Opportunities present in an unlikely fashion

Candice Gardner webpage image black and white circle.jpgThis week we caught up with Dermalogica’s Candice Gardner, who will be speaking about chemical peels at the 2019 FHT Training Congress. We talk about skin science, music and education.


Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

I was born and raised in South Africa, but from a young age I was fascinated by different cultures and wanted to travel and experience the world. I wanted to be a pharmacist but unfortunately university was not an option financially, so I looked to train in an area that had lots of science focus. I am crazy about skin and cosmetic science and working for the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica for over 20 years has afforded me the chance to indulge my passions daily. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the chance to travel all around the world teaching and deliver presentations on all things skin, while meeting some incredibly inspiring people along the way.


Give us an insight in to your normal day-to-day schedule…

I am up early, around 5.45am, to get organized for the day and am in the office by 8.15am. My current role as Education Manager – Content focuses on content and curriculum development. So, my days are filled with a range of meetings and briefings, along with writing and reviewing educational pieces.

I analyse workshop content and marketing copy to ensure technical and scientific accuracy. I also work on the Dermalogica Global Curriculum Task Force, which means I get to test new products and protocols for efficacy and results before we release them. We see over 25,000 skin therapists on our training every year in the UK and Ireland, and our focus every day is to bring outstanding education to skin therapists to ensure their success.

I leave the office at 4pm. My two children keep me on my toes with their busy schedules and between them we are off to one or other sports club or music lesson each day.


What interests you outside of work?

A lot of my time outside of work is taken up with my children and their activities. I am passionate about children having broad and enriching life experiences, so I volunteer with our local music charity’s parent’s association which supports fundraising for music education. Several Saturday mornings a month I help set up and run a pop-up café. Next month, over 1,500 children from the London Borough of Merton will perform in choirs, ensembles and orchestras at the Royal Albert Hall, partly funded by the parent’s association and café.

When I am not at a sports fixture or watching a choir or dance rehearsal, I love to cook. So, I will spend time in the kitchen most weekends. I love reading and I have resolved to make more time to read in 2019.


What is your Training Congress seminar about?

I will be discussing working with chemical peels. There is little regulation around these services, and it is essential that high standards of professional practice are maintained. The formation of the JCCP demonstrates that there is a need for better regulation to ensure skin therapists can continue to provide these services.


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

We will look at everything from your responsibility at consultation to service execution and aftercare advice. It is a good opportunity to critically analyse your practice, procedures and protocol, and to ascertain whether you are protecting both your clients and yourself with safe treatment, while maximising the results.


What will attendees of your seminar expect to come away with?

An understanding of what constitutes excellent professional practice standards.

Even if you are not currently offering these services, you may find it useful to know what a client should expect if you are advising someone who is using an alternate practitioner for peels.


Are there any other seminars in the programme which look particularly interesting to you?

I will definitely be looking to find out about boosting therapy with brainwave music. I already have an insight into binaural beats and find this a fascinating area of research.

I am a massive fan of Rachel Fairweather and Meghan Mari from Jing Massage. I will always make time to attend their informative sessions.


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

Have an open mind. It is easy as we grow in experience to become very opinionated and consequently limit what we would entertain. Often opportunities present in an unlikely fashion, and if we are always open, we are more likely to receive the inspiration. Explore, keep educating yourself, and stay open to what life and the world presents.


Learn more

Join us at the 2019 FHT Training Congress from Sunday 19 to Monday 20 May at the Holistic Health Show, NEC Birmingham.


For more details about the talks and to book, visit fht.org.uk/congress


FHT partners with Jing for free webinar


The FHT is delighted to be partnering with Jing Advanced Massage Training for a free webinar on myofascial release for fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions.

Taking place on Wednesday 27 March from 11.00 to 11.45am, this webinar will be hosted by Jing director Rachel Fairweather, who will talk about her upcoming myofascial release for fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions workshop at the 2019 FHT Training Congress at the Holistic Health Show.

Chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and ongoing pain from accident, injury or emotional trauma can be frustrating for the massage therapist to treat. Adding myofascial release techniques to your skill set can be highly beneficial in the treatment of these complex and chronic pain conditions.

By registering for this webinar you will automatically be sent the recording, so if you can’t make it on 27 March – don’t panic.

Last September, the FHT was pleased to partner with Human Kinetics for a free webinar with Jane Johnson on low back pain.

This was very popular, and we hope the webinar with Jing will be just as successful.

FHT members can gain one CPD point from watching the webinar and completing a reflective practice. Register your place at fht.org.uk/Jing-webinar

Always come with an open mind

Nic Wood black and white circle 2In the third in our series of interviews with 2019 FHT Training Congress expert speakers, we talked with Nic Wood about pain, the mind and freediving.


Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

Coming from a hands-on therapy background, I found over time that some clients were stuck, they would improve and then the problem would re-occur, some clients had been passed on from doctors saying there was nothing wrong but the patient was experiencing very real problems.

Something was causing people to continually experience pain and discomfort and it wasn’t just physical.


Give us an insight in to your normal day-to-day schedule…

I like to mix my treatments up, so alternate between body mind work clients and hands on pain relief sessions. A few hours a week are dedicated to reading and continually up skilling, regular weekly online conferences with colleagues and brain storming. And every day a dog walk in the middle to get me out and keep me fresh.

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What interests you outside of work?

I have a passion for being in the water — I free dive and spearfish. During the winter I’m less in the sea but maintain a weekly pool club visit to keep me tip top for when the weather warms up. And walking — I love walking, in the woods, on the hills, beautiful Dorset has a plethora of stunning landscapes to enjoy come rain or shine.


What is your Training Congress seminar about?

Sharing insights into how the mind works based on the Hudson Mind Theory. As you continue to learn how the mind works you will understand how it is that many clients remain stuck in their problems. You will learn about the ‘Screen’, Matt Hudson’s Theory, and this will open your mind in a whole new way!


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

I love understanding how the mind works, and knowing that there is structure to behaviour and problems opens up new opportunities and possibilities within practices. Learning where information is stored in our minds gives therapists tools to help clients access their own personal resources, and this means change can be so much quicker, more effective and definite. ‘Don’t support, SORT’

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What will attendees of your seminar expect to come away with?

New Learning, The Hudson Mind Theory is the latest most up to date work on The Mind and how it works. With this latest information attendees will have the opportunity to see where we store information and will then get to grips with what new learnings are available to allow them to continue on their own journey.


Are there any other seminars in the programme which look particularly interesting to you?

Dr Toh Wong – Discover the insider secrets to getting your foot through the GP door and get consistent referrals. I personally want more GPs to know about this work and how it can help. The level and rise of mental health problems is frightening. If I can gain more knowledge to help me get a foot in the door to continue getting this work out there, helping to reduce the load on the NHS and make even more significant changes with people, this for me is really important.


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

Always come with an open mind.


Learn more

Join us at the 2019 FHT Training Congress from Sunday 19 to Monday 20 May at the Holistic Health Show, NEC Birmingham.

For more details about the talks and to book, visit fht.org.uk/congress



Reflecting on yoga, research and what matters most

Tania Plahay.jpgThis week we caught up with author and yoga teacher, Tania Plahay, in the second in our series of interviews with 2019 FHT Training Congress expert speakers. Tania tells us about her career change from civil service to offering yoga therapy for clients with dementia, and why it is important to do the things you love.


Q. Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

I first got into yoga in my late teens when I was living in London. When I was 18, I moved in with my father to help care for him after he had a stroke. Previously, my father was in a nursing home, where I remember visiting and feeling a deep sense of sadness about the lack of activities and engagement in the home. My father passed away when I was 21, but this sadness has always stayed with me. My grandmother was also living with dementia during the final part of her life.

During my 20s and early 30s, I had a career in the civil service, but continued my yoga practice as a hobby. In 2010, I trained to be a yoga teacher, which increased my knowledge about the wider therapeutic benefits of yoga. After my teacher training, I wanted to spread the joy and grounding I had found to other people. In particular, those that did not have easy access to yoga.


Q. Give us an insight in to your normal day-to-day schedule…

During my research project and when writing my book, Yoga for Dementia, my normal day-to-day schedule would look at little like this:

On a Friday morning I would go and volunteer at my local nursing home. This would involve preparing a class, which could cater for a wide range of clients including those living with dementia, heart conditions, and high blood pressure. This class would last around 40 minutes and we would perform a range of movements and breathing exercises. After the class, I would review any learning points. My afternoons sometimes involved going to another residential home to train some of the activities managers.

My current schedule includes spending time doing my own daily yoga practice, as well as reading about yoga and the latest research into the medical benefits of yoga. I try to keep up to date with the constantly evolving information about dementia and its effects. I am putting together training resources for other people who want to introduce yoga in residential care settings. Some of my regular classes are with older clients in a residential home.


Q. What interests you outside of work?

I have already gone through one complete career change from a civil servant to a yoga teacher and educator.  Therefore, my current work, on aging, dementia, yoga and meditation was previously my hobby. In my spare time I still really enjoy delving deeper into these topics. There is a quote that goes something along the lines of ‘choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ Although I still have to do things I consider ‘work’, I consider myself very lucky that I truly love what I do.

As well as yoga I am interested in cross training and functional movement, and I love the great outdoors. I particularly enjoy hiking, running and swimming in the sea.

To relax I love cooking healthy vegetarian food, watching a series on TV, and spending time with my partner and rescue dogs.


Q. What is your Training Congress seminar about?

In the UK there are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. Many complementary, beauty, and sports therapists have the ability to help this group feel well, relax, and practice self-care. However, I believe that many therapists may have reservations about working with those living with dementia or may not know where to start approaching or talking to this client group.

My seminar provides five key tips to working with people living with Dementia. These tips are based on my work in researching and writing my book, Yoga for Dementia.


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

According to a new study (November 2018) published in The Lancet Neurology, the number of people living with dementia globally has more than doubled between 1990 and 2016. By 2050 more than 100 million people globally could be living with dementia related diseases.  The study also shows that some of these outcomes can be attributed to four key lifestyle related risk factors: being overweight, having high blood sugar, consuming a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages, and smoking. Other studies show that stress can increase the risk of mild cognitive impairment.

The 2018 study calls for community-based services that support improved quality of life and function. I believe that many complementary therapists can help enhance the quality of life and function of people living with cognitive impairment. How we feel in our bodies can have a huge impact on our mental well-being. There are many opportunities for therapists to work with those living with dementia and other cognitive impairments. These may include helping clients to use their bodies more effectively, helping people to relax, or helping them to feel well.

The study also explains that dementia develops over at least 20 to 30 years before it is diagnosed. I therefore believe that there is also an advocacy role for therapists working with those at risk of dementia in their middle years. Therapists can provide people with simple tools and self-care practices, such as massage, exercise and dietary advice, to help reduce stress and make better choices.

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Q. What will attendees of your seminar expect to come away with?

Attendees of my seminar will come away with five top tips to working with those living with dementia. If you have never worked with anyone living with dementia before, I will provide some information about what you might expect. I will also look at common fears of working with this group, and how we can overcome these. We will explore a little about working within the framework of families, communities, and institutions and how we communicate. After the seminar you will have a better idea about the challenges and opportunities of working with this group.

My intention for those that come to the seminar is that at the end of the seminar they will feel much more confident about expanding their client base to include those living with dementia and other forms of cognitive impairment.


Q. Are there any other seminars in the programme which look particularly interesting to you?

Yes, I am very interested in the role complementary therapists can play in holistic wellbeing and how they can work alongside conventional medicine. Therefore, I am interested in Dr Toh Wong’s seminar on ‘Five main reasons why therapists don’t get referrals from GPs and the medical profession’ and Julie Crossman’s on ‘The role of the complementary therapist within the NHS’.

I also use guided meditation, visualisation and yoga nidra a lot in my work, so I’m interested in Anna-Louise Haigh’s seminar on ‘Guided meditation – experience the power to transform’.


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

My best piece of advice relates to following your heart and focusing on doing what you love. This might mean thinking outside the box, such as considering if there are underserved population groups in your area. I would recommend reflecting on your expertise, and if you have any particular interests you would like to pursue more.

When we are enthusiastic about something and following our hearts, this enthusiasm can become infectious and others can pick up on this. I would also advise not shying away from social media. I use my Yoga for Dementia Facebook page to share articles and posts I find interesting. It is great as it is an easy reference resource and also helps to develop a community around a topic of interest.

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Member offer

You can purchase a copy of Tania’s book via its publishers, Jessica Kingsley. Use the code PLAHAY for a 20% discount from now until 9 March.


Learn more

Join us at the 2019 FHT Training Congress from Sunday 19 to Monday 20 May at the Holistic Health Show, NEC Birmingham.

For more details about the talks and to book, visit fht.org.uk/congress


Look out for an article by Tania Plahay in the next issue of International Therapist.

Talking points

In the first of a series of interviews witjanewebpageimageblackandwhitecircleh our 2019 FHT Training Congress expert speakers, we spoke to Jane Johnson about portfolio work, writing, research and rocks.


Q. Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

I’m a physiotherapist, with a ‘portfolio’ job, which is a posh way of saying that I work in more than one capacity:

  • I run The Friendly Physio, a free Facebook group with the aim of inspiring therapists with tips, tricks, stories and video tutorials.
  • I write books: Postural Assessment, Postural Correction, Therapeutic Stretching, Deep Tissue Massage, Soft Tissue and Trigger Point Release, and The Big Back Book: Tips & Tricks for Therapists. With a colleague, Cameron Reid, I’m currently writing How To Treat Knee Pain.
  • In the capacity of Physiotherapy Expert Witness, I give evidence in court and in the form of written reports for cases involving massage and physiotherapy.
  • I’m in my final year studying for a PhD. I’ve been funded by the Royal College of Chiropractors and Teesside University to develop a postural assessment app for use by chiropractors treating clients with back or neck pain.
  • I teach workshops and deliver seminars both in the UK and abroad. I also deliver free webinars, including Postural Assessment, Postural Correction, How to Treat Clients with Low Back Pain, and How to Treat Clients With Neck Pain.
  • And of course, I work as a physio! I’m a musculoskeletal physiotherapist and specialize in occupational health. This means assessing and treating patients just as any other musculoskeletal physio, but in addition, advising their employer how to help keep that person in work (or help get them back to work) if they have an injury, are recovering from an operation, or if they have a long-term musculoskeletal condition.

I began as a fitness instructor, then trained in Swedish massage, then gravitated to sports injuries and sports massage, and eventually physiotherapy.


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Q. Give us an insight into your normal day-to-day schedule…

With a portfolio job my days are never the same. Any week I might be:

  • answering questions from therapists in The Friendly Physio group.
  • carrying out a locum physiotherapy job, assessing and treating patients, writing reports for employers.
  • at the airport, waiting to board a plane to China or Taiwan to teach a course there.
  • working on a chapter of my PhD thesis.
  • on a train to a UK venue to teach an FHT workshop.
  • speaking to patients on the telephone, delivering telephone consultations for a physiotherapy firm.
  • working on the manuscript of a book I’m writing.
  • working on the submission of a book I’m hoping to get a contract to write!
  • putting together a webinar or seminar or workshop materials.
  • reading thousands of pages of patient notes and writing the report with my opinion as an expert witness.
  • attending training courses to develop my own learning.

I have a huge, double-sided whiteboard on wheels in my office so I can keep track of what I’m doing. Every night I write out what I need to do the next day so that I know where I’m going, whether I’m supposed to be on site doing a physio job or buying foreign currency for a job abroad.


Q. What interests you outside of work?


Having a portfolio job means I have to take time out to rest and refresh myself.

I get a lot of massage, wherever I am, whenever I can, whether it’s a quick 15-minute chair massage or Indian head massage in an airport, or a 2.5-hour Thai yoga massage in town.

I keep a sketchbook. I started 4 years ago and now I’ve got 43! I visit a lot of museums, one of my passions, and I sketch everything and anything. I love sketching rocks because even when they go horribly wrong, they still look like rocks.

I walk my dog every day when I’m at home. He’s the last of my rescue dogs, a massive staffie who isn’t called Chunky for nothing.

I do yoga. I’m currently doing a 30-day beginners yoga challenge.


Q. What is your Training Congress seminar about?

I’m doing two—Posture: does it matter, and can it be corrected? and Trigger points for beginners.


Q. What is it about your topics that appeals to you and why are they useful for therapists?

In my clinical experience, there is a relationship between posture and pain. I love demonstrating simple postural correction techniques that any therapist can teach their clients. Similarly, I’ve found that deactivation of trigger points helps reduce pain and sensations of tension in muscles and helps increase range of movement. I like helping therapists understand how to identify trigger points and eliminate them. Postural correction and trigger point reduction are skills all therapists can learn, without the need for expensive, additional training.

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Q. What will attendees of your seminar expect to come away with?

In the posture seminar attendees will be asked whether they have ever treated clients with round shoulders or heard about ‘text neck’, ‘forward-head posture’, or seen a client with a ‘bump’ on the back of their neck. They will learn how to identify these postures, as well as pelvic ‘tilting’. This seminar explores some of the controversies surrounding posture and postural correction.

In the trigger point seminar, attendees will be asked if they have heard of the term ‘trigger point’ and wondered what it meant. They will learn the difference between trigger points and ‘knots’ in a muscle, what a trigger point is, what causes them, how to identify them and how to treat them.


Q. Are there any other seminars in the programme which look particularly interesting to you?

Yes, ‘The role of the complementary therapist in the NHS’. As someone who has worked in both the private sector and the NHS, including at the Royal Free Hospital which has had a massage service for many years, with over 70 therapists, I’ve long since supported the integration of complementary therapy within this sector. As we know, research suggests that this is what patients want too. I’m keen to see how this develops over the next five years.


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

Make a vision board with images and text reflecting what you want to attract into your practice and keep it somewhere where you can see it every day. You get what you focus on so if your attention is focused on your vision, seeing it on the vision board will help it manifest.


Learn more

Join us at the 2019 FHT Training Congress from Sunday 19 to Monday 20 May at the Holistic Health Show, NEC Birmingham.

For more details about the talks and to book, visit fht.org.uk/congress

As well as hosting two seminars at the 2019 FHT Training Congress, Jane is offering a free webinar on treating clients with neck pain (Wednesday 27 March at 3-4pm) and is teaching a number of FHT Hosted workshops throughout 2019.

Read an article by Jane Johnson on deactivating trigger points with soft tissue release, published in the Winter 2019 issue of International Therapist.


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