Taking care of business

Valerie - webpage image black and white circle.pngIn the latest in a series of interviews with 2019 FHT Training Congress expert speakers, we speak to Valerie Delforge about business, branding and her forthcoming talks on producing a winning brand and attracting new customers with your digital communication strategy.

 

Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

I studied a commercial course for two years after my baccalauréat and then decided to perfect my English, so arrived in the UK almost 30 years ago now!

I started in the industry with an agency placing me in Harrods or Selfridges as a cover and quickly fell in love with the industry. I sent my CV to Clinique and started my career with them. Retail was in my DNA from then on and I never looked back. I loved it! After that, I joined Clarins two years later and fell in love with the spa side of the industry, which has followed me throughout my career.

 

Give us an insight in to your normal day to day schedule

My days are very mixed which is what I love about my work. From an admin day in the office to having my remote coaching with clients, I also travel internationally for business coaching or public speaking.

I wake up early (around 5.30am) and now have perfected my routine as I realised that when busy, you must take time for yourself. I meditate in the morning and evening which has had an amazing impact on my life.

 

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What interests you outside of work?

I am busy with my daughters, although to be fair they are older so I tend to be the taxi driver!

I love walking and catching up with friends as well as playing the piano J

 

What is your Training Congress seminar about?

I have two talks on 20 of May: ‘producing a winning brand’ at 2.30pm and ‘attract new customers with your digital strategy’ at 4pm.

As a business owner, you now have to be aware of your branding and communication to ensure you are attracting the customers that you want in your business and build your database to become a fan of your brand.

I want to take you through the tools and techniques of what to look for when creating your branding and how to ensure you are creating a strategy that is relevant to your branding.

Attracting new customers has to be thought about. Last-minute posts on social media tend to create confusion and have no real impact on building your brand. Ideally, you want to attend both seminars to focus on your communication as a whole.

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

I am obsessed with branding and digital communication as I believe it creates a strong message to existing and new customers.

Since I was a dinosaur myself when it came to branding and social media, I understand the challenges that we face as business owners, as our role is to focus on the customers and the service we deliver. Having worked for leading brands and digital companies, I want to give you the tools and techniques that I have learned throughout the years and am still using now, as they are easy to implement and recreate in your business without all of the jargon that can be confusing and scary.

 

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

Tools and techniques as well as a thorough plan of action. What to look for and how to analyse your branding.

 

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

There are so many I want to attend! But the ones that stands out, since I am all business are: Making more money – the heart centred way with Chris and Karane Lambert-Gorwyn and 8 ways to raise your local profile (online and offline) with Jill Woods.

And because I believe meditation and mind are the heart of your mindset: How the mind works with the Hudson Mind Theory – Body Mind Workers with Nic Wood and Guided meditation – experience the power to transform with Anna-Louise Haigh.

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

Self-development is extremely important but sometimes, I feel that there is so much information that I meet a lot of clients who are lost and unsure of where to start.

Prioritise what is essential and give yourself a time limit, as to when you want to achieve what, so you can build your dream for 2019!

 

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.org.uk/congress

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A day in the life of… a sports massage therapist

Have you ever wondered what a typical day may be like in the life of a therapist? You can find out just that in our regular ‘A day in the life of…’ feature, found in every issue of our membership magazine, International Therapist. This is one of many ways we celebrate the wonderful work of FHT members.

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In our Winter issue, Sheree Phelps, MFHT, gave us a glimpse of what she may get up to on a typical working day. Read Sheree’s ‘a day in the life of…’ below:

8AM I normally wake up, have a quick read of the paper and go through my social media while lying in bed.

10AM After pottering around the house, doing laundry and having breakfast, I head down to the gym (three out of five days a week) and have a swim, then a body balance or aquafit class. I’m not always this disciplined – having such a physical job, I take each week as it comes.

11.30AM I set my room up, pop the heated bed on and send out messages to any new clients who came the day before to see how they have been since their treatment.

12PM I see my first client of the day for dry needling. My client has had a tremor in his left arm for more than three years. He’s had every test, prod and poke a doctor can give and they have shrugged their shoulders at what to do. After treating his family, they asked me if I could help. The results so far have been outstanding. After one session of dry needling his flexor and extensor forearm muscles, he had 10 hours without the tremor. The second appointment gave him two days’ relief, and the third, a whole weekend. We are continuing with one appointment a week and monitoring the progress. I may never know what started it, but if I can help slow or stop it, then it will be my greatest achievement.

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1PM My next client is a 78-year-old golfer who’s lost range of movement in his swing. A few simple sports massage treatments on his hips and glutes and he’s back on the course. He is my oldest client and even brought his wife along to meet me, so she could thank me.

2PM I have a mountain biker who always presents with new injuries, niggles, twisted kneecaps or delayed onset muscle soreness from his last ride. A regular in the clinic, he has referred many clients from the biking world to me.

3PM I’m jumping in my car, driving to a client’s home, while eating half a sandwich and drinking Pepsi Max (which keeps me going on long days).

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3.30PM I reach my client’s home and offer treatments, mainly for relaxation and lymphatic drainage. Her dog, Lulu, sits in with us and watches my every move. Lulu is happy to see me because I bring her a carrot each week as a treat.

4.30PM The other half of my sandwich is downed and often my client gives me a slice of whatever she has baked that day for me to have on the way home. I do love my clients, but not just for the free cakes!

5PM The first of the evening clients come in. This one is off to New Zealand, cycling the length of the two main islands for a charity, the Pilgrim Bandits, and raising money for ex-service personnel and wounded soldiers. I give him sports massage before and after his training.

6PM I often have a relaxation or pregnancy massage client in, and they feel ready to sleep when they go home. Some of them even bring their pyjamas to go home in. I don’t blame them, with the candles burning and dimmed lights, my treatment room is rather cosy.

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7PM I tidy up, clean the room and pop a towel load in the wash, then head home.

8.30PM I’m grabbing some dinner, not always the healthiest, but I try my best. I round up my day, replying to any messages and returning phone calls.

10.30PM I collapse into bed, grateful for the clients I have and the help I’ve been able to give. I smile, knowing that in the morning I’ll be waking up to a job I love.

 

Not yet an FHT member?

Join today and enjoy more articles like this in our online reading room and quarterly membership magazine, International Therapist. As a member, you can access lots of other benefits, too, such as tailor-made insurance policies and a listing on our Accredited Register of complementary therapists, independently approved by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (eligibility criteria apply). Click here to learn more about the benefits of being an FHT member

 

 

Sports massage and cold water immersion could be more effective than rest after a marathon

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The article below was first published in International Therapist issue 127 (Winter 2019)

Sports massage (SM) and cold water immersion (CWI) are more effective at reducing fatigue after a marathon than active rest (AR) and passive rest (PR), according to a study published in PLOS One (Wiewelhove et al, 2018).

Scientists recruited 46 healthy male recreational runners taking part in the same half marathon event and assigned them to four groups of equal ability, which had either SM, CWI, AR or PR within 15 minutes after the event.

The SM group received effleurage, petrissage and friction techniques for 20 minutes, focusing on each leg for five minutes in prone and supine positions. CWI involved participants sitting in cold baths, maintaining a temperature of 15°C ± 1°C, while participants of the PR group sat at rest on a bench, and those in the AR group jogged at 60% of their anaerobic threshold, all for 15 minutes.

Jump height, muscle soreness and perceived recovery and stress were measured 24 hours before the half marathon, immediately after intervention, and 24 hours after the race.

The results showed that SM and CWI had no effect on objective markers of fatigue, such as changes in muscle and the blood, but they did have a significant effect on subjective fatigue measures, including perceived recovery and muscle soreness. These interventions were more effective than PR, while AR had no physical advantage and a negative effect on perceived recovery.

For the full study, go to fht.org.uk/127-research-Wiewelhove

 

Not yet an FHT member?

Join today and enjoy more articles like this in our online reading room and quarterly membership magazine, International Therapist. As a member, you can access lots of other benefits, too, such as tailor-made insurance policies and a listing on our Accredited Register of complementary therapists, independently approved by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (eligibility criteria apply). Click here to learn more about the benefits of being an FHT member

FHT shares face-boosting therapies and the benefits of grapefruit in Natural Health magazine

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We are delighted to have contributed two articles to Natural Health magazine’s April issue, to promote FHT members, the therapies they practice, and the Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register.

In a two-page feature, FHT Vice Presidents Mary Dalgleish and Maria Mason offer readers six natural therapies to give your face a much-needed boost—facial massage, Kansa wand facelift massage, aromatherapy, acupressure, facial yoga and FHT member Ziggie Bergman’s Zone Face Lift.

We also offer readers DIY face-boosters and direct readers to the FHT website to find a suitably qualified therapist.

Our second contribution looks at the health benefits of grapefruit, in Natural Health’s regular plant profile.

Read the articles here

Complementing the NHS

Julie Crossman - web image black and white circle.pngIn the latest in a series of interviews with 2019 FHT Training Congress expert speakers, we speak to Julie Crossman about her background and forthcoming talk on how complementary therapists can support the NHS.

 

Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

I came into complementary therapy 19 years ago when my sister-in-law was diagnosed with a brain tumour and found great benefit from complementary therapies. I knew from the outset that I wanted to work in oncology.

Previously, I was the sales and marketing manager at Ulster Television. I left there after the birth of our first child and opened a couple of tableware/gift shops, importing goods from Italy. After the birth of two more children, I retrained as a complementary therapist. I ran my own practice for a number of years while also working at James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough in the holistic centre, oncology ward, haematology ward and day unit. I joined Harrogate Hospital five years ago, where I am the Lead therapist. I have a full-time NHS contract.

 

Give us an insight in to your normal day to day schedule

I get up at 6.30am and am lucky enough to be able to walk to work. I start at 8am at Harrogate Hospital. Some days I do back-to-back treatments, other days I supervise students on our NHS certificate, giving them tutorials at the beginning and end of the day, following a full clinic in various settings within the hospital, which I supervise. Within the working week, I also teach and mark students’ work for our complementary therapy school: NHS Natural Health School. We offer a number of courses, including foundation diploma level three, short courses, and CPD. These happen at weekends/weekday evenings and some weekdays. I do a lot of fundraising to help sustain and expand the complementary therapy service here at Harrogate Hospital; this involves building relationships within the community as well as organising events, which takes up time in the evenings. I also organise the local FHT support group meetings every other month and I am an ambassador for the FHT which takes me out and about to other colleges. My working week is varied but always extremely busy.

 

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What interests you outside of work?

Outside work, I like walking in the dales, which my husband and I try to do on Sundays. We go to ballroom dancing lessons, (not that you would know if you saw us dance!) We have three adult children who we try to see as often as we can. Our daughters play hockey so we will go to support them when we are free. We also love cooking and entertaining, so make sure we get together with family and friends as often as we can.

 

What is your Training Congress seminar about?

We are talking about the role of the complementary therapist within the NHS and the ever-increasing need for help in supporting an ageing population, increased complex comorbidities, and preventative help, by encouraging patients and staff to do more to help their own health and wellbeing. We will discuss the need for evidence-based practice and the issues surrounding funding. I am hoping to bring other members of the team along, to encourage a wide range of questions.

 

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

The work we do at Harrogate is all evidence-based. These positive results along with daily patient contact, enables us to see first-hand, the benefits patients, carers and staff get from complementary therapies. With an overstretched NHS and a growing population of people requiring support, there is now a real need for well-trained and experienced therapists. We are now getting referrals from GPs, and other clinicians and with social prescribing now firmly on the agenda, this talk will hopefully be of benefit for anyone interested in working, not only within the NHS, but also out in the community and in private practice, who wish to work with more complex clients.

 

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

An idea of how complementary therapists can support the NHS, by working within the service as well as treating patients out in the community. We will share how we have used different therapies in a range of settings to meet patient need and talk a little about how our service developed to become an integrated sustainable service, identifying problems we faced and how we overcome them. We hope to provide a forum for questions and support for therapists wishing to work, either in a clinical environment or out in the community with more complex patients.

 

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

There are always many interesting seminars at the training congress. For obvious reasons of links to my own work, I would find the following talks of particular interest: Dr Toh Wong—Five main reasons why therapists don’t get referrals from GP’s and the medical profession and Dr Carol Samuel—Pain in cancer survivors.

 

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

Make your practice evidence-based, think hard about what training you need and where you can find that, and network within your community of local businesses, therapists and other organisations. Get into fundraising to help provide complementary therapies.

Please feel free to ask me questions on my blog.

 

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.org.uk/congress

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FHT Ambassador in local press after inspiring students at a local college

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FHT Ambassador Louise Summerscales recently appeared in her local newspaper, Chad, following a talk at West Nottinghamshire College, where Louise inspired spa therapy students.

The article talks about how Louise gave students an insight into the therapy industry, promoting the FHT and the highest standards in professional practice, as well as sharing her own therapy journey and how she discovered the benefits of complementary therapies.

The FHT Ambassador programme puts a trusted, trained FHT representative in classrooms across the UK, giving students valuable information about regulating bodies, insurance, and all the valuable support the FHT has to offer at every step of their therapy career. Students are awarded two CPD points for attending these talks and are given a certificate for their portfolio.

As the article notes, Louise was also on hand to assess a practical-led session involving students giving her a professional detox body wrap.

Read the full article in Chad

Find out more about the FHT Ambassador Programme