FHT Professional Development Conference 2022: Susanna Terry

A Q&A with Susanna Terry

[Image of Susanna Terry by Massage bed]
  1. Tell us a bit of background about yourself… (Why and how did you get into the industry? What did you do before?

As I was growing up I would see people suffering from physical or emotional/mental complaints offered conventional treatments which were invasive and often had side-effects and unsatisfactory outcomes.

At that time, I intuitively felt that there must be some natural and gentler treatments to address ill-health. Initially I studied spiritual healing.

Later on, I decided to study Homeopathy. I found that this complementary approach to addressing a person’s physical, emotional and mental constitution as one totality was in tune with the holistic approach I was seeking.

I was especially drawn to methods that both individualised the person’s treatment and which had no side effects. Some years later I was invited to a homeopathic conference to present the case of a 9-year-old girl. She had developed a severe form of chorea and her doctors had given up hope of being able to help her. She received homeopathic treatment and within three months she had fully recovered.

It was while I was studying homeopathy that I was invited to attend a ‘Light Touch’ therapy course. The course was run by an osteopath, a lady who believed that it was this treatment that helped her recover from multiple sclerosis. When I attended the course, I was impressed with the precision that could be achieved by the assessment of a person’s bodily misalignment at a plumbline. This approach was used to enable the practitioner to exactly ‘customise’ the treatment to the person’s particular needs.

When I graduated as a Painless Spinal Touch practitioner I started combining the treatment with homeopathic consultations. I then discovered that there were occasions when a Painless Spinal Touch treatment would address the problem more effectively than a homeopathic remedy.

My ‘light touch’ treatments became very popular as clients would refer family and friends to me. Quite often I would help people who had tried all sorts of therapies before to no avail. After my osteopath teacher passed away due to an accident, I was asked to take on the teaching of this gentle yet powerful light touch treatment and travelled to the USA to train as a Spinal Touch instructor with the late Dr.Rosquist, a chiropractor and the developer of the Spinal Touch treatment.

I’ve now been running Painless Spinal Touch courses face-to-face in Devon for just short of twenty five years. I have also developed an online study course for people who are too far away to join courses in person.

Having taught the therapy to more than 200 holistic therapists and chiropractors, I have seen practitioners build thriving practices offering this light yet dynamic treatment to their clients.

I love helping holistic therapists build busy practices with Light Touch therapies, enabling them to work less and yet achieve better results.

I have also developed another course called Bio-Stress Release which complements Painless Spinal Touch and other holistic therapies beautifully. The response of clients to the Light Touch treatments is that they are’ magic’ as they eliminate pain almost instantly.

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

I love dancing, swimming, walking and reading.

3. What is your seminar about and what can viewers expect to come away with?

My seminar covers research on ‘Light Touch’ from scientists and practitioners. It also discusses the therapeutic impact of light touch when it is accompanied by the application of particular fulcrums.

Viewers will come away with a clearer idea of the physiological cause of musculoskeletal problems and discomfort. At the same time they’ll discover how a specific kind of touch during treatment can gently yet effectively remedy such complaints.

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

What appeals to me about Light Touch therapy is that there is actually a physiological and scientific basis for effective non-force treatment. As a holistic body treatment that is very closely adapted to the needs of the individual, it addresses complaints such as backache and most musculoskeletal problems but it also helps restore general health and vitality. It can also be helpful for people suffering from more serious health challenges such as MS, rheumatoid arthritis, and more.

As to why it is useful to therapists I would give you an example of one of the graduates of my courses. She is an acupuncturist and she sent me a message telling me: “Now, I first give my clients this Light Touch treatment – in particular to those who are afraid of needles. Then instead of using ten acupuncture needles as I did before I only need to use one.”

The reason for this is that during the treatment we are, in effect, working on the body’s meridians but without the use of needles.

A couple of Spinal Touch therapists who graduated from my course and then moved to Australia sent me an email saying: “We are now treating more than 90 clients a week just giving this light-touch treatment and a bit of massage”

The reason that therapists are able to treat so many people is that the treatment does not place any strain on the practitioner while at the same time is very relaxing for the client.

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

I would suggest that, in order to avoid burnout, they find a treatment that is not demanding on them as a therapist. At the same time, they need to offer a treatment that consistently brings therapeutic results.

Clear therapeutic outcomes will produce happy clients. Enthusiastic clients will refer family and friends to their therapist and help them grow their practice fast.

6. What do you consider to be the most important traits for a therapist to have?

I think intuition is a very important trait for a therapist to have. Each client who comes to see us for help is on their own journey and they need us to create the space for them to facilitate their own healing. The therapies we practice are the channel that enables this healing. Our intuition will guide us into tuning to our client’s particular healing needs. A treatment that helps not only the client’s postural realignment but also their energy field is the one that will produce sound therapeutic results and lead to a busy and ‘magical’ practice.

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