FHT hosts successful first Virtual Congress event 

The FHT’s first Virtual Congress took place from Sunday 13 to Friday 18 June 2021. 

With over 640 attendees and 50 expert speakers, we are proud to announce that this year’s congress has been our largest educational event to date. We would like to thank all those who helped to make the 2021 FHT Virtual Congress such a valuable learning experience for industry professionals. 

The event is one of our highlights each year, as it’s a chance for us to meet members face-to-face and immerse ourselves in the world of therapy practice. Forced to do things a little differently as a result of the pandemic, we took to the web feeling excited for the new challenge but naturally concerned that the event wouldn’t achieve the same ‘feel’ as a face-to-face congress. 

The overwhelmingly positive feedback we received from delegates suggests that the event went above and beyond our expectations by providing a more accessible model and the ability to watch more talks than ever before. Originally set to last for two days, demand meant we extended the event for a further four days so that attendees had more time to watch the pre-recorded seminars. FHT members and non-members also enjoyed the live webinar sessions, the ability to network via a Facebook group and access to one-time offers at through our online shop.  

‘This was my first year with FHT and I have thoroughly enjoyed being offered informative, varied and well-organised training in the comfort of my own home! It’s been really valuable for my continued learning.’ 
 
‘Thank you- the event re-enthused me completely. Have felt quite isolated during lock-down. This was the perfect pick me up.’ 

‘I wouldn’t have been able to travel to England to a physical Congress, from the comfort of my own home I could time, take notes, drink tea, reflect, I feel it was a 100% success and I hope you can do it again for next year, I learned a lot.’ 

Many delegates also commented that they enjoyed the option to attend seminars covering topics that they might not have tried if paying on a ‘per seminar’ basis, and that taking part in a virtual event created not just cost savings in terms of travel and accommodation expenses, but it also helped to reduce their carbon footprint. 

The event consisted of over 50 pre-recorded seminars and four live webinars covering a broad range of topics from some of the most well-known and well-respected speakers in the industry. Just a few of the interesting topics included trigger point therapy, aromatherapy for sleep, pregnancy massage, supporting clients recovering from post-viral fatigue, reflexology, hypnotherapy, posture, and a look at the anatomy of the foot and ankle. 

Practical business advice was also available, with speakers offering tips on growing your business online, self-care in the workplace, and heart-centered growth. 

Following the huge success of this event, the FHT are considering hosting virtual learning experiences in the future while of course keeping in mind the benefits of both face-to-face and online approaches. 

Did you attend the 2021 FHT Virtual Congress and discover a speaker that you really enjoyed listening to? Discover our upcoming webinars hosted by this year’s Congress speakers…  

Webinar: Postural Correction of The Neck 

Date: 23/07/2021 

Location: Online Webinar 

Tutor : Jane Johnson 

Osteopathic Techniques: Sport and Spine 

Date: 24/07/2021 – 25/07/2021 

Location: Online 

Tutor: Cameron Reid 

Webinar: Postural Correction of The Shoulders 

Date: 27/08/2021 

Location: Online Webinar 

Tutor: Jane Johnson 

Advanced crystal therapy for practitioners and healers – level 1 

Date: 11/09/2021 – 12/09/2021 

Location: Basingstoke 

Tutor:  Shirley O’Donoghue. 

Table Thai stretch massage 

Date: 18/09/2021 -19/09/2021 

Location: Learn from home! 

Tutor: Kathryn Ellis 

Webinar: Postural Correction of The Low Back 

Date: 24/09/2021 

Location: Online Webinar 

Tutor: Jane Johnson 

Osteopathic Techniques: Sport and Spine 

Date: 02/10/2021 – 03/10/2021 

Location: Brighton 

Tutor: Cameron Reid. 

Relaxation, Meditation and Mindfulness for Therapists 

Date: 09/10/2021 

Location: Bristol 

Tutor: Christine Browne 

Osteopathic Techniques: Sport and Spine 

Date: 16/10/2021 – 17/10/2021 

Location: Leeds 

Tutor: Cameron Reid 

Table Thai Stretch Massage 

Date: 04/12/2021 – 05/12/2021 

Location: Learn from home! 

Tutor: Kathryn Ellis 

How winning an FHT Excellence Award can help accelerate your career

The FHT Excellence Awards showcase how you, our members, are making a difference to people living in your local community – from helping clients to improve their health and wellbeing, to providing tailored learning and support to students and qualified therapists.

After the unprecedented year we have all experienced, and the ongoing pandemic, it has never been more important to recognise the many ways professional therapists can make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of others.

2020 FHT Sports Therapist of the Year, John Molyneux, shared his story about how the award has so far benefited his career.

John said, ‘I have worked solo as a mobile therapist for my entire career. Working alone suited me but it has always been a great comfort (a safety net)  to have such a friendly and professional organisation like the FHT behind me. For 20 years, that’s all I have needed: my FHT membership and someone to back me up or advise me when necessary. However, life changed and so did I. I started trying to break into the corporate world but had no visibility and no exposure. I realised that my contentment in working alone had actually held me back and outside of my client bubble, no one knew my name. I was trying to promote my first book and new website but no one would listen or showed any interest. Companies just wouldn’t return my emails.

Then the pandemic hit and we went into lockdown. I did my bit within the community, got nominated for the award and won. Being able to call myself “an award winning therapist” changed everything. It brought credibility and doors started to open for me. I have been on a massive, exciting journey since I won and it keeps getting better. More importantly however, for the first time, I can see how important it is to be part of a team, how there is a wealth of knowledge and support out there, all you have to do is ask!

Have you helped an athlete transition from a debilitating injury to full recovery?

Has an inspirational colleague really raised the bar in sports therapy excellence?

Do you work as part of a team that works with professional athletes, providing vital pre- and post-event treatments or pitch-side support?

Perhaps you have given an athlete the tools to overcome mental and physical challenges that resulted from injury?

Maybe you know a therapist whose injury prevention strategies have helped sports people continue to perform at the highest level?

Is this you? Nominate yourself for 2021 Sports Therapist of the Year

Green changes within your therapy practice during the pandemic

We appreciate that extra safety measures and PPE requirements have meant that clinics and practices haven’t been as green as they were prior to the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean that your business can’t boast a range of eco-friendly initiatives.

Below are just a few ways that therapy practices can and are continuing to operate in a way that keeps the environment in mind…

Your ethos

There are many ways to keep all things eco at the heart of your business. For instance, considering where you’re sourcing your products from and whether the manufacturers are local to you. Or simply by switching energy suppliers to a greener company.

Eco-friendly products

Research the ingredients that go into the products you use at your practice and find out how they are made. If a product is natural, organic or vegan, it is likely that this will be made very clear on the company’s website.

Tip! Look out for approval by the Soil Association as well as vegan and cruelty-free stamps.

Small scale changes

Not all steps in the right direction have to be huge changes. Perhaps you’ve sourced masks that are better for the environment, were able to cut down on some single-use products, or switched to paperless this year – be proud that you’re still moving in the right direction.

Have you considered nominating yourself for FHT Green Therapy Business of the Year?

The FHT Excellence Awards showcase how you, our members, are making a difference to both the environments and the people living in your local community – from helping clients to improve their health and wellbeing, to providing tailored learning and support to students and qualified therapists. After the unprecedented year we have all experienced, and the ongoing pandemic, it has never been more important to recognize the many ways professional therapists can make a real difference.

Whether you have only been able to make a few green changes this year, or you’ve made huge strides towards becoming more eco-friendly, we would love to hear from you. Tell us your story and nominate yourself today at fht.org.uk/awards.

Tips for protecting your skin against UV radiation


Around 90% of skin cancers can be avoided by adopting simple sun safe strategies, when UV levels reach 3 or above take action to protect your skin by following Skcin’s Five S’s of Sun Safety…

Slip on clothing

• Clothing can be one of the most effective barriers between our skin and the sun and should be considered the first
line of defence.
• Clothing should always cover shoulders, but ideally as much skin as possible.
• A closer weave fabric will provide better protection.
• A high UPF rated fabric provides best protection.

Slop on sunscreen

• Always use a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or above.
• Make sure it’s broad-spectrum and carries a UVA symbol (ideally labelled minimum 4 star).
• Store in an accessible, cool place and remember to check the expiry date.
• Apply a generous amount to clean, dry, exposed skin 20 minutes before going outdoors.
• Regardless of the instructions all sunscreens should be re-applied at least every 2 hours (more often if perspiring)
and straight after swimming.
• Remember to protect your lips with an SPF 30+ lip balm.

Slap on a sun hat

• Always wear a hat with a wide brim that shades the face, neck, ears and cheeks.
• A close weave or UPF rated fabric will provide better protection.

Slide on some sunglasses

• Solar UV radiation can be damaging to the eyes, so wear quality sunglasses.
• Overall protection depends on the quality of the lens as well as the design.
• Look for the European CE mark, which indicates a safe level of protection.
• Those labelled with a high EPF (which ranges from 1-10) will provide best protection.
• Ensure they are close fitting and wrap-around to stop UVR entering the top and sides.
• Remember price has no reflection on the quality of protection.

Shade from the sun

• Shade can provide a good barrier between our skin and the sun.
• Seek shade whenever possible, particularly during peak UV hours 11am-3pm.
• Keep toddlers and babies in the shade at all times.

Visit skcin.org for more information on protecting yourself from skin cancer.

“How complementary therapy has helped me” – a new survey for your clients

Have your complementary therapy treatments helped to improve the physical, mental or emotional wellbeing of your clients?

As a result of having treatments with you, have your clients…

  • Noticed an improvement in the problem they were seeking help for?
  • Noticed other improvements in their health and wellbeing, that they weren’t expecting?
  • Reduced the number of times they have needed to see their GP or other health professional?
  • Reduced the amount of prescribed or over-the-counter medication they were taking?
  • Reduced the amount of care they have needed from another person?
  • Been able to return to work, or activities and hobbies that they previously enjoyed?
  • Felt motivated to make other changes to their lifestyle, such as improving their diet or taking more exercise?

If the answer is ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions, then we’d like to invite you to share a short new survey with your clients.

What is the purpose of this survey?

The aim is to gather some ‘grassroots’ data – direct from clients/patients themselves – about the positive impact that complementary therapy is having on their health and wellbeing. This will then be presented to the media, government and health and care agencies, to demonstrate (among other things) how complementary therapies can be used, alongside conventional medicine, to not only help address the needs of the individual, but to also take pressure off the health and care system.

We do not anticipate that this data alone will have the power to change hearts and minds overnight, but we are confident that it will enable us to have fruitful conversations with relevant government departments and Ministers about the next steps needed to ensure patients can access the best of both conventional and complementary healthcare.

How is this survey different to others?

Unlike some other surveys, this one is completed by the client/patient themselves. While professional bodies and individual therapists working in the therapy industry all continue to work tirelessly to promote the many benefits offered by complementary therapies, arguably, this can be seen to come from a position of bias and self-interest. We think it’s time to let the public have their say about what helps to improve their physical, mental and emotional health.

Is the survey limited to just complementary therapy?

No. While the dropdown menu does list a range of some of the most popular complementary and sports therapies used by the public, the person completing the form has the option to list any non-statutory regulated therapy that has helped to improve their health and wellbeing. For example, this might include advanced electrolysis, permanent make-up or skin camouflage.

What if my client can’t complete the survey themselves?

If your client is unable to complete the survey, for example, because they are too young or poorly, then a close relative, friend or carer can complete the form on their behalf.

What about data protection?

The information provided in the survey is completely anonymous and doesn’t require your client to share any personal information that would make them identifiable. However, please ensure that you have their permission to send them a link to the survey before doing so.

Can I share the survey with other therapists, for their clients to use?

Yes, as long as they are fully qualified, belong to another respected professional association and their therapies have helped to improve someone’s health and wellbeing. We suggest directing them to this blog item (simply copy and pate the URL), so that they have all of the information above, as well as a link to the survey.

Is there a closing date?

We are aiming to keep the survey live for a year and will be analysing the data on a regular basis. Our first analysis will be in early July 2021, so the sooner you can start sharing this survey with your clients and we get useful data back, the better.

How can my clients access the survey?

Please share one of the following links with your clients, which all go through to the same survey (simply copy and paste your chosen link):

https://bit.ly/3ivATFb

Please complete this short survey

Please complete this short ‘Complementary therapy helped me’ survey

Finally, before sharing the survey with any clients, please have a look at the content but DO NOT complete this survey yourself, as it will create bias.

Feel inspired with our latest FHT Excellence Awards

Nominations for the FHT Excellence Awards are open until Wednesday 30 June and there has never been a better time to nominate yourself, with our new FHT Inclusive Therapy Business of the Year award and the relaunch of FHT Green Practice of the Year award.

No matter how big or small, we want to celebrate steps you have taken to make your therapy business more inclusive – or more green!

FHT Inclusive Therapy Business of the Year

Have you created a safe and inclusive space?

Perhaps you have adjusted your treatments so they can be adapted to suit different clients’ needs?

Maybe you’ve made a commitment to raise awareness of diversity and inclusion within the industry?

From changing the layout of your work space to allow more access, to diversifying your marketing collateral, to widening your knowledge about this topic and collaborating with others to make a difference, we’d love to hear from you, submit your nomination today.

FHT Green Therapy Business of the Year

Perhaps you have ditched single-use products in your salon or clinic, or developed a ‘green‘ product for professional therapists and their clients to enjoy?

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. Submit your nomination for the FHT Green Therapy Business of the Year award.

If you are interested in one of our categories listed below, visit fht.org.uk/awards to find out more.

  • Complementary Therapist of the Year
  • Sports Therapist of the Year
  • Beauty Therapist of the Year
  • Student of the Year
  • Tutor of the Year
  • Local Group Coordinator of the Year

Lavender – an essential oil profile

“Introduced in England by the Romans, lavender’s name is believed to come from the Latin word ‘lavare’ which means to ‘wash’ – a fitting descriptor for a plant that was used extensively in Roman bathing and for cleaning wounds.”

In each issue of FHT’s membership magazine, International Therapist, we publish a one-page essential oil profile that features a plant commonly used in aromatherapy and, quite often, can also be found in a range of cosmetic and household products.

As well as providing an introduction to the oil’s traditional and modern-day uses, we outline its chemical profile (which can vary according to a range of factors), its key therapeutic properties, indications for use, safety notes and one or two short research summaries.

As part of Aromatherapy Awareness Week, we thought we’d share the profile of one of the most well-known and versatile essential oils of all time – lavender.

Click here to read our lavender profile from International Therapist

Illustration: Shutterstock

Nominate a hero with Jennifer Young Training

Nominate a Hero who deserves a Hero Hamper containing a limited-edition Hero moisturiser 💫 🌱 

The past 12 months have been difficult for everyone, and for therapists in particular. FHT are working with the team at @JenniferYoungTraining to uplift spirits by creating an online scrapbook of the Heroes of the past 12 months, who deserve recognition, appreciation and the opportunity to relax with a luxury balm. 

If you know a therapist, lockdown, carer or NHS Hero who deserves to be featured and win the Hero Hamper, share your love and appreciation for them and uplift their spirits by entering the competition below. We have one Hero Hamper and two limited-edition Hero balms to give away. 

To Enter:

  1. Nominate a Hero by tagging them in the comments on Instagram (each comment counts as one entry. 
  2. Include why you have nominated them and why they deserve the Hero product – the more detail the better.  
  3. Ensure that you and your heroes have followed both @internationaltherapistmag and @jenniferyoungtraining 
  4. Share this post to your story and tag @internationaltherapistmag and @jenniferyoungtraining for an extra entry. 

Ts&Cs: 

  • Winner announced on 21st June 
  • UK only 
  • All your inspiring stories in the comments will be shared, to spread the love and uplift spirits.  
  • We will contact the winning nominated heroes directly. 
  • The nominated Hero must follow both @internationaltherapistmag and @jenniferyoungtraining for a chance to win. 

Aromatherapy Awareness Week – Essential oils to support skin conditions

In International Therapist Autumn 2017 we published a feature by Penny Price on how essential oils can be used to address skin conditions. We regularly share aromatherapy articles and research in International Therapist magazine which is a perk for FHT members, find out about becoming a member here.

Penny begins the article by taking a look at our skin structure and essential oils, she writes, ‘Essential oils can easily penetrate human skin because of their tiny molecular structure. This, in addition to their fat solubility, means they will dissolve in sebum and wend their way down through the layers of the skin until they reach the bloodstream.

‘Vegetable carrier oils do not penetrate the skin as the molecular weight of fi xed oils is high and therefore the structure too large. However, cold-pressed and virgin oils can improve the outward appearance of the skin, and traces of vitamins and other fat soluble elements can access the skin from the oil. Carrier oils can also help the surface layers of the skin by reducing inflammation.

‘Hydrolats can be the perfect answer as they are extremely gentle and can be used for all skin types. They do not fully penetrate the skin, yet can improve the appearance and impart antibacterial and anti-infl ammatory effects. They contain larger steroidal molecules, which are calming and antispasmodic. Hydrolats can be spritzed or applied with cotton wool.’

Read the full article here.

Have you been promoting the benefits of aromatherapy this Aromatherapy Awareness Week (7-13 June)? If so we would love to hear from you, get in touch by emailing FHT Deputy Editor, Leanne, at lsheill@fht.org.uk.

Aromatherapy seminars at the FHT Virtual Congress

To celebrate the start of Aromatherapy Awareness Week (7–13 June 2021), we thought we’d take this opportunity to tell you about our two upcoming aromatherapy seminars at the FHT Virtual Congress, taking place on the 13 and 14 June 2021.

Aromatherapy and sleep with Penny Price

Aromatherapy for sleep! One of our modern ailments in this busy and stressful world is insomnia or being unable to sleep deeply enough for body and mind to recover from the day. Research has shown that aromatherapy techniques can effectively improve both sleep and quality and quality of life and is one of the best complementary health disciplines to do this.

Penny is Managing Director and Academy Principal of Penny Price Aromatherapy. An aromatherapist since 1983, Penny has been teaching aromatherapy since 1986. Penny set up her own school and company in 2003 and spends much of her time in product development and research, as well as releasing resources and spreading the word of aromatherapy through her blog and monthly webinars.

​Seminar length: 56 mins

Examination of six essential oil constituents with Kate Mulliss

This seminar is primarily aimed at those aromatherapists with some understanding of essential oil chemistry. It examines six constituents commonly found in various essential oils and examines some of the research around their potential actions. It will also look at the occurrence of each constituent in various essential oils and the overall therapeutic properties of some of the oils themselves.

Kate has worked as a complementary therapist for over 25 years and taught various complementary therapy qualifications since the late 1990s at her local tertiary college and for private training providers. She currently teaches CPD courses for qualified therapists at TEACH therapy in Wales. Her main therapy interests are in aromatherapy / essential oils and reflexology.

​Seminar length: 28 mins

Tickets to the FHT Virtual Congress are open until 12pm on Friday 11 June, book here.