Playing tennis better for musculoskeletal problems than the gym


Playing tennis is better for the prevention of musculoskeletal problems than going to the gym, according to a study by experts at Liverpool Hope University. 

In a study of 90 healthy participants, one group played tennis and the other took part in running, cycling or going to the gym. Each group took part in regular tests which looked at upper body strength, lower body strength, muscle fatigue and body composition. 

The results found that the group who played tennis had better musculoskeletal function and lower extremity function than those who went to the gym. 

Researchers commented that these findings may be due to the hybrid high-intensity interval training nature of tennis.

See the full study here.

Finding your voice in a pandemic

finding_your_voice_peter_and_annIn this piece, Dr Peter Mackereth and Ann Carter talk about the power of the voice in creating a calm and relaxing space for our clients during the current climate.

Dr Mackereth and Ann Carter write, ‘To survive and thrive, we have to become more creative and find alternative approaches to offer our skills and abilitiesDue to the possibility of spreading infection, our main means of communication – the therapeutic use of touch – is no longer available.’

‘So, how do we adapt in the short-term and then in the longer-term find our way back to providing touch therapies? First, we need to remember our purpose in offering a therapy session; it is likely to be to promote relaxation, feelings of calm or wellbeing. So, let’s explore the potential for the resourceful use of the voice as a therapeutic and flexible approach.’

They provide useful tips such as person generated guided imagery, incorporating sensory language and pre-planning.

Read the full article at

Just a few of the ways FHT members are supporting clients during the COVID-19 lockdown

Jane Connor

thumbnail_IMG_5887Jane, 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

jackie at event giving treatmentJackie 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.’

‘We have set up a Facebook group for our carers with regular live and recorded videos about meditation, hand reflexology, ear reflexology, laughter therapy, Bach Remedies – a whole host of things to help with stress and anxiety. We are also video calling them regularly with self-care reflexology techniques to try at home themselves and it is proving really successful and it works.’

Jackie Hamilton set up the not-for-profit organisation, TherapyAid in 2019. Read more about Jackie’s work in International Therapist, Spring 2020.

Grace Harrop

20200526_125831Grace, 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 Gardner

NOR_3707Wendy, 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.’

Lisa Hopper


Lisa, MFHT, is a Bowen therapist from East Sussex. At Lisa’s clinic, she offers Bowen therapy, bach flower remedy consultations, reiki treatments and Indian head massage.
Lisa said, ‘Now finding myself at home unable to see clients anymore, I suddenly realised that I could still offer two things to my clients. One is phoning my regulars to stay in touch and make sure they are OK for supplies from their family and friends as well just have a chat, when loneliness is going to become a major problem for many.
‘The other was to offer bach flower consultations over the phone instead of face-to-face. I contacted my most recent clients that I had to cancel for Bowen therapy who were in booked for various things from anxiety to back pain, low mood, low energy and stress. I suggested I could support them with BFR’s and they were delighted! Consultations last approximately 40 mins and then I take another hour to sort out the right flower remedies, bottle and package them before popping them in the post. The remedies will last them 4-6 weeks.’
20200408_205435Jacqueline Bailey
At Jacqueline’s salon and training centre in Leicestershire, Coppice Therapies, she practices and teaches a range of therapies including dowsing, holistic, massage, beauty and spa.
‘On a Monday’s I share a general 30 minute video with my clients and students. This Monday we were looking at body brushing, Wednesday’s I have been running a 30 minute online meditation (as I usually run a weekly meditation class), and Friday’s is a 30 minute reiki share and healing circle.
‘Everything I have been doing is for free and I am continuing to support as many as I can. A lot of clients and students are texting and emailing , and I have had to learn Skype and Zoom very quickly!’
Have you been supporting clients remotely during the coronavirus outbreak? We would love to hear more, email Leanne at


Celebrate kindness this Mental Health Awareness Week


Despite the suffering and hardship COVID-19 has brought to so many, we have witnessed an extraordinary level of human kindness as individuals, communities and countries have joined forces to support one another at this time. We have seen retired medical professionals return to the frontline, people volunteering their time and money to support vulnerable members of their community, whole streets paying respect to the NHS and keyworkers and, of course, the lovely Captain Tom Moore raising more than £30 million for NHS Charities Together.

Since its first Mental Health Awareness campaign in 2001, the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) has helped to raise awareness of topics such as body image, stress and relationships. This May, their focus is on kindness and Mark Rowland, chief executive of MHF, explains the reasons why on the charity’s website. ‘We have chosen kindness because of its singular ability to unlock our shared humanity. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity. It is a cornerstone of our individual and collective mental health. Wisdom from every culture across history recognises that kindness is something that all human beings need to experience and practise to be fully alive.’

And as positive psychology expert from Action for Happiness, Vanessa King, recently highlighted in an article for FHT’s membership magazine, International Therapist, it’s good for our health and wellbeing too. ‘When we give to others, without expecting anything in return, not only is it nice for the person on the receiving end, it releases endorphins and activates the reward centres in our brain, as if we are getting a gift or reward of some kind.’

Find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week

Read Vanessa King’s article on health and happiness in International Therapist magazine

Win an FHT candle of your choice and room spray, worth £20

candles and room spray

Enjoy the relaxing aromas of our 20cl natural plant wax candle, handmade in the UK for FHT.

Candles are made with a soya and rapeseed vegetable oil blend from raw and sustainable sources, naturally coloured and subtly scented with essential oils.

  • Our Relax blend includes: geranium, lavender, sweet orange and ylang ylang.
  • Our Meditate blend includes: bergamot, clary sage, ho wood oil and ylang ylang.
  • Our Inspire blend includes: lavender, mandarin, neroli and rosemary.

No paraffin, animal or beeswax-based products are used and FHT’s candles are packaged in recycled glass and cardboard gift box.

Room spray

Our vegan therapy room spray has a natural vegetable base and is also handmade in the UK for FHT’s shop.

Our Relax blend comes in 100ml glass bottles and includes geranium, sweet orange, lavender, lavandin and ylang ylang essential oils.

The spray is Alcohol and VOC free, non-flammable and packaged in a cardboard gift box.

To view these products online and see our full range of FHT products, made with our members in mind, visit

To enter, please answer the following question:

What two main ingredients are our candles made with? 

  1. Coconut oil and paraffin 
  2. Beeswax and soya 
  3. Soya and rapeseed vegetable oil 

Visit to enter, the closing date is Saturday 29 May 2020.

For full terms and conditions, visit

FHT’s new Green Therapy Business of the Year award is now open for entry

Pictured: illustrations

Have you ditched single-use products in your salon/clinic?

Maybe you’ve developed a ‘green‘ product for professional therapists and their clients to enjoy, such as a plant-based candle with essential oils, or organic skincare range or massage medium?

Perhaps you have embraced the principles of sustainability and zero-waste, applying green solutions to every single aspect of your business…

From reducing, reusing and recycling to switching to green energy providers, sourcing eco-friendly therapy supplies to introducing air-purifying houseplants, we’d love to hear from you.

In these challenging times, it’s never been more important to showcase your work and show the many ways professional therapists can make a real difference.

The winner of each category will receive a certificate, trophy, logo for marketing materials and PR support to help spread the word in their local area, and nationally.

This is your year – enter now. 

Tips for getting a good night’s sleep


Since lockdown many people have reported struggling with their sleep. This isn’t surprising when we have a natural sleep rhythm tuned to our normal routines. We all know dealing with change can cause stress and anxiety, and in the current climate this may well be another roadblock to a good night’s sleep.

Without sleep our bodies don’t function as efficiently, a lack of sleep can make us more prone to injury when we exercise, lowers productivity and can lead to overeating.

If counting sheep isn’t doing the job, we’ve put together a helpful list of tips to sleeping well.

Stick to a routine

Waking up and going to bed at the same time each day helps improve sleep. Perhaps set an alarm at the same time each morning or try being strict with yourself about when to get your head down.

Spend time outside in the morning

Exposure to natural light can do our sleeping patterns a world of good, why not make a point of enjoying your morning tea outside in the sun?

Only drink caffeine in the morning

Switching that afternoon coffee to a tea might not give you the afternoon pick-me-up you need right now, but after a few nights of good sleep you might find yourself not needing to reach for that afternoon caffeine or sugar fix.


Take half an hour out of your day to zone out from the world around you. In our recent blog post we share some free meditation practices to try at home.


Doing just 30 minutes of exercise a day can help get rid of some excess energy and prevent your brain from whirring before bed.

Eat before it gets dark

Eating early has a positive impact on our circadian rhythm (body clock). Eating before 6pm and avoiding those evening snacks can help your body to understand that you’re preparing to sleep.

Avoid alcohol

Some people see alcohol as an relaxant but in truth, the sugar in alcohol has a negative effect on sleep. Swap that evening glass of wine for a water and you might just notice a big difference.

Have a bath

Winding down with a warm bubble bath relaxes the muscles and can provide a space to zone out from the world around you (device-free!).

Write in a journal before bed

Whether you want to focus on the good and write down five things you’re grateful for, or use it as a space to vent, writing in a journal can help your brain to switch off before going to sleep.

Limit the amount of blue light before bed

Blue light can trick the body’s circadian rhythm into thinking its too early for bed, try switching off your devices and reading a book instead.

Did you know that natural therapies can also be used to improve sleep? Read an article FHT contributed Sleep Well magazine about the sleep benefits of natural therapies.