A family occupation: why winner of FHT Student Therapist of the Year is so passionate about holistic therapy


Elle Bussey won Student Therapist of the Year at the 2019 FHT Excellence Awards on the 29 of November.

Holistic therapy has been a big part of Elle’s upbringing, with her mother and grandfather both having had practiced in the field. Elle first began learning about herbs and essential oils but found that she was being increasingly drawn to reflexology so decided to turn her attention to reflexology. She has recently qualified with a reflexology diploma from her local college.

Her biggest challenge while studying was anatomy and physiology (A&P) and she struggled to find a map with the anatomy illustrated accurately on both feet, along with corresponding chakra colours.

This prompted Elle to create her own foot chart using oils on canvas. She found it enhanced her learning of A&P and improved her flow of treatments as she found it easier to visualise each body area on the feet more clearly as she worked.

Reflexologists can now purchase Elle’s chart online to use as a resource for their practise. Visit sites.google.com/view/healingtouchreflexology/shop-gift-vouchers to buy Elle’s print.

A full breakdown of each of our 2019 FHT Excellence Award winners can be found in the Winter issue of International Therapist magazine, due out on Thursday 23 January.

FHT Sports Therapist of the Year, Rebecca Ayres, celebrated in local paper


The Leicester Mercury has featured a story about sports therapist, Rebecca Ayres, being named FHT Sports Therapist of the Year at the 2019 FHT Excellence Awards on the 29 November.

Rebecca was recognised for her background in ScarWork, a form of massage which is said improve the health and feel of scars. Rebecca trained in ScarWork in 2018, which led her to support athletes for the Invictus games at training camps in Loughborough, Sheffield and Nuffield as part of a project organised by Emma Holly, MFHT.

Rebecca said, ‘It is an overwhelming honour to receive the 2019 FHT Sports Therapist of the Year award, as well as being a finalist in the Complementary Therapist of the Year category. To be recognised for my holistic approach to chronic pain and scar rehabilitation is a privilege.’

A summary about each of our 2019 FHT Excellence Award winners can be found in the Winter issue of International Therapist magazine, which is due to be published on Thursday 23 January.

Read the full article as published in the Leicester Mercury here.

The latest Action for Happiness calendar focuses on making yourself and others happy


Every month, Action for Happiness produces a calendar packed with daily actions we can take to increase our own happiness and that of others around us.

This January, the charity’s ‘Happy New Year’ calendar focuses on daily activities to help you be happier yourself and bring happiness to others.

When writing down your hopes and plans for the future on day 31, consider some of our  suggestions below:

  • Begin with little steps that will help you achieve a bigger goal.
  • Approach your hopes with a positive attitude, tell yourself: ‘this can happen’.
  • Tell your plans to a friend so they can help you along the way.

The calendar is free to download as a PDF or image file (JPEG) in 16 different languages. You can also download the actions straight to your calendar using a Google Calendar or iCalendar file.

Download the January 2020 Action for Happiness calendar 

Supporting clients with Parkinson’s disease using reflexology

Reflexology Kelly Foord

This autumn we asked our reflexology members to provide us with an insight into their work, so we could share some short case studies to highlight just some of the many ways this popular therapy is helping to improve the nation’s health.

Kelly Foord, MFHT, explains how she uses reflexology to support clients living with Parkinson’s disease…

‘I have been treating Wol, a retired professor in his 60s, since April 2019. I had met him previously in my capacity as a carer and his wife suggested reflexology as a way to support him through his Parkinson’s disease.

‘He presents with advanced mobility issues and decreased peripheral vision, particularly affecting his right side, where symptoms of the disease are most prevalent. We have varied and interesting discussions on a number of topics, however Wol experiences speech and language delay and often needs time to form words and sentences to express himself verbally. His limiting motor skills also make tasks such as eating and putting shoes on a challenge. He is very determined and stays as active as possible, walking daily and performing physiotherapy exercises. All of his symptoms impact on his confidence and can often cause anxiety, which freezes him to the spot.

‘Wol has reflexology approximately every two weeks in his own home. On discussion, he reports feeling more relaxed and mobile on the days following reflexology, and that the treatments help him to sleep better. I find that he usually falls asleep during treatment and his tremors are reduced by the time I move to his left foot.

‘Parkinson’s sufferers often report ‘downtime’ between doses of the medication they take for the condition, which Wol describes as ‘brain fog’, and he states that reflexology helps with this too.

‘Working together, Wol and I have established that he prefers foot reflexology to hand reflexology. He benefits greatly from a full treatment, which is firm but gentle, with the knowledge that we can review and adjust this according to reflect his changing needs.’

Client testimonial…

Kelly’s client, Wol, says: ‘Reflexology makes me feel good because it makes me more relaxed and I feel more mobile. Touch makes one feel valued and cared for.’

Did you enjoy this excerpt?
The above case study is an excerpt from a feature published in International Therapist magazine (Autumn 2019, Issue 130, Steps to health, pages 12-16). To find out more about the many benefits of being an FHT member, which includes a free copy of our quarterly International Therapist magazine, visit www.fht.org.uk/join-us


Boosting staff morale at FHT HQ


[Pictured: three members of the customer service team. From left to right: Heidi Hinton, Alice Mort, and Laura Thompson. FHT’s Kiah Mayatt and Sarah Adams are also members of the customer service team]. 

Here at FHT the wellbeing of our staff matters to us, which is why we’re continually looking at ways to boost staff morale and make the office a nice place to work.

An internal customer service team has been set up to consider and implement new ideas that promote a healthy and happy workplace. See below just a few of the ideas that have been actioned by the team.

  • Monthly staff corkboard (see picture)
  • Gratitude pot
  • Walking club
  • Healthy snack box 
  • Grow your own plant
  • Wellbeing week
  • Massage at work week
  • Macmillan bake sales

Laura Thomson, member of the customer service team, said: ‘I really like the walking club initiative because it encourages staff to get away from their desks and take a 10-minute walk with colleagues. Walking has been proven to strengthen bones and muscles, improve your mood, help maintain weight and improve heart and lung fitness so it’s a really positive idea.

‘Staff became really competitive when they were given the tools to grow their own office plants. It’s been proven that there are great benefits to having plants in the office, they can help reduce stress, clean the air, increase productivity and reduce sickness.’

Stay tuned for more updates from the customer service team here at FHT.


Five Christmas activities we’re most inspired by

We’re always getting inspired by others in our industry who lead the way with creative ideas and ways to raise awareness of different types of therapies. We wanted to do a special festive shout out to some Christmas activities we’ve seen online and love. 

1. Mistletoes – feetspeakreflexology

Screenshot 2019-11-27 at 11.37.12

We thought this was a fantastic little gift for reflexology clients – these mistletoes are very cute.

2. Local group festive meet-up’s – FHT Stourbridge and Dudley Local Support Group

Last meet up of the year

The end of the year is a fantastic time for reflection and to spend time with those that have made the year special. We loved this picture sent in from our Stourbridge and Dudley Local Group, we hope you had a good time!

3. A thoughtful gift for your clients – eurospamag

Screenshot 2019-11-27 at 12.24.12

We really liked these small gifts posted by eurospamag, it’s an option that won’t cost the earth and would definitely put a smile on clients’ faces.

4. Acts of kindness – the.therapy.room

Screenshot 2019-12-11 at 16.22.07

Giving away free massages isn’t always do-able but we like this idea from the.therapy.room. You never know, trying a new type of massage might get your client hooked! We also think this board looks very festive.

5. Careers for Christmas – vtct_uk

Screenshot 2019-12-11 at 16.24.47

Open a door and discover an entirely new career or therapy qualification with VTCT. In a period that focuses around winding down and recalibrating, we love that VTCT are encouraging their followers to continue thinking about career progression and what could be around the corner.

Spa provides botanical blends to influence guest’s ‘state of mind’


The hotel chain De Vere is hoping to influence guest’s state of mind through the use of botanical blends.

Upon arrival guests will be asked to decide between five states of mind they would like to leave their treatment with, happy, pure, active, tranquil or detoxed.

Dependent on their response, guests are given a different oil to achieve their desired state of mind upon leaving the treatment.

Read more at leisureopportunities.co.uk/news/latest-news/343831