FHT Vice President Maria Mason listed in Top 100 Beauty Industry Influencers 2020

Business snippets Maria Mason croppedFHT Vice President Maria Mason has been listed as a Top 100 Beauty Influencer by Professional Beauty.

Maria is an award winning salon owner and was nominated by Professional Beauty members for being one of the people currently making the biggest impact in the beauty and spa market.

The final list showcases leaders in the beauty and spa business, who have created innovative products and treatments, built inspirational salon and spa businesses, led associations driving safer practice, and inspired the next generation with outstanding training and creativity.

Maria said, ‘It was a lovely surprise to be voted one of the most inspiring people in the professional beauty industry and to be listed among such big names is a huge honour.’

This summer Professional Beauty will be celebrating Maria’s work, alongside other individuals listed in the top 100, via their print, video, online and social channels. Keep up-to-date at professionalbeauty.co.uk.

FHT Survey: Male client wellbeing


To help inform an article for International Therapist magazine about your male clients and their general wellbeing, we’d really appreciate it if you could take 5 to 10 minutes to complete our short survey.

We are particularly looking to find out more about the therapies that your male clients visit you for and whether this is linked to their overall health and wellbeing. Within our article we will be sharing tips to spot the signs of poor mental health and ways to support your clients who may be struggling.

Please note that you are not required to provide any personal details. Thank you for your support.

Complete our short survey on your male clients

Tools to help you support clients remotely


Providing live support via a video or telephone consultation can be a great way to host a session, such as therapy-specific self-help techniques or counselling and mindfulness (see our Supporting clients remotely blog for more guidance).

If you haven’t used a video communication platform before, here are a few we recommend. Each platform has helpful step-by-step guides to show you how to get started, we have included these below too.


Skype is probably the most well-known platform for video communication. It has some helpful tools such as live subtitles, mobile screen sharing and call recording.

Find out more on Skype’s helpful FAQ’s page  


Zoom is a relatively new platform that is quickly growing in popularity. It offers similar benefits to Skype, as well as the ability to message across platforms and build collaboration-enabled conference rooms.

To learn more, you can click here to join Zoom’s daily live training sessions.

Or you can click here for Zoom’s video tutorials, which are really helpful.


If you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, FaceTime is probably already set up on your device and is something you’re used to using, just be careful of racking up those minutes!

Click here to read Apple’s step-by-step guide


Facebook has all the tools you need to hold a video call, and you are probably already connected to your clients on the platform.

Find out more about Facebook’s video calling function

Tips to prepare for a video call 

  • Plan. Make a list of what you think would be useful to cover.
  • Make sure you dress as you usually would when seeing a client.
  • Test out your webcam and microphone beforehand:

Is it at the right angle? Is the brightness ok? What can your client see around you?

  • Give your client your username before the call and if necessary, explain to them how to accept a call.

Finally, you may have to be a little patient at this time – these are apps are in high demand due to social distancing and people trying to find other ways to stay in touch.

Good luck and enjoy! 

Working remotely with clients  


It is incredibly sad that at a time when positive touch has never been more needed by those in our local community, we are faced with an unprecedented situation where social distancing has become an imperative to protect the NHS and save lives.

While seeing clients in person is now out of the question, we’re delighted to learn that many of our members are starting to look at ways they can support them remotely, to help boost their physical and mental wellbeing and keep their spirits up during these difficult times.

In this blog item, we just wanted to highlight some of the ways that you can work with clients remotely while still meeting the terms and conditions of your insurance with the FHT…

First, get their permission

Clients are very unlikely to be cross with you for getting in touch to offer support at this time, but be mindful about data protection when you do contact them. You could even use this as an opportunity to refresh their communication preferences. Whether you call, text, write or email your clients, explain that while sadly you can’t provide any hands-on treatment at this time, you would like to continue supporting them remotely, to help them through this challenging time. Ask if they’d be happy for you to contact them through whichever channels it is you intend to use (text, email, Skype, etc) and if they are happy to stay in touch that way.

Offering clients self-help techniques

Most of you will have already shared self-help techniques with your clients to use between treatments – whether it’s how to use an aromatherapy blend safely at home, using a ball for soft tissue work, or working certain reflex points on the hand.

With anyone, you can:

  • Email or message them links to some general health and wellbeing tips that they can use safely at home. If you don’t have any of your own, you can share information from reputable websites and organisations. We have recently published a five self-help techniques blog post by Vice President, Mary Dalgleish, which you are free to share – and there will be more self-help techniques to follow from FHT!

With existing clients based in the UK, and within the scope of your qualifications, you can:

  • Provide support via video and voice communication apps such as Facetime, Skype or Zoom. This could be an entire therapy session, such as counselling, nutritional advice or mindfulness (which could also be done via the phone). Or it could be bespoke, therapy-specific self-help techniques – from exercises and stretches, to self-massage techniques and pressure point work. What’s key is that any practical tips or exercises are done ‘live’, so that you can guide your client, answer any questions they have and correct them if they are going wrong. Once you are confident that they are executing the moves as they should be, you can always send them a video for reference afterwards. Click here for guidance on how to use Zoom and Skype.
  • If you feel that a client might benefit from a product you are insured to make or retail, such as an aromatherapy blend or skincare product, you could potentially post this out to them, or direct them to a reputable supplier online. If the product is being sent out by you, make sure you give them relevant product information and instructions for use in writing, covering everything you would as standard (eg. a list of ingredients, how to use and store the product safely, its use-by date, and so on).
  • Offer telephone support, which can be therapy-specific – such as how to use essential oils safely in a diffuser – or just general. Because of the very nature of social distancing, some clients may prefer to simply chat with you than use technology. Never underestimate the power of listening and if it becomes clear that they need more than an empathetic ear, you can signpost them to appropriate support and advice, including this Mind webpage, which is dedicated to supporting mental wellbeing during the coronavirus.
  • As you would with any face-to-face treatment, make sure you log everything on the client’s records/notes. This would include the type of support you offered, any products you sent or recommend, aftercare advice, client feedback, verbal consent from the client, and so on.

If you are unsure whether your remote support would be covered for FHT membership and insurance purposes, please contact us at info@fht.org.uk for guidance.

A note on the money front

There are strong indications that the government will shortly be announcing further financial support for the self-employed affected by the coronavirus. While we know that many of you will be providing your clients with remote support free of charge, if you were looking to charge for these services, it may affect your eligibility to apply for certain types of government support.

Stay in touch! 

If you are offering remote support to your clients that meets the criteria above, please send us a short write-up – we’d love to share our members’ stories online to inspire others! Please email FHT’s deputy editor, Leanne Sheill, at lsheill@fht.org.uk

Self-help techniques to boost your health and wellbeing at home 

natalia-figueredo-f1O4eekgz44-unsplash (1)

This April is Stress Awareness Month. As people are not able to visit their local FHT member for support at this time, we thought we’d take this opportunity to bring a little therapy to your home.

Whether you’re social distancing or just looking for some self-help techniques to reduce anxiety and boost your health and wellbeing, here are five top tips from FHT Vice President, Mary Dalgleish.

1. Reflexology

The adrenal glands, which are directly affected by stress, are responsible for the ‘fight-or-flight’ response we feel when under pressure. Although designed to be short-lived, if this response is prolonged or happens on a regular basis, it can lead to overworked adrenal glands.

In reflexology, the adrenal reflex point is found just below the ball of each foot as well as the fleshy area below the thumb on the palmar side of the hand. Gently pressing the adrenal reflex points for a few minutes can help calm the adrenal glands and reduce tension.

2. Aromatherapy 

selective-focus-photo-of-bottle-with-cork-lid-932577Smelling soothing plant oils can help to ease stress and anxiety. Lavender is one of the most studied essential oils in terms of its relaxing effects. It has been shown to calm the nervous system, lower blood pressure, heart rate and skin temperature, as well as change brain waves to a more relaxed state.

Neroli (orange blossom) is often referred to as the ‘rescue remedy’ of essential oils and is useful for helping to ease anxiety and stress while Bergamot is traditionally used in Italian folk medicine to relieve tension and anxiety.

Some essential oils have anti-viral properties (although there is no evidence that they work against COVID-19). Eucalyptus, Tea-Tree or Rosemary can help support the respiratory system. You can add a couple of drops to hot water for a steam inhalation or simply add one or two drops of your chosen oil to a tissue and gently inhale when required.

If ordering essential oils online, use a reputable supplier to ensure you are the buying high-quality oils, for example Absolute Aromas, Base FormulaNeal’s Yard or Purple Flame

For more information about aromatherapy and other ways you can use essential oils safely at home, read this five-page article I contributed to, published in In The Moment magazine. Or for guidance on which oils can help to promote a good night’s sleep, see this feature, published in Sleep Well magazine.

*Safety note: Never ingest oils or apply neat to the skin. If you have a history of allergies, are taking medication or you are pregnant, speak to a professional aromatherapist before using essential oils.

3. Yoga and Meditation


Yoga and meditation can help slow down a racing mind, making it easier to manage stress and anxiety. There is a wide range of styles to choose from and some forms of yoga include both elements. A 2010 review of mindfulness-based meditation suggests that it can be highly effective for people with disorders relating to mood and anxiety.

In The Moment magazine have put together some helpful tips for creating your own meditation space at home.

4. Face massage

We tend to hold emotional stress in our faces – particularly in the jaw and temples – so gently massaging these areas with upward and outward circles helps to promote relaxation and reduce stress, while increasing muscle tone and revitalising your skin. Make it a daily routine using your favourite cream or oil after cleansing your face, to look and feel your best. My specialty treatment is natural facelift massage and I am constantly amazed how tension can be released throughout the whole body when just the face is massaged.

If you’d like a bit more guidance, read this article I wrote for International Therapist magazine, which walks you through an Ayurvedic facial massage routine.

5. Diet and lifestyle 


It is natural to be feeling stressed with the self-isolation measures in place, making it much easier to make poor nutritional and lifestyle choices that can actually increase our stress levels and cause other problems.

When you next visit your local FHT member for a treatment, you will be asked questions about your diet and lifestyle and will receive some general advice and tips to enhance the effects of your treatment and your overall wellbeing. For example, you may receive advice about sleeping habits, exercise and time management – this is all part of the holistic approach that our well qualified therapists take to help their clients get the most out of their treatments.

Meantime, try eating the colours of the rainbow each day to get your full range of vitamins and minerals. If you’re finding it tricky to stock up on fresh produce, try switching to frozen – it is often just as good for you and can be stored for longer.

I hope you find some of these tips useful. When we are past the worst of this dreadful virus and it is safe to be in close contact with others again, if you don’t already have a professional therapist and would like to find one in your area, visit fht.org.uk/findatherapist. 

Five heart warming stories since the coronavirus outbreak

1. Meet the three elderly women self-isolating together

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 11.30.50

This week BBC Breakfast interviewed Doreen, Dotty and Carol, three women in their 70s who have decided to self-isolate together.

Doreen said, ‘We are going to do a week in our own homes and if we are still fit and well, we are going to decide which house we are going to and live in because we all have the same amount of rooms.’

Watch the full interview here.

2. Mutual Aid

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 12.04.02

Dozens of mutual aid groups have been set up in the UK to support people suffering from the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Volunteers have been coordinating via WhatsApp and Facebook groups, offering people in self-isolation help with shopping, dog walking and picking up prescriptions.

Find out more about Covoid-19 Mutual Aid groups by searching @CovidAidUK on Twitter and Facebook.

3. Making music with neighbours in Italy

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 11.57.02

People in lockdown in Italy have been taking to their balconies, playing music and dancing to spread joy and positivity within their communities.

Watch the full video here.

4. Penguins let loose in Chicago zoo

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 11.47.48

Penguins in a Chicago zoo have been making the most out of human social isolation by exploring the rest of the aquarium where they are kept.

Watch the full video here.

5. People sharing tips for keeping fit and healthy 


Keeping the brain and body healthy while self-isolating is important for keeping our spirits and immune systems up.

Many people are sharing home workouts, mindfulness practices and recipes filled with antioxidants. Interested in reading more? Try some of the links below.





Coronavirus (COVOID-19) – showing compassion in a time of uncertainty


The measures put in place by the government to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) have already had a huge impact on daily life and we know it is an incredibly difficult time for FHT members.

Staff at FHT felt inspired by a message from Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic, and felt it would be nice to share at what is an unsettling time for all. 

Elizabeth Gilbert writes, ‘Dear Ones—For now, the only thing I have to say about the Coronavirus is this: Let’s not judge people too fiercely for how they are reacting to this situation. It may be the case that people are overreacting, or it may be that they are under-reacting….it’s not my place to judge that. I don’t have all the answers and I can’t see into the future—no more than anybody else can. But I do know that when I add my condemnation to the conversation, it just ratchets up hysteria in a different way—and most of all, it’s not kind. If you believe that somebody is overreacting, just try to remember that another word for “overreaction” is “fear”. Try to be compassionate, not contemptuous. We don’t all share the same fears, but we all know what fear feels like, and it’s a terrible sensation. I wouldn’t wish fear on anybody, and I know that a lot of people are genuinely afraid right now. I have no way of knowing how many people are going to suffer physically from this virus, but I do know that millions of people are already suffering from it emotionally—and those people need love, not contempt. Those people are my brothers and sisters. Let me never forget my compassion for their anxiety, rather than telling them how they should or should not be feeling. And let me also show a strong measure of mercy to the people across the world who are running institutions, schools, governments, and companies right now. Those people are faced with the supremely unenviable task of trying to figure out how to respond to this crisis responsibly. There is no playbook. They will make mistakes. They will overreact; they will under react. They are human beings in an impossible dilemma. I would not wish to be the person faced with such massive, impactful decisions right now. Let me show compassion to them. Let me show compassion to all. And let me never stop asking: “How can I help?”’

The FHT is continuously updating its statement in line with the latest government guidance. Please visit fht.org.uk/coronavirus to stay up-to-date.