A night to remember

FHT’s special 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner and 2012 Excellence in Practice and Education Awards ceremony

As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations this year, the FHT hosted a special Gala Dinner on Friday 5 October at the prestigious Grange St Paul’s Hotel in London.

More than 200 FHT members, friends and supporters attended the event, hosted by Radio 2 presenter, Janey Lee Grace, to celebrate the association’s considerable achievements over the past five decades. 

Guests received a warm welcome from Jennifer Wayte, President of the FHT, and John French, CEO, before enjoying an impromptu pre-dinner speech by David Tredinnick MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Integrated Health. Mr Tredinnick commented that with a new Secretary for Health who is keen to explore innovative ways to improve the health of the nation, the future looked promising for complementary therapists. 

Following a three-course dinner and table magic provided by Fay Presto and Hugh Nightingale, it was time for the much anticipated FHT 2012 Excellence in Education and Awards ceremony. These awards serve to recognise the outstanding work being carried out by both therapy practitioners and students, with the case study awards being kindly sponsored by FHT’s insurance underwriters, Hiscox. 

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The FHT would just like to say a huge thank you for attending the FHT 50th Anniversary Training Congress and Exhibition at the weekend and for making it such a memorable event.

Marie Polley introduces the importance of coping strategies when working with clients in palliative care

Do you consider yourself a ‘giver’ or a ‘receiver’ by nature? It is commonplace to find that therapists are the givers in this world, wanting to help other people. As practitioners we have been taught to keep ourselves healthy so that we can then treat others, however it is very easy to slip into focusing on others at the detriment to our own health.

Working with clients with cancer who are in palliative care can be extremely rewarding but can also leave you feeling emotionally drained at the end of a day. Technically, palliative care includes the phase when no more medical treatment is given to the person to directly treat the cancer (so the patient is terminally ill), and when care is provided to primarily control pain and support quality of life on all levels.

It is important to make sense of your own feelings that occur when you work with – or are thinking about working with – clients with cancer who are in palliative care. This line of work may make you face your own fears about death and dying, or revisit previous critical incidents in your own life.

It is fundamental to establish strategies that you can put in place to prevent emotional burnout, including reflective practice and clinical supervision, and the ever-more popular ‘mindfulness’ practice.

PS. Marie Polley will be hosting the lecture: Complementary therapies in palliative care (7 July, 2pm-3.15pm). www.fht.org.uk/50

Image: iStockphoto

Following our blog from Dr Fiona Holland on re-evaluating judgements about our bodies to promote self-esteem, we have seen some real developments on this subject in recent days.  The All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image has released a report, ‘Reflections on body image’, supporting the need for the promotion of positive body image:

“There is a growing amount of evidence that body image dissatisfaction is high and on the increase and is associated with a number of damaging consequences for health and wellbeing.”

It details concerns that negative body image can cause a lack of self-confidence, depression, physical, emotional and societal problems.

Click here to read the full report

Guardian article: MPs report that “Girls aged five worry about their body image”

BBC report: Body image issues cause bullying, according to MPs’ report

Dr Fiona Holland will be hosting the lecture: Building body esteem: re-evaluating judgements about the bodies we live in and work with (8 July, 3.30pm-4.45pm). www.fht.org.uk/50

International Therapist: FHT members can read Dr Fiona Holland’s article on body esteem, published in October IT (pages 36-38), by clicking here

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For those therapists who are not familiar with fascia, James Earls describes what it is and why all the fuss.

I am sure most of you have noticed a new word creeping into the anatomy and bodywork lexicon in the past few years, which makes it seem as if fascia is a new discovery. In fact, it has been around for years but was previously just a little ignored.

Fascia has been researched for many years, particularly in animal movement studies, but it is only through the interest of a few specialised bodyworkers that the research and its implications have come to the wider bodywork audience. Robert Schleip, Tom Myers and Gil Hedley, to name just a few, have been flying the flag for this wrapping, protecting, elastic, adaptive, continuous tissue for the past decade or so. They, among others, are showing the need to re-evaluate the anatomy books to take into account the huge contribution of this tissue, which was previously seen as relatively inert and often simply discarded during dissections.

Fascia is a general term used to apply to many other tissues you will be familiar with – tendon, ligament, aponeurosis, epimysium endomysium and perimysium, which are all made up of fascial connective tissue. Fascia glides, rebounds, protects, communicates and even contracts. If you understand the characteristics of fascia you can take advantage of these within your manual therapy of whatever form, because you cannot touch the body without influencing it.

PS. James Earls will be hosting the lecture: Revealing the myofascia (7 July, 10am-11.15am). www.fht.org.uk/50

Image: iStockphoto

Dr Fiona Holland explains what made her realise that re-evaluating judgements about our bodies to promote self-esteem was an important area to look into…

I became interested in body-based messages while studying sport psychology and when I later worked for a company that offered nutrition counselling, exercise programming and self-esteem training for people who were clinically overweight or obese. I realised that people – especially women – struggle with messages about food and health, regardless of their shape or size.

I later learned about the work of Jonathan Robison and Karen Carrier, who proposed that health and wellness should be redefined and messages around weight, exercise and food re-evaluated as people were feeling increasingly less at peace with their bodies. They suggested that people should move away from diet and exercise regimes and towards learning what their bodies needed in terms of food and movement. In my massage training that followed, I realised that touch could help people reconnect with their bodies and I led a study with women who, via receiving massage, began to feel more positive about their bodies.

In my private practice I came across many clients who used body-shaming statements and I supported them in moving beyond these, using massage and more neutral language. As a lecturer and researcher, I discovered that body esteem and dissatisfaction is essentially rooted in our self-esteem and self-beliefs, with many people constantly striving for the unreachable body ideals we are fed by the media. I aim to help both therapists and clients to free themselves from this energy-sapping process and to befriend their body by appreciating what it can do rather than solely what it looks like.

PS. Dr Fiona Holland will be hosting the lecture: Building body esteem: re-evaluating judgements about the bodies we live in and work with (8 July, 3.30pm-4.45pm). www.fht.org.uk/50

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos