Spotting the signs of domestic abuse

It is estimated that 5.5% of adults in England and Wales – which amounts to 2.3 million people between the ages of 16 and 74 — experienced domestic abuse in the 12 months leading up to March 2020. In the highest percentage of cases, this abuse was carried out by a partner or ex-partner, rather than a family member (ONS, 2020a).

Statistics also show that the number of domestic abuse-related offences recorded by police in England and Wales during the first lockdown (from March to June 2020) increased by 7% against the same period in 2019 and by 18% against the same period in 2018.

We take a look at the signs of domestic abuse and where to direct clients for appropriate support. Read the full article, including resources, here.

The article mentioned above was published in FHT’s membership magazine, International Therapist. To find out more about the many benefits of being an FHT member, visit 

Picture from Freepik

Coming soon! Your Autumn issue of International Therapist magazine…

As a member of the FHT, your Autumn issue of International Therapist will be arriving anytime from Friday 15 October.  

Here’s a snapshot of some of the content you can enjoy: 

  • A feature on common injuries and prevention strategies in Rugby League, by Sarah Catlow, MFHT, and Dr Lance Doggart 
  • Kate Mulliss, FFHT, looks at how essential oils can help to support clients with symptoms of long COVID 
  • An interview with Monica Price, FHT’s new Chief Executive Officer, who talks about her background, her work during COVID and aims for the future  
  • Therapy experts Mary Dalgleish, Kate Beaven-Marks and Clare Riddell share different tips and techniques to help you take good care of yourself 
  • 2021 FHT Virtual Congress speaker and business mentor Gemma Went looks at how to take your offline business online 
  • Rani McMurran, MFHT, talks about her electrolysis work with transgender patients prior to surgery 
  • A brief introduction to a brand new section on the FHT’s website, which will be dedicated to International Therapist magazine 
  • And a look at a range of Christmas stocking fillers from some of our favourite product suppliers. 

Plus an essential oil profile on pachouli; the latest FHT local group news; therapy research; expert advice; medical A-Z; our latest podcast series; and a guest column by Caroline Nokes MP about long-term consumer confidence and the current staffing and training issues faced by the industry.  

And don’t miss the opportunity to win a range of goodies from Physique Management, including three navy Physique Bolster Cushions (Horse Shoe, Round and Half-Round); Physique Therapeutic Massage Oil (500ml); Physique Water-Dispersible Massage Oil (500ml); and a Therapist Thumb massage tool. Fill out our online formto enter our competition for this issue when you receive you copy of the magazine. 

You can also log in online to read this issue (from Friday 15 October) at

FHT shares running articles and research as we approach the 2021 London Marathon

With just four days to go until the London Marathon, we thought we’d take this opportunity to share two great articles and three research summaries previously published in International Therapist that cover how therapies can support runners and those experiencing aches, pains and injuries related to running:  

Article: Dawn Morse provides an introduction to runner’s knee  

Article: Sarah Catlow and Lance Doggart discuss running injuries and prevention strategies 

Research: Pressure massage may help Achilles tendinopathy 

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

Research: Wearing running shoes without cushioning may reduce injury risk 

We would like to wish any of our members taking part in the marathon the very best of luck! If you are supporting any runners with post-event treatments, please get in touch and tell us more. You can contact us at  

Did you enjoy these articles and research summaries? 

All of the above were published in FHT’s membership magazine, International Therapist. To find out more about the many benefits of being an FHT member, visit 


Myofascial release and low back pain

Low back pain can be defined as either ‘non-specific’ (there’s no obvious cause) or ‘mechanical/ specific’ (the pain originates from the joints, bones or soft tissues in and around the spine, which might be caused by disc herniation, infection, fracture, spinal deformity or a tumour) (NHS, 2021; Chen et al, 2021).  

Some studies have also indicated that one cause of low back pain is the limited function of the back and deep trunk muscles caused by changes in the structure of the fascia (Chen et al, 2021).  

A systematic review recently published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine aimed to analyse the effects of myofascial release (MFR) on patients with low back pain, to help ‘improve the evidence of MFR in the treatment of low back pain and provide reliable recommendations for clinical rehabilitation therapists’. 

The review only included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) where the participants were at least 18 years of age, had been diagnosed with low back pain and had experienced pain for no less than three months. In addition, the experimental group had to be treated with MFR alone or MFR combined with physical therapy, manual therapy, or exercise therapy for low back pain. The control group had to be treated with a non-MFR treatment. Outcome measures used in the studies included pain intensity, back disability, lumbar range of motion, and quality of life in low back pain patients, but each RCT did not necessarily cover all four measures. 

Based on an analysis of eight studies (386 patients) that met the review’s inclusion criteria, the findings suggest that ‘MFR can improve the effect of physical therapy alone and exercise therapy alone, and that MFR can be an effective adjuvant therapy. Meta-analysis showed that MFR has a significant effect on reducing back disability in patients with low back pain, but no significant effect on reducing pain intensity, improving quality of life, and improving lumbar range of motion’. 

Access the full study 

Did you enjoy this research summary? 

The summary above will be published in the Autumn 2021 issue of International Therapist magazine. To find out more about the many benefits of being an FHT member, visit 


Chen Z, Wu J, Wang X, Wu J, Ren Z. The effects of myofascial release technique for patients with low back pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2021 Jun;59:102737. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2021.102737. Epub 2021 May 10. PMID: 33984499. 

Photo: Kindel Media from Pexels

Top tips to live green and do good this Recycle Week, and beyond!

The past 18 or so months have been challenging in so many ways, including our efforts to be green. Thanks to a renewed dependence on single use plastic, the necessity to wash clothing, uniforms and equipment on a higher temperature and using cleaning products more so than ever before, it has been tricky to be green while also following government guidance to keep everyone safe. However, the small habits we already do, such as recycling, make a huge difference when it comes to fighting climate change and living more sustainably.

Recycle Week is Recycle Now’s flagship annual event which is a celebration of recycling across the nation. Now in its 18th year, the theme for 2021 is Step It Up! There are so many ways to recycle different household items now, from makeup containers, to tinfoil, PPE and food waste.

Below are some articles that discuss how to recycle different items, tips on creating and working in a greener setting, and everyday habits we can adopt that make a big difference:

How to recycle your used PPE

Food Waste Day: Ten creative things to do with your food waste

New Dr Chatterjee Podcast addresses plastic pollution crisis

Green salon – Looking to make your therapy business more eco-friendly?

2020 FHT Green Therapy Business of the Year, Wellbeing at Whistlewood, share an update since winning the award

Green clean – Recipes for home-made aromatherapy cleaning products

We hope you find the above resources useful. If you’d like to learn more about International Therapist and some of the many other benefits you receive as a member of the FHT, please visit 

Photo: from Freepik

Alzheimer’s Society asks us all to learn more about dementia this World Alzheimer’s Day 

World Alzheimer’s Day takes place on 21 September and is part of World Alzheimer’s Month. This year, the Alzheimer’s Society is “encouraging everyone to know the signs and symptoms of dementia so they can get the right diagnosis and support as quickly as possible”. 

While we appreciate that many FHT members are very knowledgeable about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, if this is an area you are less familiar with, why not spend just 30 minutes or so to enhance your knowledge in this area. 

There is lots of useful information available on the Alzheimer’s Society website, and below are links to three articles by dementia and massage specialist, Nicolle Mitchell, MFHT, that have been published in International Therapist magazine: 

Peace of mind – supporting people with dementia  

Peace process – a case study  

The link between dementia and trauma 

We hope you find the above resources useful. If you’d like to learn more about International Therapist and some of the many other benefits you receive as a member of the FHT, please visit 

Photo: by Lucas Guimarães from Pexels

Oh Magazine readers encouraged to try reflexology

This September, we encouraged visitors to Oh Magazine’s website to treat their feet to some reflexology and highlighted five great reasons why they should try this gentle but powerful therapy:

  1. Reflexology can help to reduce anxiety, improve sleep and mood, and relieve tension.
  2. Many people use reflexology to help them manage long-term health conditions.
  3. People of all ages can potentially benefit from reflexology and the power of positive touch.
  4. Reflexology can help to mobilise stiff or tired toes, ankles and feet.
  5. As reflexology usually only treats the feet, it can be enjoyed just about anywhere!

At the end of the article, readers are encouraged to visit FHT’s website to find a professional reflexologist in their area. And for those who enjoy the print version of Oh Magazine, we have also promoted our members with a full-page print advert in the September issue.

If you’re not familiar with Oh Magazine, this beautifully illustrated publication has a readership of 120,000 and offers a fresh perspective, covering new ways of looking inside ourselves and out. Oh offers mindfulness for everyday living, with mindful activities and adventures for readers who want to live ‘on purpose’.

Read our article on Oh Magazine’s website

Picture: Akshaya Premjith from Pexels

Natural Health article tackles four common myths about therapies 

As well as promoting FHT members and the amazing range of therapy services they have to offer, we also take great pride in promoting best practice in popular consumer titles.  

In an article published on Natural Health’s website this month, the FHT addresses four common myths about complementary, beauty and sports therapies… 

Myth 1: ‘Alternative’ and ‘complementary’ therapies are the same thing.  
We highlight the importance of using therapies alongside conventional medicine, and not as an ‘alternative’. 

Myth 2: If something is natural, it’s safe.  
Here we emphasise that while essential oils have amazing health-boosting properties, they can cause harm if not used properly. 

Myth 3: Beauty therapy is just about aesthetics and ‘looking pretty’. 
We touch just a few different ways that beauty therapy can be used to help support people with serious health problems and body esteem issues. 

Myth 4: Sports massage is only for athletes. 
Far from it! We explain that sports massage can be used to tackle a range of muscular aches and pains caused by everyday activities. 

At the end of the article, readers are directed to FHT’s Directory to find a local therapist who is professional, suitably qualified and accountable. And to promote our members even more, we also have a direct link to the FHT Directory on the Natural Health website homepage throughout September, as well as a full page advert in the September issue of the printed magazine. 

Click here to read the full article on Natural Health’s website 

Blood pressure checks to be made available from NHS pharmacies

From October, every NHS pharmacy in England will be able to provide blood pressure checks to people aged 40 and above, following a new deal between pharmacies and the NHS.

It is estimated that this new initiative could prevent more than 3,700 strokes and 2,500 heart attacks over the next five years, and save around 2,000 lives.

The aim is to detect thousands of people living with cardiovascular disease earlier, helping to prevent over 150,000 heart attacks, strokes and dementia cases, which is a key objective of the NHS Long Term Plan.

As part of the new contract, local chemists will also help to support NHS smoking cessation services by offering advice and care to smokers who have recently been discharged from hospital. Patients will be able to receive support sessions over a 12-week period with a trained member of the pharmacy team.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS National Medical Director said, ‘It has been an extraordinary year for our pharmacy teams who have continued to ensure millions of people have access to medicines and health advice as well as playing a vital role in delivering the NHS COVID vaccination programme.

‘More high street heart checks for blood pressure will mean more rapid detection of killer conditions and quicker treatment for patients who need it.

‘Pharmacies are in the heart of communities and so they are ideally placed to provide these convenient checks so if you are worried about your health, please do get tested – it could save your life.’

For more information, see the NHS England website


Cancer charity seeks volunteer therapists for 2021 London Marathon runners

The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity (RMCC) is looking for two volunteer therapists to provide post-event massage to runners helping to raise money for the charity at this year’s London Marathon.  

The volunteer therapists would be required to work from midday to 6pm on the day of the event (Sunday, 3 October 2021). 

The RMCC will be able to provide: 

• Massage tables 

• Massage oil 

• Towels/paper towels. 

The location of where the massages will take place is yet to confirmed but if you are interested in supporting RMCC’s runners, please email Rachel at for further details.

If you are an FHT member and taking part… 

Please ensure that your FHT membership and insurance is current on the day of the event and that you hold a relevant Level 3 qualification in massage that meets the FHT’s criteria.  

We’d also welcome a photo and small post-event write-up to share in FHT’s communications. Please send information and photos (with relevant permissions from anyone photographed) to  Thank you!