Altruistic August – this month’s Action for Happiness calendar


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

This August, the charity’s calendar focuses on daily activities to help us show selfless concern for the wellbeing of others.

The calendar begins with a quote about kindness, ‘In a world where you can be anything, be kind. Every act of kindness makes a difference.’

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 August 2020 Action for Happiness calendar

Top tips for meditation and mindfulness


Finding yourself struggling to meditate or implement mindfulness strategies? In Dr Chatterjee’s 115th podcast of his series, he speaks to a handful of experts for some top tips for calming the mind and how to teach the brain to switch off.

  • Research the science

If you haven’t tried mindfulness before and have pre-conceptions about it, take the time to research the science before jumping in. Understanding the benefits and going in with a positive mindset can help to better embrace the practice.

  • Treat your mind as an ally of meditation

Often, people will get annoyed with their brain if thoughts pop up while trying to meditate. Embrace the thoughts that go through your mind, rather than focusing on dismissing them.

  • Centre yourself first thing in the morning

Take the time to centre yourself before you meditate, a good way to do this is to go outside and broaden your awareness or to take the time to be aware of your breath.

  • Make it a daily practice

A lot of people will try to meditate once a week for a longer period. The experts on this podcast advise that the best practice is to build ten minutes into your day and to make mindfulness a part of your routine.

Listen to Dr Chatterjee’s podcast, ‘Meditation and Mindfulness Made Easy: The Very Best Tips’.

Two million enrol on Yale happiness course


Professors at Yale University have seen enrolment figures in their free online ‘Science of Wellbeing’ rise from 539,000 to 2,286,980 since the coronavirus pandemic.  

Taught by psychology professor, Laurie Santos, the 19-hour long course is built to support students to increase their own happiness and make better long-term habits. Course content includes quizzes, videos, lectures and surveys. 

Professor Santos told Yale News, ‘The interest in the class in just the last few days has been incredible and a bit surreal. I think that just as people are focused on evidenced-based ways for staying physically healthy during the coronavirus crisis, so too are people looking for evidence-based ways of improving their mental health.” 

Find out more about the Science of Wellbeing course and sign up at

Joe Wicks holds final online PE session and donates to NHS charities

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Image source: Instagram @thebodycoach

Fitness expert, Joe Wicks, held his final live PE session and donated £580,000 of the revenue made from advertising to NHS charities.

The 30-minute PE sessions were aimed at keeping children fit over lockdown but proved popular with adults too, with over a million people join in to keep fit with their families.

Over the course of the live sessions, Joe dressed up and provided entertainment as well as fitness for children missing their school PE sessions.

At the end of his final video, Joe hinted at sharing more live sessions in the future. Keep up with the latest from Joe at


International Therapist Summer 2020

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

In this issue, you will find:

A special feature on male clients and how to support those who may be struggling with their mental health. In this feature we look at results from our 2020 FHT Male Client Wellbeing Survey and case studies from FHT members.

  • Janet Cairnie, MFHT, takes a look at the benefits of a complementary therapy service available to dialysis patients at Salford NHS Trust
  • An introduction to plantar fasciitis by FHT accredited course provider, Dawn Morse.
  • An insight into the benefits of Forest Bathing by Carlos Ponte and Emma Wisser from Universe Mindfulness.
  • An exclusive feature about FHT members Vanessa Jane Davies and Emma Holly joining forces so their clients can benefit from skin camouflage and ScarWork.
  • A look at how the Harlequins rugby team have crossed the advantage line in connecting sport and mindfulness.
  • A look at some therapeutic approaches that may reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Plus an essential oil profile on juniper berry, the latest FHT local group news; a day in the life of Claire Best, MFHT and charity volunteer; the latest research; expert advice; medical A-Z; and a guest column by Dr Michael Dixon on the unexpected benefits of virtual consultations.

And don’t miss the opportunity to win a body bolster positioning aid and a three-part sheet set courtesy of Affnity, worth over £200. Fill out our online form to enter our competition for this issue.

Landing on your doorstep from Monday 27 July. You can also log in to read this issue (from Friday 31 July) and past issues online at

FHT Vice President Judith Hadley talks about returning to work

FHT Vice President, Judith Hadley, has recently returned to work and wanted to share her experience of opening up her doors again for the first time since the COVID-19 lockdown.

Judith said, ‘These are pictures from my first reflexology treatment! I found my client felt confident to come for a treatment, which is something that has been built through ‘a mutual trust’ between myself and my client over time.

My client’s comments afterwards were, ‘I’d forgotten how much better these treatments make me feel, the relaxation benefits are immediate and I know I’ll sleep better tonight than I have since my last appointment in March’’.

He subsequently booked weekly treatments for the next four weeks, as opposed to his usual once a month treatment prior to COVID-19.

Please note: In England, government guidance on wearing PPE currently states, “unless crucial for the treatment, avoid skin to skin contact and use gloves where possible”. If you believe it is not possible to perform a particular treatment with gloves on, or that skin to skin contact is crucial for that treatment, then it is important that you highlight this within your risk assessment, along with what other measures you have put in place to mitigate the risk of cross-infection. The guidance also goes on to state, “When providing close contact services, it often may not be possible to maintain social distancing guidelines (2m, or 1m apart with risk mitigation, is acceptable). As a result, personal protective equipment in the form of a visor will be required to mitigate the risk.” Therapists may choose to wear a mask underneath their visor if they wish.

Read our full Coronavirus (COVID-19) statement and FAQs at, where you will also find updates for other countries in the UK, as and when we learn new information.





Music therapy reduces pain and anxiety during colonoscopy


Colonoscopy is widely used to detect a number of bowel diseases, including colorectal cancer, and also to detect and remove polyps. Many patients find the procedure uncomfortable or painful, which can be exacerbated by feelings of embarrassment, fear and anxiety associated with this invasive procedure.  

A recent study looked at whether music therapy could help to reduce pain, anxiety and patient discomfort during colonoscopy (Çelebi et al, 2020). One hundred and twelve patients were randomly assigned to either a control group or intervention (music therapy) group. All patients received a low dose of Midazolam 2 mg (conscious sedationbefore the procedure.  

Those in the intervention group were also supplied headphones with appropriate music selected by the Turkish Music Research and Promotion Group, and were advised that they could adjust the volume and stop and stop the music as they wished. Those in the control group received standard nursing care.  

The findings of the study ‘showed that music therapy during colonoscopy reduced pain and anxiety, increased comfort, and positively affected vital signs in the music therapy group. The authors concluded that, ‘since music therapy is an inexpensive, simple, non-invasive and non-pharmacological method without any side effects, it might be used as an adjunct to analgesics and sedatives for patients undergoing colonoscopy’.  

Read the full study.

FHT 2020 Equality and Diversity survey


To help inform an article for International Therapist magazine about equality and diversity in the industry, 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 how our members promote equality and diversity within their own practices, if training effectively covers supporting a diverse client base and what is needed to achieve more inclusivity within the industry. Within our article we will be sharing tips and case studies about creating a more inclusive therapy practice.

Please note that you do not need to provide any personal details and therefore can remain completely anonymous. Thank you for your support.

Take the 2020 FHT Equality and Diversity survey.

*Survey closes 21 July at midday.

Jump back July – this month’s Action for Happiness calendar


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

This July, the charity’s calendar focuses on daily activities to help us be more resilient in challenging times

The calendar begins with a quote about responding to difficult situations, ‘We can’t control what happens to us, but we can choose how we respond.’

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 2020 Action for Happiness calendar

Celebrating 72 years of the NHS


This Sunday 5 July marks 72 years since the NHS was first established. In what is being called the ‘most challenging year’ of its history, leaders are calling for people to use the birthday as an opportunity to recognise, reflect, and remember.

At 5pm on Sunday, the public are encouraged to come together to applaud frontline workers as part of the NHS’ #ThankYouTogether campaign.

To celebrate, renowned photographer Rankin has taken portraits of 12 NHS staff members who have played a critical role in managing the UK’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The portraits are of staff in a variety of NHS roles, including an ICU consultant, a COVID-19 critical care nurse, a midwife, a psychiatrist, a hospital porter, a COVID-19 ward cleaner, a paramedic, a GP, a pharmacist, a district nurse, a 111 call centre worker, and a Chief Information Officer.

As part of the project, Rankin includes a story from each of the 12 individuals, detailing their experience of working on the frontline during the pandemic.

View Rankin’s project and find out more about the NHS’ birthday.