Professor of TCM announced for 2018 FHT Conference

Conference Nicola Robinson

Nicola Robinson is professor of traditional Chinese medicine at London South Bank University, chair of the Research Council for Complementary Medicine (RCCM) and editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Integrative Medicine.

Formerly a professor of complementary medicine at the University of West London and a registered acupuncturist since 1982, Professor Robinson has a keen interest in complementary medicine and its integration into mainstream healthcare.

She has authored more than 200 scientific articles for peer-reviewed journals, presented research at national and international conferences and has a PhD in Immunology from the University of Manchester.

In 2004, Professor Robinson was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship, to explore educational and research initiatives in TCM at universities and hospitals in China.

She has also held a range of high-profile posts including: Senior lecturer in Primary Healthcare at University College London; Consultant Epidemiologist to the Brent and Harrow Health Authority; Lecturer at Charing Cross and Westminster Hospital Medical School; and Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

In her talk, Professor Robinson will be discussing the importance of evidence base and how best to measure and present treatment outcomes for complementary therapy interventions.

Read more about Professor Robinson and the importance of research.

About the FHT Conference

The conference will take place on Thursday 29 November at The King’s Fund in the heart of London’s West End and feature a host of talks presented by leading experts in research, education and integrated healthcare. Read more

Early bird ticket prices are available until 31 August.

Book your tickets here* or call 023 8062 4350


FHT highlights the benefits of complementary therapies in consumer magazines

ITM014_cover_uk_low resThe FHT regularly contributes to national consumer publications to promote the FHT, its members and the therapies they practice.

FHT Editor and Communications Manager, Karen Young, recently provided a full-page article on Ayurvedic massage for In the Moment magazine’s ‘Have you tried’ regular feature.

In the Moment is a monthly lifestyle magazine, covering wellbeing, creativity, good living and travel.

In its July issue (#14) Karen discusses the origins of Ayurvedic massage, what a treatment would typically involve, as well as five key benefits of the therapy.

FHT Vice President Mary Dalgleish was also promoting therapies in print recently, contributing to Health & Wellbeing magazine with an article on acupressure.

Mary provides an introduction to the therapy and recommends some self-care techniques that readers can try at home to help with every day niggles.

Read the full article in In the Moment

Read the full article in Health & Wellbeing magazine

High protein diet slightly increases heart failure risk in middle-aged men


For middle-aged men, eating higher amounts of protein can lead to a slightly elevated risk for heart failure than those who eat it in moderation, according to new research from the University of Eastern Finland.

Despite the popularity of high protein diets, there is little research about how diets high in protein might impact men’s heart failure risk.

“As many people seem to take the health benefits of high-protein diets for granted, it is important to make clear the possible risks and benefits of these diets,” said Jyrki Virtanen, PhD, study author and an adjunct professor of nutritional epidemiology at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. “Earlier studies have linked diets high in protein – especially from animal sources – with increased risks of type 2 diabetes and even death.”

Researchers studied 2,441 men, age 42 to 60, at the study’s start and followed them for an average 22 years. Overall, researchers found 334 cases of heart failure were diagnosed during the study and 70% of the protein consumed was from animal sources and 27.7% from plant sources. Higher intake of protein from most dietary sources, was associated with slightly higher risk. Only proteins from fish and eggs were not associated with heart failure risk in this study, researchers said.

For this study, researchers divided the men into four groups based on their daily protein consumption. When they compared men who ate the most protein to those who ate the least, they found their risk of heart failure was:

  • 33% higher for all sources of protein;
  • 43% higher for animal protein;
  • 49% higher for dairy protein;
  • 17% higher for plant protein.

“As this is one of the first studies reporting on the association between dietary protein and heart failure risk, more research is needed before we know whether moderating protein intake may be beneficial in the prevention of heart failure,” said Heli E.K. Virtanen, MSc, first author of study, PhD student and early career researcher at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. “Long-term interventions comparing diets with differential protein compositions and emphasizing differential protein sources would be important to reveal possible effects of protein intake on risk factors of heart failure. More research is also needed in other study populations.”

Impact of social media on the young to be examined

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How social media helps or harms children’s mental health is to be examined by leading experts in social geography and mental health from the Universities of Portsmouth and Sheffield.

Professor Liz Twigg, in the Department of Geography at Portsmouth, has been awarded funding from the charity MQ to carry out the first long-term study of thousands of 10-15 year olds.

Funding was awarded against a sharp rise in mental illness among young people in the UK.

The results are expected to give the first indication of the effect of social media on the generation brought up with it, and will be used to give clinicians and mental health workers guidelines in how social media may influence the mental wellbeing of young adolescents.

Professor Twigg said: “Poor mental health among children is on the rise and it’s unclear whether social media is implicated or is helping.

“A snapshot of some children who are suffering mental illness at any one time isn’t enough – we need to be able to see the long-term effects of a lot of factors in children’s lives, including their social media use alongside the degree of their parents’ engagement in their children’s lives, their parents’ mental health, their social and economic circumstances, and details about the neighbourhoods they live in.

“It may be that online friendships are a great help in protecting some children, or that social media communities help some children develop resilience to stresses in their lives.

“It could be some uses of social media undermine children’s well-being or are more damaging for boys than girls, for example – we simply don’t know yet.

“We need a more complex and detailed understanding of the contexts in which social media might provide a level of resilience for young people.”

Existing research shows positive and negative effects of social media use but no research has examined its long-term effect in different types of individual across different types of household and neighbourhood. There is also little research on the early adolescent years (10-15 year olds).

The researchers will use data from Understanding Society, a complex dataset which, from 2009, has gathered on-going details of thousands of young people’s living situations, including their own sense of happiness and their parents’ mental health and socio-economic status.

Professor Twigg hopes that by shining a light on this under-researched group, well designed interventions could make a substantial difference to their long-term mental health.

Her goal is that by 2030 poor mental health among young people will have begun to decline and all key youth mental health workers will understand the complex ways in which social media can influence a young person’s mental health status.

Alongside publishing results in an academic journal, Professor Twigg will work with Professor Scott Weich, a consultant psychiatrist and expert in mental health epidemiology from the School of Health and Related Research at the University of Sheffield, to provide guidelines to doctors, nurses, social workers and others.

According to the funder MQ, three children in every school class have a diagnosable mental health condition.

Professor Twigg has previously used similarly large, complex government data sets to study Britain’s physical, behavioural and social health.

FHT announces 2018 Excellence Awards Finalists

excellence awards social media post1

We are delighted to announce the finalists for our prestigious 2018 FHT Excellence Awards, which showcase how professional therapy practitioners and trainers are making a difference to those living and working in their local community.

This year’s FHT Excellence Awards finalists are:

FHT Complementary Therapist of the Year
Robert Sylvester Coleman
Julie Crossman
Kelly De Souza
Jackie Grimley
Marc Johnson
Julie McCullough
Nicolle Mitchell
Jane Sheehan

FHT Sports Therapist of the Year
Sheree Phelps
Nefeli Tsiouti
Sophie Vowden

FHT Student of the Year
Teresa Elliott
Brian Jauncey

FHT Tutor of the Year
Maureen Bonner
Gwyn Featonby
Dawn Morse
Sharon Mountford
Jane Sheehan

FHT Local Support Group Coordinator or the Year

Alison Brown
Kim Newman-Clark

Christopher Byrne, FHT President and awards judge, said: ‘Having looked through all of this year’s entries during the shortlisting process, we were once again really impressed by the calibre of those who entered, along with the diverse range of services and support they offer. Good luck to our finalists and keep up the excellent work.’

The winners of the 2018 FHT Excellence Awards will be announced at a special FHT Conference to be held at The King’s Fund, London, on Thursday 29 November, where guests will be able to hear from leading experts in education, research and integrated healthcare (see for more details). Tickets start from just £65 but spaces are limited – book now to avoid disappointment and to take advantage of early bird prices.