FHT Virtual Congress – Question Time with Jane Sheehan and her Gurus

In the lead up to the FHT’s first Virtual Training Congress we will be introducing FHT members to our event speakers. This week we speak to Jane Sheehan, accredited course provider and winner of our 2018 FHT Complementary Therapist of the Year award. Jane is a leading foot reader, author and runs her own training service…

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I am the UK’s leading foot reader, teaching internationally, and an Amazon Bestselling Author.  “Let’s Read Our Feet!” is now a staple on the reflexology school book list.  I feel that reflexology and foot reading chose me – if you had told me when I was at school that I was going to be a foot reader, I would have laughed you out of the room!  My life’s goal is to act as a catalyst for change, supporting my fellow therapists and clients in the process, in fact every book I have written has arisen from noticing students’ questions.  

How did you find 2020? What business challenges were presented to you and what did you do to adapt to these changes?  What is your Virtual Congress seminar about and what can viewers expect to come away with? 

When we had the first lockdown in 2020, despite the fact we couldn’t do hands-on therapy, I knew I could carry out foot readings online via photographs and convey the information via Zoom.  However, my immediate thought was “Great! I can spend time on my projects”, I’d been wanting to put together a series of books about Reflexology for a while.  The field of Reflexology has changed dramatically since I first trained 22 years ago, and so I wanted to produce a book that reflected the different forms of reflexology while showing the breadth of expertise in our industry.  In my mind I envisaged one book about the different forms of reflexology, one on the theme of hormones and one on the theme of cancer.  Little did we know then, how long we would be unable to see clients or to travel or to teach in the classroom.   

I managed to get the first two books of the series completed and named the Series “The Gurus’ Guide to Reflexology”.  The first book has 17 gurus each writing a chapter about their form of reflexology and the second features 13 gurus who cover between them the subjects of puberty, fertility and infertility, pregnancy and menopause.  It was scary publishing the first book because I had no idea whether publishing during a pandemic was madness, or whether it was the right thing to do – but sometimes you just have to go with your gut.   

When FHT approached me to give a talk about Foot Reading, I decided that I would rather share my spot with some of my gurus.  To make it fair, I said that the first five gurus to reply to my email could join me.  I’m happy to announce that the gurus who will be joining me are: 

  • Jenni Tribe:  Pregnancy Reflexology 
  • Kerry Hales:  Coaching for Therapists 
  • Lynne Booth:  Vertical Reflex Therapy (VRT) 
  • Sue Ricks:  Gentle Touch Reflexology and Baby Reflexology 
  • Teri Woods:  Nutrition for Menopause 

We are pre-recording our talk next week which will have a panel set up, with me and my fellow experts being asked questions by therapists about our areas of expertise. While it may be clear which panelist will be the best person to answer a given question, we hope that a cross-fertilisation of ideas will grow, with the different experts supporting each other with their knowledge to provide a unique learning experience for the audience.

What interests you outside of work? (How do you normally spend your spare time?) 

When not travelling the world teaching foot reading, or in my clinic seeing reflexology clients, I love to go dancing and have been known to go to modern jive freestyles and classes up to five times a week.  Going dancing is such fun, it keeps me fit, helps me to rebalance my thoughts and is extremely sociable.

What is it about your topic that appeals to you and why is it useful for therapists? 

The great thing about foot reading is that you can do it as a stand-alone treatment as well as using it together with your reflexology – it is the flexibility that has helped me through this pandemic. Having a multi-pronged approach to your business and with different income streams means that you can change focus quickly and adapt either to your clients’ needs or to your environment. 

What I love about the gurus’ knowledge is that they are all experts in a different type of reflexology or associated specialism – they understand their clients’ needs and have revolutionised the reflexology industry with their approaches. 

What would be your one piece of advice for therapists wanting to grow and develop their therapy practice? 

As therapists, you are limited to how many clients you can see a day, so I would recommend that you find a way to create a passive income alongside your therapy practice.  That way you can pick and choose your clients, pick when to work and how to work and if you fall sick, you have a back up income stream. 

Think outside the box and consider how their best practice could be translated into your specialism, often new pioneering ideas are born from bouncing off ideas in other sectors. Build your own group of mentors to help you with your brainstorming and above all, stay curious about everything. Curiosity is the highest state for change. 

Do you have a question for Jane and her gurus to answer in their video next week? Simply send them to education@fht.org.uk by 21st February!

To learn more about Jane Sheehan or to find the books mentioned here, go to footreading.com 

Buy your ticket to the FHT Virtual Congress here. *Ticket prices: FHT student members £25, FHT members £30, non-FHT members £45

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