Meet the speakers: Suzanne Ruggles, founder of the Full Circle Fund

Pictured: 2019 FHT Conference logo

Pictured: Suzanne Ruggles

Like last year’s inspiring event, which is a finalist for Best New Association Conference or Event in the 2019 Association Excellence Awards, the 2019 FHT Conference – on Friday 29 November at The King’s Fund, London – will focus on the ways professional therapists like you can be a part of the future of integrated health and social care.

We’re delighted to be joined by experts in education, healthcare and research, who will deliver talks on a range of topics. This week, we’re highlighting the incredible work of speaker Suzanne Ruggles, MSc, DipHE, MFHT, and founder of the Full Circle Fund.

About Suzanne

Suzanne set up and ran a successful design business in London until in 1996, she was diagnosed with lupus. Six years later she had a near-death experience caused by meningitis. As a result of both of her personal experiences, Suzanne discovered first-hand how integrated therapies can help someone to cope with their condition and symptoms. She went on to study mind-body medicine extensively in UK and America, gaining a Masters in Health Science from St George’s Medical School, and later founded the Full Circle Fund charity, to provide evidence-based support in hospitals to those facing a life-threatening or life-limiting illness.

The Full Circle Fund

Pictured: Full Circle FundThe Full Circle Fund has a team of 15 highly skilled practitioners working in two hospitals, consisting of paid therapists and volunteers. Partnering with a leading US hospital, they also undertake research and have an honorary clinical director of education and strategy leading their research committee.

They currently have many case studies being prepared for publication in peer-reviewed journals, and Suzanne presented the work of Full Circle at the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Integrated Healthcare, at which chair David Tredinnick MP said: ‘The Full Circle model should be rolled out nationally.’ They also hold two awards for their work in the NHS.

Suzanne’s talk

Suzanne will share with delegates her background, how she came to set up an award-winning integrated therapy programme at St George’s Hospital, London, and Brighton and Sussex University Hospital, and the ground-breaking work being carried out by the Full Circle team. During her presentation, Suzanne will also discuss the importance of evaluating the therapy service, some of the findings this revealed, and her collaborative reiki research.

Tickets to the 2019 FHT Conference are just £85 for FHT members (£105 for non-members) and include a networking buffet lunch, drinks reception and refreshments.

Last year’s conference sold out early, so we strongly recommend booking soon if you would like to secure your place.

Find out more and book your ticket

Sponsored by:

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Attended by:

Pictured: Professional Standards Authority logo

Pictured: Association Excellence Awards logo

Top five reasons to attend the 2019 FHT Conference



Pictured: quote from 2018 attendee



There’s just 10 weeks left until the 2019 FHT Conference, which is being held on Friday 29 November at The King’s Fund, London. Tickets are selling fast, so we thought we’d run through our top five reasons for attending if you’re still undecided:

Pictured: the number 1 Discover how to get involved in the future of healthcare
At the event, you’ll hear from speakers working at the forefront of integrated healthcare who know how the current health system works, its future direction and the opportunities available for complementary therapists.

Pictured: the number 2Learn new skills to support your practice
As well as gaining a unique insight into integrated healthcare, you’ll learn how you can evaluate treatments using patient reported outcome measures and how to promote body esteem as a therapist.

Pictured: the number 3Hear about integrated healthcare success stories
Our speakers will also talk about the successes of the integrated health initiatives they have spearheaded, highlighting the benefits they have for patients and the therapists who are a part of these.

Pictured: the number 4Network with industry figures and like-minded therapists
The event will include ample opportunity to network with industry figures and other therapists attending, giving you the chance to make new connections and learn from each other’s experiences.

Pictured: the number 5Be inspired
Exploring the ways therapists like you can become an integral part of the future of health and care and hearing about the work of our 2019 FHT Excellence Award winners will leave you inspired about the possibilities for your own career.


Pictured: delegates at the 2018 FHT Conference


Tickets are just £85 for FHT members (£105 for non-members) and include a networking buffet lunch, drinks reception and refreshments.

Last year’s conference sold out early, so we strongly recommend booking soon if you would like to secure your place.

Find out more and book your ticket


Sponsored by:

Pictured: Songbird logo


Pictured: Association Excellence Awards banner

Celebrating organic beauty and wellbeing

Georgia Barnes THIS ONE

This week is Organic Beauty & Wellbeing Week (9 – 14 September). Organised by the Soil Association, this annual campaign aims to raise awareness of certified organic beauty and wellbeing products and the importance of certification and making sustainable choices. And it’s something we’re confident FHT members will be keen to support, with 58% indicating in our 2019 membership survey that they already buy organic products for personal and professional use.

In the Summer 2019 issue of International Therapist magazine, FHT spoke to Georgia Barnes (pictured), business development manager for health and beauty at the Soil Association. Here’s what she shared with our members…

Q. Tell us a bit about your background…
After completing a politics and international relations degree at Manchester University, I settled into corporate life and worked through several roles, from international account executive to product development and category management. My key focus has been on building and maintaining effective business relationships, to the benefit of both the brand and the buyer.

Following the arrival of my son, I found myself needing to align my work with my personal ethics, so in a moment of serendipity I searched the Soil Association’s roles and the vacancy was here. I manage a fabulous team, who work hard to support the organic and natural beauty and wellbeing market, and champion brands that make sustainable products.

Q. When and how did you develop an interest in health and beauty?
My mum is a strong advocate for complementary therapies, having trained as an aromatherapist, and I’ve been a keen advocate of the organic lifestyle my whole life. As a user of beauty and holistic health products, it’s an area that is continuously developing, and this is such an exciting time for the industry.

Q. What are the benefits of using organic products?
‘Organic’ means working with nature. It means higher levels of animal welfare, lower levels of pesticides, no manufactured herbicides (weed killers) or artificial fertilisers, and more environmentally sustainable management of the land and natural environment, which means more wildlife. Whatever you’re buying, when you choose organic food, drink, beauty or textiles, you choose products that promote a better world.

Q. Why is it important to use products that are certified by an organisation like the Soil Association?
We believe that our lotions and potions shouldn’t come at a cost to our health or the planet. What we put onto our body is just as important as what we put into it. This is where the Soil Association comes in. Certified organic cosmetics ensure that everything, from farm to finished product, is traceable. This includes the restriction of synthetic fertilisers, GM ingredients and harsh chemicals. Certified organic beauty also means no animal testing and the sourcing of ingredients sustainably. Look for an accredited logo such as the Soil Association or COSMOS (Cosmetic Organic Standard) to make sure that what you’re buying is a genuine organic product.

Q. Tell us about ‘greenwashing’…
The terms ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ beauty aren’t regulated in the same way as food and drink products. As brands don’t need to meet a minimum percentage of organic ingredients to claim that they are they are organic, they can use the term ‘organic’ even if only 1% of the ingredients actually are – otherwise known as ‘greenwashing’. The only way you can guarantee what you’re buying is truly organic is to go for certified products, so always look for the logo.

Q. What key change would you like to see in the industry?
It would be great to bring organic into the mainstream – organic products are such a simple swap as people begin to look for a more sustainable lifestyle. As people demand more from their products, I hope we will see a real shift towards sustainable production, manufacturing and usage. The challenges facing us can feel overwhelming but swapping your purchases for certified organic beauty and wellbeing products really does make such an impact throughout the whole supply chain.

Q. What do you do to relax and unwind?
I love to play in the garden with my toddler and spend time outdoors – preferably in the sun – riding my bike and enjoying the fresh air. Nature is a real healer and having access to it is such a gift. There is also nothing that can’t be fixed by a long, calm bath and some deep breathing mindfulness techniques.

Georgia Barnes is the business development manager for health and beauty at Soil Association Certification, a charity that certifies more than 70% of all organic products sold in the UK. For more information, see

A tribute to Richard Eaton

The FHT was very sad to hear that Richard Eaton passed away on 14 June 2019.

Richard Eaton

Richard was author and editor of the excellent College of Medicine Complementary Medicine Roundup, which was always brimming with useful information and links to research, reports and events of interest to not just College members, but anyone who shared his passion for holistic healthcare.

Despite his gentle approach and warm smile, Richard was a powerful voice for the complementary therapy and integrated healthcare community. He tirelessly campaigned for a better understanding of CAM, for practitioners to have the freedom to practise and promote their services, and for more members of the public to be able to access CAM.

A retired barrister, Richard and his wife, Marion, were former owners of a holistic health centre in Hastings, East Sussex, where they provided full facilities for 16 CAM practitioners. Richard also authored a small e-book, ‘Business Guide for Health Therapists: How to Find What You Need to Know’ – again, a clear demonstration of his commitment to supporting CAM practitioners and helping them to provide a much-needed service to their local community.

Our thoughts are with Richard’s family and friends. He will be sorely missed.

Read a tribute from Richard’s friend and colleague, Dr Michael Dixon >>

We ♥ our planet

In the spring issue of International Therapist, our Green Salon article focused on how you can make your therapy business more eco-friendly but, what about the FHT? How are we working to protect the planet?

Thanks to Sir David Attenborough’s BBC documentaries and climate activist Greta Thunberg, the public is much more aware of the devastating effects material consumption is having on our planet. We too are embracing the principles of sustainability here at the FHT…


We source your membership magazine, International Therapist, and your welcome pack from printers that have FSC ® chain of custody certification to ensure that materials are tracked from well-managed forests to the consumer. They also use efficient processes to reduce the consumption of energy and water, inks are vegetable-based and cartridges are recycled. In addition, your membership cards are made with SICOECO, which is fully degradable. SICOECO has the same technical properties, physical characteristics and printability like other PVC films but fully degrades when left in organic compost.

Following a successful trial run, we’re also pleased to be sending out all copies of International Therapist in a biodegradable wrapper, which is 100% compostable, from Autumn 2019. Please dispose of the magazine wrapper in your home compost heap, or in food or garden waste bins where accepted by local authorities (do not place in plastic recycling).

This is a start but there is much more to do. For example, using email rather than post, wherever possible, and making our building and processes more sustainable with green energy tariffs and plastic-free packaging.

We’re pleased to be making a more conscious effort to protect the planet.

To find out how you can get involved, read our Green Salon article here


Join us for the FHT’s training event of the year!

Our most popular training event of the year returns this May, with an exciting new programme of talks to help you gain new skills and develop in your career as a therapist.

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The 2019 FHT Training Congress will take place on 19-20 May at the Holistic Health Show, Birmingham, and will feature a range of talks by industry experts on a variety of topics – from therapy-specific modalities to general business advice.

This year we will be hosting more seminars for you to attend than ever before, with 30 sessions to choose from across the two-day event. Here’s a snapshot of what we have scheduled…

  • Five key tips for working with those living with dementiaCPD point roundel copy.png
  • The role of complementary therapy within the NHS
  • Posture: does it matter and can it be corrected?
  • Reflexology and the functional reflex therapy framework
  • Producing a winning brand
  • And more…

What’s more, you’ll gain one CPD point for every session you attend, so if you attend 5 sessions on both days, you’ll gain a total of 10 CPD points – the minimum number required for FHT Members per membership year.

Day passes for the event are available for just £50 for FHT members (£65 for non-members), and allow you to attend a full day of 5 seminars with a saving of £10.

Tickets to individual seminars cost £12 for FHT members and £15 for non-members.

Learn more and book your tickets

International Therapist Issue 127 (Winter 2019)

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This issue includes articles on the following:

  • Deactivating trigger points with soft tissue release, by Jane Johnson;
  • An interview with leading academic, Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown;
  • Developing the first NHS approved complementary therapy school, by Gwyn Featonby;
  • Skin peels and the importance of best practice, by Dermalogica’s Candice Gardner;
  • How massage techniques can help clients with fibromyalgia, by Jing’s Rachel Fairweather;
  • An introduction to runner’s knee and techniques that can help, by Dawn Morse; and
  • Patient-reported outcome measures relevant to therapies, by Nicola Brough and Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown.

Plus a look at the 2018 FHT Conference and Excellence Awards; an essential oil profile on cypress; the latest FHT local support group news; a day in the life of Sheree Phelps, a sports massage therapist and 2017 FHT Excellence Award winner; Maureen Bonner, MFHT, reflects on meeting a US-based oncology massage expert; the latest research; medical A-Z; an interview with Angie Buxton-King, award winning healer and founder of the Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust; a preview of the 2019 FHT Training Congress; a chance to win an Absolute Aromas Aroma-Mist Diffuser and Breatheasy Essential Blend, and lots more…

Don’t miss the opportunity to win a year’s free membership and a £100 John Lewis & Partners gift card by completing our 2019 Member Survey, on page 49.

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Free webinar presented by Jane Johnson on treating clients with neck pain

jane johnson

We’ve partnered with Human Kinetics to host a free webinar on treating clients with neck pain on Wednesday 27 March at 3pm – 4pm. Presented by Jane Johnson, the webinar will cover practical, safe and effective advice and treatments manual therapists and fitness professionals can use to help clients. FHT members will receive 5 CPD points for watching the webinar and completing the associated Supporting reflective practice document – Neck Pain Webinar

Report calls for complementary, traditional and natural medicine to rescue NHS from financial crisis


A new report released by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Integrated Healthcare (PGIH) warns that the growing number of people suffering from long-term illness poses significant threats to the future sustainability of the NHS.

The report, titled ‘Integrated healthcare: putting the pieces together’, is based on the findings of an extensive consultation carried out by the PGIH in 2017, to which a detailed response was submitted by the FHT. It urges the government to embrace complementary, traditional and natural medicine to ease the mounting burden being placed on the NHS.

The report stresses that the rising costs to the health system require a more person-centred approach to health delivery, which focuses on prevention and tackles the root cause of illness.

It highlights that many more patients now suffer from multi-morbidity (two or more long-term health conditions) than when the NHS was formed 70 years ago, with the number of people in England with one or more long-term condition projected to increase to around 18 million by 2025.

Furthermore, it is estimated that 70% of total health expenditure on health and care in England is associated with treating 30% of the population with one or more long-term condition.

A further consequence of complex health conditions is the growing problem of polypharmacy, where several drugs are used at the same time. The report stresses that this is arguably one of the biggest threats to the future economic viability of the NHS, with increasing costs of pharmaceutical drugs needed to treat patients with multiple illnesses, coupled with largely unknown effects of the long-term use of these drugs in combination.

The PGIH report argues that the government needs to devise a strategy to fully assess the degree of drug interactions, determine the long-term health effects on patients, and arrest the trend of over medicating the population.

A significant part of this strategy would be to treat each patient as a whole person, with individual needs, rather than treating any presenting illnesses separately. As such, the report recommends that the strategy should make greater use of natural, traditional and complementary therapies, which are widely used to support people affected by a variety of conditions. It also highlights the huge under-utilised resource of professional therapists, who could work in collaboration with conventional medicine to improve patient outcomes and ease the burden on the NHS.

Modern medicine has been very effective in tackling many of the health conditions we face today. However, there are areas, often called effectiveness gaps (EGs), where available treatments in modern clinical practice are not fully effective, with the likes of depression, eczema, allergies, chronic pain, and irritable bowel syndrome being frequently cited.

The report urges that for these types of conditions, a different approach is needed, which does not involve giving more and more costly but potentially ineffective drugs.

David Tredinnick MP, Chair of the PGIH, insisted that the current approach being taken by the government is unsustainable for the long-term future of the country.

‘Despite positive signs that ministers are proving open to change, words must translate into reality. For some time our treasured NHS has faced threats to its financial sustainability and to common trust in the system.

‘Multi-morbidity is more apparent now in the UK than at any time in our recent history. As a trend it threatens to swamp a struggling NHS, but the good news is that many self-limiting conditions can be treated at home with the most minimal of expert intervention.

‘Other European governments facing similar challenges have considered the benefits of exploring complementary, traditional and natural medicines. If we are to hand on our most invaluable institution to future generations, so should we.’

Access the full report

International Therapist Issue 126 (Autumn 2018)

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This issue includes:

  • A look at amputation, its impact on clients, and how therapies can help;
  • An overview of the lymphatic system and its importance, by Yvette Jordan;
  • Approaches to facial touch and the science behind it, by Dr Katerina Steventon;
  • Deconstructing the concept of challenge, by Dr Phillip J de Prez;
  • Injuries in young athletes, by Dr Lance Doggart and Sarah Catlow;
  • Working in a hospice as a paid reiki practitioner, by Hilda Kalap;
  • Homemade product recipes, for a body scrub and massage oil, by Karen Gilbert;
  • Pointers for therapists working with terminally ill clients, by Jane Duncan Rogers;
  • A look at the warning signs of breast cancer and its impact.

Plus the Michael Pittilo Award-winning essay, by Benjamin Low; an essential oil profile on clary sage; the latest FHT local support group news; an insight from a therapist supporting people in her local community, by Annette Roachford, MFHT; the latest research; medical A-Z; a day in the life of Geraldine Flynn, semi-permanent make-up technician and 2013 FHT Excellence Award Winner; an interview with new FHT President, Christopher Byrne; a preview of the 2018 FHT Conference; and lots more…

Don’t miss the opportunity to win one of two annual subscriptions of In the Moment magazine in our members’ competition and a £20 Amazon gift card and copy of Words that Touch, in FHT spiral no. 28.

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