FHT Virtual Congress – Theresa Rich on heart centered growth

In the lead up to the FHT’s first Virtual Training Congress we have been introducing FHT members to our event speakers. This week we speak to Theresa Rich from ReflexologyUK.org about her seminar on heart-centered growth.

Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

I spent three years in Australia and Southeast Asia, teaching English. I was very young when I returned and started working in the corporate world which was very stressful, and I was not healthy. I got ME which completely debilitated me, but led me to the holistic world, firstly reflexology which I learned (and then started applying lots of different self-care principles including affirmations). I was then encouraged by others to get my teacher training qualification and started teaching.

How did you find 2020? What business challenges were presented to you and how did you adapt to these changes?

The Academy that I rented was shutting down, so I had to find alternative premises. I had students, which I taught from there, and it was while we were going through the transition of lockdowns that I also started teaching online and virtually, (changing many CPD courses to facilitate that) with videos for the students and regular zoom sessions to ensure they fully understood the teaching.  All the ITEC courses were taught from the new premises and via Zoom. Some of the qualifications and the syllabus had changed slightly as well, like putting COVID restrictions in place.  I faced huge challenges and massive changes, but there was never any thought to stop as l had 26 students that were relying on me who have now done their ITEC exams – which shows you really can achieve anything when you put your mind to it.  

What interests you outside of work?

I enjoy playing tennis. I like dancing with my husband. We will jive or salsa as part of our daily activity! I also regularly cycle and enjoy walking.

What is your Virtual Congress seminar about? What can attendees expect to come away with?

I want to bring people back to their heart centred growth, it’s about getting back in touch with your heart and realizing you can move out of your comfort zone confidently.

We will look at three simple steps:

  • How you can trust your heart and your intuition, no matter what is going on around you and what challenges you face.
  • How you can continue to grow.   It is important never to take life for granted. Trust your heart to talk to you. You can take the next step and keep moving forward.
  • Many people have been caring for others or been isolated during lockdown, therefore it is important to master relationships and take them to another level. To realise we can go deeper into our relationships, to learn more about each other when all the outside noise is removed – and have fun in the process!

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

I see many therapists that have been in a state of fear and stopped looking at what they’re capable of. Some feel they have limitations.   I want them to open up their hearts and learn to listen and trust. Also, they will go away with a set of principles to move them out of their comfort zone with love. I believe they are capable of making changes and going in new directions and I shall show them techniques of how they can do that.

Buy your ticket to the FHT Virtual Congress here.#

*Ticket prices: FHT student members £25, FHT members £30, non-FHT members £45

The 2021 FHT Virtual Congress is sponsored by Gateway Workshops.

Stay calm and be vaccinated

Peter Mackereth provides three rapid ‘toolbox’ interventions to help take the stress out of receiving a vaccination.

April is Stress Awareness Month and this is a great opportunity for therapists to contribute to helping friends, family, colleagues and clients/patients at this significant time in all our lives. With approaching 130,000 lives lost in this pandemic and over 30 million people now vaccinated in the UK, we can as therapists dig into our ‘therapeutic toolbox’ and assist others to ease stress and promote calm.

As we work through providing vaccinations to the rest of the population to protect them against COVID-19 disease and reduce transmissibility, the issue of needle anxiety and phobia has come into, excuse the pun, sharp focus. (By the way, my absolute number one tip to all vaccinators – and acupuncturists – is to never use the phrase ‘sharp scratch coming’ – it only causes people to tense more.) I worked as a nurse at a major vaccination centre in Manchester, which sees approximately 3,000 people a day – the staff are brilliant at putting people at ease and we are all sharing our own top tips.

Importantly, attending for vaccination can also be exciting, with people typically saying; ‘I really want to get this done and get back to normal’. Others, particularly those who have been shielding, can be overwhelmed and anxious about the experience. For approximately 10% of the population, needle anxiety and distress can create enormous stress and may even deter attendance for a vaccination. An even smaller group, less than 2% of the population, can experience needle phobia, or trypanophobia, to give it its correct term. Needle phobia is typically described as an overwhelming fear of injections, resulting in a vasovagal episode or a faint, triggered when seeing or being in close proximity to a medical needle. Context is everything, so for example, needle anxiety/distress, and even needle phobia, may not necessarily be triggered by tattooing or piercing.

Rapid ‘toolbox’ interventions  

In my video about staying calm while being vaccinated, I look at three rapid ‘toolbox’ interventions for you to share with your clients, friends, family and colleagues. These techniques can be used individually, so there is the option to test them all and select a preference or they can be stacked together, one after another, to work synergistically. Ideally, you can practice them ahead of a vaccination (or other stressful situation, e.g. public speaking) or whilst queuing, or even discreetly, when receiving your vaccinations (don’t forget the second dose).

1.The Mudras Position

The thumb area is associated with reflex points for the brain and pituitary gland, with gentle pressure associated with a calming response. Bringing the thumb and first finger together is also used in yoga postures and Indian dancing. In clinical hypnotherapy, I often use it to anchor confidence, good feelings and helpful interventions, so the steps or instructions are:

First, on both hands, bring the tips of your thumb and first finger together (see Picture 1) and I now invite you to take in a comfy breath. The pressure should be sufficient to lightly blanch the nails (make the nailbeds go white). As you take a gentle slow breath out, lighten the pressure. And when you are ready begin to take another comfy breath in, tighten the pressure again between the thumb and first finger. Now, as you soften the pressure between the thumb and first finger, release the outbreath gently… letting go of any tension in your shoulders and arms. Now, for the third time, repeat the technique, taking a comfy breath in and a slower breath out. On the fourth cycle of tensing and then letting go with the outbreath, just notice the lottery numbers coming into your mind’s eye (humour interrupt*) … continue to fifth press and release… now practice this at home, then in the queue and then whilst actually receiving the vaccination.

*Humour interrupt works to cut across anxiety and tension and can be very useful, but any comical idea most not make light of how someone is feeling or what they are going through.

2. Tightening and releasing the feet and ankles

This technique is derived from a longer progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) training protocol – I call this a mini PMR. The technique involves combining a comfy breath in during tensing of the feet and an elongated breath out when letting go of tension in the feet (see Pictures 2 & 3). It is useful to focus on the feet as this can be done discreetly, whilst sitting, and without disturbing the arm receiving the vaccination. The instructions are:

Bring your attention to your feet and gently draw them towards you, so that you feel tension in your feet, ankles and even calves (see Picture 2 & 3). Now, take a comfy breath in as you hold the tension momentarily. And now, very gently and slowly, lessen the tension as you release a longer outbreath, letting the feet soften and sink fully to the ground. With the second breath in, repeat the tensing of the feet, drawing them towards you, and then release the breath slowly and allow your feet to soften and return fully to the floor. (As with the first technique, you can guide the person to complete five cycles and include the humour interrupt suggestion, if appropriate.

3. Aromastick using ‘3 Breaths to Calm’

For those qualified aromatherapists who are able to blend and provide aroma sticks, these portable inhalers are great for engaging anxious clients via a simple to learn ‘3 Breaths to Calm’ technique. I would recommend including a citrus oil (e.g. lemon) within your proffered blends. Many aromatherapists will offer a choice of pre-prepared blends – perhaps three – so a patient experiences the empowering process of making a personal choice.

Including a citrus oil within an essential oil blend can be calming, but importantly it encourages a moist mouth. A dry mouth is associated with anxiety and distress, so banishing it can support a sense of calm. As with the previous rapid ‘toolbox’ techniques, the client is encouraged to take in a calming aroma breath using the inhaler (see Picture 4) and then breathes out more slowly, again letting go of tension each time. The client can be encouraged to reflect on the aromas and any pleasant memories that might emerge, for example, an association between the aroma and a holiday or a garden visit.

4. Calming aroma stick breath

For those situations where an aroma stick is unavailable or outside of the therapist’s scope, the inhaler technique can be replaced by the client by taking three soothing, mindful sips of cool water, pausing between  each sip to move the refreshing water around the mouth with the eyes closed. This aids awareness of the resultant cooling comfort. When swallowing, the person is guided to rest a hand on their chest to focus on the increasing coolness as the water travels downwards towards the tummy, again, closing the eyes helps to increase the sensory experience.

As therapist I would encourage you to practice the techniques for yourself, maybe select your preferred option and a back-up for a suitable situation that might require a calming intervention(s). As with any new skill, its benefits come with repeated use, particularly outside of a stressful situation so that you can fine tune the activity. Teaching someone else will reinforce the skill and provide further feedback on its acceptability and usefulness as a therapeutic tool.

Peter Mackereth is an honourable lecturer and researcher at The Christie Hospital, Manchester, where he was formerly the complementary therapy lead; a volunteer complementary therapist as his local hospice; an international speaker and author of numerous papers and books; and a registered nurse, currently helping to provide more than 3,000 COVID-19 vaccines at a vaccination centre in Manchester. You can find videos made by Peter on his YouTube channel, Peter the Pandiculator.

References/ resources

Carter A Mackereth P (2019) Combining Touch and Relaxation Skills for Cancer Care: the HEARTS process Jessica Kingsley Publications. London.

Carter A Mackereth P (2017) Aromatherapy, Massage and Relaxation in Cancer Care: An Integrative Resource for Practitioners. Jessica Kingsley Publications. London

Cawthorn A Mackereth P (2010) Integrated hypnotherapy: a complementary approach to clinical practice. Elsevier Science.

Mackereth P Carter A Maycock P (2020) Aromasticks and aromatic memories: a HEARTS Process approach to installation. Aromatherapy Times IFA 124:38-41

Mackereth P Tomlinson L (2016) Considering the relationship between the needle, patient and cannulators. British Journal of Nursing. 25 (2) 2-3.

Mackereth P Hackman E Knowles R Mehrez A (2015) The value of stress relieving techniques. Cancer Nursing Practice. 14(4): 14-21.

Mackereth P Tomlinson L (2014) Procedure-related anxiety and needle phobia: rapid techniques to calm. Nursing in Practice. 80:55-57.

Mackereth P, Tomlinson L Orrett L Manifold J Hackman E (2012) Needle with Ease: rapid stress management techniques British Journal of Nursing. 21(14): S18-22.

Tiran D Mackereth P (2010) Clinical Reflexology. 2nd Edition. Elsevier Science

FHT Virtual Congress – Exploring post traumatic stress with Chris Duquemin

In the lead up to the FHT’s first Virtual Training Congress we have been introducing FHT members to our event speakers. This week we speak to Chris Duquemin from New Vision Therapy, based in Jersey.

In the title of my seminar talk, note that I do not use the words PTSD. For me, to consider Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) a disorder is disrespectful. It is simply the result of overstressing a neurological system. The body responded in the only way it knows how to survive – how can that be a disorder? It’s a natural, human response.

A few years back, my work changed dramatically. That was thanks partly to a phrase I read in Stanley Rosenberg’s excellent book, ‘Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve: Self-Help Exercises for Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, and Autism’. This is a simple, easy to read book that I would highly recommend it to everyone. It simply stated: “The Ventral Vagus nerve controls the top third of the esophagus.” The penny dropped, lightbulbs started to come on inside my head. I did a little more research before deciding to fly to Canada to work with Terrance Kosikar helping veterans and first responders with PTS. I met some amazing people, made new friends for life, and tested my theory on people I had no connection with.

So, what exactly had I uncovered?

I realised that it was not always one traumatic event that led to PTS, but more often than not, a cumulative effect of unresolved traumas that we pick up through our lives. This was the key. It was a snowball effect of musculoskeletal compensatory patterns in the body, each one applying pressure to the central nervous system until the body lost the ability to adapt anymore and got stuck in protective mode. At that point, the body has lost the ability to self-heal, and things like immune system, digestion, respiration and cardiac function do not operate normally. This leads to a breakdown in the chemical balance of the body, and to symptoms like panic attacks, anxiety, depression and ultimately suicidal thoughts – not to mention the physical pain they may also experience. Take that person, put them on a beach in Barbados and they will still feel tense and anxious.

My theory was fundamentally straight forward, but consisted of three different components. Independent, but inter-related, like cogs in a clock, influencing one another.

In my FHT Virtual Congress seminar I will be delving deeper into the three different components that I use to support my clients with PTS. See you there?

Buy your ticket to the FHT Virtual Congress here.

*Ticket prices: FHT student members £25, FHT members £30, non-FHT members £45

The 2021 FHT Virtual Congress is sponsored by Gateway Workshops.

The immersion effect

In International Therapist Winter 2021 (Issue 135), we look at the benefits of cold water immersion and share some tips of how to swim safely outdoors.

As part of the feature, we spoke to Sophie Hellyer, face of the wild swimming community, Rise Fierce. Sophie said, ‘Rise Fierce is a community of *female-only swimmers across the UK and Ireland. It all started when I was discussing the health benefits of cold showers with a couple of friends and we decided we should just jump in the ocean instead. So, we met up at 7:30am the next day and jumped in the sea for what was probably about 30 seconds. We said we would go once a week and within the first two weeks we were going every day. 

‘I hadn’t predicted that Rise Fierce would become as popular as it has. I think there are a few reasons it has grown so quickly. The first is the epic feeling that comes from cold water immersion, it is indescribable – I think everyone should try it at least once. Secondly, there is a huge aspect of community, as it is unsafe to swim alone. And lastly, the mental and physical benefits are hard to ignore.  

‘Although the ritual is about swimming, the primary benefits come from cold-water immersion rather than length of time in the water– in the winter you don’t need to spend any longer than two to five minutes. It doesn’t matter where you decide to swim either, water is water!  

*Anyone who identifies as a woman

We also spoke to some FHT members who enjoy swimming outdoors in their spare time. Jackie Hamilton, MFHT and 2019 FHT Complementary Therapist of the Year, said, ‘I’d wanted to do open water swimming for a couple of years but didn’t know how to go about it. By an amazing coincidence, at the beginning of August, I rung an unpaid carer who told me that she goes open water swimming with a group each week. I jumped at the chance and asked if I could go with her and that was it, the next day I was in there with them and loved it. 

‘The benefits have been amazing. The camaraderie of open water swimming groups must be experienced – the people I have swum with have been more than welcoming and friendly and there is never any pressure to stay in longer than you feel comfortable. 

‘With all that has happened this year, I needed something positive to put my energy towards, and wild swimming is certainly that! It has improved my mental health for sure because it brings excitement to my day. The getting ready for it and looking forward to it is all part of the thrill, it makes me feel alive. 

‘If anyone wants to start, I would say give it a go as soon as you can! Start by finding a local open water swimming group, there are Facebook groups for swimmers all over the country, simply type in the search bar ‘open water swimming’ or ‘wild swimming’, followed by your area.’ 

Read the full article as published in International Therapist Winter 2021.

FHT Virtual Congress – Mary Atkinson and the Story Massage Programme

In the lead up to the FHT’s first Virtual Training Congress we have been introducing FHT members to our event speakers. This week we speak to Mary Atkinson, 2020 FHT Complementary Therapist of the Year and owner of The Story Massage Programme.

Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

My first career was as a journalist on national women’s magazines. My job was interviewing celebrities which was challenging and fascinating with lots of free tickets to gigs. My mum was a herbalist and brought us up to follow a natural lifestyle and one day Mum and I decided to take a massage course together for fun. Then, aged 44, I decided to take it more seriously, I trained in holistic therapies and went straight to work in the local hospice which was one of the most rewarding times of my life. My two careers merged with writing massage books and running my own training school. In 2012, I co-founded the Story Massage Programme – combining the creativity of words with the benefits of nurturing, positive touch.

How did you find 2020? What business challenges were presented to you and what did you do to adapt to these changes?

When lockdown was announced, I felt a really deep need to do something to offer comfort and reassurance. So, I jumped right out of my comfort zone and began offering live Story Massage demonstrations on social media for schools and families at home. I dressed my teddy, Emmanuel, in themed outfits and we took to the screen together. It was nerve wracking at times, but really well received with feedback from all over the world. We could no longer offer face-to-face training, so I put extra hours into updating our online course and running Zoom classes. I was very grateful for the support of the younger generation who supported my efforts to tackle technology! 

What interests you outside of work?

I’m a very active person. I love walking, swimming, jogging and yoga. I also play the ukulele – with more enthusiasm than talent! And I follow in my mother footsteps with a love of gardening and herbs. We still have an annual Sunflower growing competition even though my daughters are now 29 and 33.

What is your Virtual Congress seminar about and what can viewers expect to come away with?

Last year I was honoured to receive the FHT Complementary Therapy of the Year Award 2020 for my work with the Story Massage Programme during lockdown. In my seminar I will share the key points of the programme of ten basic strokes, and the many different settings in which it is now being used. It will spark lots and lots of new ideas for therapists for sharing the nurturing touch with storytelling at home and in their work.

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

It is such a simple and flexible programme that has so many far-reaching benefits – way beyond anything that I could ever have imagined. The Story Massage Programme offers a whole range of possibilities for sharing simple positive touch activities with children and adults of all ages and abilities.

What would be your one piece of advice for therapists wanting to develop their practices?

Be yourself. Try not to compare yourself with other therapists. Your clients will come to you because of your own unique personality and skills.

Buy your ticket to the FHT Virtual Congress here.

*Ticket prices: FHT student members £25, FHT members £30, non-FHT members £45

The 2021 FHT Virtual Congress is sponsored by gateway workshops.co.uk

Celebrating Social Prescribing Day 2021

Today we are celebrating Social Prescribing Day alongside the College of Medicine, the Social Prescribing Network and many other organisations.

Social prescribing provides doctors with alternative and more appropriate ways to support a patient, such as signposting them to complementary therapies, encouraging them to join a walking club, or joining a Knit and Natter group. Schemes across the country have proven successful ways to improve the health and wellbeing of patients and to take pressure off the NHS.

The Social Prescribing network state that their goal is ‘to foster an attitudinal change, to shift the power to the people and local communities, to forge cross-sectoral collaboration, to promote co-design and co-creation, and to ensure social prescribing continues to grow as a grassroots movement.’

In the next issue of International Therapist magazine (Spring 2021, Issue 136) we share an article by link worker, Farrah Idris, MFHT, about her experience of the role since being in the pandemic.

Farrah said, ‘Being a link worker and complementary therapist enables me to have meaningful conversations with patients and empower them to make positive self-led choices. Feeling fulfilled in my work is important to me and my current role certainly achieves that for me.’

Read the full article here.

Did you enjoy this feature?

The FHT features a broad range of articles in each issue of International Therapist magazine. To find out more about the many benefits of being an FHT member, visit fht.org.uk/join-us

FHT Virtual Congress – Moss and Sha discuss the benefits of Chi Medics

In the lead up to the FHT’s first Virtual Training Congress we have been introducing FHT members to our event speakers. This week we speak to Moss Arnold and Sharon Windle from Chi Medics, based in Chesterfield.

Chi Medics is an energy therapy which combines the Chinese philosophy, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupressure, acu-points and meridians, with foot and body therapy, in an easy, quick and gentle way. Chi is the western word for the Chinese Qi or energy, while the Japanese word for energy is Ki, and the Indian is Prana and Chakras. These are all a form of energy so are included in Chi Medics, with the emphasis on TCM.  

The therapy can support pain management through the use of philosophical and knowledge-based practical application, covering all four levels of existence: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. We approach the therapy by gently communicating with body and asking the body to correct imbalances of Chi in whatever manifestation it appears via simple, specific and advanced techniques.

In our FHT Virtual Congress seminar we will be sharing simple tips that you can add easily into any other therapy. For example, the Chi Medics Toe Balance theory and practice, which takes no more than a few minutes to perform at the end of any session. 

Buy your ticket to the FHT Virtual Congress here.

*Ticket prices: FHT student members £25, FHT members £30, non-FHT members £45

Hara hachi bu: what we can learn from the Japanese when it comes to eating

In this blog we share a short excerpt from Dr Chatterjee’s new book, Feel Great Lose Weight. In this chapter, he looks at how we eat and what we can learn from other cultures when it comes to eating habits.

The Japanese are a bit like the French in that, for various cultural reasons, they suffer far less from obesity than many developed nations. For example, they have a cultural practice called hara hachi bu, which means that you eat until you’re 80 per cent full. Of course, nobody’s measuring when they’re exactly 80 per cent full. The idea is to be mindful of how full you’re getting and eat at a measured pace. You can judge for yourself when you’re 80 per cent full, then get into the habit of leaving what’s left.

We’re simply not used to thinking about our differing levels of fullness in the West. Often we’re only really aware of two states – starving and stuffed. We’ve got stretch receptors on our stomach so, when we start to eat, and the stomach begins to expand, it starts to send the fullness signal out. Feeling uncomfortably bloated is a sign that we’ve gone past full and our body is in distress. It’s a sign that something’s gone wrong, like a pain signal, but we often take it to be a good thing.

Some of us are even guilty of instilling this idea in our kids. We have a habit of telling them, ‘You’ve got to eat everything on your plate,’ or even ‘You can’t have dessert until you’ve finished your main.’ I suspect this comes from our parents and grandparents and is a hangover from a time when food was scarce. It was an appropriate response to that environment, but it’s not any more. In fact, today’s problem is the opposite. We’re surrounded by an abundance of cheap, energydense food. We’re rewarding children for going past full and their prize is often a fatty, sugary dessert. This eat-up mindset is no longer fit for purpose. I’d argue that it’s time we made our children feel good when they choose not to eat to bursting, rather than when they do.

Feel Great Lose Weight

Weight loss isn’t a race. It isn’t one size fits all. Drawing on twenty years of experience as a GP, Dr Rangan Chatterjee has created a conscious, long-lasting approach to weight loss that goes far beyond fad diets and helps to find the best solutions that work for you. RRP: £10 available from amazon.co.uk

FHT Virtual Congress – Gwyn Featonby on adapting to the needs of NHS patients during the pandemic

In the lead up to the FHT’s first Virtual Training Congress we will be introducing FHT members to our event speakers. This week we speak to Gwyn Featonby from the NHS Natural Health School in Harrogate.

Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

I started my career as a nurse in the early 80’s. During that time I was introduced to the concept of holistic care by a tutor who inspired me to look deeper than the nursing process which at that time was fairly reductionistic in approach. I quickly became hooked by wanted to understand more about what constitutes both good and bad health and why science doesn’t always hold the answers. I have been so lucky to work with some inspiring clinical staff within the NHS and allied health environments and have had phenomenal support in providing both education and patient services for our NHS and communities.

What interests you outside of work?

I do lots of walking and like nothing more than setting off on a long distance trail over a few days or even weeks. I also read lots and am an avid knitter! Plus anytime with my grandchildren is really special.

What is your Virtual Congress seminar about and what can viewers expect to come away with?

Our seminar will offer a number of different perspectives as to how we rose to the challenges of COVID-19. Looking at the implications from a senior management point of view, as well as how this affected operational staff working with both patients and students, will emphasise the team work and strategic thinking behind  service continuity within the  NHS  during crisis. Participants in the seminar will get a clear picture of how good  patient care is about much more than just the time spent with the therapist.

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

There is a huge shift toward integrated care – now, more than ever, Complementary Therapies are being shown to be of real value within conventional health settings. This is a great opportunity for our industry to step up and make a real difference to the health and wellbeing experiences of our increasingly complex society. We also must not underestimate the vital role that we can play in supporting health and social care staff.

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

As a team, we understand we are incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to provide our services as NHS employees. Many practitioners contact us to ask how they can find employment within the NHS and one of the things we are keen to impress, is that a real understanding of clinical governance and the central policies that apply to all NHS workers, is vital to success if  complementary therapists want to move into sector one care environments. It is also a great idea to get some training in advanced pathologies in relation to the patient groups you want to work with. You can be the best complementary therapist but if you don’t understand the patients condition you can’t be sure you are acting in their best interests.

Buy your ticket to the FHT Virtual Congress here.

*Ticket prices: FHT student members £25, FHT members £30, non-FHT members £45

FHT Virtual Congress – Plantar Fasciitis with James Woledge

In the lead up to the FHT’s first Virtual Training Congress we will be introducing FHT members to our event speakers. This week we speak to James Woledge, FHT Accredited Course Provider at The Abbeyfields Clinic.

Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

Following my degree in Sports Science, I lucked out into a job training motor racing drivers, travelling all over the world. By attending osteopath and physio appointments with them, I became increasingly interested in that area of work, so, went back to university for a further four years. 

What business challenges were presented to you in 2020 and what did you do to adapt to these changes? 

Well, you have to adapt to changes in the industry anyway, this just one happened a bit too quick for my liking! I think like most people, we’ve just been focusing surviving and staying safe. A ‘pause’ year financially but an opportunity to take stock, reinvest time in CPD and perhaps even some new challenges. For one, I have decided to invest spare time in learning ultrasound diagnostics for MSK disorders, and put much more effort into my Shockwave Therapy Podcast.  

What interests you outside of work?

I have a busy family life and I’ve just taken up cold water swimming in the sea – just in a pair of shorts and I go for it. My knees just about allow a game a golf too. 

What is your Virtual Congress seminar about and what can viewers expect to come away with? 

It’s about a very common, and under diagnosed condition (1 in 10 people will have it at some point in their lives) called Plantar Fasciitis (PF). There are lots of myths about best treatment approaches and I will aim to detail what advice sports therapists should be giving.

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

I see this condition more than anything else in my clinic, and I have heard numerous ways in which patients have attempted to help themselves – most of which are outdated. And a lot of these approaches are from the internet or from previous therapists. It really can become quite a problem, so helping patients with simple advice and education can really make a huge difference to their quality of life. 

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

Surround yourself with a trusted referral network and don’t be afraid to refer. People are often too afraid to send a patient to someone else as its seen as lost revenue. In my experience, patients very much value your honesty and help in getting them to the right person, and often become your most loyal referrer. Other therapists also gain confidence in knowing you are aware of your ‘scope of practice’ and subsequently refer to you more often. 

Buy your ticket to the FHT Virtual Congress here.

*Ticket prices: FHT student members £25, FHT members £30, non-FHT members £45