who took the medication in the morning.

Researchers say that further studies looking at people of different ethnicities should take place before doctors change their advice on when to take blood pressure tablets.

See the full report.