FHT local support group news: Hertfordshire hears about healthy eating

Hertfordshire LSG.jpg

We always look for ways to bring informative speakers to FHT members in the Hertfordshire area and sometimes we go a little further and work with local businesses and organisations, writes Hertfordshire LSG coordinator Jay Chandarana.

Recently, we got in touch with the owners of a new vegan place in town (Letchworth Garden City) and asked if they would like to present a talk on ‘How to eat healthy the vegan way’.

To our delight, the two brothers took our offer and helped us with promoting the event and using their premises. What a great cost saving. The evening was open to members and non-members. The talk was so inspiring and educational: it covered nutritional information on vegan foods that can cover the national healthy eating recommendations.

It gave information on how the brothers became vegan and, with the help of their mum, opened a vegan café.

The evening closed with some sample foods, such as pieces of jackfruit burger, smashed chickpea and mayonnaise sourdough sandwiches, and raw courgette and walnut crackers.

We hope you enjoyed this article, which was first published in the Autumn 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.


Reading could help people experiencing loneliness

Reading pixabay_low res

Around 9 million people in the UK say they often or always feel lonely, a figure that is expected to get worse by 2030.

A significant body of evidence has shown that reading could help halt the loneliness epidemic facing Britain, according to a report by leading think tank, Demos and charity The Reading Agency.

The report, entitled ‘A Society of Readers’ says that reading books can significantly reduce feelings of loneliness for people aged 18-64 and it is also associated with having close relationships.

The report coincides with the launch of a new programme from The Reading Agency called Reading Friends, funded by the Big Lottery Fund. By sharing stories in groups or one to one sessions, Reading Friends empowers and engages older people who are vulnerable and isolated, including people with dementia and carers. An evaluation of the test phase showed that a staggering 88% of participants appreciated the increased social contact from reading inspired conversations. The same percentage felt they added purpose to their week. Building on the initial success of the programme, The Reading Agency plans to expand Reading Friends for national rollout in 2020.

Previous research has found that reading groups can provide a route out of social isolation for young mothers, who are particularly susceptible to loneliness, with many saying reading helps to foster conversation. In addition, 95% of people who are blind or partially sighted read at least once a week to alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation.

As well as revealing how reading can be used as an intervention for loneliness, the report explores how reading can benefit wellbeing and mental health, by regulating mood, exercising the brain, and providing an effective form of support for depression, anxiety and anger issues—for example, through self-help books. The report recommends that the NHS should encourage Clinical Commissioning Groups to invest more in book-based interventions as part of its social prescribing strategy and fund the provision of book based therapies in libraries across the country. Social mobility can also be positively influenced through reading; it breeds important life skills, which translate into greater opportunities in life. The report suggests that, in order to build a more productive, creative and fairer society, access to reading needs to be made universal and common for all.

Sue Wilkinson, Chief Executive of The Reading Agency said: ‘Demos’s predictions for 2030 offer a desperately concerning outlook. If we don’t start to tackle issues of loneliness, mental health and social mobility now, then we will continue to put pressure on our vital workforces such as the care sector and the NHS. The forecasts for the loneliness epidemic are particularly shocking, but reading can be part of the solution: as this report demonstrates, it is not only an essential life skill but has huge power to bring people together to combat loneliness among all age groups. Through reading-based national interventions, we can futureproof our society, and ultimately use reading to help protect younger generations at risk of rising levels of loneliness. We have already seen through our Reading Friends programme that social reading can have profound impact on older people who are often the most vulnerable in society. We hope these benefits will eventually be opened up to everyone.’

Access the report

Supporting you to support others


Self Care Week starts in just five days. Carrying the strap-line, ‘choose self care for life’, the annual awareness week reminds us that it’s important to make time to look after your own health and wellbeing, as well as your clients’.

We know that being a therapist can be extremely rewarding, yet also physically and emotionally demanding. As Self Care Week approaches (12-18 November), we thought we’d take this opportunity to share some articles that will help to give you a little boost.

Top tips to recharge your batteries

Christopher Byrne, President of the FHT, offers six top tips to help you preserve and boost your energy levels, from staying hydrated throughout the day, to tackling that task you’ve been putting off till ‘tomorrow’…

Looking back, moving forward

Back in 2013, Dr Peter Mackereth, former clinical lead for complementary therapy at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, shared with FHT members the importance of reflective practice and supervision, along with two case studies.

DIY marma facial massage

Mary Dalgleish, Vice President of the FHT, provides an introduction to marma massage, along with a short DIY facial routine that will be sure to make a difference to how you look and feel.

Sauna bathing

Frequent sauna bathing is said to reduce the risk of elevated blood pressure, according to an extensive study carried out at the University of Eastern Finland.

FHT in November Natural Health Magazine

NH Nov 2018 cover

We’ve again this month written two articles for Natural Health magazine to promote the FHT, our members and the therapies they practice.

In the first FHT Vice President Mary Dalgleish highlights the role of reflexology, aromatherapy and massage therapy in reducing stress and anxiety. We also offer some general health tips for dealing with stress and anxiety, direct readers to the FHT website to find a suitably qualified therapist and promote the FHT Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register, which has been approved by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.

In our second contribution, we examine the health benefits of eucalyptus in Natural Health’s regular plant profile.

Read our article on dealing with stress and anxiety 

Read our eucalyptus plant profile

Quote of the week

4 November Benjamin Low

Winner of the 2018 Michael Pittilo Student Essay Award, Benjamin Low, answers whether he thinks lifestyle medicine is the next big thing in issue 126 of International Therapist. He says that people working in healthcare should take an active role in public health education, ‘challenging, educating and encouraging healthy behaviour at every opportunity’.

Read Benjamin’s essay


Learn how you can be a part of the future of healthcare at the 2018 FHT Conference

Conference image.jpg

Our current healthcare system is under a huge amount of pressure, and the value of professional therapists like you in helping to alleviate this is being increasingly recognised.

The integrated healthcare agenda seeks to take a more holistic, person-centred approach to care that is better coordinated across different health and social care providers. This contrasts with the more traditional approach to healthcare that the NHS was originally designed for, where episodes of illness are treated one at a time as they arise.

Professional therapists can play an important role in this new approach to healthcare, from helping patients to make positive lifestyle changes and take a more active role in managing their health, to addressing ‘effectiveness gaps’ and creating cost and time efficiencies within the NHS.

As well making the provision of health services more efficient, this will help to improve patient experience and health outcomes, and reduce gaps in service delivery.

Want to learn more? With a host of talks by experts in integrated healthcare, research and education, our 2018 FHT Conference, taking place on Thursday 29 November, will look at some of the many ways therapists can be a part of this new approach.

The talks will cover:

  • Evidence base and measuring treatment outcomes
  • Understanding therapies from a GP’s perspective
  • Integrated healthcare success stories and case studies
  • Overcoming barriers to integrated healthcare

Don’t miss out

There are just a few spaces remaining for the event, so if you’d like to attend, we strongly recommend booking soon to secure your place. If they don’t sell out before, the final day you will be able to purchase a ticket is Friday 16 November.

Book your tickets here or call 023 8062 4350