Accredited Course Provider shares benefits of infant massage at Malawi orphanage

Gayle Berry, FHT Accredited Course Provider, and owner of Blossom and Berry Baby Massage spent time in Malawi to help teach baby and infant massage to staff at the Ministry of Hope baby orphanage.
Here Gayle tells us her story:

Gayle Berry‘I am an expert on baby massage and yoga and have worked hard to build up Blossom & Berry Baby Massage – a successful business with international recognition and over 200 teachers across the world. I have been teaching, as well as training others to teach, infant massage and yoga, for over 15 years and I am passionate about the positive benefits of nurturing touch in early years.

‘In 2014 I stumbled across some incredible sunglasses called LOVE SPECS. Love Specs turn any light into rainbow love hearts and more importantly, through sales at music festivals, they generate income for Love Support Unite Africa. LSU was founded by Alice and Nina Pulford to provide sustainable education to the poorest children in Malawi. Their work has ensured powerful and lasting change, built on people rather than proceeds.

Gayle Berry in Malawi
‘I decided to volunteer with the charity using my experience in infant and baby massage to benefit babies in orphanages who were not receiving regular touch. I provided free training to the staff at the Ministry of Hope baby orphanage, so the babies could receive the vital interaction they were missing. Massage provides so much more than touch; it helps to support the development of the emotional brain in children, teaching them about the world and human relationships. Babies thrive and grow on love and baby massage provides a window of gentle stimulation and nurturing experience.’
‘I set up Growing Babies: Little Blossoms Project, working alongside Love Support Unite Africa Foundation, aiming to harness the power of parents, families and communities to improve mother and baby health and early brain development in children aged 0-3 years, through educational programs and nutrition. We use infant massage to provide the vital love, positive communication and attachment needed for healthy physical and emotional development, whilst providing women with skills and knowledge they can share. I have taught, funded and now support five infant massage Nurture Ambassadors to teach six women’s groups infant massage and safe motherhood. I was able to teach hospital physios, special needs massage, as many children have cerebral palsy as a result of premature birth, due to malaria. I also set up a sustainable farming project to provide food security.
Gayle Berry in Malawi
‘Growing Babies-The Little Blossoms Project has two volunteer trips a year for baby massage instructors who have changed many lives in Malawi with goals to focus on carers, mothers and babies and the wider family unit. We aim to provide education, training and support to parents and babies, increasing the health and wellbeing of families, using infant massage, baby health care guidance and first aid techniques. Out main goal is to empower women within the community and give these babies the best start in life. All my teachers have the opportunity to become volunteers in Malawi. I also donate 10% of my baby massage enrolments to the project so one student’s education helps to fund the safe motherhood and infant massage education of women and babies in poverty through our Nurture Ambassador’s classes in Malawi.
Gayle Berry in Malawi
‘What I hadn’t reckoned on, was exactly how much I could, and would, continue to give. Nor how much joy I would receive back from this trip. I went from being a curious volunteer to being a knowing participant and now, UK Director of the charity.’
You can find out more about Gayle’s company and project here.

FHT Board Members talk heat, health, and happiness in Liz Earle

FHT President Paul Battersby is back with another magazine contribution. This time he is joined by FHT Vice Presidents Mary Dalgleish and Maria Mason in Liz Earle magazine.

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The article focuses on a three step plan to eat well, move well and look well for overall health and happiness. It then goes on to highlight the benefits of getting additional help from complementary, beauty and sports therapists. Paul, Mary and Maria give their input here, with tips for an extra boost!

You can read the whole article here.

BRE and Loughborough University to create dementia-friendly demonstration home

Construction of a new ‘dementia-friendly’ home aimed at learning how better to support those living with the condition will begin on the BRE Innovation Park this Autumn.

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The 100sqm Victorian house will be adapted to cater for different types, and stages, of the debilitating illness, and is aimed at allowing sufferers to live independently by addressing their day-to-day needs.

The tailored features of the converted terraced house have been designed by researchers from Loughborough University and building science centre BRE.

Once complete, it will act as a show home and give developers, care providers and families an opportunity to learn about better ways to equip a home to help people with dementia.

As part of Loughborough’s ongoing research in this area, academics will also study how the features are used with a view to further improving ways to support homeowners with dementia.

The converted building’s features will include:

  • Clear lines of sight and colour-coded paths through the home that help guide people towards each specific room
  • Increased natural lighting – proven to help people stay alert during the day and to sleep better at night
  • Noise reduction features – to lower the chances of stress.
  • Simple switches and heating controls, and safety sensors in high risks areas such as the kitchen

The project draws expertise from a number of specialisms at Loughborough, from the schools of building and engineering, design, and sport – and is based on a wealth of dementia research carried out at the University.

Professor Jacqui Glass, of Loughborough’s School of Civil and Building Engineering, is the University’s principal investigator on the £300,000 project. She said ‘Most people experiencing dementia wish to remain at home, so the design and construction of new dwellings or home conversions are paramount. With this project we want to show how design solutions can be to be easily integrated within most current homes and communities to improve people’s lives’.

The demonstration house is based on the ‘design for dementia principals’ previously developed by Dr Rob McDonald and Bill Halsall at Liverpool John Moores University.

Director of BRE Innovation Parks Dr David Kelly said: ‘Our aim here is to show how homes can be adapted to better meet the needs of dementia sufferers and delay the need for care by the state for months or even years. Currently, the average cost of state care is between £30,000 to £40,000 per annum. Creating environments which allow people to live independently at home for longer could save a significant amount. That money could instead be channelled into research that alleviates the condition and reduces the emotional stress to the individual.’

Dementia care costs families around £18 billion a year and affects about 850,000 people in the UK. The figure is expected to rise to more than one million in the UK by 2025. Two-thirds of the cost of dementia is paid by those who suffer from the condition and their families. This is in contrast to other conditions, such as heart disease and cancer, where the NHS provides care that is free at the point of use.
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FHT Annual Training Congress attracts big crowds at Holistic Health

After a wonderful whirlwind of a weekend, it’s nice to look back at all the amazing people we met and moments we experienced.

Our thanks also to FHT Fellow Linda Jacobs, and FHT Members Nadeen Buchanan and Carol Brown, for providing much-appreciated taster treatments on the FHT stand. It was great to see so many members and visitors to our stand enjoy a little ‘me time’ at this busy event.

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Linda Jacobs, FFHT, giving a taster treatment.

And if you joined FHT on the Sunday or Monday – a warm welcome aboard! You’re all the proof we need that it’s people that make the difference in this business.

The show offered professional therapists the opportunity to learn, shop, network and relax, all under one roof.

Our Training Congress was nestled in among the Holistic Health show, which was held on Sunday 21st and Monday 22nd May at the NEC in Birmingham. We packed the schedule with experts on a wide range of topics, from marketing to massage, with hundreds of delegates enjoying 32 talks by leading therapy and business experts across both days. We had lots of people snapping up the few remaining tickets on the day, and even had to turn some people away so make a note for next year to book early!

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Topics included cancer care, Emmett Technique, reiki for beginners, essential oils, reflexology, WaveStone, dry needling, crystal therapy, auricular diagnosis, aquamassage, Ayurvedic facelift massage, supporting individuals with autism, age and exercise, the Chrysalis Effect, building a successful salon, building a tribe on Facebook, and more.

We also offered exclusive deals on shop stock, with many browsing in between talks, and three dedicated therapists working our stand offering Indian head massage and reflexology.

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FHT Vice Presidents and Training Congress speakers Mary Dalgleish and Maria Mason.

Help us to plan future education events…

If you attended the training congress and are yet to provide us feedback about the talks you attended, please email your comments to education@fht.org.uk writing ‘Training Congress’ in the subject box.

Similarly, if you’d like to suggest specific topics or speakers you’d like to see at future FHT training events, please complete our short survey at fht.org.uk/learning

What you had to say about FHT’s Training Congress speakers…

[About Nick Flanagan’s talk – Age and exercise]

‘Great session. Loved the dancing!’

[About Jackie Winters’ talk – Understanding crystal therapy]

‘Excellent, inspiring and interesting seminar – very uplifting.’

‘Good workshop to start the weekend with. Jackie is great!’

[About Adrian Jenkins’ talk – WaveStone cellulite reduction massage]

‘Amazing workshop and fantastic product. Further training now planned.’

[About Martin Thirwell’s talk – Working alongside reiki guides]

‘Very interesting. Good speaker. Incredible insight.’

[About Elaine Wilkins’ talk – The Chrysalis Effect]

‘Very interesting – there is hope for people with fibromyalgia. I will be passing information on, as a nurse and therapist.’

[About Alison Battisby’s talk – Growing your social media audience]

‘Awesome workshop.’

[About Carol Samuel’s talk – Reflexology for stress and anxiety]

‘I have been coming here for years. This is the most informative session I have ever been to – thank you.’

[About Cameron Reid’s talk – Manipulative therapy]

‘Enjoyed the session. Found the content engaging and helpful for my practice. Thank you.’

[About Rennie Gould’s workshop – Release your WOW]

‘Marvellous! Have booked workshop in Birmingham and looking forward to it.’

[About Penny Price’s workshop – Are essential oils anti-ageing?]

‘Excellent presentation. Lots learnt in a small amount of time. Very informative.’

Students stoked for success through new FHT initiative

The FHT Ambassador Programme is now in full swing, with our most recent talk coming from Vice President Maria Mason. She visited the City of Bristol College on 23 March and spoke to an enthusiastic group of Level  2 and 3 students about the benefits of membership in a reputable organisation such as the FHT.

But wait, what is the Ambassador Programme?

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It’s the FHT’s regional awareness campaign, which sees specially appointed, local FHT Ambassadors visiting colleges and speaking to students about regulating bodies, insurance, their futures in therapy and the valuable support offered by the FHT every step of the way.

‘I think as experienced therapists, we need to reach out and guide new therapists in the direction that is right for them,’ Maria said of the experience. ‘I’ve been with the FHT since I qualified, over 25 years, and I think it’s brilliant. When I worked on my own, I never felt alone, because I always had that point of reference, and I think it’s really important for students to realise that.’

As well as giving an engaging and informative presentation and talk, our experienced Ambassadors can also answer any questions students may have.

Maria said the students ‘had so many questions they wanted to ask me, and I was able to answer them, and show them it’s a wonderful thing to work in holistic therapies.’

Their tutor, Zofia Kogut, had nothing but praise for the programme, saying that Maria’s enthusiasm and professionalism touched her students on a different level. ‘They were all absolutely buzzing afterwards,’ Zofia reported.  ‘They have been given lots of food for thought on where their qualifications will take them whilst ensuring they have the backing of an amazing company like FHT.’

Ambassadors also can bring with them a wide range of collateral for tutors and students, including back copies of International Therapist, information postcards, application forms, and pens.

Learn more about this wonderful new programme, and request an FHT visit at www.fht.org.uk/ambassador