Therapy dogs for children with speech difficulties shows promising results

Therapy dogs

Therapy assisted by a dog could be more effective than standard speech and language therapy for children with communication impairments, suggests a new study published in the journal Anthrozoös.

The study found children with the condition developmental dysphasia, which affects the ability to communicate and form words, were more likely to be able to mimic communicative signals in a therapy session where a dog was present.

Researchers observed that the children in the group with the therapy dog also seemed more motivated and open to communicating. Additionally, the children displayed authentic, natural expressions during their interactions with the dog.

Lead author Kristýna Machová from Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague commented, “The presence of the dog improves the relationship with the therapist, as it distracts from the fear of therapy in children and provides them with a form of support during the practice.”

In this study, researchers at Czech University conducted the first long-term randomized study of its kind, with a control and an experimental group, involving 69 nursery-school children (52 male and 17 female) participants diagnosed with developmental dysphasia. The aim was to understand if undergoing speech therapy accompanied by a dog improved results.

For both groups, the initial examination of each child involved evaluating their skills at baseline, with a follow-up scheduled for 10 months later. The control group received traditional speech therapy, while the experimental group had animal assistance therapy sessions with a female middle-aged Peruvian hairless dog named Agáta.

Despite the promising findings from this study, as this is the first of its kind and there were improvements found in both groups, the authors have stated that further research would be needed to consolidate the findings – especially those involving a larger group of participants.

However, they do agree that there is great potential in the approach to complement and aid the current conventional approach, as canine-assisted therapy has been found to be more effective than more standard forms of delivery in many other disciplines.

Developmental dysphasia, or specific speech impairment, is a common disorder whereby sufferers struggle to formulate words verbally and rank significantly below their non-verbal intellectual level. It is widely thought that the ability to improve communication skills in sufferers would also help to improve quality of life which strongly supports funding more research into this area.

Access the full study

Source

 

FHT contributes to fertility feature in Your Healthy Living

YHL OCT 18 COVER_low resPick up the October issue of Your Healthy Living magazine to read an article by the FHT on natural ways to boost fertility and support a natural pregnancy.

In the article we look at how to keep a balanced diet during pregnancy, how complementary therapies can help and direct readers to find a suitably qualified therapist on FHT’s Accredited Register, independently approved by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.

The FHT regularly contributes to national consumer magazines to make the public more aware of our members, the different therapies they offer and the FHT’s Accredited Register.

Your Healthy Living is a free glossy magazine that raises awareness of natural health and is available in independent health stores across the UK.

Read the full article

Winners of new Complementary Therapy Awards announced

CTA2018 group shot of winners

The FHT was proud to be involved in the presentation of the inaugural Complementary Therapy Awards, which took place on 18 October at a special celebratory lunch held in London.

Organised by Chamberlain Dunn, these new, independent awards aim to celebrate practitioners, teams and advocates who are enhancing the health and wellbeing of others through a variety of initiatives that focus on an integrated approach to patient-centred care.

As platinum sponsor, FHT’s Governing Council and staff enjoyed working closely with organisers, Chamberlain Dunn, throughout the development and promotion of these new awards, from offering guidance on the different awards categories, through to supporting the shortlisting and judging process, and presenting the FHT Award for Complementary Therapy Research on the day.

The winners of the Complementary Therapy Awards 2018 are:

Overall Winner

Angie Buxton-King (Director, Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust)

‘Integrating healing into hospitals and hospices’

The Award for Prevention and Self-Care

Roberta Meldurm (Director, The Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living)

‘Positive Movement – a wellbeing programme for older people’

The Award for Cancer Care

Angie Buxton-King (Director, Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust)

‘Integrating healing into hospitals and hospices’

The Award for Palliative Care

Elaine Cooper (Clinical Lead Specialist Complementary Therapies) and Rachel Clark

Lead Complementary Therapist Palliative Care), Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust

‘25 years – Complementary therapies in NHS palliative care’

The FHT Award for Complementary Therapy Research

Nicola Brough (Clinic Director, Torus Wellbeing Clinic) and Sarah Stewart-Brown (Professor and Chair of Public Health, University of Warwick)

‘Development and validation of the Warwick Holistic Health Questionnaire (WHHQ): assessing changes in health and wellbeing of Craniosacral Therapy/CAM users’

The Award for Mental Health and Wellbeing

Naji Malak (Co-founder and CEO, Stand Easy Military Support)

‘Stand Easy Military Support’

Special mention: Nicolle Mitchell, Holistic Massage Practitioner, FHT Member and FHT Accredited Training Provider – Massage for dementia

The Award for Pain Management, Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation

Gina Reinge (Sports Therapist, The Reinge Clinic)
‘Adhesive arachnoiditis case study’

The Award for Furthering Integrated Healthcare

Gwyn Featonby (Education Lead and FHT Accredited Course Provider) and Julie Crossman (Complementary Therapy Lead and FHT Member), NHS Natural Health School

‘Harrogate Hospital NHS complementary therapies in cancer service’

CTA2018 Chris with Nicola Brough

FHT President Christopher Byrne  presents the The FHT Award for Complementary Therapy Research to Nicola Brough

 

Christopher Byrne, President of the FHT, was involved in shortlisting two of the Complementary Therapy Awards categories, including The FHT Award for Complementary Therapy Research. ‘The FHT has been at the forefront of promoting high standards in therapy training and practice for more than 50 years, which is why we were extremely proud to support  these new awards,’ says Christopher. ‘In addition to our own FHT Excellence Awards, which have been celebrating success for eight years, these Complementary Therapy Awards will help to bring further recognition to the important role professional therapists have to play in not just supporting the pubic, but also the integrated healthcare agenda as a whole, which is one of FHT’s key objectives.

‘Our heart-felt congratulations to all of the winners and finalists, but we would like to give a special mention to those who are FHT Members, FHT Accredited Course Providers or former FHT Excellence Award winners – namely Kelly De Souza, Gywn Featonby, Julie Crossman, Dr Julie McCullough, Nicolle Mitchell, Zoe Warner and Dr Carol Samuel – as well as the winners of The FHT Award for Complementary Therapy Research, Nicola Brough and Professor Stewart-Brown.

More information can be found in Chamberlain Dunn’s official Complementary Therapy Awards 2018 Winners’ Guide and the FHT will be featuring the winners in International Therapist magazine – look out for future issues.

Can you volunteer this Christmas?

Crisis at Christmas- Massage Volunteers_low res.jpgCrisis UK is looking for qualified complementary therapists to help its homeless guests relax and unwind this Christmas.

A charity committed to ending homelessness, Crisis runs a series of centres each Christmas where homeless people are offered meals, activities, crafts and complementary therapies.

Crisis is seeking a devoted team of volunteers to provide body massage, shiatsu, Indian head massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, reiki, craniosacral therapy, EFT and acupressure treatments between 24 and 29 December. If you think you can give up a day (or more) across the Christmas period, you could be making a real difference to people experiencing homelessness.

Homelessness is a stressful, lonely and often traumatic experience, with 44% diagnosed with a mental health condition. In addition, people experiencing homelessness are twice as likely to experience physical ill health than the general population. Therefore, having access to therapies at Christmas can really make a difference to people experiencing homelessness.

For a memorable Christmas, apply online today

FHT Members – we know that many of you have been kind enough to support Crisis in previous years. If you do get involved, please let us know at dralls@fht.org.uk – we’d welcome a short write-up for International Therapist and our blog.

 

Social prescription a priority in Theresa May’s loneliness strategy

Social prescription.jpg

UK prime minister Theresa May has pledged to increase social prescribing by making it a key part of the first government loneliness strategy. Set to be implemented by 2023, the strategy will also see £1.8m allocated for community-based projects.

The decision to make loneliness a health priority follows on from research in 2017 by the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, the legacy of the late Labour MP, who was committed to addressing the growing health problem, as well as initiatives by councils, charities and health experts.

According to the Campaign to End Loneliness, 75% of GPs see between one and five patients every day who come in mainly because they are lonely. Under the new government plans, social prescription will allow GPs to refer patients to non-clinical services, including community cafés, gardening, creative activities, cooking and healthy eating, counselling, mindfulness and complementary therapies.

Theresa May believes that social prescription will improve quality of life and take pressure off the NHS. Social prescription has long been championed by the College of Medicine, whose chairman, vice presidents and other council members are amongst its leading innovators. This includes 2018 FHT Conference speakers, Dr Michael Dixon and Sir Sam Everington, who have been developing working models of social prescription for more than a decade.

We look forward to hearing more about social prescription at our 2018 FHT Conference next month, which is supported by the College of Medicine.

In addition, Westminster Forum Projects has planned a keynote seminar on the future of social prescribing in England, on 26 March 2019 – visit the Westminster Health Forum section of their website for more details and to book.

Image

International Therapist Issue 126 (Autumn 2018)

IT Autumn 18 1 Front cover.jpg

This issue includes:

  • A look at amputation, its impact on clients, and how therapies can help;
  • An overview of the lymphatic system and its importance, by Yvette Jordan;
  • Approaches to facial touch and the science behind it, by Dr Katerina Steventon;
  • Deconstructing the concept of challenge, by Dr Phillip J de Prez;
  • Injuries in young athletes, by Dr Lance Doggart and Sarah Catlow;
  • Working in a hospice as a paid reiki practitioner, by Hilda Kalap;
  • Homemade product recipes, for a body scrub and massage oil, by Karen Gilbert;
  • Pointers for therapists working with terminally ill clients, by Jane Duncan Rogers;
  • A look at the warning signs of breast cancer and its impact.

Plus the Michael Pittilo Award-winning essay, by Benjamin Low; an essential oil profile on clary sage; the latest FHT local support group news; an insight from a therapist supporting people in her local community, by Annette Roachford, MFHT; the latest research; medical A-Z; a day in the life of Geraldine Flynn, semi-permanent make-up technician and 2013 FHT Excellence Award Winner; an interview with new FHT President, Christopher Byrne; a preview of the 2018 FHT Conference; and lots more…

Don’t miss the opportunity to win one of two annual subscriptions of In the Moment magazine in our members’ competition and a £20 Amazon gift card and copy of Words that Touch, in FHT spiral no. 28.

Landing from Thursday 18 October. You can also login to read this issue (from Thursday 18 October) and past issues online at fht.org.uk/membersarea