Shirley, MFHT, is an NHS Senior Charge Nurse for psychological therapies in Lanarkshire.
Shirley said, ‘During lockdown I thought, “what could I do that would help using the skills that I have?” I work predominantly with older people and am trained in mindfulness so decided to set up an eight-week mindfulness cognitive therapy group to support the mental health and wellbeing of my elderly patients.
‘I have also been uploading meditations to YouTube each week. I have recorded a range of meditations including, body scan, seated, kindness, three-minute breathing, and a silent meditation. I’ve found the regular practice has helped me too, and I’ve learned new skills by embracing technology. ‘
Jane, MFHT, is a Complementary Therapist, Wellbeing Therapist and FE Lecturer in Holistic Therapies.
Jane said, ‘On a Monday I have been sharing a 45 minute live videos for a group of my private clients. The topics range from ‘how to self massage’ to a ‘first aid kit of essential oils and how to use them’.
‘On Tuesdays and Thursdays I work for Elysium Healthcare as a Wellbeing Therapist for hospital staff. I have been providing short talks via a portal on wellness using essential oils, self massage and stretches. Staff can access the portal in their own time and the aim is to build a catalogue of support for physical and mental health.
‘For my private clients, I have been providing bespoke wellbeing boxes to go support the treatment plans I provided to them before the lockdown.’
Jackie Hamilton, MFHT, is a complementary therapist and runs a not-for-profit organisation called TherapyAid. Jackie said, ‘To ensure we are able to continue supporting the unpaid carers who access therapies through TherapyAid, we set up a few free initiatives they can get involved with.’
‘On a Monday and Friday morning we hold a Zoom fitness class with Joe Wicks, whereby we host a group Zoom call and have Joe live on another device. Unpaid carers are really enjoying this, as are the therapists!’
‘We also decided to buy our unpaid carers copies of Dr Chatterjee’s book, The 4 Pillar Plan. Each week we run a book club through Zoom where we review a a few pages of Dr Chatterjee’s book. We’ve been encouraging all our unpaid carers to get involved and at least two have said reading the book has already changed their life! Amazing Dr. Chatterjee.’
Jackie Hamilton set up the not-for-profit organisation, TherapyAid in 2019. Read more about Jackie’s work in International Therapist, Spring 2020.
Grace, MFHT, is a sports and holistic massage therapist who volunteers once a week at a hospice.
Grace said, ‘I wanted to provide something for my clients to do at home which would recreate the feeling they get after a massage, while taking in to consideration what I am qualified in and what I feel comfortable sharing online. I have been very careful to not advise anything that could cause pain or discomfort to my clients while I am not there in person to watch how they are moving their bodies.
‘I have been sharing short videos and hosting small group classes to guide my clients through gentle exercises and stretches, targeting different areas of the body. I have also been taking requests and am often asked direct advice for rehabilitation on injury. In one case, a client who broke a metatarsal bone before lockdown and has been unable to attend physiotherapy appointments. I was able to guide them through so easy stretches to relieve the pain, help reduce the scar tissue and stretch the tendons.’
‘I have also been having one to one consultations via video call, to talk through any physical issues with clients. Together we have worked on some self massage and stretching plans for them to do at home.’
Wendy, MFHT, offers aromatherapy, massage and facials at Glow Skincare. Many of Wendy’s clients are going through perimenopause.
Wendy said, ‘I’m offering my clients video tutorials so they can practice self care at home, for instance how they can use different products to carry out a gentle and calming facial massage. Not only are they helping their skin, the physical touch is extremely comforting and even more so now that we are practicing social distancing.
‘There is something intensely reassuring when we can give ourselves some TLC. Of course it’s not as wonderful as being pampered and cared for by a massage therapist, but it is something positive in these unsettling times.’