FHT Vice President contributes to Natural Health mag

Natural Health October 2016

FHT Vice President, Jonathan Hobbs has contributed to an article in Natural Health focusing on gut health. Jon explains:

“The relationship between your gut’s microbiota (microorganisms) and immune system is crucial for maintaining good health. If this relationship breaks down, it can lead to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which has been linked to some of the more common symptoms associated with digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Research has shown that a number of everyday foods can help to support healthy gut bacteria and enhance overall wellbeing, so make sure you’re topping up on the five Bs on the right.”

Read the full article

Helen’s story: My therapist helps me…


To promote the health benefits of complementary therapies and direct people to the FHT’s independently Accredited Register when looking for a therapist, the FHT has launched a new campaign called ‘My therapist helps me…’, which draws on the experiences of genuine clients. To support each of the campaign’s adverts – the first of which is currently appearing on Facebook and in magazines such as Psychologies, Natural Health, Your Healthy Living and Liz Earle – the FHT is publishing case studies about the clients featured, to highlight how their complementary therapist has helped them to live life to the full. Here you can read…

Helen AtkinsonHelen’s story
Helen is 53-years old. She lives in West Sussex with her husband, Steve, and three cats. A solicitor by day, Helen’s passion outside of work is belly dancing. She also enjoys walking and gardening in her spare time.

Here she explains how complementary therapies, alongside standard medical care, have helped her to cope with some of life’s challenges – from arthritis and an ongoing back problem, to stress and losing a loved one…

Q. When did you first discover complementary therapies?

‘I went to a therapy taster session at a colleague’s house. At the time I was suffering from sciatica, as I have a lower back problem that stems from a car accident and years of horse riding. After just a short massage treatment from Alison, I could feel the pain start to subside. I have had other treatments for this condition, but nothing that provided relief so quickly.’

Q. How often do you have complementary therapies?

‘I have been a client of Ali for more than 12 years now. I see her almost weekly for a massage or reflexology. I have always found Ali a warm and personable therapist. She is a fantastic listener, is very professional and has high standards for herself and the treatment she provides.’

Q. Tell us how Ali’s treatments have helped you…

‘I have arthritis in my left foot and I find that reflexology helps to relieve it. It also helps me to relax, as I have a job that can be very demanding at times. The body massage helps to keep me supple and complements the belly dancing I do, as it’s important to have flexibility in the spine and hips. [cont…]

‘Ali and her treatments really have seen me through so many things – including the death of a family member and extreme stress at work.’

Q. What else do you particularly like about the treatments you have with Alison?

‘The holistic aspect of the therapies is very important. There have been times when I have been under a lot of stress, or my health has been poor – both mentally and physically – and Ali has been able to adjust the treatment to help provide me with the support I need.

‘Having regular complementary therapy treatments with Ali helps keep the problems I have manageable.’

‘I find the treatments are a much less aggressive way of dealing with problems. They are supportive and don’t have the same side-effects as drugs or other physical treatments. In addition, any problem I have is not treated in isolation to other aspects of my life and health, so the treatments provide broader support to my overall health and well-being.

‘The time I spend with Ali is as also ‘my time’ – it helps re-charge the batteries and allows me to really relax.’

Q. What are the qualities about Alison that make her a good therapist?

‘Ali is such a warm, caring and approachable person, and easy to talk to. She is perceptive and creative in the way she approaches her treatments, but at the same time, highly professional.

‘I don’t regard my treatments as a luxury, but essential to my health and well-being.’

To find a therapist like Alison, visit www.fht.org.uk/findatherapist


FHT 2016 Excellence Awards winners announced

FHT Excellence Awards

Best in therapy practice and education recognised with 2016 FHT Excellence Awards

We’d like to say a very big ‘Thank you!’ to all those members and other special guests who joined us today as we celebrated the achievements of our 2016 FHT Excellence Award winners and finalists.


Now in its sixth year, the FHT’s Excellence Awards serve to shine a spotlight on those setting the bar in therapy education and practice, helping to raise the profile of complementary, holistic beauty and sports therapies.

As always, we were overwhelmed by the number of excellent nominations received this year, with 21 finalists announced in August, across six different categories. The winners, one highly commended and a special recognition were then announced and presented with a special award at our 2016 FHT Members’ Lunch, held on 26 October, at the One Whitehall Place, London:

  • FHT Complementary Therapist of the Year (Winner) – Michael Morris;
  • FHT Complementary Therapist of the Year (Highly Commended) – Susan Quayle;
  • FHT Beauty Therapist of the Year (Winner) – Angela Wheat;
  • FHT Sports Therapist of the Year (Winner) – Nicholas Flanagan;
  • FHT Student of the Year (Winner) – Lorraine Ryder;
  • FHT Tutor of the Year (Winner) – Elaine Wilkins;
  • FHT Employee of the Year (Special Recognition) – Complementary Therapy Team, Velindre Cancer Centre.

In addition, Dr Peter Mackereth received a special FHT President’s Award for his outstanding contribution to integrated healthcare and the complementary therapy industry.

awards-winners-group-shot2A warm and much deserved ‘Congratulations!’ to our 2016 winners and finalists, and a special thank you to everyone who entered this year’s awards. Please keep up the excellent work you do in helping to support the health and well-being of the nation and do consider entering our 2017 FHT Excellence Awards (to be announced).

Here’s a few early photos from the day:

With thanks to our sponsors:

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Banish that headache!

September Natural Health cover

FHT President Paul Battersby, has contributed to a feature in the September issue of Natural Health magazine, entitled ‘Banish that Headache’.

Working to raise the profile of the FHT and it’s members, Paul’s expert insight highlights the benefits of complementary therapies in managing tension-type headaches, while emphasising the importance of the FHT Accredited Register.

‘”Most of us have experienced a tension-type headache (TTH) – that accompanied by tight neck and shoulder muscles and a feeling of pressure behind the eyes,” says Paul Battersby, president of the Federation of Holistic Therapists. “The exact cause of TTHs still isn’t clear, but commonly reported triggers include anxiety, stress, depression, poor posture, lack of sleep and physical exhaustion. To help manage mild TTHs, you may find some of the following techniques useful: “Massage, as well as being very relaxing, has the added benefit of actually working tight muscles, so a back massage or an Indian head massage – both of which focus on the neck and shoulder area – are ideal for headaches. “Many people find other complementary therapies helpful too, such as reflexology, aromatherapy and acupuncture. Regular exercise is also recommended for headache sufferers. “A good night’s sleep is important but be careful not to get too much, or you may suffer a ‘weekend headache’, which can be triggered by a change in routine, including too much sleep.”

“Poor posture can cause tension in the back, neck and shoulders and be linked to headaches in some people, with pain occurring at the base of the skull,” says Paul. “Try to avoid sitting or standing in one position for a long time, move around at regular intervals, and gently rotate any affected joints. “A full assessment by a sports massage therapist or Alexander technique practitioner could also help you to identify and correct any postural problems.” To find a therapist in your area, search FHT’s accredited register, which has been independently approved by the Professional Standards Authority, by visiting fht.org.uk/register’

Read the full article here.

How to get clients without advertising or cold calling

To make a meaningful difference through your work, you need to have clients to help.

Alternatives to advertising image

You know it’s not enough that you just exist. You get that people need to know about you first. But when your mind turns to promoting your good work you think of cold calling or dishing out business cards at networking events. Or perhaps you imagine yourself forcing flyers into the hands of unsuspecting shoppers outside Sainsbury’s. Or you contemplate setting some of your hard-earned money aside to pay for an advert in your local paper. You’re not alone if these options don’t appeal. If budgets are tight.  Or if the mere thought of cold calling gives you hives.

‘Cold marketing’ (where there’s no pre-existing relationship with the people you’re approaching) is unsustainable on so many levels.

Think of it as ten units of effort for one unit of reward. Yes, you may well strike lucky with a flyer or an advert and find a new client. But when you consider the cost of producing it, the time you spent writing, re-writing, editing then deleting It, and all the other people who saw it and didn’t visit your website, call for more info or book an appointment – the cold approach isn’t how the most sustainable businesses grow. Plus, we’ve all become deeply cynical of these marketing techniques. You’ll know this from your own experience of being bombarded by sales messages. We’re suspicious when we know someone stands to gain from us saying yes. It’s like; “Well you would say that wouldn’t you. You want me to book an appointment with you. You want me to pay you.”

The bottom line is this:

It’s harder than ever before to stand out, to get noticed, to be believable and earn trust. You want to get people’s attention but they’re subjected to so many messages on a daily basis that they’re walking around in a bit of a haze. And getting through that haze can be really hard. Of course, all of this is excruciatingly frustrating when you’re actually trying to help them.

Thankfully, getting the attention of the people you’re best placed to help doesn’t have to equal outrageous things.

It doesn’t have to mean shouting the loudest, networking the hardest or resorting to techniques that are un-you or cost money. You can attract more of your ideal people in no-cost, integrity-filled ways so you don’t have to spend a bunch while you’re growing.

Don’t fancy cold calling or advertising? Try this:

  1. Start where you are. Use what you have.

Getting more bookings doesn’t have to start with getting new clients. If you have a list of existing clients who have benefitted from your approach and expressed an interest in keeping in touch, contact them first to offer follow-ups or something new. Much as we’d love to think we’re infinitely memorable, if we don’t keep the conversation going then people are likely to forget who we are. This is also a good place to start looking for referrals to new clients. Remind your previous clients how you help and ask them to recommend you to people who would be a good fit for the service you provide.

  1. Don’t shy away from niche

The thing is, if you’re busy trying to be known for everything then you can’t be known for just something. Relevance is absolutely critical in marketing and so having a niche gives your entire business focus. If the messages you put out there speak directly to the problems, challenges or cravings your potential clients have, they take notice. You also become easier to refer and more sensitive to opportunities that will connect you with your right people.

  1. Buddy up

If you know someone who offers services that complement yours, teaming up with them could be a win/win. We’re all stronger together and collaboration is a powerful way of getting on the radar of people you wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach.

  1. Figure out where their attention is already going

People with problems want solutions. They’re already looking for a way out. When you’re clear about the problems you help people with, it’s far easier to figure out where these people are already spending their time, their money or their attention.  What problems do you solve? Where are your ideal people already looking for solutions to the problem you can help them with? Who do they already know, like and trust (within the context of this problem)? That’s where your marketing is going to have the greatest impact. That’s where to position yourself to be found by more of your ideal people (so you don’t have to run yourself ragged searching for them).

  1. Gift people something they want and need

Package up something super-helpful and valuable for your niche. Then offer it to people in a way that’s easy for them to pass on. PDFs, checklists, tips, audios, videos etc. all work well. Be careful not to confuse this free gift with offering your core service for free or at a reduced rate. It’s about offering something as a taster – something genuinely useful that gives your ideal people a true feel for who you are, what you’re all about and how you can help them. If they like it, it just so happens you run a business that can help them even more.

About Lisa Barber

Lisa Barber - Roots and WingsLisa Barber helps complementary, sports and holistic beauty therapists to get more perfect-fit clients and to set up their businesses for the long term. Her video course, ‘How to Market Your Holistic Practice’ is currently available for FHT members. For affordable, DIY marketing techniques and smart, sleaze-free strategies that work, click here to get her online video series.

4 reflections on sticking to your prices

4 reflections on sticking to your prices

“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” – Anna Taylor

If you’re anything like me, you were raised to believe that generosity is about giving. You were taught the importance of sharing at a very young age. And you learned your lesson well.

You’re a generous spirit. You know how to give. You’re doing ‘good’ work.  And the chances are you first trained as a therapist because you wanted to bring hope and relief to others. You wanted to be ‘of service’ in this world.

So if generosity = unconditional giving for you, it’s only natural that you find it hard to charge people for the value, information, time and energy you give.  Maybe you keep your prices low on purpose. Perhaps you find yourself going down the slippery slope of offering free sessions to attract more clients. Maybe you offer on-the-spot discounts because the whole pricing conversation feels awkward, uncomfortable, embarrassing to you. It’s not at all unusual for therapists to reduce their rates to remain competitive.

When you’re doing work that helps or provides relief, it’s entirely normal to want to make your service both affordable and accessible. You’re not alone in wanting to bring your help to more people. And you’re certainly not alone in feeling a little bit guilty (perhaps subconsciously) for being paid to do something you enjoy and that helps other people out.

Let’s reframe generosity:

Here’s the thing. I actually believe it’s ungenerous to cave in on your advertised price when pushed. Here’s why:

  1. You can’t sustain a business this way

4 reflections on sticking to your pricesIt’s heartbreaking to witness so many therapists frustrated by lagging profits. It pains me to see businesses fold because they don’t make enough money to keep going. When this happens, not only does the business owner have to set their passion and talent aside, but potential clients of that wonderful business also lose out. Clients wanting exactly the support that person offers in exactly the way they provide it won’t get the help they need.

Let’s imagine I didn’t charge for the support I give clients. Workshops, one-to-one care, online tutorials … all free. Sounds great? Now consider the conditions under which I’d be able to do that. I have my personal expenses and I have business expenses. So, how would I pay for those if I weren’t making money through Roots and Wings? I’d probably have to return to the corporate world. When I returned home, I wouldn’t have the bandwidth to create free blogs, write talks, prep the content for my workshops, and give ongoing inspiration, encouragement and support. It would be ungenerous of me to give so little of myself to the work I’m motivated to do. The most generous thing I can do is to keep trying to find ways to become profitable through following my passion. The same is true for you.

  1. For the sake of your client

I’ve met a lot of therapists – as a mentor and also as a client. As a client, few have been visibly comfortable quoting their rates or answering the question “So, what do I owe you?” If this sounds like you, this is entirely normal but here’s something I’d like you to remember. By approaching you for help, I’m saying I have a need. I’m admitting a degree of vulnerability and I need you to be rock solid. And here’s the irony: when you waver on your price  (“£50?”) or worse (“£50. Does that sound OK?”) you’re removing a really crucial level of safety. Imagine there was a price tag on a pair of shoes in a department store and it didn’t say “£35”, it said “£35? Is that OK?” How would you feel as the potential buyer? My hunch is that trust would be broken. For the sake of your client, please stand firm. In order to move forward, clients need to feel safe with you in more ways than one.

  1. You can’t then pay it forward

I enjoy paying for things that matter to me. But if I don’t make money through my business then I can’t pass the money to the next person. I can’t pay other businesses a healthy amount for the products and services they provide. But by striving to make a profit, I can contribute towards a virtuous circle. I can invest in reflexology, pay for reiki, treat myself to a massage or facial, join a yoga class, or experience the benefits of EFT. If you earn a healthy living, you too can then pay it forward. Whether that’s supporting your FHT peers to stay in business or keeping your local coffee shop afloat, you’re doing your bit to keep everyone thriving.

  1. It’s disrespectful to your peers

It only takes a handful of therapists to offer on-the-spot discounts or undercut peers to make it increasingly hard for others to charge a fair amount. Make a commitment to the long-term sustainability of your industry. You’ve spent thousands on training (plus time and energy) and you deserve to earn money as professionals.

Over to you

I want to live in a world where therapists are able to sustain themselves (energetically and financially) doing the work they love. I have a hunch you feel the same way. So let’s rewire the way you think about on-the-spot discounts once and for all. Decide right now that the next time someone asks you for money off, you’ll hold firm on your price. By sticking to healthy rates you’re ticking four important boxes. You’re being generous to your peers and industry. You’re making a commitment to the longevity of your business. You’re putting yourself in the best position to pay the money forward. You’re also building trust with clients.

About Lisa Barber

Lisa Barber - Roots and WingsLisa Barber helps complementary, sports and holistic beauty therapists to get more perfect-fit clients and to set up their businesses for the long term. Her video course, ‘How to Market Your Holistic Practice’ is currently available for FHT members. For affordable, DIY marketing techniques and smart, sleaze-free strategies that work, click here to get her online video series.

The 3 ways to grow your holistic practice

In our new blog series, marketing teacher and business mentor Lisa Barber at Roots and Wings will help you to market with integrity and attract new clients…

3 ways to grow your holistic practice

You’ve thrown heart, soul and savings into your training. And now you’re ready to receive money in return for the valuable service you offer clients. You’re doing something that’s helpful to others and both meaningful and enjoyable for you. You’re all set to earn a healthy living through your holistic practice.

You know that marketing is important. So perhaps you’ve asked friends and family to spread the word about your business. Maybe you’ve advertised in the local paper or set up a website. Or perhaps you’ve had some flyers printed and been networking to find new clients.

When not enough people are buying

You appreciate the word-of-mouth referrals from family and friends. But business is still too sporadic. You aren’t seeing the flow of clients you need and you don’t know where your next new client is going to come from. It’s so frustrating when you have all this passion but not enough of your right people seem to care. After all, you are actually trying to help them!

If this sounds like you, let me start by saying this – this is so normal. You are not alone. If you know you’re doing good work but you aren’t seeing the income you need, you’re in the right place.

You haven’t come this far just to come this far

You want to help more people. But you also need money to cover your bills. And ideally you’d like to be able to earn a healthy living doing this meaningful work. Check in with these three ways to grow your holistic practice. (Most people are using just one).

How to grow your holistic practice – the three ways

  1. Get more clients through the door

Attracting new clients into your holistic practice will absolutely grow your business. Use marketing techniques to become visible to your ideal clients. This is how the majority of holistic practitioners think about growing their businesses – getting new clients through the door.

  1. Make more money per client

FacialI’m so saddened by the number of therapists I see, marketing themselves to the point of exhaustion. It’s one of the reasons I created ‘How To Market Your Holistic Practice’. I want to help you create a business that sustains you energetically as well as financially.  Yes, getting new clients will grow your practice. But it isn’t actually the most profitable way to approach growth. Nor is relentless networking and social media sustainable from an energy point of view. But imagine if you were to make more money from each client you already helped. You could do this either by raising your prices to reflect the true value you give to your clients. Or, encourage people who already know, like and trust you to come back more often.

  1. Offer your existing clients something new

I’ll let you in to a secret. This is usually overlooked and yet it’s how the most sustainable holistic practices grow. Offer your existing clients something new – something that’s currently missing for them. Ask your existing clients, “What would be a miracle for you right now?” or, “Is there anything you would you like to see from me that I’m not already offering through my business?” Then create that product, that service, that package. Profitability follows when you’re offering people what they already know they want and need. And this is especially true when you’re creating for clients that have already bought into your unique approach, philosophy and vibe.

About Lisa Barber

Lisa Barber - Roots and WingsLisa Barber helps complementary, sports and holistic beauty therapists to get more perfect-fit clients and to set up their businesses for the long term. Her video course, ‘How to Market Your Holistic Practice’ is currently available for FHT members. For affordable, DIY marketing techniques and smart, sleaze-free strategies that work, click here to get her online video series.

Free webinar with Macmillan Cancer Support

Join Macmillan Cancer Support for a free webinar: giving advice on physical activity…

Webinar: giving advice on physical activity

Every month, Justin Webb, Macmillan’s Physical Activity Engagement Manager, is hosting a webinar on how to give very brief advice on physical activity to people living with cancer. Open to all healthcare professionals, the webinar will help you to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and signpost people to further support.

‘Very brief advice’ means a short intervention of less than two minutes based on the ‘ask, advise, act’ technique. After the course you will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of physical activity for people living with cancer
  • Identify the resources available to support people to become more active
  • Know how to deliver effective advice on physical activity in less than two minutes.

For 1 CPD, please retain evidence that you have completed the webinar. For 5 CPD points, please complete reflective practice – further details on how to complete reflective practice can be found at www.fht.org.uk/CPD

For more information and to request your place

Essential guide to bookkeeping

Enterprise Nation has teamed up with Xero to bring you an essential guide on bookkeeping and how a bookkeeper can help run your business.

Essential guide to bookkeeping

If you’re a small business owner, you’ll be familiar with juggling several tasks at once. As well as keeping things running, you need to generate income, keep your customers happy and look after financial information. Tracking the financials can be a chore though, and one of the biggest questions you might have is who you get to help with your accounts. Do you need an accountant, a bookkeeper or both? Let’s demystify things.

Read more

Important changes for health and well-being employers in Scotland

If you’re an employer, please note that the Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT) comes into effect from 6 April 2016. The Scottish rate for 2016 to 2017 has been set at 10%, meaning 10p in every £1 will go to the Scottish Government.

Calling all members in Scotland

You may have already received your annual coding notice but, if not, you soon will. It will include the new ‘S’ code for Scottish taxpayers.

What you will need to do:

  • Please check with your provider that your payroll software is up to date and ready to apply the new ‘S’ code.
  • If you use HMRC’s Basic PAYE tools, you will need to make sure you use the latest version which will be published in March 2016.
  • You must use the code in RTI that was supplied by HMRC.
  • Remember the ‘S’ code depends on the residential address of the employee. Please encourage employees to tell HMRC if their address changes, as this will help them to correctly identify any Scottish taxpayers and ensure they pay the right amount of tax. They can do this online at www.gov.uk/hmrcchanges

Full details can be found at www.gov.uk/government/news/the-scottish-rate-of-income-tax