Nordic countries are the world’s happiest


People in Finland are the happiest in the world, according to the recently published World Happiness Report.

The report ranked 156 countries based on six different categories: freedom, life expectancy, income, generosity, generosity and social support.

Not only did Finland top the list, but all four top spots were filled by Nordic countries, with Denmark second, Norway third and Iceland fourth. Despite not making the top four, Sweden weren’t too far behind, in seventh place, after the Netherlands and Switzerland. Following this, New Zealand and Canada took spots eight to 10, with the UK ranked as the 15th happiest country.

So why have Nordic countries taken all four of the top spots and five in the top 10? According to Josefin Roth, Brand Manager of Scandinavian lifestyle hospitality brand LivNordic, the balanced and healthy lifestyle enjoyed by the Nordic people is based on four simple principles:


1. Connectivity to Nature

“Despite colder temperatures for most of the year, we Scandinavians possess a deep, abiding love for nature. We show our appreciation for nature all year long by engaging in many activities such as hiking, cycling, sailing and swimming in the summer and cross-country skiing and ice-skating in the winter. The change of the seasons forces us to stay in tune with nature – and due to the contrasts in light, dark, hot and cold – appreciate it even more than other regions.


2. Authentic Community

“A sense of community as well as an understanding of the common good is central to Nordic culture. We believe in cultivating authentic relationships based on equality and trust, two factors which studies show to be key factors of happiness. We also believe in quality over quantity, meaning that work shouldn’t interfere with family time. Many offices and businesses in Sweden close before 5 PM and incorporate a Swedish tradition called ‘Fikapaus’ which is centred on taking a break throughout the day. The concept of Hygge, a feeling of cosy contentment and well-being, is also an important feature of our cultural identity is achieved by enjoying and appreciating the simple pleasures of life.

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3. Nordic Wellbeing

We Scandinavians enjoy being sociable but are also self-aware and value our solitude. We often take time to connect to our inner stillness, which can be anything from taking a walk in the forest to appreciating the small things in life – such as enjoying a cup of coffee or simply taking a few deep breaths in the middle of the day. We believe that quality of life is determined by a person and is not something that can be given or bought. It is simply a way of ‘being’ rather than ‘having’ and anyone can achieve it with the right mindset.


4. Creative Fuel

“In Scandinavia we have strong passion for design, music, art and innovation, and believe that it all comes from an inner, creative spark which every person possesses.

Nurturing this inner spark is something we take very seriously, as we believe it is what makes us thrive, giving us beauty and meaning in life and the ability to express ourselves. For us, our creativity evolves out of how we intuitively, observe the world around us, using all our senses, being connected to our environment and each other.”

Access the full report


FHT introduces In the Moment readers to the Alexander Technique

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Find a full-page article written by the FHT in the latest issue of In the Moment.

In its April 2019 issue (#24) we introduce readers to the Alexander Technique, looking at what a treatment would typically involve, as well as five key benefits of the therapy.

The article is part of a ‘Have you tried’ regular feature in the magazine, which puts a spotlight on different therapies practiced by FHT members.

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

In the Moment is a monthly lifestyle magazine, covering wellbeing, creativity, good living and travel, and is available to buy in a range of high street shops and supermarkets.

Read the full article

FHT member takes bronze at European Massage Championships

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Many congratulations to FHT member Tamer Morsy who was recently awarded a bronze medal at the European Massage Championships.

Tamer, who started his massage career last year, finished third in the beginners category at the European Massage Championships, held in Italy from 30 March to 1 April.

Monica Paslaru

One of the expert judges for this category was Monica Paslaru, who is also a member of the FHT. Monica is pictured left with gold, silver and bronze medal winners, Valentina Albano (Italy), Daliana Dumitra (Romania), and Tamer Morsy (UK).

No stranger to awards, Tamer also received recognition at the UK’s inaugural National Massage Championships last year, coming in second place in the spa wellness category and third in advanced massage.

Massage could help reduce occupational stress for people working in emergency services

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Massage could be an effective therapy for reducing stress in people working in emergency medical services, according to a study published in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

People working in emergency services often suffer from occupational stress, so the study sought to establish whether massage could help.

Researchers recruited 58 people working in prehospital emergency medical service stations in southwest Iran to participate in a randomised controlled trial. The participants were randomly assigned to two groups, with a control group receiving no intervention and a massage group, where participants received 20-25 minutes of Swedish massage, twice a week for four weeks.

The results showed significant differences between the two groups, indicating that Swedish massage could be an effective therapy in reducing occupational stress in staff working in emergency medical service centres.

Access the full study


Music to our ears

John Levine webpage image black and white circle.pngIn the latest in a series of interviews with 2019 FHT Training Congress expert speakers, we speak to John Bram Levine about the therapeutic power of music.


Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

I have been creating original music and playing piano since I was six. I originally trained as an electronic engineer and then as a classical composer. I have studied psychology and the physiology of hearing. In the 1980s I first read about the discoveries of Dr Hans Berger: how the brain emits electrical waves, which rise and fall in intensity depending on our mood. These waves, whether in the brain or emitted into the air, are measured as frequency or cycles per second. Based on his work and my own expertise and after considerable experimentation, I established a pattern of sound that invites the brain to settle into an alpha state. This is a calmer state than the excitable peaks and troughs known as beta, which contribute to feelings of anxiety.


johnlevine.jpgWhat interests you outside of work?

I am never bored as there is always so much to think about. I love cooking and inventing new types of soup using my Vitamix. Although I am travelling constantly, I also enjoy staying at home enjoying family life.


What is your Training Congress seminar about?

It is about how music can become another form of medicine. Therapists can enhance their treatments (for both themselves and their clients) by influencing and harmonising brainwaves. The capacity of our brain is vast, and this subject is endlessly fascinating. In this seminar I will help people to join the dots between brainwaves, hormones, the immune system and how clients can gain more benefits from therapy or healing by using the right type of background music.

I will provide practical tips on how to quickly calm stressed, anxious or chatty clients by inducing a meditative-style state without instructions or narrative.

The correlation between the brain and the influence of music has long been studied. Recent researches prove that this link is strong, and its healing properties have now been recorded in a large number of health cases.


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

As the topic suggests, I will explain how to boost therapy by altering brainwaves using particular music compositions. In alpha we naturally have a better command of life, our health and our mood. We are able to think more clearly, consider responses and even make more creative decisions, with better long-term results.

Music offers the simplest path to the alpha state, without demanding that you sleep, or even leave your desk! From Gregorian chant to timeless lullabies, the effect is the same: as we listen, we feel better, more relaxed.


What will attendees of your seminar expect to come away with?

They will learn about the five types of brainwaves, which brainwave states are important for healthy living and which brainwave states to avoid. I will provide case studies and illustrate innovative methods of creating more profound treatments and healing for both clients and therapists.


Are there any other seminars in the programme which look particularly interesting to you?

19 May: Dr Carol Samuel (Pain in cancer survivors), Julie Crossman (The role of the complementary therapist within the NHS) and Dr Toh Wong (Five main reasons why therapists don’t get referrals from the medical profession)

20 May: Lorraine Senior (reflexology and the Functional Reflex Therapy framework)


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

In order to help patients, it is essential to make sure you take care of your own health as well. Being tired and overworked will create more harm than good. All music and sounds affect yourself and your clients.

Please feel free to ask me questions on my blog.

It’s exciting as this will be the first conference we are talking and exhibiting at for some years!


Learn more

Join us at the 2019 FHT Training Congress from Sunday 19 to Monday 20 May at the Holistic Health Show, NEC Birmingham.

For more details about the talks and to book, visit


FHT member in the press

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An article about FHT Member Sarah Woodhouse recently featured on the website of Bury Free Press, highlighting her work as a reflexologist and Bowen practitioner.

The article talks about how Sarah has expanded her business, now offering treatments to children after she was able to support her son with a knee problem and asthma.

Sarah is quoted in the article saying, ‘I’m passionate about people and their long term health and wellbeing. I believe we can see holistic therapy working alongside our lovely NHS.

‘I enjoy being at Neal’s Yard as I can be out and about on the ‘shop floor’ meeting people and talking to customers. Children are our future and as I have had such great success with adults, I thought it important this is accessible to children.’

Read the full article here