Encouraging a good night’s sleep through complementary therapies

Research shows that sleep can have a huge impact on our health. If you or anyone you know is having trouble sleeping, why not share with them some of the features linked below which highlight how complementary therapies can encourage a good night’s sleep.

Other resources

Have any of these resources had a positive impact on you or a client? We would love to know more, please email our Deputy Editor Leanne Sheill at l.sheill@fht.org.uk.

FHT award-winner Jennifer Young provides free educational resources to support spa therapists through and beyond Covid-19

As the third lockdown continues, along with the impact on spa therapists, their businesses and their clients, award-winning therapist trainer, Jennifer Young, launches more free educational resources to help practitioners deliver therapies safely, whilst protecting the interests of their clients and themselves.

This month, Jennifer and her team have added to their library of free resources with new webinars aimed at empowering therapists and beauty practitioners with the information and knowledge that they need to protect themselves and care for vulnerable clients, in particular those living with, being treated for or recovering from cancer.

Webinars include discussions on:

  • 13th January: An Idiot’s Guide to Infection Control – a very much reduced risk assessment course
  • 20th January: Essential Oils for those affected by cancer
  • 27th January: Cancer Treatment and Scalp Care
  • 3rd February: Scalp Care Tips from the experts
  • 10th February: Menopause – the unexpected side-effect of cancer treatment
  • 17th February: Treatment related infertility
  • 24th February: Nail care during cancer treatment
  • 3rd March: Focus on self-help – Jennifer talks to expert guests
  • 10th March: Feet and Chemotherapy
  • 17th March: Acupressure in practice – Jennifer talks to an expert guest
  • 24th March: Using essential oils for positivity
  • 31st March: Live Q&A with Jennifer Young and guests

Jennifer said, ‘2020 has not changed the need for meaningful wellbeing practices for individuals, especially those who are vulnerable, it has simply highlighted the need even further and resulted in even more people desperate for support.

‘Therapists play a vital, and often undervalued, role in our society, and it’s crucial that we give them the tools they need to protect themselves as well as to deliver the nurturing care that they are so passionate about providing to their clients. That is something we all need available to us, especially at times when our mental and physical wellbeing is challenged.’

FHT members can pay £5 for a certificate of attendance to gain 1 CPD point per hour of the webinar. Alternatively, members can complete a 500 word reflection to gain 5 CPD points, find out more about CPD at fht.org.uk/cpd.

Book onto one of Jennifer’s free courses.

Have a brighter Blue Monday

Blue Monday falls on the third Monday of January each year and is considered to be ‘the most depressing day of the year’. We wanted to share some practical advice to help you boost your mood.

We know not every day is the same. Some days you might want to shut out the world, and others can be turned around with a small pick-me-up. Not all of these tips will be right for you at any one time, try to approach them according to how you’re feeling today…

1. Call a friend

Sometimes the last thing we want to do when we are feeling down is to ‘burden’ our friends with a phone call. If you are feeling this way, try to reframe your thinking. Remember, you are friends for a reason and it is much more likely that they will show compassion and brighten your day with a much needed sense of distraction.

2. Set yourself a goal to focus on

Research shows we are happier when we have a sense of direction in our lives. Whether it’s a small project for you or a way to help someone else, start by planning something to work towards. Even if you don’t achieve the goal, you’ve taken the first step – visualising and believing it can happen.

3. Disconnect from the outside world for a morning

Put your phone in a different room and do something you love for a block of time (we suggest anything over two hours). Whether it’s blaring music you haven’t listened to in a while, watching an old movie or mindfully doing some crafts. The most important thing? Disconnecting and focusing solely on what’s in front of you.

4. Do something for someone else

Since the pandemic we have all heard some inspirational stories of people helping each other, from incognito deliveries of cakes to NHS staff, to shopping for neighbours. There are all sorts of things you could do to make someone smile today! Studies show that helping someone else can be the best cure to feeling down.

If you need support…

If you need to talk to someone urgently, please visit samaritians.org.uk.

International Therapist Winter 2021

As a member of the FHT, your Winter issue of International Therapist will be arriving soon!

In this issue, you will find:

A special feature on our winners of our first Green Therapy Practice of the Year Award, Anne Bramley and Helen Saunders from Wellbeing at Whistlewood. We also take a look at our 2020 FHT Excellence Award Winners who are helping to raise the bar in therapy training and practice.

  • Founder of the Wild Swimming community, Rise Fierce, Sophie Hellyer, speaks about the benefits of cold-water immersion and how to swim safely and we hear from FHT members about their love for the hobby.
  • A short excerpt from Dr Michael Dixon’s latest book, Time to Heal.
  • A look at the most popular hand-held massage tools on the market and where to buy them.
  • Anne Ferguson, Peter Mackereth and Ann Carter take a look at infection control and massage.
  • Katie Asgari, curriculum team leader at Rotherham College, writes about her work inspiring the next generation of hair and beauty therapists.
  • A short step-by-step guide to creating a beeswax wrap gift for your clients.
  • Small changes you can make in your therapy practice to support clients who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Plus an essential oil profile on lemongrass, the latest FHT local group news; a day in the life of Jennifer Young, skincare expert and founder of Beauty Despite Cancer; the latest research; expert advice; medical A-Z; and a guest column by Caroline Nokes MP on the importance of complementary therapies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And don’t miss the opportunity to win one of six Base Formula essential oil mood gift sets, worth £17.50 each. Fill out our online form to enter our competition for this issue.

Landing on your doorstep from Friday 22 January. You can also log in to read this issue (from Friday 22 January) and past issues online at fht.org.uk/members-area.

Unconscious bias webinar

Following the 2020 FHT Equality and Diversity Survey, we pledged to offer FHT members training on the topic of equality and diversity within your therapy practice.  

We worked with the Equality Works Group to bring FHT members training on unconscious bias over a choice of two dates in 2020, and now have a third date – Monday 25 January 2021.

Feedback from the first two sessions was overwhelmingly positive with all delegates reporting that their session met expectations, and that they left with a ‘clear idea’ of how to behave inclusively.

A few of the comments were as follows…

“There is so much more to be aware of regarding being biased. and now I know what it is, it will be very helpful to be more conscious about these things.”

“An excellent seminar, thank you very much. I wanted to explore and reflect on my inclusive thinking and the role unconscious bias in my practice and life in general and you gave that very well indeed”

“Two hours of total immersion into how to learn a little more about ourselves and how we see others delivered inclusively with many opportunities to explore safely with others and grow.”

Due to its popularity, a third webinar is being held on Monday 25 January 2021 from 2pm – 4pm at just £35 for FHT members.

Book your slot on the next Unconscious Bias webinar

Social prescribing on BBC Countryfile

Co-chair of the Social Prescribing Network, Dr Marie Polley, spoke on BBC Countryfile on Sunday 10 January about the benefits of social prescribing and how link workers use ‘green prescribing’.

Marie said, ‘Social prescribing is a way of really easing the pressure off the NHS. Around 20% of people will visit a GP when their need is not directly medical, they don’t necessarily need a pharmaceutical drug prescribed, but they do need support. In those cases, the GP will encourage the person to see a link worker – I call them ‘bringers of hope’ because they will sit with the person for about an hour to gently unpack the complex situation that might be happening.

‘Connecting people with nature is something we call green prescribing. People might say to their link worker, “I really like gardening” or “I really like being in nature” and they can be connected up with local conservation projects. The key thing is that people are with others who have shared interests, so they naturally make connections.

In the episode, Marie is filmed walking in the woods with presenter Anita Rani. Marie asks Anita, ‘Can you smell the woods?… You always know you’re in woods because you can smell them and that’s because the trees and the plants are giving off volatile chemicals. Lots of research studies have shown that they’re beneficial for people with asthma and people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), they can be anti-inflammatory, so by walking in the woods you are getting a dose of nature.’

By 2023 it’s hoped that at least 900,000 people in the UK will be referred to social prescribing schemes, cutting health service usage by up to 20% which long-term could save the NHS billions.

Watch the ‘New Year, New Me’ episode of Countryfile on BBC iPlayer.

The book club bringing together reflexologists during the pandemic

When the first lockdown was announced in March 2020, reflexologist and author Sally Kay, FFHT, launched a book club on Facebook. The group now has thousands of members worldwide and hosts regular live events with authors of reflexology books and other related topics. 

Contributors to these live video streams have been well-known authors such as Lynne Booth MFHT, Jane Sheehan MFHT, Barabra Scott MFHT, Peter Mackereth, Geraldine Villeneuve, Sam Belyea, Sue Ricks and Susan Quayle. FHT Vice President, Mary Dalgliesh, concluded the series for 2020 with her video on the immune system where she read an excerpt from her new book, ‘Know your body, the essential book to anatomy and physiology.’ 

Other sessions have featured authors talking about their work in related subjects such as personal development, self-care, wellbeing business strategies and even self-publishing. 

Sally said, ‘The initiative started as a way of connecting with like-minded reflexologists, creating a community at a time when many of us were feeling exceptionally vulnerable and lonely. It’s brought a lot of comfort at a time of need, we have had many messages saying what a life-line the book club has been and that it offers something to look forward to each week. The group is a fantastic resource for anyone in the complementary therapy field – any FHT members who would like to join are welcome to tap into it.’  

Group member Carla Helgeton, said, ‘The book club is like having a group of teachers there on your computer screen – wisdom, experience and peer support all rolled into one. The group provides camaraderie, support and enthusiasm for more knowledge.’  

The book club is free to join and every one-hour live session is made available for group members to watch. FHT members can complete the reflection for learning and training template after they have watched any of the videos and gain 5 CPD points from their 500-word reflection.  

Join the Reflexology Book Club. 

The next live event will take place with Peter Mackereth on Friday 15 January at 2pm where Peter will be talking about how to adapt reflexology for cancer care. 

Sally Kay FFHT BSc (Hons) was a winner in the FHT 2012 Excellence in Practice Awards. Sally is the author of a bestselling book about Reflexology Lymph Drainage (RLD) and runs an FHT-accredited short course in RLD reflexologylymphdrainage.co.uk  

Dr Chatterjee explores how to discover your inner power in his latest podcast

The start of a new year typically involves us looking at changes we would like to make to improve our own lives and the lives of those around us. With 2020 having been a particularly difficult year, the key to working on these goals could first be learning to reframe our experiences and put trauma behind us.

In his first podcast episode of 2021, Dr Chatterjee speaks to Auschwitz survivor Dr Edith Eger on how to discover your inner power. Dr Edith speaks honestly about how mindset was her most important tool in overcoming her horrific experiences within the concentration camp.

Edith explains how she how she began to view her guards as the prisoners, turn hate into pity and goes as far as describing the experience as ‘an opportunity’. Through forgiveness, Edith escaped from the prison of her past and encourages listeners to, reframe it as ‘liberating yourself and giving yourself a gift, rather than forgiving someone for something’.

Dr Chatterjee said, ‘I felt grateful and humbled to have had the opportunity to speak to Edith and the conversation really changed me. I hope you get as much out of it as I did.’

Listen to Episode 144 of the Feel Better Live More podcast

Happier January – Action for Happiness

Every month, Action for Happiness produces a calendar full of daily actions we can take to boost our own happiness and that of others around us.

To kick off 2021, the charity’s ‘Happier January’ calendar includes daily activities to help you handle difficult emotions and experiences by focusing on what you can control.

When noticing the good in others and their strengths on day 5, consider some of our suggestions below:

  • Approaches they may have taken to overcome adversity in 2020.
  • Small acts they carry out in their daily lives to be kind to others.
  • Reflect on a time that person has supported you and what it meant to you.

The calendar is free to download as a PDF or image file (JPEG) in 16 different languages. You can also download the actions straight to your calendar using a Google Calendar or iCalendar file.

Download the January 2021 Action for Happiness calendar

Dr. Chatterjee explores the power of compassion as a therapeutic tool

In the season of giving and reflection, we tend to spend some time thinking about others and how we can be there for those around us.

In Episode 138 of his podcast, Feel Better Live More, Dr Chatterjee explores the healing power of compassion with Dr Julian Abel.

Dr Julian Abel spent his working career as a consultant in palliative care. He is joint leader of the Frome Project, which works to combat loneliness in a town in Somerset through building community connections.

In this conversation, Julian explores the evidence of using compassion as a therapeutic tool. He explains that maintaining positive social relationships are at the core of keeping us well and that it can be more powerful than modern day medicines.

Julian reflects on his time as a palliative care doctor, sharing uplifting and empowering stories that truly bring home the reasons why compassion and connection should be at the centre of everything we do.

Listen to Episode 138 of the Feel Better Live More podcast.