Holistic Therapist magazine taps FHT Vice President for advice on recharging

FHT Vice President, Christopher Byrne, looks at ways to preserve and boost your energy in the latest issue of Holistic Therapist Magazine.

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Some of his tips include:

And lots more! You can read the full article here.

FHT Members’ News – August Issue

The August issue of FHT Members’ News is out today!

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Featuring the latest news in the therapy world, job and training opportunities, as well as information about your membership, make sure you don’t miss out. This month’s news includes:

Members, be sure to check your inbox this evening for your newsletter.

Not a member, and want in on this? Contact us today to join the largest organisation for complementary, beauty, and sports therapists.

FHT and MND leading out in race across London

We are pleased to report on our support of the MND Association’s Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100. FHT Member Will McAllister was there providing massages to riders and even MND as they rode for charity.

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This past Sunday, 27,000 cyclists embarked on an incredible challenge, past Canary Wharf and through the City of London, crossing the River Thames at Chiswick. They carried on through Richmond Park before crossing Hampton Court Bridge along the route made famous by the London 2012 Olympics.

There was plenty of stunning Surrey countryside on offer as cyclists headed south past Newlands Corner, before tackling the biggest ascent on the route at Leith Hill and onto the infamous zigzags of Box Hill.

SophieThe route took riders back into London over Putney Bridge, then onto the Embankment. Heading past some of London’s most famous landmarks riders made their way across Parliament Square and up Whitehall. The home stretch swung left through Trafalgar Square, with riders streaming under Admiralty Arch before a spectacular finish on The Mall.

Don’t forget to follow us here and on our social media channels to find out about upcoming opportunities to get involved in the community, like Will did! You can also check out MND Association’s page for more ways to help this worthwhile cause.

Don’t let the clock strike midnight on your evening of excellence

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Time is running out to book your early bird tickets for the 2017 FHT Members’ Dinner! There’s only one month left on our special discounted price of £35 per person, so book early to avoid disappointment. Prices will increase on 1 September, 2017, for this glitzy gala of good food and great therapists.

The Royal Pump Rooms is one of the oldest surviving bath houses in the UK, and we’re excited to share with you this unique and striking venue. Opened in 1814, the Royal Pump Rooms was one of the UK’s premier spa establishments of the Regency era, and attracted thousands of people every year to take to the healing waters. With original marble architecture, ancient sculptures, and original features, this venue is truly captivating and fascinating for therapists and non-therapists alike.

Join us in this incredible venue as we celebrate excellence in the therapy industry. Hear inspiring stories from members who have made big changes to others’ lives through their work, help us celebrate all of our therapists’ achievements great or small, and say thank you for their continued hard work in practice. And tables of ten are only £325, so bring along your friends as we party into the night!

BOOK NOW

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Food: The Future Medicine

Food is one of the most important means of preventing disease and can be an important adjunct to medicine, when we are ill. The College of Medicine is holding an informative conference entitled ‘Food: The Future Medicine’, which will build upon their previous year’s conference, ‘Food: The Forgotten Medicine’.

The conference will look at hot topics such as whether we should eat no meat, some meat or just different meat.  What is the role of intermittent fasting?  When should we eat our food raw and is bread healthy or should it be eliminated from our diet altogether?

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There will be a demonstration on how to prepare and cook healthy food and a presentation on what we can learn from India and China.  The conference will explore how we can detect, treat and prevent poor nutrition in the community and hospital and hear about a Co-Op project in London that is aiming to bring better food to its local population.

Finally, the conference will hear about first thoughts from our College of Medicine “Food Forum” that brings together farmers, food suppliers and retailers and experts to see how we can change things so that better food is available – especially to those who need it most.

Book early to avoid disappointment!

Venue: Royal Society of Medicine
Address: 1 Wimpole Street, London W1G 0LZ
Date: Thursday 14 Sep 2017, 8am GMT

Guest blog: rethinking chronic pain

Guest blogger Georgie Oldfield, founder of SIRPA™, looks at the role of non-physical factors in our perception of chronic pain

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Have you ever wondered why (or noticed that) many of your clients have persistent or recurring pain, which began while doing something they normally did without any problem, or maybe soon after? Or maybe they woke with pain, yet it persisted for months or even years? This is so common, yet are we really that fragile that we can cause ourselves damage while doing something as innocuous as bending, getting out of a car or turning over in bed?

Despite a lack of supporting evidence, musculoskeletal pain is usually blamed on physical causes, such as poor posture (for example, reduced lumbar curve or one shoulder higher than the other, and so on), muscle imbalance (for example, poor core stability or hypermobility) or structure (for example, spinal degeneration such as a prolapsed disc or facet joint disease).  In fact no correlation has been found between pain and posture, structure or biomechanics (Lederman, 2011).

There are in fact numerous studies to demonstrate that degeneration – for example in the spine (Kim et al, 2013), shoulders (Connor, 2003), hips (Silvis, 2011) and knees (Kaplan et al, 2005) – are just a normal part of ageing.  Although the development of diagnostic procedures such as MRI and ultrasound scans have been invaluable, often when ‘abnormalities’ are found, it is assumed these must be the cause of any symptoms present, even though often the symptoms don’t match the findings on the scans. In fact, the studies highlighted above, found that about 80% of people without pain also have these ‘abnormalities’.

It is now widely accepted that stress ‘affects’ pain, so addressing this will clearly help in the management of pain. In fact, when you ask clients to consider what was going on in their lives in the lead up to the onset of pain, many will relate this to a challenge they were facing in their life, rather than a physical event.  Interestingly, a couple of studies (Christensen et al, 2012; Feyer et al, 2000) looked at the physical, biomechanical and psychosocial aspects of individuals’ lives and the only factor involved in the triggering of new episodes of back pain were psychosocial factors.

Another study (Castro et al, 2001) used personality profiling to see if they could determine who might develop whiplash symptoms after a placebo car crash, despite the fact that the force induced could not possibly cause any biomechanical injury. They found that they could predict with 92% accuracy who would have symptoms a month after the ‘accident’ – based on their personality profile.

Not only have personality factors been found to be a determinant of whether symptoms might persist or become more severe, so have greater exposure to past traumatic events; early beliefs that pain may be permanent; and depressed mood (Young Casey et al, 2008).  Add to this the strong link between adverse childhood experiences and ill-health in later life (Felitti, 1998) – including chronic pain (Goldberg, 1999) – and you can see why our focus needs to shift from the belief that there is always a physical reason for an individual’s pain.

In fact when you consider Kim’s study (2013), the poor results from non-surgical treatment for non-specific back pain (Keller et al, 2007), plus the lack of evidence to support the use of spinal surgery (Nguyen, 2011), injections for back pain (Chou, 2015) and morphine for chronic pain (Berthelot, 2015), it is clear we need to change our approach to the treatment of chronic pain.

Chronic pain has actually been found to be caused by the activation of nerve pathways in the brain. This results in persistent activation of the fight or flight response (our reaction to danger), which can cause real physical symptoms in the body. Most people have experienced a version of this when their face turns red with embarrassment or they feel a ‘knot’ in their abdomen in a tense situation.  When this normal human response becomes very strong it can cause very real, severe pain or other symptoms that can be disabling. Treatment consists of education about how the fight or flight response works; changing behaviour that might unintentionally keep it ‘turned on’; and working through current, and sometimes past, challenges that trigger our danger signals. Once the signals are turned off, the pain usually improves and often resolves completely, resulting in life-changing results for individuals.

As a physiotherapist who came across this concept 10 years ago, the results I have observed with my clients has completely changed the way I treat chronic pain and other persistent symptoms. I love the fact that the approach is non-invasive and we can help individuals recover through education and by becoming self-empowered and taking responsibility for their own health.

For references: visit www.sirpaconference.com/infographic

About Georgie Oldfield

SIPRA Georgie Oldfield

Georgie Oldfield MCSP is a leading physiotherapist and chronic pain specialist, promoting a pioneering approach to resolving chronic pain through her SIRPA Recovery Programme.

Hear her speak at the 2017 SIRPA conference, Chronic Pain: The Role of Emotions, being held on 15 October 2017, at the Royal Society of Medicine, London.  To read about leading experts who will be presenting at the conference and to book, visit  www.sirpaconference.com/conference-programme/

NB: This article refers to persistent, chronic pain, as opposed to tissue-damaging conditions, such as cancer, fracture, infections and autoimmune diseases.

FHT Members’ News – July Issue

The July issue of FHT Members’ News is out today!

JULY MEMBER NEWS

Featuring the latest news in the therapy world, job and training opportunities, as well as information about your membership, make sure you don’t miss out. This month’s news includes:

Members, be sure to check your inbox this evening for your newsletter.

Not a member, and want in on this? Contact us today to join the largest organisation for complementary, beauty, and sports therapists.