FHT 2017 Training Congress launched!

2017 FHT Training Congress

We’re thrilled to reveal that this year’s 2017 FHT Training Congress will be held at the Holistic Health show, 21 – 22 May, at the NEC Birmingham.

Featuring 32 educational sessions of CPD training over the two day event, the Training Congress is a fantastic opportunity to network, learn the latest therapy trends, grow your business with informative business talks and contribute towards your annual CPD quota.

We’ve organised a variety of different speakers to attend, giving sessions on a range of therapy subjects, with both hands on and theory sessions available, this year’s Training Congress is not to be missed!

Make sure you follow the latest updates here.

Why should you try Reflexology?

Ever considered trying Reflexology? The January issue of Natural Health gives you the top reasons why you should.

Natural Health January
Reflexology can help boost your circulation, offer relief from pain, help with fertility and much more. And according to Helen Atkinson, star of the new FHT “My therapist helps me…” campaign: ‘My [reflexology] treatment not only provides me with deep relaxation, but helps me to care for my overall health and wellbeing’.

Also featuring quotes from FHT Member Dr Carol Samuel, this is an inspiring piece, highlighting how this holistic therapy can help restore inner calm and improve your well-being.

Read the full article

NICE publishes updated guidelines on low back pain

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published its updated guidelines on low back pain and sciatica.


NICE guidelines make recommendations on a wide range of topics, including preventing and managing specific conditions, to promote integrated care where appropriate.

We’re pleased to report that the updated guidelines still recommend manual therapies and make a specific mention to :

‘Consider manual therapy (spinal manipulation, mobilisation or soft tissue techniques such as massage) for managing low back pain with or without sciatica, but only as part of a treatment package including exercise, with or without psychological therapy’ (1.2.7. NG59).

In addition, mind-body approaches also form part of the recommendations:

‘Consider a group exercise programme (biomechanical, aerobic, mind–body or a combination of approaches) within the NHS for people with a specific episode or flare-up of low back pain with or without sciatica. Take people’s specific needs, preferences and capabilities into account when choosing the type of exercise.’

Sadly, however, acupuncture is no longer recommended in the guidelines, despite objections from a number of registered stakeholders, including the FHT, who highlighted during the consultation period that:

  • a number of data errors were present in the draft guidelines and appendices in relation to the acupuncture studies included in the review;
  • a large and potentially significant acupuncture study was not included in the review;
  • sham acupuncture is not a ‘best comparator’ to prove whether acupuncture has treatment-specific effects, as sham acupuncture can produce similar physiological and therapeutic outcomes as acupuncture;
  • it is disappointing that NICE stated in the draft guideline that ‘cost-effectiveness was not considered relevant’ as ‘there was insufficient evidence of an overall treatment-specific effect to support a recommendation for acupuncture’.

For more information and to view the guidelines visit https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/NG59

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 Excellence Awards winner gives presentation in Parliament

Member and FHT Excellence Award winner, Angela Green, and her colleague, Dr Anne Johnson, were recently invited to give a presentation about the complementary therapy service at Velindre Cancer Centre at an All-Party Parliamentary Group (PGIH) meeting.


Angela Green and members from the Velindre Complementary Therapy Team receiving their 2016 FHT Employee of the Year (Special Recognition) award.


Held on 18 October at the House of Commons and chaired by David Tredinnick MP, the meeting was attended by representatives from professional therapy organisations and other advocates of complementary and integrated healthcare, including a number of MPs.

Dr Johnson, Macmillan Consultant Clinical Psychologist, opened the presentation by providing an overview of Velindre Cancer Centre, the prevalence and impact of cancer, and the importance of an integrated model of care to support patients every step of their cancer journey.

Angela Green, Clinical Lead Complementary Therapies, then provided in-depth information about Velindre’s complementary therapy service including staffing and service delivery, therapy interventions available, the referral process, case studies, service evaluation, therapist training and the challenges of running the service.

Throughout the presentation, both ladies illustrated time and again the many physical and psychological benefits complementary therapy interventions have to offer patients, carers and staff in the field of cancer care. Similarly, the presentation highlighted that by reducing anxiety in patients, the complementary therapy team help to ensure challenging medical treatments are successfully completed, creating cost and time efficiencies within the NHS.


Angela Green and Dr Anne Johnson at House of Commons.


Both Angela and Dr Johnson were praised for their insightful presentation, which sparked debate in the room about how to harness further support and recognition for services like Velindre’s and roll out this successful healthcare model into other NHS hospitals and settings.

The FHT would like to thank Angela Green and Dr Johnson for delivering this presentation at the PGIH meeting, helping to stimulate well-informed debate on integrated healthcare and contributing to the development of knowledge and policies on the subject.

About Velindre Cancer Centre and its complementary therapy service

  • Velindre Cancer Centre serves a population of 1.5 million in South East Wales and beyond. It is one of the 10 largest cancer centres in the UK and the largest in Wales.
  • Support care services include complementary therapy; clinical psychology and counselling; physiotherapy; occupational therapy; dietetics; speech and language therapy; supportive care nurse; review radiotherapy; chaplaincy; and welfare and benefit advisers.
  • Complementary therapies interventions provided by the team include reflexology, aromatherapy and massage, reiki and relaxation techniques. These can be delivered to patients, carers and families, and staff.
  • The above complementary therapy interventions are used to support patients and in particular, help to alleviate symptoms and side effects including anxiety and panic; pain; fatigue; insomnia; restlessness; constipation; stress and tension; low mood; breathlessness; and end of life support.
  • On 11 October, David Tredinnick MP gave Velindre’s complementary therapy service as an example of best practice in a question in Parliament, highlighting that if this model was more widely spread over the health service in England, cost savings and patient satisfaction would increase.
  • Angela Green, MFHT, Clinical Lead Complementary Therapies, won a 2013 FHT Excellence Award for developing an education programme for therapists working in cancer care.
  • The Complementary Therapy Team at Velindre Cancer Care won a 2016 FHT Excellence Award (Special Recognition) as Employee of the Year.

FHT sponsors Olympia Beauty!

Nutirition and Wellbeing LIVE image
We are proud to announce FHT will be a sponsor of the Nutrition & Wellbeing LIVE stage at Olympia Beauty on 2-3 October – new for 2016 – in association with Massage World and Holistic Therapist Magazine.

We look forward to seeing you at the biggest and best ever Olympia Beauty, now celebrating 12 years. The show is the ultimate destination for beauty, with a line-up of over 500 exciting brands, exhibiting at this two-day holistic and beauty experience.

The Nutrition & Wellbeing LIVE stage has been launched to support the huge trend for beauty from within – set up for complementary health care practitioners and beauty therapists who have an interest in nutrition, health and well-being. Topics include: ‘Food trends vs food fads’, ‘Chair massage made easy’, ‘ Does a cancer diagnosis change your client physically and psychologically and how can you help?’, and more.

Also NEW for 2016, Olympia Beauty will be launching The Experience Zone, which will include six different ‘experience areas’ for you to try out, or simply go for a bit of relaxation during the show.

Come and try: body massage, cranial sacral therapy, reflexology, Thai foot massage, reiki, and Tibetan hand massage.

An invaluable experience not to be missed. Don’t forget to register in advance at www.olympiabeauty.co.uk for your FREE entry ticket.

Date: Sunday 2 October 10-6pm & Monday 3 October 10-5pm
Venue: Grand Hall, Olympia, London, W14

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/olympiabeauty/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/olympiabeauty

FHT hosted courses

Following popular demand, we’re pleased to bring you two FHT hosted courses in Exeter this August…

FHT hosted courses

Facial reflexology – Saturday 13 August

The aim of this workshop is to give an understanding of how to give a practical facial reflexology treatment as either a standalone therapy, or as an additional treatment for enhancement.

Course tutor: Teresa Rich

For more information

Hot stone reflexology – Sunday 14 August

Hot stone reflexology is an extremely popular therapy that has taken the UK by demand. Hot stones provide a deep and thorough treatment. This is an extremely profitable, and marketable service that is a must to be offered by all reflexologists.

Course tutor: Teresa Rich

For more information

Remember, if there is a course you would like to run in your area, find a group of therapists and we’ll find the speaker. Email education@fht.org.uk with the details.

A place for supplemental tools within the massage industry

By Una Tucker, FHT accredited provider at Kneader On-Site Massage

A place for supplemental tools within the massage industry

In our world of technology and fast-paced 24/7 lifestyles, getting a relaxing massage can be like stepping back into a simpler time. Although there are electric and battery-operated options, the majority of massage therapists have kept routines reliably simple and hands-on – a strategy that has proved costly for some as the growing popularity of massage treatments has dramatically increased demand. Therapists massaging for bigger companies or spas regularly work 40-hour weeks and such repetition/physical exertion has resulted in a dramatic increase in RSI and other such massage therapist-related injuries. In fact, the AMTA places the average career span for a massage therapist at just 7 years.

Despite such a growing problem, the massage industry itself has remained firmly on the fence when it comes to researching and/or promoting supplementary massage tools as a way for therapists to safeguard themselves and their careers. Although the massage tool market has seen some growth (largely due to the spa industry’s love of new kit), the majority of hand-held tools remain limited in their functionality, with the price and quality of what’s on offer being either basic budget or costly, quasi-medical implements. Hands-free techniques have grown in popularity yet some therapists (due to age, size or even physical ability) find the techniques and/or the positions difficult, proving that one size does not fit all.

What therapists need is a variety of reliable and affordable options but, more importantly, a change in the view that the use of supplemental tools somehow lessens the experience by breaking the direct contact between therapist and client. Hands-free and/or supplemental tools options suit a more pro-active and positive way before injuries occur, rather than leaving therapists to seek alternatives later in their career and, most likely, under duress.

Find out more about Kneader On-Site Massage

My Journey with the Total Release Experience (TRE)

By FHT accredited training provider Caroline Purvey

My Journey with the Total Release Experience (TRE)

My journey started over four years ago when I was about to embark on opening my own yoga studio. A dream I held after leaving full time teaching in a 24/7 boarding school. I was trained to trainer level and taught yoga to staff and pupils as well as in the wider community. So when I left the school I took the opportunity to turn my hobby into my work. This was all happening at a time when my daughter was happily married and living in South Africa and was due to give birth to her first baby. Like any mum, I said to her we will be out there for the birth. However, birth like death comes when it wants. I was a touch concerned we could be in SA for two weeks having to return and no baby!

One night, I had a mail from one of my yoga students who sent me a link and asked if I had heard of TRE. Of course I hadn’t, I took a quick look before going to class. When she saw me she was quite excited and after my questions she told me a friend with a visitor from SA had told her about TRE and it ‘sounded amazing’. That night something urged me to take a further look. Before I went to bed that night I made a call to SA, I spoke to an English doctor who took TRE to SA. I had also booked two flight tickets because at the time of the birth, David Berceli was running a training in SA and of all the things I knew the venue – it was five minutes from my daughter’s home. The writing as they say was on the wall. We arrived on Monday, baby James arrived on Wednesday and the following week I attended the first stage training.

There were 100 people from around the world and I was the only one from the UK. At the end I stood up and vowed that I would go back and bring TRE to the UK.

When I returned home, I opened the Yoga Centre, set up TRE UK™ and started to invite people to be my case studies for TRE. Although I had no materials or support network I really understood the concept. Slowly, on a local level, the word was spreading. About nine months later one of my clients, who had done the practice after losing her father, called to say her friend was suffering during an acrimonious divorce, she had tried everything wanted to experience TRE. She then said ‘Oh and she is a reporter with the Daily Mail’, I thought this would either be the shortest career in history or it could go somewhere! She wrote a very positive article. The day the paper came out I had over 4000 hits on my website. I realised that from Land’s End to John O’Groats there were many people suffering from anxiety and illness from day to day stress and deeper held traumas.

That summer, I drove 1400 miles around the country and started to deliver workshops teaching the Total Release Experience (TRE). I guess my mission for the UK had started. Since then I have delivered over 90 workshops and over 400 weekly sessions. In 2015, having written my training programme, I started the TRE UK™ Diploma course with six lovely people who had all done TRE for themselves and their passion was indicative enough for me that they would be the start of the TRE UK™ team.

I am more than proud that my course has been accredited by the FHT, making it the first accredited course of its kind in the UK and probably the world. It is a standard for the professionals that want to join with me in sharing the work. Now with representation in Oxford, Bournemouth, Somerset, Kent and Bristol, the opportunity for others to learn is increasing. I have also been asked to share my work with university students on a course for trauma psychology. My team and I worked with 31 stressed sixth form students in a school. Awesome. The week after it was that with the staff. My journey continues.

As a yoga teacher I thought I had a great understanding of the anatomy of humans and it has been my key interest. However, the insights that have revealed themselves through TRE have been incredible. I feel blessed to have found this work and although I am busier now than I probably have ever been, I am on a mission – it is what I wished for.

For out more about TRE

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