The wonderful art of Thai yoga massage

Kathryn Ellis - webpage black and white circle.pngIn the latest in a series of interviews with 2019 FHT Training Congress expert speakers, we speak to Kathryn Ellis about Thai yoga massage, music, and managing to avoid overuse injuries.

 

Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

I first came across the wonderful art of Thai yoga massage when I saw it demonstrated at the end of a yoga class. It was captivating to watch and even better to receive. Never having thought of myself as a particularly physical person, it completely won me over and I decided to train as a massage therapist. I’ve never looked back and now my whole work and life revolves around working with the connection between the physical and the mind.

I’ve been working full-time in the industry now for 12 years, principally as a massage therapist, but also as a massage trainer (for 10 years) and yoga teacher (for three years).

I originally trained as a musician (studying flute at University and music college) and then veered off into advertising/marketing. I had 10 wonderful years in the fast-paced, exciting world of advertising in London, doing some amazing jobs (I was a strategic media planner for two of the top five advertising agencies, and ended up as ITV’s marketing manager). However, I didn’t feel that that world was particularly conducive to having a family, and so I gave it up to become mum to two wonderful boys.

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

I love my job because no two days are alike! I’m not an early riser (I’ve always struggled to wake up before 8am) and now I no longer have to get up early! My natural rhythm is geared more towards the latter part of the day, which suits my work perfectly. I love sitting in bed in the morning with my dog, having a drink and catching up on the news and interesting articles on social media. I always love the fact that I’m answering emails from my bed whilst others are having to negotiate the rush hour traffic.

If I’m not teaching or going to a yoga class, I’ll then walk the dog with my husband (who also works from home) and we discuss ideas for both our businesses and make a plan for the day. I never book people in for a massage before 10.30am so the morning is never too rushed. When I’m teaching it’s slightly different and I usually start 9.30am-10am, but I usually prepare the evening before, so it’s not too rushed on those days either.

 

What interests you outside of work

My main interest outside of work is music. I’m a semi-professional singer (soprano voice, singing mostly classical music). I usually describe myself as a very serious amateur, which basically means that sometimes I get paid to sing, but often I don’t! I sing at a lot of charity events and mostly solos and in small ensembles (usually with just one to three other singers), accompanied by a pianist or small orchestra. Outside music, I spend most of my time with my family (two teenage sons, dog and husband – in that order!)

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What is your Training Congress seminar about?

So often I come across massage therapists who are dealing with a lot of pain (thumbs, hands, back) or have had to give up their work after only a few years. It’s such a shame because by adapting their routine and their approach, they could offer a brilliant massage with a lot less effort on their part. I was very fortunate in that my first massage discipline was Thai yoga massage which is such a clever form of treatment in the way we use our body. Just by changing your position slightly, or by changing the position of your client, you can make the massage not only a lot easier to give, but more effective for the client as well. I really want to share some of these clever techniques/approaches with other therapists.

I teach Thai yoga massage (TYM) which is a floor-based treatment, but I’ve also adapted the routine to use on the couch. Although more people have heard of Thai yoga massage now, I’m always amazed how many people don’t really know what it is. At the seminar, I’d like to share some fundamental moves that we use in TYM and also some of the ways I’ve adapted the same moves into the Table Thai Stretch massage treatment I teach. I’d really like the seminar attendees to take away some ideas that they could incorporate into the existing treatments they offer.

 

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

I recently read that we should challenge ourselves to take our massage practice and transform it into something that can support us to stay healthy and happy. I found the article so interesting as this was exactly what first got me interested in learning TYM and what motivated me to take it up as a career. I’d fallen in love with yoga a few years earlier but always felt that I wasn’t flexible enough and didn’t seem to improve despite going to class 3-4 times a week. However, through learning TYM and regularly practising it by doing lots of treatments, I noticed that my hips were becoming more open and my back was getting stronger; my balance improved, and movements became more fluid. I was spending hours each day practising this form of movement meditation, which gave me space to focus and to realise that I was loving all aspects of my work. I wasn’t just helping my clients; I was helping myself.

Through my teaching, I feel I’m on a bit of a mission to share this approach with other therapists and the training congress is a great way to share it on a bigger scale.  How great would it be if everyone could feel this way in their work!

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

My aim is for attendees to have a better understanding of TYM, the fundamentals of what makes it different to other types of massage, as well as some techniques they could transfer to their couch massage—to appreciate that they don’t need to work quite so hard to give an effective treatment.

 

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

Oh yes, there are loads of really interesting seminars in the programme. The problem is I can’t be in three places at once. I’ll also be volunteering TYM in the Chill-Out Zone as well, so won’t have much time to go to them, sadly. However, if I had to choose just one, I would probably go to John Bram Levine’s seminar on ‘Boost your therapy with Brainwave music’. I love any opportunity to bring together my three loves: massage, yoga and music, and I’m sure I’d find his seminar really interesting.

 

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

Learn from a teacher who still regularly works (pain-free) as a massage therapist. Our clients are our best teachers and it’s important that we, as teachers, continue to learn. There are so many aspects to growing and maintaining a therapy practice but learning good manual techniques is the most fundamental of all.

 

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

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Movement matters

Mike Grice webpage image black and white circle.pngIn the latest in a series of interviews with 2019 FHT Training Congress expert speakers, we speak to Rocktape’s Mike Grice about sport, fitness and injury rehabilitation.

 

Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

I started in the fitness industry as a gym instructor, personal trainer, sports therapist and group exercise teacher and then went into health club management and senior manager roles. I then went on to teach at a local college and then at a university. I missed the interaction with clients/patients so retrained as an osteopath and started my own therapy business alongside my own training company and now run Movement Therapy Clinics and Movement Therapy Education.

 

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

Every day and week are different. I am usually in clinic two to three days a week and teach around two to three days a week, depending on the workload from the clinic and courses. I also have a consultancy role with Brytespark.

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What interests you outside of work?

I love training in the gym and I’m lucky enough to have my own gym, so I get to train regularly throughout the week. I like cycling and running (when the weather is nice!) and have recently taken up korfball.

 

What is your Training Congress seminar about?

I have two seminars. One is on the rehabilitation journey for ankle ligament injuries and the other is how to integrate instrument assisted massage into the treatment of low back pain.

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

Context is key. It is important if you learn a new skill on a CPD day that you don’t just learn a bunch of techniques. You have to understand how you can then implement those techniques into practice and how you can adapt them for your clients. If you are unsure how to adapt what you have learned, then the new skill will quickly lose its value.

 

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

You will get a clear understanding about what the theory around the techniques/strategy we use is, how that links in to current research and a continuum so that you can adapt it for your clients/patients.

 

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

I like the look of Rachel Fairweather and Meghan Mari’s sacroiliac joint dysfunction talk and Jane Johnson’s posture seminar.

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

Do the basics well.

 

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

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Taking care of business

Valerie - webpage image black and white circle.pngIn the latest in a series of interviews with 2019 FHT Training Congress expert speakers, we speak to Valerie Delforge about business, branding and her forthcoming talks on producing a winning brand and attracting new customers with your digital communication strategy.

 

Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

I studied a commercial course for two years after my baccalauréat and then decided to perfect my English, so arrived in the UK almost 30 years ago now!

I started in the industry with an agency placing me in Harrods or Selfridges as a cover and quickly fell in love with the industry. I sent my CV to Clinique and started my career with them. Retail was in my DNA from then on and I never looked back. I loved it! After that, I joined Clarins two years later and fell in love with the spa side of the industry, which has followed me throughout my career.

 

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

My days are very mixed which is what I love about my work. From an admin day in the office to having my remote coaching with clients, I also travel internationally for business coaching or public speaking.

I wake up early (around 5.30am) and now have perfected my routine as I realised that when busy, you must take time for yourself. I meditate in the morning and evening which has had an amazing impact on my life.

 

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What interests you outside of work?

I am busy with my daughters, although to be fair they are older so I tend to be the taxi driver!

I love walking and catching up with friends as well as playing the piano J

 

What is your Training Congress seminar about?

I have two talks on 20 of May: ‘producing a winning brand’ at 2.30pm and ‘attract new customers with your digital strategy’ at 4pm.

As a business owner, you now have to be aware of your branding and communication to ensure you are attracting the customers that you want in your business and build your database to become a fan of your brand.

I want to take you through the tools and techniques of what to look for when creating your branding and how to ensure you are creating a strategy that is relevant to your branding.

Attracting new customers has to be thought about. Last-minute posts on social media tend to create confusion and have no real impact on building your brand. Ideally, you want to attend both seminars to focus on your communication as a whole.

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

I am obsessed with branding and digital communication as I believe it creates a strong message to existing and new customers.

Since I was a dinosaur myself when it came to branding and social media, I understand the challenges that we face as business owners, as our role is to focus on the customers and the service we deliver. Having worked for leading brands and digital companies, I want to give you the tools and techniques that I have learned throughout the years and am still using now, as they are easy to implement and recreate in your business without all of the jargon that can be confusing and scary.

 

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

Tools and techniques as well as a thorough plan of action. What to look for and how to analyse your branding.

 

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

There are so many I want to attend! But the ones that stands out, since I am all business are: Making more money – the heart centred way with Chris and Karane Lambert-Gorwyn and 8 ways to raise your local profile (online and offline) with Jill Woods.

And because I believe meditation and mind are the heart of your mindset: How the mind works with the Hudson Mind Theory – Body Mind Workers with Nic Wood and Guided meditation – experience the power to transform with Anna-Louise Haigh.

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

Self-development is extremely important but sometimes, I feel that there is so much information that I meet a lot of clients who are lost and unsure of where to start.

Prioritise what is essential and give yourself a time limit, as to when you want to achieve what, so you can build your dream for 2019!

 

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

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Complementing the NHS

Julie Crossman - web image black and white circle.pngIn the latest in a series of interviews with 2019 FHT Training Congress expert speakers, we speak to Julie Crossman about her background and forthcoming talk on how complementary therapists can support the NHS.

 

Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

I came into complementary therapy 19 years ago when my sister-in-law was diagnosed with a brain tumour and found great benefit from complementary therapies. I knew from the outset that I wanted to work in oncology.

Previously, I was the sales and marketing manager at Ulster Television. I left there after the birth of our first child and opened a couple of tableware/gift shops, importing goods from Italy. After the birth of two more children, I retrained as a complementary therapist. I ran my own practice for a number of years while also working at James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough in the holistic centre, oncology ward, haematology ward and day unit. I joined Harrogate Hospital five years ago, where I am the Lead therapist. I have a full-time NHS contract.

 

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

I get up at 6.30am and am lucky enough to be able to walk to work. I start at 8am at Harrogate Hospital. Some days I do back-to-back treatments, other days I supervise students on our NHS certificate, giving them tutorials at the beginning and end of the day, following a full clinic in various settings within the hospital, which I supervise. Within the working week, I also teach and mark students’ work for our complementary therapy school: NHS Natural Health School. We offer a number of courses, including foundation diploma level three, short courses, and CPD. These happen at weekends/weekday evenings and some weekdays. I do a lot of fundraising to help sustain and expand the complementary therapy service here at Harrogate Hospital; this involves building relationships within the community as well as organising events, which takes up time in the evenings. I also organise the local FHT support group meetings every other month and I am an ambassador for the FHT which takes me out and about to other colleges. My working week is varied but always extremely busy.

 

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What interests you outside of work?

Outside work, I like walking in the dales, which my husband and I try to do on Sundays. We go to ballroom dancing lessons, (not that you would know if you saw us dance!) We have three adult children who we try to see as often as we can. Our daughters play hockey so we will go to support them when we are free. We also love cooking and entertaining, so make sure we get together with family and friends as often as we can.

 

What is your Training Congress seminar about?

We are talking about the role of the complementary therapist within the NHS and the ever-increasing need for help in supporting an ageing population, increased complex comorbidities, and preventative help, by encouraging patients and staff to do more to help their own health and wellbeing. We will discuss the need for evidence-based practice and the issues surrounding funding. I am hoping to bring other members of the team along, to encourage a wide range of questions.

 

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

The work we do at Harrogate is all evidence-based. These positive results along with daily patient contact, enables us to see first-hand, the benefits patients, carers and staff get from complementary therapies. With an overstretched NHS and a growing population of people requiring support, there is now a real need for well-trained and experienced therapists. We are now getting referrals from GPs, and other clinicians and with social prescribing now firmly on the agenda, this talk will hopefully be of benefit for anyone interested in working, not only within the NHS, but also out in the community and in private practice, who wish to work with more complex clients.

 

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

An idea of how complementary therapists can support the NHS, by working within the service as well as treating patients out in the community. We will share how we have used different therapies in a range of settings to meet patient need and talk a little about how our service developed to become an integrated sustainable service, identifying problems we faced and how we overcome them. We hope to provide a forum for questions and support for therapists wishing to work, either in a clinical environment or out in the community with more complex patients.

 

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

There are always many interesting seminars at the training congress. For obvious reasons of links to my own work, I would find the following talks of particular interest: Dr Toh Wong—Five main reasons why therapists don’t get referrals from GP’s and the medical profession and Dr Carol Samuel—Pain in cancer survivors.

 

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

Make your practice evidence-based, think hard about what training you need and where you can find that, and network within your community of local businesses, therapists and other organisations. Get into fundraising to help provide complementary therapies.

Please feel free to ask me questions on my blog.

 

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

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Music to our ears

John Levine webpage image black and white circle.pngIn the latest in a series of interviews with 2019 FHT Training Congress expert speakers, we speak to John Bram Levine about the therapeutic power of music.

 

Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

I have been creating original music and playing piano since I was six. I originally trained as an electronic engineer and then as a classical composer. I have studied psychology and the physiology of hearing. In the 1980s I first read about the discoveries of Dr Hans Berger: how the brain emits electrical waves, which rise and fall in intensity depending on our mood. These waves, whether in the brain or emitted into the air, are measured as frequency or cycles per second. Based on his work and my own expertise and after considerable experimentation, I established a pattern of sound that invites the brain to settle into an alpha state. This is a calmer state than the excitable peaks and troughs known as beta, which contribute to feelings of anxiety.

 

johnlevine.jpgWhat interests you outside of work?

I am never bored as there is always so much to think about. I love cooking and inventing new types of soup using my Vitamix. Although I am travelling constantly, I also enjoy staying at home enjoying family life.

 

What is your Training Congress seminar about?

It is about how music can become another form of medicine. Therapists can enhance their treatments (for both themselves and their clients) by influencing and harmonising brainwaves. The capacity of our brain is vast, and this subject is endlessly fascinating. In this seminar I will help people to join the dots between brainwaves, hormones, the immune system and how clients can gain more benefits from therapy or healing by using the right type of background music.

I will provide practical tips on how to quickly calm stressed, anxious or chatty clients by inducing a meditative-style state without instructions or narrative.

The correlation between the brain and the influence of music has long been studied. Recent researches prove that this link is strong, and its healing properties have now been recorded in a large number of health cases.

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

As the topic suggests, I will explain how to boost therapy by altering brainwaves using particular music compositions. In alpha we naturally have a better command of life, our health and our mood. We are able to think more clearly, consider responses and even make more creative decisions, with better long-term results.

Music offers the simplest path to the alpha state, without demanding that you sleep, or even leave your desk! From Gregorian chant to timeless lullabies, the effect is the same: as we listen, we feel better, more relaxed.

 

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

They will learn about the five types of brainwaves, which brainwave states are important for healthy living and which brainwave states to avoid. I will provide case studies and illustrate innovative methods of creating more profound treatments and healing for both clients and therapists.

 

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

19 May: Dr Carol Samuel (Pain in cancer survivors), Julie Crossman (The role of the complementary therapist within the NHS) and Dr Toh Wong (Five main reasons why therapists don’t get referrals from the medical profession)

20 May: Lorraine Senior (reflexology and the Functional Reflex Therapy framework)

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

In order to help patients, it is essential to make sure you take care of your own health as well. Being tired and overworked will create more harm than good. All music and sounds affect yourself and your clients.

Please feel free to ask me questions on my blog.

It’s exciting as this will be the first conference we are talking and exhibiting at for some years!

www.silenceofmusic.com

 

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

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Building a practice that you love

Jill Woods web image black and white circleMy name is Jill Woods, and I’ve been asked to do a short introduction to myself and the session I am going to be doing for you at the FHT training congress in May. I’ve also been asked to give you my one bit of advice that I feel will help you grow your practice the most (you need to wait to the very end for that).

My background is in both healthcare (I’m a podiatrist) but also marketing and PR, but as I can feel some of you cringing at that, I want to ask you for a few minutes of your time to hopefully show you I’m not your stereotypical sharp suit wearing,  pushy sales orientated practice growth expert.

My outlook is that I want to help you to build a practice that you love, that serves you and that fills you with joy as much as possible. I want to help you build that practice in a way that feels authentic and ethical, without the need for pushy, cheesy marketing.

Press play and I’ll tell you a bit more about me and my approach to supporting healthcare practices like yours grow,  avoiding formulaic sales funnels and staying aligned with your personal values and ethics.

If you are curious and want to find out any more about me please feel free to come and connect with me on Instagram – Just search for Practice Momentum and you’ll find me, or hop over to my website at http://www.jillwoods.com for a rummage around.

If you have any questions at all in the lead up to the event, especially if you are struggling to decide which of the great sessions to attend, please ask away in the box at the bottom of the page and I will get back to you ASAP.

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

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Knowledge is great, but it’s of no use if you can’t put it into practice

Dr Apte - web picture black and white circleThis week we speak to Dr Deepa Apte, a medical doctor, Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher. Dr Apte will be speaking about diagnostic techniques in Ayurveda at the 2019 FHT Training Congress.

Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

I come from a family and background in India where Ayurveda has been followed as a tradition in the family. Be it the festivals or various ceremonies that take place at home for example weddings etc, they were all followed according to Ayurvedic principles. Therefore, I was introduced to this great science as a child. Growing up, I studied general medicine to become a medical doctor. After I completed my medical studies, I went back to studying Ayurveda as it was the one science that intrigued me the most because it’s not just a science or philosophy, it’s a way of life, aiming towards true health, balance and harmony.

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

My typical working day is quite varied. I work both on weekdays and weekends and hence each week or day could be very different. As well as working as a doctor and therapist at my ayurvedic health spa in London, I am the director and founder of a company, Ayurveda Pura Ltd, that manufactures ayurvedic products, from herbal teas to massage oils and spa supplies. I also run an academy that trains ayurvedic practitioners and yoga teachers. Plus, I do a fair bit of travelling round the globe, giving lectures and seminars.

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What interests you outside of work?

I love creativity. Outside of my work, I spend time painting, drawing and any kind of handicraft or creative work. It’s not about just the relaxation part of the hobby, but also to make it useful for the people out there who need help the most. Hence, I sell my artwork and money raised is put towards charitable organisations so that the money can be put to good use.

I also love meeting people and networking. Especially those who inspire me to be able to do my kind of work in a better way.

What is your Training Congress seminar about?

Diagnostic techniques in Ayurveda to help support your practice. Ayurveda has various diagnostic techniques to understand what is happening in the body and mind. Join me to explore the most essential diagnostic techniques used in Ayurveda, like Ayurvedic pulse diagnosis, Ayurvedic tongue diagnosis, Ayurvedic facial diagnosis and how you can integrate them into your practice and clinic.

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

Diagnosis, especially precise diagnosis, is key to the success of any therapy or management. Without correct diagnosis and conclusion, one cannot apply the right tools of management. And this is the whole focus of this workshop. Correct diagnosis also gives the therapist complete confidence to apply their principle of practice precisely and hence the result is positive.

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

They will understand various tools of diagnosis, become aware of them and how they are able to put it into practice. The aim of this workshop is also to point out that diagnosis is easy if the right techniques are applied. And most importantly, the therapists will be able to take away all the information and avenues of various ways of diagnosis and its practice.

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

I am quite interested in Dr Toh Wong’s seminar. I know him personally and his talks are always very inspiring.

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

In Ayurveda there is a saying, knowledge is great, eternal and bliss, but it’s of no use if you cannot put it into practice. Likewise, make sure that your therapies are practical, easy to follow and effective.

Communication is also key. In today’s world of digital marketing, it’s important to become abreast with the latest tools and to network and meet more likeminded people.

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

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