New! Series two of the International Therapist podcast launches 

We launched the International Therapist podcast this Spring so that our professional complementary, beauty and sports therapists can gain inspiration from others in the industry. 

In the first series on the FHT Virtual Congress, we spoke to expert seminar hosts at the FHT Virtual Congress about their careers, journeys and goals for the future.  

Series two – Celebrating Excellence

Here at the FHT, a huge highlight of our year is celebrating our member’s hard work and dedication through the FHT Excellence Awards. There have been some truly amazing accomplishments and we thought what better way to share these far and wide than to invite some of our winners to feature as guests on our podcast? Keep reading for a sneak peek at what to expect from series two… 

Celebrating Excellence | Episode one 

We speak to 2020 FHT Sports Therapist of the Year, John Molyneux, author and owner of fitness platform MolyFit. In this conversation, John speaks openly about his incredible journey into therapies, as well as his passion for supporting older people and his experience of being recognised for his hard work in the industry. 

Listen to John here

Celebrating Excellence | Episode two 

We speak to 2020 FHT Complementary Therapist of the Year, Mary Atkinson, who has written six books on massage and co-founded the renowned Story Massage Story Massage Programme. Mary shares more about her work during the pandemic, explaining why she decided to share stories for free and the impact it has had on so many. She also tells us about her experience of winning the award, including a special virtual dinner organised by her family. 

Listen to Mary here

Celebrating Excellence | Episode three 

We speak to 2020 FHT Beauty Therapist of the Year and owner of businesses Karma Beauty and Karma Boutique, Stephanie Chaytor. In this conversation, Stephanie speaks about her experience in setting up her business at the age of 19 and how she continued to develop her offering, she also speaks about what winning the award meant to her and gives some words of encouragement to fellow therapists looking to nominate themselves. 

Celebrating Excellence | Episode four 

We speak to 2014 FHT Excellence in Practice award winner and 2019 FHT Tutor of the Year, Dr Carol Samuel from reflexmaster.co.uk. In this conversation, Carol speaks about her research into the effects of reflexology on acute pain, shares tips for therapists looking to evidence the positive effects of their therapy and reflects on winning her awards. 

We want to hear from you! 

We are thrilled about the success of both our podcast series but want to hear from you, our listeners, about topics you’d like us to cover. 

If you have any ideas you’d like to share, please email Editor, Karen Young at kyoung@fht.org.uk 

Listen and follow at fht.org.uk/podcast

6 ways to practice self-care between clients 

In each issue of International Therapist magazine, we share six ways to support you professionally and personally. In IT Summer 2021 (Issue 137), we look at ways to practice self-care between clients…

As therapists, we know that working with clients who are unwell or emotionally draining can take its toll. This, paired with the adjustment of returning to work following the most recent lockdown, may leave the best of us feeling drained. We share some suggestions to help you maintain and boost your energy levels throughout your workday…  

  1. Visualisation  

We know that ‘prevention is better than cure’, so start your day as you mean to go on. Before treating clients, use visualisation to protect your energy levels. Try this exercise: imagine you are putting on a new pair of overalls before your first client, the overalls will help to protect you from absorbing any negativity. When the day is done, you can then ‘take off’ your overalls and leave all that stress behind.  

  1. Mindful handwashing  

Washing our hands thoroughly is a necessary practice between clients, so why not make the most of this time and carry it out mindfully? Run the water until it is at the right temperature for you before lathering the soap in your hands, giving yourself a soothing hand massage while you do. Dry your hands slowly, trying to take note of what your hands look and feel like. Most importantly, moisturise before you head back out to the treatment room and appreciate the softness of your hands.  

  1. Block out ‘me time’  

In our business feature published in the International Therapist Winter 2021 (issue 135), we asked our FHT Virtual Congress speakers to tell us some of the biggest lessons learned during the pandemic. A reoccurring reflection was recognising the importance of scheduling in ‘me time’, even just five or ten minutes can leave you feeling refreshed and ready to carry out your next treatment.  

  1. Connect with the outdoors  

Ritualise heading outdoors to connect with nature – no matter the weather. Studies show that 29 minutes outdoors can increase productivity by up to 45% (Richmond, 2020). If for some reason you might struggle to achieve this, bring the outdoors in by adding some indoor plants to your treatment room.  

  1. Pen to paper  

Keep a journal. You can use this for reflective practice at the end of the day – writing down what went well and what didn’t go so well, so that these thoughts don’t stay running round in your mind, stopping you from relaxing and recharging your batteries. You can also write down all the tasks you need to carry out the following day — clients you need to speak to, follow-ups, suppliers you need to ring, and so on. Then leave this journal on your desk or in your bag for the following morning, so that you learn to ‘leave work at work’. 

  1. Level up your meditation  

Do you practice meditation or controlled breathing exercises? They can be particularly useful tools to slow the mind down and become more present. Monks in Tibet are often taught to practice meditation in a busy place to help them use the tool whenever they need it. A nice little goal to set yourself may be to improve your daily meditation practice, so that you can find your calm place no matter what is going on around you. 

International Therapist magazine is a perk for FHT members. Find out about FHT membership at fht.org.uk/member.

International Therapist Summer 2021

As a member of the FHT, your Summer issue of International Therapist will be arriving soon!

In this issue, you will find:

A special feature on how our environment shapes our health and how we can become the architects of our own communities. 

  • Reflexology expert Sue Ricks, MFHT, writes about her work with babies and children
  • FHT’s editor, Karen Young, looks at just a few of the health and wellbeing benefits of different beauty treatments
  • We share some of the signs of domestic abuse and where to direct clients for appropriate support
  • We look at the science behind natural deodorants and some of the most popular products on the market
  • A short book excerpt from Dr Rangan Chatterjee’s new book, Feel Great Lose Weight
  • Dawn Morse, FHT accredited course provider, looks at the use of dry needling to support soft tissue dysfunction
  • Chriopractor and business guru, Nikki Collinson-Phenix, shares tips on bouncing back to buisness

Plus an essential oil profile on Neroli, the latest FHT local group news; a day in the life of Alison Bailey, complementary therapy lead at Weston HospiceCare; the latest research; expert advice; medical A-Z; and a guest column by Caroline Nokes MP about restoring client confidence.

And don’t miss the opportunity to win a deluxe facial oil and eye serum gift set by Bespoke Aroma Spa. Fill out our online form to enter our competition for this issue.

Landing on your doorstep from Friday 16 July. You can also log in to read this issue (from Friday 16 July) and past issues online at fht.org.uk/members-area.

FHT gives tips to Natural Health readers on essential oils for travel

In an article published on Natural Health website, aromatherapist and FHT Vice President Mary Dalgleish offers tips on how to use essential oils safely to tackle some common health complaints associated with travelling.

In Essential Oils: Natural Travel Companions For Your Health, Natural Health readers learn:

  • how sniffing one or two drops of ginger essential oil can help to tackle nausea, vomiting and motion sickness;
  • that neroli can help to reduce holiday anxiety;
  • which essential oils make useful insect repellents; and
  • how chamomile and rose hydrosols can be used to soothe mild sunburn.

At the end of the article, Mary covers some important safety advice when using essential oils and readers are directed to FHT’s Directory to find a registered, qualified and insured aromatherapist in their area.

To help promote our members to those with an interest in natural approaches to health and wellbeing even more, we also have a direct link to the FHT Directory on the Natural Health website homepage throughout July, as well as a full page advert in the July issue of the printed magazine.

Click here to read Mary’s article on Natural Health’s website

Picture credit: karlyukav at www.freepik.com

The longest nerve

In International Therapist Spring 2021 (Issue 136), FHT accredited course provider and physiotherapist Jane Johnson contributed an article on sciatica which looks at how therapists can support clients living with the condition.

Jane gives an insight into the function of the sciatic nerve, common causes of sciatica, symptoms and medical/non-medical support that can be given. She writes, ‘Sciatica is a condition for which hands-on treatment of the local area may not be appropriate. However, there are many other ways in which a therapist can support someone living with sciatic pain.


‘The first thing to do when treating a client with sciatica is to quantify as best you can, how much pain the person is in and to what level the condition is affecting their life. One way to do this is to ask them about their symptoms using a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) or a Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS). Both the VAS and the NPRS have
been adopted as recommended outcome measures by the Faculty of Pain Medicine and the British Pain Society (British Pain Society, 2019).

‘The reason for finding out your client’s level of pain is because it helps when setting a treatment goal, as well as for documenting whether their pain reduces and by how much. For example, if a person reports that their buttock and hamstring pain is 9/10 on a NPRS, one of your goals might be to reduce buttock and hamstring pain from 9/10 over a two-week period.

‘People sometimes feel that their pain is unrelenting, but you can help them to identify those times when they may not have 9/10 pain (for example), and which factors aggravate or ease their symptoms. Helping a client to identify that there are times when they may be pain free, even if for only a few minutes, can be comforting for them.’

Read the full article as featured in International Therapist magazine.

About the author:

Jane Johnson is an FHT accredited course provider and a physiotherapist with a passion for helping therapists to gain confidence in hands-on techniques. A massage and sports therapist for many years, she appreciates the value of touch and thrives on sharing the many tips she has picked up over the years. Jane is the author of six books for therapists: Soft Tissue Release, Therapeutic Stretching, Deep Tissue Massage, Postural Assessment, Postural Correction and the Big Back Book; Tips and Tricks for Therapists. You can contact Jane on her Facebook page @thefriendlyphysio

In each issue of FHT’s membership magazine, International Therapist, we publish features from well respected contributors like Jane. International Therapist is a perk for FHT members, to become a member visit fht.org.uk/member.

Daily actions to help you jump back into action this July

Every month, Action for Happiness produces a calendar packed with daily actions we can take to increase our own happiness and that of others around us.

This July, the charity’s ‘Jump back up July’ calendar focuses on daily actions to help you bounce back after the past year.

On day 28, ‘think about what you can learn from a recent problem’, consider the following points…

  1. How you felt about the problem when it arose, what were your thoughts and reactions?
  2. List some positives about the way that you handled that problem
  3. Reflect on what you might do differently next time

The calendar is free to download as a PDF or image file (JPEG) in 16 different languages. You can also download the actions straight to your calendar using a Google Calendar or iCalendar file.

Download the July 2021 Action for Happiness calendar

Nominations for the FHT Excellence Awards close tomorrow

After the unprecedented year we have all experienced, and the ongoing pandemic, it has never been more important to recognise the many ways professional therapists can make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of others. Nominate yourself or someone you know in the FHT Excellence awards tomorrow and you could be in for the chance of being named one of our 2021 winners.

We spoke to winners of 2020 FHT Green Therapy Business of the Year, Anne Bramley and Helen Saunders, about their experience of winning the award. They said,

‘It has encouraged and supported our aims of being a sustainable and ethical business and has helped us to access further positive opportunities. 2020 was a challenging year but the award provided a positive focus which allowed us to continue with small, achievable steps towards greener practice.

‘We would love to encourage other therapists and practitioners to apply for the award however small your steps towards sustainable wellbeing. We have heard so many inspiring examples of greener product development, reduction of packaging and use of less wasteful products. We look forward to hearing about the amazing things that are being offered by FHT members and send all candidates for every category of the Excellence Awards 2021 our very best wishes.

‘We believe that if we all take small steps forward that our collective actions can contribute to a brighter vision of “One Wellbeing.’

FHT Green Therapy Business of the Year

Wherever possible, have you reduced the amount of single-use products you use in your salon/clinic?

Maybe you’ve developed a ‘green’ product for professional therapists and their clients to enjoy, such as a plant-based candle with essential oils, or organic skincare range or massage medium?

Perhaps you have embraced the principles of sustainability and zero-waste, applying green solutions to every single aspect of your business…

Perhaps you have embraced the principles of sustainability and zero-waste, applying green solutions to every single aspect of your business…

Is this you? Nominate yourself for 2021 FHT Green Therapy Practice of the Year

FHT hosts successful first Virtual Congress event 

The FHT’s first Virtual Congress took place from Sunday 13 to Friday 18 June 2021. 

With over 640 attendees and 50 expert speakers, we are proud to announce that this year’s congress has been our largest educational event to date. We would like to thank all those who helped to make the 2021 FHT Virtual Congress such a valuable learning experience for industry professionals. 

The event is one of our highlights each year, as it’s a chance for us to meet members face-to-face and immerse ourselves in the world of therapy practice. Forced to do things a little differently as a result of the pandemic, we took to the web feeling excited for the new challenge but naturally concerned that the event wouldn’t achieve the same ‘feel’ as a face-to-face congress. 

The overwhelmingly positive feedback we received from delegates suggests that the event went above and beyond our expectations by providing a more accessible model and the ability to watch more talks than ever before. Originally set to last for two days, demand meant we extended the event for a further four days so that attendees had more time to watch the pre-recorded seminars. FHT members and non-members also enjoyed the live webinar sessions, the ability to network via a Facebook group and access to one-time offers at through our online shop.  

‘This was my first year with FHT and I have thoroughly enjoyed being offered informative, varied and well-organised training in the comfort of my own home! It’s been really valuable for my continued learning.’ 
 
‘Thank you- the event re-enthused me completely. Have felt quite isolated during lock-down. This was the perfect pick me up.’ 

‘I wouldn’t have been able to travel to England to a physical Congress, from the comfort of my own home I could time, take notes, drink tea, reflect, I feel it was a 100% success and I hope you can do it again for next year, I learned a lot.’ 

Many delegates also commented that they enjoyed the option to attend seminars covering topics that they might not have tried if paying on a ‘per seminar’ basis, and that taking part in a virtual event created not just cost savings in terms of travel and accommodation expenses, but it also helped to reduce their carbon footprint. 

The event consisted of over 50 pre-recorded seminars and four live webinars covering a broad range of topics from some of the most well-known and well-respected speakers in the industry. Just a few of the interesting topics included trigger point therapy, aromatherapy for sleep, pregnancy massage, supporting clients recovering from post-viral fatigue, reflexology, hypnotherapy, posture, and a look at the anatomy of the foot and ankle. 

Practical business advice was also available, with speakers offering tips on growing your business online, self-care in the workplace, and heart-centered growth. 

Following the huge success of this event, the FHT are considering hosting virtual learning experiences in the future while of course keeping in mind the benefits of both face-to-face and online approaches. 

Did you attend the 2021 FHT Virtual Congress and discover a speaker that you really enjoyed listening to? Discover our upcoming webinars hosted by this year’s Congress speakers…  

Webinar: Postural Correction of The Neck 

Date: 23/07/2021 

Location: Online Webinar 

Tutor : Jane Johnson 

Osteopathic Techniques: Sport and Spine 

Date: 24/07/2021 – 25/07/2021 

Location: Online 

Tutor: Cameron Reid 

Webinar: Postural Correction of The Shoulders 

Date: 27/08/2021 

Location: Online Webinar 

Tutor: Jane Johnson 

Advanced crystal therapy for practitioners and healers – level 1 

Date: 11/09/2021 – 12/09/2021 

Location: Basingstoke 

Tutor:  Shirley O’Donoghue. 

Table Thai stretch massage 

Date: 18/09/2021 -19/09/2021 

Location: Learn from home! 

Tutor: Kathryn Ellis 

Webinar: Postural Correction of The Low Back 

Date: 24/09/2021 

Location: Online Webinar 

Tutor: Jane Johnson 

Osteopathic Techniques: Sport and Spine 

Date: 02/10/2021 – 03/10/2021 

Location: Brighton 

Tutor: Cameron Reid. 

Relaxation, Meditation and Mindfulness for Therapists 

Date: 09/10/2021 

Location: Bristol 

Tutor: Christine Browne 

Osteopathic Techniques: Sport and Spine 

Date: 16/10/2021 – 17/10/2021 

Location: Leeds 

Tutor: Cameron Reid 

Table Thai Stretch Massage 

Date: 04/12/2021 – 05/12/2021 

Location: Learn from home! 

Tutor: Kathryn Ellis 

How winning an FHT Excellence Award can help accelerate your career

The FHT Excellence Awards showcase how you, our members, are making a difference to people living in your local community – from helping clients to improve their health and wellbeing, to providing tailored learning and support to students and qualified therapists.

After the unprecedented year we have all experienced, and the ongoing pandemic, it has never been more important to recognise the many ways professional therapists can make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of others.

2020 FHT Sports Therapist of the Year, John Molyneux, shared his story about how the award has so far benefited his career.

John said, ‘I have worked solo as a mobile therapist for my entire career. Working alone suited me but it has always been a great comfort (a safety net)  to have such a friendly and professional organisation like the FHT behind me. For 20 years, that’s all I have needed: my FHT membership and someone to back me up or advise me when necessary. However, life changed and so did I. I started trying to break into the corporate world but had no visibility and no exposure. I realised that my contentment in working alone had actually held me back and outside of my client bubble, no one knew my name. I was trying to promote my first book and new website but no one would listen or showed any interest. Companies just wouldn’t return my emails.

Then the pandemic hit and we went into lockdown. I did my bit within the community, got nominated for the award and won. Being able to call myself “an award winning therapist” changed everything. It brought credibility and doors started to open for me. I have been on a massive, exciting journey since I won and it keeps getting better. More importantly however, for the first time, I can see how important it is to be part of a team, how there is a wealth of knowledge and support out there, all you have to do is ask!

Have you helped an athlete transition from a debilitating injury to full recovery?

Has an inspirational colleague really raised the bar in sports therapy excellence?

Do you work as part of a team that works with professional athletes, providing vital pre- and post-event treatments or pitch-side support?

Perhaps you have given an athlete the tools to overcome mental and physical challenges that resulted from injury?

Maybe you know a therapist whose injury prevention strategies have helped sports people continue to perform at the highest level?

Is this you? Nominate yourself for 2021 Sports Therapist of the Year

Green changes within your therapy practice during the pandemic

We appreciate that extra safety measures and PPE requirements have meant that clinics and practices haven’t been as green as they were prior to the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean that your business can’t boast a range of eco-friendly initiatives.

Below are just a few ways that therapy practices can and are continuing to operate in a way that keeps the environment in mind…

Your ethos

There are many ways to keep all things eco at the heart of your business. For instance, considering where you’re sourcing your products from and whether the manufacturers are local to you. Or simply by switching energy suppliers to a greener company.

Eco-friendly products

Research the ingredients that go into the products you use at your practice and find out how they are made. If a product is natural, organic or vegan, it is likely that this will be made very clear on the company’s website.

Tip! Look out for approval by the Soil Association as well as vegan and cruelty-free stamps.

Small scale changes

Not all steps in the right direction have to be huge changes. Perhaps you’ve sourced masks that are better for the environment, were able to cut down on some single-use products, or switched to paperless this year – be proud that you’re still moving in the right direction.

Have you considered nominating yourself for FHT Green Therapy Business of the Year?

The FHT Excellence Awards showcase how you, our members, are making a difference to both the environments and the people living in your local community – from helping clients to improve their health and wellbeing, to providing tailored learning and support to students and qualified therapists. After the unprecedented year we have all experienced, and the ongoing pandemic, it has never been more important to recognize the many ways professional therapists can make a real difference.

Whether you have only been able to make a few green changes this year, or you’ve made huge strides towards becoming more eco-friendly, we would love to hear from you. Tell us your story and nominate yourself today at fht.org.uk/awards.