Report highlights that complementary therapists can help to transform the nation’s health

The FHT welcomes a report published today by the Professional Standards Authority...
The FHT welcomes a report published today by the Professional Standards Authority, which highlights that health practitioners listed on an Accredited Register ‘can help governments and public bodies achieve their aim to improve health and transform services’.

The FHT’s Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register was approved as an Accredited Register by the Professional Standards Authority in January 2014 and lists more than 10,000 registrants.

The Authority will be distributing the report to a wide and influential audience, involved in health and social care. This includes MPs, chief medical officers, NHS chief executives, county councils, education authorities, community well-being boards, major charities, Royal Colleges, national press contacts, and many more.

Harry Cayton, Chief Executive of the Professional Standards Authority, commented in a supporting statement: ‘We all know we need to deliver new, innovative ways to improve people’s health. The NHS is re-examining the way we deliver services and exploring new models of integrated care better suited to today. That means looking beyond the traditional confines of our health and care system and the traditional health professions. The 63,000 practitioners on 17 Accredited Registers covering 25 occupations must be a part of that, offering different approaches to care which commissioners can choose with the confidence that they are competent and safe.

‘Having confidence in Accredited Registers covering health sciences, talking therapies, physical therapies and a range of complementary therapies means that we no longer have to depend solely on doctors and nurses but can create broader multidisciplinary teams. We must invest in prevention and wellbeing to deliver healthcare for the 21st century, and that means taking a wider view of the health and care workforce.’

The report sets out how the programme gives service users, employers and commissioners the confidence they need to use a wider range of practitioners. The benefits of the Accredited Register programme include:
  • all registers which have been accredited to date have made improvements to their working practices to gain accreditation from the Authority, improving overall quality across the different sectors;

  • if a practitioner is removed from one Accredited Register they cannot join another, protecting patients and consumers from malpractice;

  • all Accredited Registers are required to carry out careful risk assessments to ensure they understand the risks their occupation may pose to the public and to ensure that they are managing those risks effectively.
Read a copy of the Accredited Registers report

Find a complementary therapist on FHT’s Accredited Register

Resources for FHT Registrants only


FHT member wins national
Employee of the Year award


Congratulations to Charlotte Cardosi MFHT, who has won Employee of the Year at the Venus National Awards after winning at the Oxfordshire Venus Awards in November 2014.

Charlotte has been employed at My Beauty Room for more than three years where proprietor, Alison Day FFHT, was runner up in the regional Small Business of the Year category, sponsored by NatWest Business.

See Charlotte accepting her award here

Read more about Alison and her team


FHT Members receive Oxfordshire Venus Awards


My Beauty Room attended the Gala Ceremony at The Oxford Belfry on Friday, 14th November, for the Oxfordshire Venus Awards, which recognise, reward and celebrate local working women in business.

Proprietor, Alison Day, FFHT, was runner up in the Small Business of the Year category, sponsored by NatWest Business.

Charlotte Cardosi, MFHT, who has been employed at My Beauty Room for more than three years, won Employee of the Year, sponsored by Heart Thames Valley.

Alison said: ‘We had an amazing night at The Oxford Belfry, surrounded by inspirational women who all run fantastic businesses. Charlotte was stunned when her name was announced as winner but we all knew she would win! She deserves this award for her commitment and dedication to My Beauty Room – all our clients are absolutely over the moon she won’.

Charlotte said: ‘I am delighted to have won and want to thank all our clients who voted for me. I had a wonderful evening surrounded by my amazing colleagues and wonderful family’.

Charlotte will now go to the national finals to be held in London in January 2015 – all at FHT wish her the very best of luck.

Read more about Alison and her team


Non-surgical cosmetic interventions summit seeks beauty therapist delegates


Health Education England (HEE) has been working with regulators, royal colleges, industry representatives – including FHT Vice-president, Cheryl Cole - and other stakeholders to review the qualifications required for cosmetic treatments. This summit will present the proposed educational and training framework and give stakeholders the opportunity to contribute to aspects of Phase 2 of the project, including developing options and recommendations for accreditation and delivery of qualifications.

Organisers are keen for beauty therapists to attend this event, which will take place in Kennington, London on 9 December, 2014. Attendance is free but spaces are limited. For more information, please see the link below, but please note that you should email Filmawit Kiros at

Click here for more information about the summit

Email Filmawit to register a place

Click to read HEE’s Phase 1 report


Are beauty treatments appropriate for children?

Have your say...

Are beauty treatments appropriate for children? With the surge in children’s pamper parties and a recent tabloid newspaper story about salons offering bikini wax treatments to children as young as nine, should there be restrictions on treating minors? Or with children maturing at an earlier age and becoming more body-conscious, should treatments be offered to self-conscious children who might otherwise be at risk of low self-esteem or even bullying?

What do you think?

If you are interested in potentially contributing to an article* for International Therapist on this topic, please send your comments (300 minimum/400 maximum), to by
6 November 2014.

Thank you for your support.

*Please note that we would want to include the name of any FHT member wishing to potentially contribute to an article in International Therapist on this topic. Only comments received by FHT members will be considered for editorial in International Therapist. By sending your comments in to the FHT, you are granting permission for these comments to be published by the FHT, in print and/or online, along with your name. We may also contact you for further information. We regret that we will not be able to respond to every member who sends in a response, or publish all comments received.


2014 Institute of Sport & Remedial Massage conference

Find out more and book your place...

8-9 November
Regent’s College, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4NS

Keynote presentations include:

  • ‘How do humans differ morphologically from their nearest primate relatives?’ - Prof. Ceri Davies BSc PhD FAS FIAS
  • ‘A journey through elite sport’ - Neil Black MCSP SRP
  • ‘Movement control - fitting in with bodywork therapies’ - Mark Comerford B Phty MCSP MAPA
  • ‘Fundamentals of extra-muscular myofascial force trans-mission (EMFT)’ - Dr. Peter A Huijing PhD

Workshops/seminars include:

  • 'Anatomy Trains®' and 'Assessment and movement assessment'
  • 'Kinesio Taping®' (parts 1 & 2)
  • 'The psychology of rehabilitation' (parts 1 & 2)
  • 'Clinical application of movement control' (parts 1 & 2)
  • 'Clinical implications of Extra-muscular Myofascial Force Transmission (EMFT)'
  • 'Active fascial release'
  • 'The musician as an athlete: postural coaching' (parts 1 & 2)
  • 'The thorax - anatomy, biomechanics, (dys)function'

Cost (including smart ISRM Conference bag):

ISRM Members: 1 Day: £85 / 2 Days: £150
Non-ISRM Members: 1 Day: £100 / 2 Days: £180

Saturday evening buffet: £25/person

Visit for full details and to register


Job opportunity

Massage therapist at Ayurveda Retreat, Reading. Log in to read more >>

FHT represented at CAM event organised by Shiatsu Representative UK


The FHT was recently represented by Vice-president, Julie Tasker (pictured) at the one-day Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Self-Care and Patient Choice Event, organised by the shiatsu lead body, Shiatsu Representatives UK (SRUK).

The event, inspired by the annual European Shiatsu Week, took place on Wednesday, 17th September 2014, to promote the role of all complementary therapies, including shiatsu. Held at the medical centre at the Olympic Park in London, it was attended primarily by people from the local community.

Julie was invited to give a closing speech at the end of the day, and had the opportunity to distribute information about the FHT and its Accredited Voluntary Register to those attending.

Other speakers included Wayne Farah, vice chair of the Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (NCCG), who emphasised the realisation that the medical model on its own is no longer viable. NCCG now offer Community Prescriptions which help to provide patient choice, including accessing facilities in the local area, such as Tai Chi, dancing, other exercise sessions and other activities. Each patient is supported by a community navigator who enables them to be aware of the availability of local activities which they may then choose to be referred to. Research conducted by the University of East London has indicated benefits including a decrease in daily sitting time, reduction in isolation, gaining confidence of being able to lead an active life, and increased social cohesion.

Simon Robey, Complementary Therapy Coordinator at St Joseph's Hospice, offered a presentation about developing compassionate communities, emphasising the need for healthcare to work 'with' rather 'giving it to' patients. He emphasised that this is particularly relevant when looking at end of life care which needs a radically reformed approach.

Katherine Hall from Shiatsu Plus discussed her experience of integrating shiatsu massage in psychiatric settings. Katherine emphasised the important role of complementary therapists in enabling more prolonged therapeutic contact with patients, including touch. She feels this is enhanced by the nature of complementary therapists, who generally have the life experience to facilitate empathy.

Andre Mostert from the University of East London's Centre for Innovation, Management and Enterprise gave an explanation of 'Planet Health' and its role in encouraging younger people to engage in preventative care and employability. This is based on a system of ‘gamification’, using a computer game for youngsters to gain credits in return for healthy choices which are transferable via a passport system, enhancing their employability.

The event included presentations by patients, about their experiences of accessing the compassionate community and the services of Shiatsu Plus. There were also free workshops and complementary therapy taster sessions.


Non-surgical cosmetic interventions phase 1 report published


Following the Keogh review of cosmetic interventions and the concerns raised, the Government appointed HEE (Health Education England) to develop educational pathways and qualifications for all practitioners providing non-surgical treatments.

On behalf of the FHT, Vice-president Cheryl Cole has been part of a select group assisting the HEE in the development of the qualifications framework for non-surgical treatments, to ensure our beauty therapists members are appropriately represented. (For more information, see International Therapist, Issue 1009, page 44.)

This month, the HEE published a report that outlines the key outcomes of phase 1 of the work carried out between October 2013 and May 2014. This includes a draft education and training framework covering five cosmetic treatment modalities:

  • Botulinum toxin injections;
  • Dermal filler injections;
  • Chemical peels and skin rejuvenation treatments (mesotherapy and microneedling);
  • Laser, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) treatments; and
  • Hair restoration surgery.

Read HEE’s Final Report: Phase 1 (September 2014) >>


And the winners are...

The FHT is proud to announce the winners of the 2014 FHT Excellence in Practice and Education Awards.

Each award winner was presented with an FHT award, certificate and a £500 cheque at an exclusive presentation lunch at Coombe Abbey Hotel on 11 September, 2011, in front of an audience of distinguished guests.

Excellence in Practice

Dr Carol Samuel, FFHT (Excellence in Practice - winner)
For her PhD, Carol carried out laboratory-based research into the effects of reflexology on acute pain in healthy human subjects. Carol is also the first non-medically qualified practitioner world-wide to achieve a PhD in reflexology and pain management.

The CALM Complementary Therapy Team, The Christie (Excellence in Practice - winner)
The team received an award for developing, delivering and researching the CALM project, which involves a team of complementary therapists providing innovative techniques and support to patients struggling with medical procedures for cancer.

Pip Bateman, MFHT (Excellence in Practice - winner)
Pip set up the Holistic Health Team, to make complementary therapies and holistic health activities accessible to disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Areas of work include with the homeless, young people, substance misuse, HIV, schools and organisations supporting people living with disabilities.

George Bate, MFHT  (Excellence in Practice – highly commended)
George has worked as a volunteer complementary therapist at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary for 10 years, providing treatments to patients with cancer, carers and staff. With backing from staff and the Trust, he launched a Reiki Therapy Clinic in 2013, which is now being evaluated and researched by hospital consultants.

Excellence in Education

Dr Deepa Apte, FHT accredited course provider (Excellence in Education winner – Tutor of the Year)
Deepa has inspired and changed hundreds of lives across the world with her broad knowledge of ayurveda, and the depth and clarity with which she teaches. Many students have praised her for making the complex science of ayurveda easy to understand and relevant to a Western lifestyle or business context.

Zoe Warner, MFHT (Excellence in Education winner – Student of the Year)

Zoe continues to train to this day, in order to broaden her skills and support her two successful businesses. After her husband was injured in a roadside explosion while in the army, Zoe also founded Therapies4Forces, offering free therapy services to injured personnel, veterans and their carers and families.

For more information about the FHT Awards, please visit


Have your say and help shape the future of beauty, nail and spa training standards


Habia is currently in the process of reviewing the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for beauty, nails and spa. The development process started back in February this year and involves calling upon experienced industry professionals to review the current NOS for beauty therapy, nail services and spa therapy.

On the initial round of consultation, Habia received an overwhelming number of responses and held meetings with the expert working group members throughout April, May and June. Following on from this initial work, Habia has now entered the stage of wider consultation and are seeking the views of professionals from across the industry.

To have your say, simply complete the consultation survey here. You can choose to complete a short or extended version of the consultation survey for either the beauty and spa therapy and advanced services industry and the nail service industry. The extended versions must be completed online. The short versions can also be printed for completion, to post back to Habia. The consultation will be available until Friday 3 October 2014.

Tiffany Tarrant, Development Manager at Habia said, “So far we have been overwhelmed with the support and input received in relation to the National Occupation Standards review. The online survey is the next step in the process and it is extremely important that we get feedback from as many representatives from the beauty, nail and spa industries as possible.

Following on from this online survey, Habia will be hosting a series of focus groups throughout the four nations and all input will be used to ensure the national occupational standards reflect current and predicted industry practice and maintain standards that employers and learners need.

To find out more about Habia and the National Occupational Standards (NOS) review visit or call 08452 306080


HM Revenue and Customs guidance and support

Accessible support in a variety of different formats...

Take a look at HM Revenue and Customs guidance and support to help people in business get their tax affairs right. Unlike traditional classroom learning, you can access this modern, simplistic education at a time convenient to you, either from the comfort of your own home or on the move.


HMRC have some fantastic e-learning products for people starting in business. Access the link here to the most popular title working for yourself. It covers everything you need to know about starting and running a business.


HMRC run a wide variety of webinars (online presentations) which will help you get things right for your business from the start. Webinars last less than an hour and you can either choose between a pre-recorded webinar available at any time or a live and interactive webinar where you also get the opportunity to ask questions. Take a look at the link for all the webinars here and try one for yourself or go direct to one of HMRC’s most popular webinars ‘Record Keeping for the Self-Employed’ by clicking here >>


Sign up for HMRC’s free email service. Receive a series of tax related emails at specific times to let you know what you need to do to keep your tax affairs in order. These emails remind you when you need to submit your tax returns, make payments to HMRC and what records you need to keep. Click here >>

Record keeping mobile apps

There are a range of Smart phone Record Keeping Apps supplied by third parties to help you run your business. Click here >>

Tax help fact sheet

Have a look at HMRC’s Tax Help Fact Sheets. They cover a range of subjects such as Self-Assessment, Expenses and Allowances for the Self-Employed, Employing someone for the first time, VAT and Limited Companies to name a few. Click here >>

You Tube

If you are looking for bite-sized chunks of information on a range of tax matters, why not access HMRC’s YouTube channel. There are numerous YouTube clips to help you, some lasting for less than one minute! Click here >>


Help to spread the word about reflexology!

This is a members-only item. 

Please login at the top-right of this page.

Should therapy services ever be discounted?

Have your say...

With more and more daily discount deal companies such as Groupon and Wowcher offering special offers on different products and services, is this driving demand or devaluing the service offered? Does offering a certain amount of money off retail products and therapy treatments help to increase uptake and potentially encourage new customers who, in turn, may become regular clients? Or does an increase in therapy businesses offering discounts mean consumers are expecting more and more for less money, which means therapists are having to drop their prices to be able to compete?

What do you think?

If you are interested in potentially contributing to an article* for International Therapist on this topic, please send your comments, full name and membership number or post code, to (please respond by 15 August 2014).

Thank you for your support.

*Please note that we would want to include the name of any FHT member wishing to potentially contribute to an article in International Therapist on this topic. Only comments received by FHT members will be considered for editorial in International Therapist. By sending your comments in to the FHT, you are granting permission for these comments to be published by the FHT, in print and/or online, along with your name. We may also contact you for further information. We regret that we will not be able to respond to every member who sends in a response, or publish all comments received.


NACTHPC Conference and 14th AGM

Exploring Dementia. More info...

National Association of Complementary Therapists in Hospice and Palliative Care

NACTHPC Conference and 14th AGM

Wednesday 17th September 2014

“Exploring Dementia”


University of Warwick, Coventry

Full details >>


Governing Council Elections 2014

This is a members-only item. 

Please login at the top-right of this page.

Win a Weleda Insight day this summer!

The chance to enjoy a colourful ''Weleda Insight'' day...

One lucky FHT member, plus a work colleague or fellow FHT member, has the chance to visit Weleda in Derbyshire to enjoy a colourful 'Weleda Insight' day. If you are interested in visiting this June, your unique trip would involve:

  • a tour of Weleda's 15-acre Demeter-certified organic herb gardens
  • learning about biodynamic growing and the ingredient chamomile
  • picking some of the herb and learning how to make a plant tincture
  • a talk by Evelyn Liddell on mineral oils vs. plant oils
  • a talk by Karen Mellers on organic skincare
  • a talk by Jayn Sterland about the ethos behind the brand

The winner can choose from three dates for their visit, each having a slightly different focus in the afternoon with a particular themed talk:

  • 24 June - talk on facial skincare
  • 25 June - talk on bodycare
  • 26 June - talk on health/natural medicines

The day* will begin at 9.30am at Ilkeston and finishes at 3.30pm. All the talks are designed to be engaging and interactive, as a workshop, with plenty of discussion time. The maximum number of places at the event is 35 so the workshops remain intimate and guests can be very involved in the demonstrations and talks, to really experience natural and organic cosmetics. You will get the chance to meet Weleda's knowledgeable team, find out about the latest launches, discover the heritage behind the range, take advantage of special offers in the factory shop and enjoy a complimentary goody bag as a memento from the day.

Weleda, the original green beauty pioneer, was first founded in Switzerland in 1921 and a British office was established in 1925. Today Weleda is a global company operating across five continents, manufacturing in Switzerland, Germany, France and the UK.

The company’s key focus is on quality – from the selection of raw materials to the finished product – wherever possible using raw materials from Weleda’s own organic herb gardens, from biodynamic cultivation projects or certified wild collection.

The original mission statement for Weleda, which still appears on marketing materials today, was "to work in harmony with man and nature" and this company ethos is embedded in Weleda's very DNA. Being green is a long term commitment for Weleda, over 9 decades.

Weleda has companies in 21 countries worldwide and has grown to become the largest global manufacturer of certified natural/organic cosmetics and natural pharmaceuticals, without wavering from its commitment to this central philosophy.

This event has been organised with a view to a larger group of FHT members visiting next summer for a tailor-made event.

How to enter

Email your name, address, email and mobile number to typing ‘Weleda prize draw’ in the subject box. Alternatively, send your details on a postcard to: Weleda prize draw, FHT, 18 Shakespeare Business Centre, Hathaway Close, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO50 4SR. Closing date: 10 June 2014.

Competition open to existing FHT members aged 18 or over, except those who are FHT staff members, their families and friends. Only one application per member. No cash alternative will be offered. The FHT accepts no responsibility for entries delayed, damaged, mislaid or wrongfully delivered. Illegible entries will be disqualified. The winner(s) will be the first correct response(s) drawn after the closing date. The winner(s) will be notified and results published in a later issue of International Therapist. The winner(s) must agree to the publication of their name. In all matters concerning the prize draw, the editor’s decision is final. No correspondence can be entered into. If, for reasons beyond the control of the FHT, the prize stated cannot be awarded, an alternative prize of the same value will be offered. Prizes are non-negotiable. We regret only the winner(s) will be notified. Entry implies acceptance of these terms and conditions.


The first international research seminar on Ayurveda

Birstein, Germany, on 14-15 September 2014...
The first international research seminar on Ayurveda will be taking plan in Birstein, Germany, on 14-15 September 2014.

"The scientific committee of IRSA calls on reseachers from India, Europe and other countries to present their works in the field of Ayurveda medicine on the 1st International Research Seminar on Ayurveda. Selected abstracts will be published in peer reviewed journals."

Further details >>

Should therapists specialise in one therapy or be multi-disciplined?

Have your say...

While some therapists offer just one treatment or therapy, others offer a wide range, across a number of different disciplines. Do you believe it is better for a therapist to focus on becoming an expert in just one therapy, or to diversify and learn a number of different therapies? Would a wider range of treatments appeal to a larger spectrum of clients, with therapists being able to tailor the session to each client’s individual needs? Or is it better to carve out a niche in the industry to focus all your energies on?

What do you think?

If you are interested in potentially contributing to an article* for International Therapist on this topic, please send your comments, full name and membership number or post code, to (please respond by 13 May 2014).

Thank you for your support.

*Please note that we would want to include the name of any FHT member wishing to potentially contribute to an article in International Therapist on this topic. Only comments received by FHT members will be considered for editorial in International Therapist. By sending your comments in to the FHT, you are granting permission for these comments to be published by the FHT, in print and/or online, along with your name. We may also contact you for further information. We regret that we will not be able to respond to every member who sends in a response, or publish all comments received.


FHT’s AVR promoted to GP practice managers

Great news! Find out more...
The FHT’s Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register has been featured in a two-page article in the April 2014 issue of Practice Management, a magazine distributed to more than 5,500 GP practice managers in the UK. Practice managers play a vital role within GP surgeries – as well as being responsible for managing staff and budgets, they develop the practice’s business strategy, which can include signposting doctors and patients to additional health and social care services.  

Read the article in Practice Management >>

The FHT is happy to support the concept of positive touch and the Manifesto for a Pro-Touch Society...

Here’s one supporting activity you may want to put in your diary…

National Massage Day

It’s ‘National Massage Day’ on Friday 16th May, where everyone in the UK is encouraged to reach out and touch someone they care for.

Touch is part of our daily language "keep in touch", "that video touched me", "I lost touch with Bob years ago". It's instinctive and natural. It's part of human nature and yet we as a society are so inhibited about touch and perceive massage as a luxury rather than a necessary treatment for a healthy lifestyle.

So what are the likely consequences if on a national scale our institutions advise against it? With media impressing on us almost daily the negative effect of inappropriate touch we are failing to recognise the negative effects of not touching.

Gill Tree is founder of a leading UK massage school, Essentials for Health and an FHT accredited course provider, and this year launched her manifesto for a Pro-Touch Society. The stories of inappropriate touch in the media are prevalent and the manifesto aims to create an awareness that not all touch is inappropriate and to redress the balance in healing establishments, schools and workplaces.

Pro-Touch Conga

On National Massage Day, Friday 16th May 2014 at 1500 hours, Gill Tree is inviting you to form a conga line of people from St Thomas' Hospital to The Houses of Parliament to bring awareness that touch is not something to be feared, not a luxury but a necessary part of preventative health care.

You don't have to be a massage therapist, you just have to believe that the world would be a better place if we all could reach out to one another.

If you want to join in, Gill would be happy to see you there.

For more information and to get involved, click here >>


FHT update - the changing face of beauty therapy

FHT Vice-president, Cheryl Cole, calls on beauty therapist members...

The FHT’s governing council members regularly attend meetings and carry out other ‘behind the scenes’ work to ensure that our members’ interests are represented at every level. Here we take a look at how the FHT has been supporting the development of beauty therapy standards, practice and training…

Have your say about new beauty salon services standard!

A new Beauty Salon Services Standard is currently nearing completion of its development phase, which will hopefully lead to the first voluntary British and European Standard of its kind for the beauty sector.

The FHT has been at the heart of this standard’s development, with representation from Vice-president Cheryl Cole working directly with the BSI (British Standards Institute) and as a delegate representing the UK’s views at European meetings. Vice-president Gerri Moore has also been heavily involved, before the standard was even established, to drive the project forward at a European level. Gerri is also part of the BSI Committee. And former FHT Vice-president, Carina Fagan-Brereton is the Chair of the European Committee. Cheryl, Gerri and Carina have been working collectively to ensure quality service standards; client safety and agreed working practice are harmonised and enhanced across Europe.

A draft of the standard has recently been released for public comment, allowing our beauty therapists to ‘have their say’. Please click on the link below to be taken directly to the draft standard, where you can also provide your comments.

Click here to view and comment on the draft Beauty Salon Services Standard >>

The closing date for comments on this standard is 6 June, 2014. After this time your comments will not be accepted. The BSI Committee will meet again in June to discuss comments received in the UK and these will be taken forward to what we hope will be the closing European meeting in Malta, to agree the final version of the standard prior to formal vote for acceptance.

FHT attends meeting following Government response to Keogh review

Following the Keogh review of cosmetic interventions and the concerns raised, the Government have appointed HEE (Health Education England) to develop educational pathways and qualifications for all practitioners providing non-surgical treatments.

Vice-President Cheryl Cole was involved in the Keogh review stakeholder meeting for injectable treatments and has recently taken part in two of the consultation phases held by HEE to ensure our beauty therapists are appropriately represented.

The FHT welcomes the endeavours being taken to ensure all practitioners have the same training to carry out high risk treatments. We have been working for the last three years as the appointed liaison member between the BSI Beauty Care Standards and the BSI Aesthetic Service Standards committees to try and distinguish ‘beauty’ and ‘medical’ treatments. Some treatments are easier to categorise; others clearly sit in both fields, in particular laser and IPL.

Having an agreed training route will go some way to tightening up safety, but legislation and regulation will be needed to back this up to ensure this route has to be followed. This will be the only way to ensure public safety going forwards. We believe that clearly some treatments should only be undertaken in a ‘medical’ or ‘clinical’ setting and would strongly support this, but we also have to protect treatments carried out in the salon that are performed competently, in the correct environment, by appropriately qualified therapists. There is a long way to go in a short timeframe before the final outcome is announced, but FHT will continue to be involved.

Click here to read about the Keogh review and the Government’s response >>

Beauty therapy sector selected for Stage 2 of Trailblazer apprenticeships

It has been announced that the hairdressing and beauty therapy sector has been selected to participate in Stage 2 for the development of the new Trailblazer apprenticeships. This will involve an intense period of activity to produce a standard which is to be submitted for approval within a three-month timeline.

The need to continue to study English and Maths to GCSE C grade or beyond is a strong priority according to Government guidelines, if this level has not been gained prior to study. In addition, end testing and a graded system will be desirable rather than ongoing assessment and competence testing. Apprenticeships will be a minimum of 12 months to three years in duration. The details of the final outcomes are not yet available but we will keep you informed as information emerges.

Click here to read about trailblazers and the hair and beauty sector >>

Click here to read more about the Government’s apprenticeship programme >>


CAMSTRAND conference calls for research abstracts


Organisers of the CAMSTRAND 2014 conference, taking place on Wednesday, 18 June at Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, are calling for research abstracts (submission deadline: 11 April).

The conference is aimed at individuals and research groups who are interested in the development of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) research and is designed primarily for UK doctoral and post-doctoral fellows. CAM practitioners interested in becoming researchers are also invited to attend.

Click here to download the abstract submission form >>


Would you like a say in what research should be done to help people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

If you, or anyone you know, is affected by IBD (inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or colitis) you may be interested in this survey, which aims to find out what patients, carers and clinicians think are IBD clinical-research priorities’.

"The inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) Priority-Setting Partnership (PSP) has been set up by the British Society of Gastroenterology, Crohn’s and Colitis UK, Royal College of Nursing, James Lind Alliance, Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland, British Dietetic Association, British Society Of Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology And Nutrition, Crohn’s in Childhood Research Association, Core and the Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology, with input from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Gastroenterology Specialty Group and NIHR Paediatrics (Non-Medicines) Specialty Group. The Partnership aims to work with people with IBD (both adults and children), their carers and clinicians to identify and decide the most important research questions for the treatment of IBD."

Click here to complete the survey >>


FREE online business courses

Find out more about vision2learn...

Thank you to member, Brenda Seaborn, for bringing vision2learn to the FHT’s attention, which offers FREE online courses in association with further education colleges. These include Level 2 certificates in Customer Service, Working in the Health Sector, Equality and Diversity, Business and Administration, and Essential IT Skills – all of which would count towards your annual CPD.

10 CPD points per course!

Brenda, who has completed her certicate in Customer Service, told the FHT: “What a great course!  I thoroughly enjoyed it and learnt a great deal. The team at Vision2learn could not have been more helpful.  The enrolling procedure is fast and simple and you can get started on your coursework within forty-eight hours.  The tutors are just an email away and mine was extremely helpful and gave great, constructive feedback.  The course is well designed, colourful and easy to navigate. A little tip for simpler management of your coursework, would be, to download your assessment first; which you will find at the end of each unit. This way you can study a section and answer the relative questions whilst the information is still fresh in your mind.  It will re-enforce your learning and understanding of the subject at hand and make your learning a much more pleasurable and manageable experience. Enjoy.”

NB: Please note that the Level 2 certificates in Nutrition and Health and Coaching Sport would not be recognised by the FHT for membership and insurance purposes, as they are not practitioner level.

For more information, visit


Call for papers

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine…
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine is calling for papers, for a special issue focused on CAM in cancer-related symptoms.

"Millions of people worldwide live with a diagnosis of cancer. Developments in cancer screening and treatments have led to improved survival rates. Unfortunately, this increase in survival rates is frequently associated with cancer- or treatment-related symptoms that can generate disability and reduce quality of life in patients. Some of these cancer-related symptoms are common across different oncology processes and may include fatigue, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and physical functioning impairments that reduce the patient’s ability to cope with the demands of their occupational and personal lifestyles.

Cancer patients often use modalities of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) mindbody therapies, such as massage, yoga, exercise, herbs, acupuncture, Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, and nutritional interventions to reduce the impact of cancer-related symptoms on their lives. What is needed is a greater understanding of how both Western therapy and CAM can be used in conjunction with one another in an integrative approach to cancer care and the treatment of its associated symptoms.

We invite authors to submit original research and review articles that evaluate and/or test clinical treatment protocols and evidence-based guidelines on cancer-related symptoms and outcomes. We particularly encourage submission of articles from all disciplines and fields of study that explore the effectiveness of different components of CAM in this distressing and growing health problem.”

For submission details, click here >>

Government responds to Keogh review of cosmetic interventions


A review committee, chaired by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, was asked to review regulation in the cosmetic interventions sector following the PIP (breast) implant scandal in 2011, which exposed lapses in product quality, after care and record keeping.

As a result, the Review of the Regulation of Cosmetic Interventions was published in April 2013, which outlined a number of recommendations for both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures*. On 13 February, 2014, the Government published a paper in response to Keogh’s review, stating ‘We agree with the overwhelming majority of the Review’s findings and recommendations’.

The Government’s response paper outlines a range of measures already underway, and states that: ‘we are now working with healthcare regulators and patient safety organisations to improve the quality of training and care provided by the industry to practitioners and patients. This is the beginning of a process in which we shall ensure proportionate and appropriate improvements in the industry to better protect the consumers and patients of tomorrow’.

In terms of non-surgical interventions, including those which are undertaken by unregulated non-healthcare practitioners, the paper states that ‘the Department of Health will look to strengthen standards through training and qualifications and how far supervision from regulated professionals can support self-regulation of the sector’.

On behalf of its members, the FHT – along with regulators, Royal Colleges and other stakeholders - will be taking part in consultations led by Health Education England, as it conducts a review of the training and skills needed for non-surgical cosmetic procedures and the qualifications required.

The FHT will update members as and when further information is available.

Read the Government Response to the Review of the Regulation of Cosmetic Interventions (February, 2013) >>

Read Keogh’s Review of the Regulation of Cosmetic Interventions (April 2013) >>

*Non-surgical interventions looked at as part of Keogh’s review include dermal fillers, botulinum toxin (Botox) and laser hair removal - which are said to account for nine out of 10 cosmetic interventions and worth 75 per cent of the market in total.


Lavender and sleep patterns in dementia patients

Find out more...

An action research project published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice looked at the potential benefits of diffused lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) for dementia patients experiencing anxiety and disturbed sleep patterns. The results show that the nurses perceived lavender to have an overall good effect but more research is called for to determine how smell can enhance dementia care.

People with dementia often suffer from disturbed sleep, anxiety and restlessness, with these symptoms typically increasing with age and condition severity.

Some studies suggest that aromatherapy can be useful in supporting people with dementia, however there is little research and data supporting its efficacy at present.

A project* carried out in Norway aimed to gain an insight into the experiences of nurses who volunteered to incorporate aromatherapy into their routine care of dementia patients with anxiety and disturbed sleep patterns. 

An action research method was chosen, due to the limited experience in Norwegian nursing homes in using aromatherapy. Action research involves making relevant knowledge and skills available (ie. about the use and benefits of essential oils), then allowing people (the nurses and dementia patients) to actively participate in an organisational change (the aromatherapy intervention) while simultaneously carrying out research.

Four nursing homes agreed to participate, with 12 nurses and 24 patients suffering from anxiety and disturbed sleep patterns taking part in the action research. Disturbed sleep patterns included walking around at night, frequent calling for staff, and being tired and sleeping during the day.

Twelve to fifteen drops of Lavandula angustifolia were placed into a fan diffuser at a certain time each evening, with the night nurses regularly checking the diffusers and reporting on the patients’ sleep patterns. The procedure was repeated every night over a three month period. Day staff also monitored patients’ behaviour, in terms of anxiety, alertness and mood.

The results indicated that the nurses’ perceived a positive effect of the lavender on the majority of patients, with a ‘good/very good’ effect reported for 40 per cent (10/24) of patients, and a ‘fairly good’ effect for 33.3 per cent (8/24). ‘Unclear /vague’ and ‘no effects’ were reported for the remaining 23 per cent (6/24).

Nurses on night shift observed that fewer patients wandered or were troubled, and several slept well, while nurses on morning duty reported that the patients were more alert and their mood improved.

Nurses also observed a reduction in the need for medication/sleeping pills in a number of patients.

In addition, it was noted that when the project came to an end, in all four of the nursing homes that took part, there were requests for lavender from the night nurses because patients had ‘gone back to old habits’. Many also queried why they had not been taught about essential oils as part of their nursing education.

The author calls for further research to study how smell can enhance dementia care, stating ‘In collaboration with physicians and aromatherapists, the use of aromatherapy in nursing care should be examined more closely. There is also a need to study how smell affects nurses when using aromatic oils in care.’ The need for nurses to learn more about aromatherapy and CAM was also highlighted.

*Published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice:
Johannessen B. Nurses experience of aromatherapy use with dementia patients experiencing disturbed sleep patterns. An action research project, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 19(4): 209-213. Abstract available at:

Interested in writing case reports?

Attend a RCCM workshop at London South Bank University...
On  Friday 28th March, the Research Council for Complementary Medicine (RCCM) will be holding a workshop between 1.45- 4.45pm on ' Writing case reports for CAM' at London South Bank University.  This workshop will focus on the importance of case reports in practice and for research. Speakers include : Dr Clare Relton, Sheffield  University,  Dr Marie Polley, Westminster University and Prof Nicola Robinson, London South Bank University.
Please register your interest early as this workshop is likely to be oversubscribed and places are limited. The workshop will be £50 with a 15% discount for RCCM Friends and RCCM Corporate members (reduction available for 2 places).
Please contact Mary O'Meara, to register.  Full details will be sent out to delegates in March.
For more information about the RCCM, please visit  

Kinesiology primary research

An opportunity for students…
A note from Marcia Fletcher of Find the Cause:

“I have been exploring conducting a piece of primary research for the Kinesiology Federation and after discussions with Professor George Lewith and  Professor Paul Dieppe have identified a way forward.  

Before I embark on this myself (and with the support of my professional body and our interested but not qualified research group) I wanted to ask whether this project could be of interest to a student at one of our UK universities with an interest in CAM.

If so, then perhaps we could arrange a meeting to see how this could be taken forward. I look forward to hearing from you.  

Kind regards

Marcia Fletcher, KFRP
Kinesiologist and EFT Practitioner

FHT Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register accredited by Professional Standards Authority

Full details...

The FHT is proud to be the largest and longest standing professional association for complementary healthcare therapists to have its register approved as an Accredited Voluntary Register (AVR) by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA).

The PSA is an independent body accountable to Parliament, and oversees the UK’s nine statutory health and care regulatory bodies, including the General Medical Council and Nursing and Midwifery Council. It launched its AVR scheme under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, to accredit voluntary registers of professionals working in a variety of health and social care occupations that are not statutorily regulated, such as complementary therapy.

FHT President, Jennifer Wayte, said: ‘We are delighted the FHT’s register has been approved as an AVR by the PSA. Having independent, quality assurance of our register not only gives confidence to those seeking the services of a complementary healthcare therapist, it will also help the advancement of integrated healthcare. With the AVR scheme being widely promoted to the NHS and private healthcare providers, we believe this will give FHT registrants greater opportunity to demonstrate the important role complementary therapy has to play alongside conventional medical care, particularly in helping patients to manage chronic conditions and make small but important lifestyle changes.’

Dr Michael Dixon, a GP and Chairman of NHS Alliance, said: ‘Patients and GPs need to be assured about competence and safety when choosing the services of a professional complementary healthcare therapist. Anything that contributes to providing assurance is a step forward. It is therefore very good news to hear that FHT’s Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register has now been accredited by the PSA under the new Accredited Voluntary Register scheme. That is good for patients, good for professional complementary healthcare therapists, and also good for those who might want to signpost a patient towards a registered therapist.’

To view the FHT’s Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register, visit

For more information, contact Karen Young at the FHT (T. 023 8062 4376 •


Should first aid training be compulsory for therapists?

Have your say...

Although it is highly unlikely, clients may have an accident or become unwell when having a treatment, which may be completely unrelated to the treatment itself. While first aid training may be a legal requirement in certain situations, should it be compulsory for ALL therapists, so that they can provide immediate medical help while waiting for further assistance from emergency services or before the client seeks urgent medical attention? Or do you believe this would be an unnecessary burden and/or expense on therapists, where there is no legal requirement for first aid training?

What do you think?

If you are interested in potentially contributing to an article* for International Therapist on this topic, please send your comments, full name and membership number or post code, to (please respond by 13 February 2014).

Thank you for your support.

*Please note that we would want to include the name of any FHT member wishing to potentially contribute to an article in International Therapist on this topic. Only comments received by FHT members will be considered for editorial in International Therapist. By sending your comments in to the FHT, you are granting permission for these comments to be published by the FHT, in print and/or online, along with your name. We may also contact you for further information. We regret that we will not be able to respond to every member who sends in a response, or publish all comments received.


The SIGN clinical guideline for GPs on the management of chronic pain has launched in Scotland!

Chronic pain Scotland

The guideline provides recommendations and treatment pathways based on current evidence for best practice in the assessment and management of adults with chronic non-malignant pain in non-specialist settings, including self-management, pharmacological, psychological, physical, complementary and dietary therapies. 

Full guideline: 

Chronic pain website for patients and health professionals:

A big thank you to FHT member, Mariette Lobo, for reporting from Scotland.


2013 FHT Excellence Awards

FHT members receive awards for exemplary work in therapy practice and training
We were delighted to present five members with their 2013 FHT Excellence in Practice and Education awards at a special presentation lunch on 13th November, at the prestigious Coombe Abbey Hotel, near Coventry.

Launched in 2011, the awards recognise and celebrate the exemplary work being carried out by members of the FHT, who practise or teach in the fields of complementary, holistic beauty and sports therapy.

Those who received a 2013 FHT Excellence award were:
  • Donna Davis, MFHT – who has carried out research into the benefits of the Massage in Schools Programme, which introduces peer-to-peer massage to children in schools;
  • Geraldine Flynn, MFHT – who provides a micropigmentation service to individuals experiencing hair loss through alopecia and cancer treatment;
  • Angela Green, MFHT – who developed an education programme for qualified therapists, to help them further their knowledge and skills when working with cancer patients;
  • Claire Owens, MFHT  – who developed an early intervention programme to help students and parents identify stress and manage their own health;
  • Amanda Brooks, MFHT  – who is a passionate and widely respected teacher and expert in Health Kinesiology.

(Left to right): 2013 FHT Excellence award winners, Claire Owens, Donna Davis, Angela Green, Amanda Brooks, and Geraldine Flynn.

All five ladies were presented with their awards in front of a distinguished audience, made up of representatives from hospices, NHS hospitals, professional health and therapy organisations, private health insurance providers, and the education sector.

John French, FHT Chief Executive Officer, said: ‘For more than 50 years, FHT members have been helping to support the health and well-being of the nation, and passing their expertise on to future generations of therapists. The FHT Excellence awards are a fantastic opportunity to highlight to the therapy industry, stakeholders and beyond, the many diverse ways in which our members are using their therapeutic skills to enhance the lives of others.’    

Entries for the 2014 FHT Excellence awards will open in February 2014. For more information, please visit


Reflexology and aromatherapy equally effective for symptom relief in cancer patients


It is estimated that around two million people in the UK are living with or beyond cancer, and this figure is set to rise to four million by the year 2030.1

Many of these people choose to access complementary therapies, to help them cope with various physical and emotional issues surrounding their condition, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

A study recently published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice looked at whether reflexology was as effective as aromatherapy massage for symptom relief in patients attending a specialist cancer centre in the UK.

The centre had been offering an aromatherapy massage service for nearly 25 years, and before introducing reflexology, the complementary therapy department wanted to investigate whether the therapy would offer the same benefits to its patients. 

The study involved 115 NHS outpatients who were allocated to receive four, one-hour sessions of either reflexology or aromatherapy. Randomisation by minimisation was used to balance the two groups in terms of gender, whether they had received chemotherapy in the previous two months, and if their first concern/problem identified using a MYCaW* questionnaire was pain or ‘other’.

One hundred and four patients completed all four treatments, with the median length of time between the first and last appointments being 10 weeks. MYCaW questionnaires were completed before and after the intervention, to measure the effect of the therapy on patients’ symptoms, and VAS (visual analogue scale) after each session, to measure relaxation.

The results indicate that reflexology is as effective as aromatherapy massage for the treatment of cancer patients’ self-selected problems and concerns, and that both therapies provide ‘clinical benefit’. However, the authors commented that ‘future research might focus more specifically on which particular concerns are best managed by which therapy, or whether giving patients their own choice of therapy would make a difference to outcomes’.

No patients dropped out of the study due to adverse events, and the only negative comments provided in the questionnaires related to patients wanting more, or more frequent, therapy.

As a result of the study’s findings, reflexology will now be introduced to the cancer centre.

1 Macmillan (

2 Dyer J, Thomas K, Sandsund C, Shaw S. Is reflexology as effective as aromatherapy massage for symptom relief in an adult outpatient oncology population? Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 2013;19(3):153-157.

* MYCaW (Measure Yourself Concerns and Wellbeing) is an individualised questionnaire, adapted from MYMOP, which has been designed for evaluating complementary therapies in cancer support care. It collects both quantitative and qualitative data.


Homeless charity seeks volunteers over Christmas


Crisis, the national charity for single homeless people, is once again appealing for complementary therapists in the London area to volunteer their services over the festive season as part of Crisis at Christmas, which runs from Monday 23rd to Sunday 29th December, 2013.

Ten temporary centres will be set up by Crisis, providing vital companionship and hot meals for homeless and vulnerably housed people, as well as essential services such as health checks, housing advice, training and further education opportunities.

Crisis aims to provide a range of massage and well-being therapies to guests across all centres at Crisis at Christmas. This includes Swedish massage, shiatsu, Indian head massage, reflexology, craino-sacral therapy, reiki, healing, and energy filed therapy (EFT), to ensure guests receive a holistic approach to their health.
This is a popular service so Crisis needs a high number of therapists to volunteer so that as many guests as possible have the chance to feel relaxed and looked after this Christmas.

To apply as a volunteer therapist or for further information…

Online volunteer application forms and further information can be found on the Crisis website >>

Massage Service Organiser also required…

In addition to volunteer complementary therapists, this year Crisis is also looking for a Massage Service Organiser. This is largely an administrative role, with the volunteer working from 22nd to 30th December, to support the organisation and running of the massage service. This is a highly rewarding role which has only just become available.

If you are interested in learning more about this role, please contact Crisis direct at

Thinking of volunteering?

FHT Member, Caroline Mead, volunteered her therapy services for Crisis at Christmas in 2010. To read about her experience, click here >>

If you take part in Crisis at Christmas this year, please be sure to send in a write up so that we can share your experience with other FHT members. Email Joanna Reeves, Deputy Editor, at    


Global Skills Championship 2014, Malaysia – Industry Competency Excellence Awards

FHT Malaysia is proud to support the 2014 Global Skills Championship (GSC) in Malaysia, organised by the Malaysian Association of Cosmetologists.

Taking place at the Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur, on 25th and 26th March, 2014, the aim of the GSC excellence awards is to introduce the concept of global skills sharing, to help recognise and develop the standards of vocational education and practice within the holistic beauty and well-being industry.

There are two skills categories available: Detox and Relax (Stress Releasing Body Therapy) and Facial Skin Lifting Therapy. 

Both awards involve creating treatment plans, as well as practical and theoretical sessions.

Entrants must be aged 21 or above, and have a minimum of three years’ experience in the relevant skill set.  A registration fee for each category applies (approximately £60).

A certificate, medallion and cash prize will be presented to the winner and those coming second and third place in each skills category, with a top prize of 15,000 Malaysian ringgits (approximately £2,960).

Closing date for registration:  31 October, 2013.

GSC 2014 Detox and Relax Skills category information >>

GSC 2014 Facial Skin Lifting Therapy category information >>

GSC 2014 registration form >>


Should therapists offer support ‘above and beyond’ the therapy treatment?

Have your say...
On occasion, clients will raise a personal matter towards the end of treatment (see example below). Should therapists try to offer additional support, within their scope of practice? Or can this create problems, such as the client expecting this on a frequent basis, or impact the day’s schedule and the treatment of the next client?

Example taken from On Reflection by Dr Peter Mackereth (International Therapist, Issue 106, page 22): An aromatherapist working in private practice is treating ‘Joan’ on a weekly basis to manage her work-related stress and flare-ups of irritable bowel syndrome. Joan repeatedly leaves items of jewellery in the therapy room. As the therapist passes an item to Joan, she says tearfully: ‘I don’t know where my head is … my husband is seeing another woman …it’s left me feeling really alone’. The therapist has another client due in 20 minutes.

What do you think?

If you are interested in potentially contributing to an article* for International Therapist on this topic, please send your comments, full name and membership number or post code, to (please respond by 31 October 2013).
Thank you for your support.

*Please note that we would want to include the name of any FHT member wishing to potentially contribute to an article in International Therapist on this topic. Only comments received by FHT members will be considered for editorial in International Therapist. By sending your comments in to the FHT, you are granting permission for these comments to be published by the FHT, in print and/or online, along with your name. We may also contact you for further information. We regret that we will not be able to respond to every member who sends in a response, or publish all comments received.


Member to give talk for College of Medicine

FHT member, Jane McGrath, will be giving a lecture as part of the College of Medicine’s First Thursday lectures, discussing her personal experience of mental health problems, how the NHS failed to support her when she needed help the most, and how she eventually found her own path to self-healing. She will also discuss her visits to Kerala – first as a ‘patient’, looking for alternative approaches to improve her own health, and then as a researcher and film maker, to capture the variety of Ayurvedic approaches to recovery from mental illness.

The lecture takes place in London on 7th November, at 6.30. FHT members can enjoy the same concessionary rate as College of Medicine members (£12).

Click here for more information about the lecture >>

Click here to read an article by Jane, published in International Therapist >>

Health & Wellbeing Tax Plan

By working within a health and wellbeing profession, you could benefit from the Health & Wellbeing Tax Plan:

"This guide tells you about the Health and Wellbeing Tax Plan voluntary disclosure opportunity which runs from 7 October 2013 to 6 April 2014. It will be of interest to you if you work in the field of health and wellbeing and you want to bring your tax affairs up to date. For example if you have not told HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) about all your past income, gains and undisclosed liabilities.

You may be a professional working in the following areas:

• physical therapy - eg physiotherapist, chiropractor, chiropodist, osteopath, occupational therapist

• alternative medicine or therapy - eg homeopathy, acupuncture, nutritional therapy, reflexology, nutrition

• other therapy - eg psychology, speech therapy, arts therapy."

Health & Wellbeing Tax Plan guide >>

Acupuncture or counselling plus usual care may improve depression

In a study published in PLOS Medicine, it is cited that depression affects more than 350 million people worldwide and approximately one in six people will experience an episode of depression during their lifetime.[1] Depression is mainly treated with antidepressants in primary care, despite up to 60 per cent of patients reporting an inadequate response to treatment.[2] Many patients express an interest in non-pharmacological therapies to their GPs, however there is limited evidence to support the use of acupuncture or counselling for depression in a primary care setting. This study, conducted by a team led by Dr Hugh MacPherson, of the Department of Health Sciences at York, aimed to investigate whether acupuncture or counselling, combined with usual care, could benefit people with recurring depression in primary care.[3]

The randomised controlled trial conducted in the North of England involved 755 participants who had consulted their primary health care provider about depression within the past five years and were diagnosed as having moderate-to-severe depression (Beck Depression Inventory BDI-II score of more than 20) at the start of the study.

Study participants received either up to 12 weekly sessions of acupuncture plus usual care (302 patients) or counselling plus usual care (302 patients), or usual care alone (151 patients). PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire 9) data were available for 614 participants at three months and 572 participants at 12 months, with participants attending a mean of ten sessions for acupuncture and nine sessions for counselling.

Compared to usual care alone, there was a statistically significant reduction in the average PHQ-9 scores at both three and six months for both the acupuncture and counselling groups (the difference between acupuncture and counselling was not significant). At nine and twelve months, due to improvements in the usual care group, acupuncture and counselling were no longer significantly better than usual care.

The researchers concluded that in a primary care setting, combining acupuncture or counselling with usual care had some benefits after three months for patients with recurring depression.

For more information, and to read the study, visit [accessed online 2/10/2013.]

[1] MacPherson H, Richmond S, Bland M, Brealey S, Gabe R et al (2013). Acupuncture and Counselling for Depression in Primary Care: A Randomised Controlled Trial, PLoS Medicine 10(9): e1001518. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001518. Source: PLOS Medicine (

[2] Fava M (2003) Diagnosis and definition of treatment resistant depression. In MacPherson H et al (2013). Acupuncture and Counselling for Depression in Primary Care: A Randomised Controlled Trial, PLoS Medicine 10(9): e1001518.


Consultation on chronic pain services in Scotland

A consultation on the provision of specialist residential chronic pain services in Scotland is seeking views on the possible options for the future provision of specialist residential pain management services in Scotland. The consultation closes on Sunday 27 October 2013. There may be opportunities for complementary health practitioners within these services, who specialise in pain, to work as part of a multidisciplinary team.

To take part in the consultation, visit


Systematic review looks at lavender inhalation and sleep


The authors of a systematic review* published in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine (2012) cite that poor sleep - in the form of non-clinical insomnia - is estimated to affect around one third of the UK population.

They go on to highlight that conventional drugs used to induce or prolong sleep do not necessarily improve quality of sleep, or may produce undesirable side-effects in some individuals. However, anecdotal evidence supports the use of lavender oil inhalation for sleep, with historical and herbal medicine texts making reference to the plant’s analgesic and sedative properties. It is also reported that people with sub-clinical insomnia will often consider self-help strategies before seeking medical advice.

‘Lavender and sleep: A systematic review of the evidence’, by Kate Fismer and Dr Karen Pilkington (who contributed to the July 2013 issue of International Therapist) is the first systematic review to look at the evidence on lavender aroma inhalation as a possible self-care intervention to improve sleep initiation, maintenance and quality.

Of the 118 unique clinical trials (up to April 2012) identified by the authors’ search strategy, just eight of these were considered eligible for the review: four randomised controlled studies, one counterbalanced and three non-randomised controlled trials. Studies were only included if the lavender oil was administered by inhalation rather than ingested, or applied topically. Studies excluded were animal studies; studies using mixed interventions; lavender oil added to a bath; lavender used with another oil; uncontrolled studies; and studies lacking detail or not in English.

Three of the eight eligible trials were conducted in laboratory conditions, where the sleep environment was controlled, using objective outcomes to measure sleep quality. One of these trials indicated that lavender increased deep sleep, while a second showed a trend towards reduced wake frequency.

A fourth trial was conducted in partially controlled conditions and the results indicated that lavender helped to improve sleep in the treatment group, but not the control group.

The remaining four trials were conducted in ‘natural environments’ - three based in a hospital, and one involving a general population sample, who self-administered at home. The latter of these was considered to have the most robust study design of the eight trials, and ‘registered results in favour of lavender oil inhalation, suggesting potential as an early intervention strategy for those with poor quality sleep’. However, the study was also a pilot and its authors cautious about the significance of results.

Overall, initial results appear positive towards lavender oil inhalation for improving sleep in six of the eight studies in this systematic review, however Fismer and Pilkington highlight in their conclusion that ‘methodological inadequacies, small sample sizes, short duration, and challenges relating to blinding, mean that results should be viewed with caution’.

They also state, ‘more scientifically rigorous and adequately powered trials are needed to investigate the true effect of lavender oil aroma inhalation on sleep’.

The full version of this systematic review is available open access (until 31 December, 2013) at 

*Fismer K L, Pilkington K (2012) Lavender and sleep: A systematic review of the evidence, European Journal of Integrative Medicine 4(4): e436-e447.

To read an article by Dr Karen Pilkington that looks at the evidence base and use of complementary therapies in anxiety and depression (International Therapist, Issue 2013, p14-16), visit , log in and scroll down to ‘Mental health: evidence base’.


Shock reports highlight human trafficking in nail industry

The FHT is extremely saddened by recent media reports that highlight the number of manicurists working in UK nail bars who are at the mercy of human traffickers. It is estimated that there are around 100,000 Vietnamese manicurists working in the UK, though only 29,000 Vietnamese-born migrants are officially registered in census data.

Peter Bone MP, a former chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on human trafficking, is quoted in an article in The Sunday Times, saying “The scale is enormous and it’s totally hidden.” The article goes on to report that the illegal immigrants are lured into Britain on the promise of high wages. They are charged up to £20,000 by the crime syndicates smuggling them into the UK, ‘only to be forced to work for gangsters for years to repay the debt’. It is also alleged that many of these workers are forced into prostitution.

The FHT, which has held a national register of professional beauty therapists since 1972, at the suggestion of the Minister of Employment, stresses the importance of employers and the public checking that their manicurists are members or a respected professional association and hold appropriate insurance to practice. “We are shocked by these reports and our sympathy goes out to the victims involved”, says John French, FHT Chief Executive. “However, it does highlight that employers and the public need to be vigilant when recruiting manicurists or visiting a nail bar. Of course, not all Vietnamese-born manicurists working in nail bars will be illegal immigrants and victims of human trafficking, hence the importance of checking that all therapists are on a professional register”.

For more information:

The Sunday Times

The Guardian


We welcome the 100th Local Support Group

A hub for therapists, students and the public...
We have just welcomed on board our 100th Local Support Group (LSG)!

Local Support Groups (LSGs) are a hub where therapists can meet and discuss issues affecting their work. The groups are a place where practitioners, students, and in many cases the public, can meet and hear from speakers on various topics within the fields of complementary health care, beauty and sports therapy.

Feel part of a large therapy community and have fun!

To find your local group >>


Massage pilot study shows positive results


A small pilot study* involving FHT member, Kerry Gow, suggests that as well as relieving boredom, aromatherapy massage to the feet and/or hands can help to uplift mood, ease the symptoms of cramp, and improve restless legs, dry skin and pruritus in patients receiving haemodialysis.

Of the 19 patients who completed the course of three treatments and pre- and post-massage questionnaires, 100% gave a score of 10, nine or eight out of ten when asked ‘How enjoyable have you found the massage on a scale of 0-10?’ (with 0 being not enjoyable and 10 very enjoyable); 73% gave a score of 10, nine or eight out of 10 when asked ‘Have you felt any benefit?’ (with 0 being no benefit and 10 very beneficial); and 100% said they would recommend massage to others.   

Questionnaires completed by eight members of staff working at the Kendal Haemodialysis Unit also indicated that the treatments were beneficial to patients, with all eight saying ‘yes’ to ‘Do you feel it is appropriate to offer patients massage during dialysis?’ and ‘Would you be happy for patients to continue receiving massage in the future?’.

‘I was invited to take part in the study by Heather Hill, a dietician who works at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LTHTR)’, Kerry told the FHT. ‘At the time, I was studying for my Diploma in Complementary Therapies at Kendal College and was registered as a student volunteer with LTHTR. Heather continuously strives to find ways to improve the patient experience and knew from previous studies that complementary therapy could potentially help to relieve boredom, anxiety and other symptoms in those receiving haemodialysis’.

‘Although a little daunting at first, the experience was hugely rewarding and my tutor, Angela Dacosta, was always on hand for guidance’, Kerry goes on to explain. ‘The therapies proved a real boost to patient morale in the unit, and those taking part in the study always looked forward to their next treatment. As well as seeing an improvement in their physical and emotional well-being, sometimes other problems were flagged up during treatment, which could then be referred on to appropriate health professionals’.

Following the success of the project, a poster presentation was delivered at the British Renal Society Conference, held on 14th-16th May in Manchester.

‘We now have 35 patients keeping their fingers crossed that we will be granted some extra funding to continue with our studies’, says Kerry. ‘If we are successful, I’ll let the FHT and my fellow members know!’.

Read the pilot study poster presentation >>

*Can complementary massage therapy be used during haemodialysis to improve patient experience? A pilot study and poster presentation by Hill H, Gow K, Bailey E, Ahmed A (2013). Kendal Haemodialysis Unit, LTHTR.

With thanks to LTHTR for granting the FHT permission to make this poster available to members.

Further reading

To read ‘Research paper: Complementary therapy practice aids stress reduction in patients receiving renal hameodialysis’, by Julia Heath and Wendy Lewis, first published in the International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy (IJCA,  2008, Vol. 5, Issue 1: p19-25), please log in to the Research section of the FHT Reading Room at This paper was reproduced in International Therapist (Issue 91, January 2010) with kind permission of the IJCA and original authors. 


Half of all GPs are thought to provide access to complementary therapies

As reported in the Daily Mail...

Often, the FHT finds itself defending complementary therapies and professional practice, following articles published in the Daily Mail. However, a recent piece that features doctors who support the use of complementary therapies for various health conditions will hopefully show the public that despite a lack of ‘evidence’, CAM can offer valuable support to those affected by a range of common ailments.

Full article >>

Help raise awareness about complementary healthcare by adding a Twibbon to your Twitter and Facebook profile picture. Twibbons are a great way to increase exposure, likes and support online, and they're so easy to do. Simply follow the link below, then click 'Add to Twitter' and/or 'Add to Facebook'.

Add your Twibbon to 'Say YES to CAM' >>


Important advice to members about misleading advertising sales


The FHT is receiving an increasing amount of calls telling us that they are being contacted by commercial advertising companies by email, telephone and even door to door salesmen, trying to sell listings on therapist directories and registers. Many of these companies sound very convincing stating that their directory/register is used by GPs, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), the NHS and other government healthcare bodies to access complementary therapists. In many cases the directory/register even has ‘GP’, or ‘NHS’ in its title!

The FHT believes that there is no evidence that any of these directories/registers have any relationship with GPs, the NHS or any government healthcare body nor do they have any skill, competency and safety standards for acceptance to the directory/register.

Please be extremely cautious when entering into a discussion with these organisations and if you have any doubt contact the FHT for advice.

There is no single register of complementary therapists that has acceptance or approval by GPs, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) or the NHS.

The only existing relationship between registers of complementary healthcare therapists and these groups are Accredited Voluntary Register's (AVRs) recognised by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). The FHT is currently undergoing accreditation of its register of complementary healthcare therapists by the PSA.

If a directory/register is not an AVR then it is probably a commercial listings with no authority from the NHS or other government bodies.

For more information about the PSA's AVR scheme >>



Warning issued about a programme that aims to ‘belittle’ therapists


The publishers of What Doctors Don’t Tell You (WDDTY) have recently sent out an e-communication advising alternative therapists not to take part in a programme being prepared for Channel 4 by an independent TV production company, stating:

“In their pitch, they will tell you it is a great opportunity to showcase your skills and practice. It’s not; it’s a stitch-up. In fact, the programme’s title is ‘Health Freaks on Trial’, and you will be interrogated by a panel of four doctors who will belittle your work.”

While the FHT is not aware of any members being contacted by the TV production company referred to, we strongly advise you not to get involved in this programme, if contacted.

In order to protect the reputation of our highly valued profession, we would like to stress the importance of only engaging with the media if you feel confident that you, and the therapies you practise, will be represented in a positive light. If you are contacted by any TV production company with a view to taking part in a programme or short film presentation intended for broadcast, please take down all relevant details - including the name of one of the production team and a contact number - and get in touch with the FHT for support and guidance.


Be one in a million – become a Dementia Friend or Champion 

Make a big difference to those living in your community...

Funded by the government and run by Alzheimer’s Society, this initiative hopes to create a network of a million Dementia Friends across England by 2015.

In its simplest terms, Dementia Friends is about giving more people an understanding of dementia and the small things they can do to make a big difference to those living in their community.

Currently, the initiative is only being funded to run in England, though Alzheimer's Society in Wales and Northern Ireland is currently exploring funding sources to run similar programmes. All Dementia Friends and Champions volunteer their time.

How did it all start?

In March 2012, David Cameron launched the Dementia Challenge - a programme that aims to make a real difference to the lives of people with dementia, as well as their families and carers. It aims to do this in three ways: by driving improvements in health and care; improving dementia research; and creating dementia friendly communities - which is where the Dementia Friends initiative comes into play.

What’s a Dementia Friend?

Anyone, of any age, can become a Dementia Friend. It involves attending a one-hour information session, led by a Dementia Friends Champion, to gain a better understanding of what it is like to live with dementia. The key aim is to then turn this understanding into a practical action – such as spending more time with a relative affected by dementia; directing someone affected by dementia to more information and support; creating dementia friendly policies at work; volunteering with an organisation to support people with dementia; fundraising for a dementia-related cause; or similar.

What’s a Dementia Friends Champion?

Dementia Friends Champions complete a one-day training session run by Alzheimer’s Society. Champions then run the information sessions for those who would like to become Dementia Friends, helping them to understand more about dementia and the different ways in which they can help someone with dementia living in their community.

From a member’s perspective…

Veronica Pettifer, MFHT, complementary therapist, supports the Chichester LSG and is a Dementia Friends Champion.
‘Time and again friends or clients living with dementia, and their families, say how hard it is when people they have known for years ‘ebb away’’, explains Veronica. ‘This usually stems from a lack of understanding, which the Dementia Friends initiative aims to change. As members of the FHT we work at the heart of our communities. We are well placed to encourage people to attend a session whilst ensuring our workplaces and practices are dementia friendly. If a member in every FHT Local Support Group volunteered to become a Friends Champion and everyone else became a Dementia Friend… we could make a huge contribution!’

To find out more or to take part…

Visit for more information or to find a Dementia Friend information session near you.


Should therapists reflect the ‘ideal’ body image clients often aspire to?

Have your say...

Many clients visit their therapist in order to help them maintain or improve their general health and well-being, fitness levels or appearance. Should therapists therefore reflect this in their own body image? Should sports therapists be athletic, beauty therapists lithe and manicured, and complementary therapists a perfect example of healthy living? Or should therapists be encouraging clients to embrace ‘who they are’?

What do you think?

If you are interested in potentially contributing to an article* for International Therapist on this topic, please send your comments, full name and membership number or post code, to (please respond by 31 July 2013).
Thank you for your support.

*Please note that we would want to include the name of any FHT member wishing to potentially contribute to an article in International Therapist on this topic. Only comments received by FHT members will be considered for editorial in International Therapist. By sending your comments in to the FHT, you are granting permission for these comments to be published by the FHT, in print and/or online, along with your name. We may also contact you for further information. We regret that we will not be able to respond to every member who sends in a response, or publish all comments received.


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From hierarchy of evidence to good practice

Celebrate 30 years of the Research Council for Complementary Medicine
25th September 2013, 2.00pm to 7.00pm
at The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG

This conference will explore how the RCCM has helped the evidence debate. Individual care does not always 'square' with RCT evidence. It is importance to find the balance using evidence from various sources and as a practitioner understanding how to use it. There are challenges in providing individuals with the care they need while being able to achieve patient based outcomes. A major challenge to practitioners has been having the evidence available to be able to advertise their practice. What weighting should be we give to different forms of evidence and will it be acceptable to agencies such as CAP ASA?

Speakers include:
  • Nick Hudson (CAP ASA)
  • Prof Sarah Stewart-Brown (University of Warwick)
  • Prof George Lewith (University of Southampton)
  • Dr Karen Pilkington (University of Westminster)
For both the afternoon conference and evening reception:

RCCM and CAMRN members - £80.00
Non-members –  £95.00 until 30th August (after this date £110)

To register in advance, email

To confirm your booking, please send your cheque, made out to the Research Council for Complementary Medicine c/o Professor Nicola Robinson, Professor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Integrated Health, Faculty of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University, 103 Borough Road, London SE1 0AA

Hypnosis CD reduces biological measure of inflammation associated with stress and improves resilience

Chronic stress and anxiety have been associated with inflammatory changes in the body, and high levels of inflammation have been linked to a number of acute and chronic conditions.  

The authors of a pilot study recently published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice found that a self-administered hypnosis intervention significantly decreased levels of the cytokine IL-6 (Interleukin 6, a physiological measure of inflammation) and boosted resilience.

The 11 subjects who took part in the study – all healthy, normally coping and functioning individuals – were provided with a self-administered hypnosis stress reduction CD, to be used for a minimum of 5 days a week over a 12-week period. The CD contained two different hypnosis tracks; one to be played before sleep (25 minutes in duration), and the other to be played in the morning (lasting 7 minutes).

The aim of the CD was to recondition the stress response, by minimizing the subjects’ ‘excessive emotional and physical reaction to perceived work and life stressors, while facilitating their coping skills and resilience’.  Blood tests and self-reported measures (using the StressScan assessment) were taken pre- and post- intervention.

While the authors acknowledge that elements of the study design and the small number of subjects involved (amongst other things) limits how far the results of this pilot study can be generalised, it ‘provides some promising suggestive evidence that a self-administered stress reduction program that is time simplistic and time efficient may be a clinically effective tool for modifying the stress response and boosting resilience’.

1. Schoen M and Nowack K (2013). Reconditioning the stress response with hypnosis CD reduces the inflammatory cytokine IL-6 and influences resilience: a pilot study, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 2013; 19: 83-88.


Pregnancy Awareness Month

FHT Member is featured in Trinidad Express Newspapers...
May is Pregnancy Awareness Month (PAM) in the USA and Caribbean regions and FHT Member, Rindi Jeffrey, of Rinalda Therapeutic Kneads in Trinidad has been featured in Trinidad Express Newspapers. Here she talks about the benefits of Infant massage in the article ‘Infant massage: Loving hands’:

Thank you to all those who attended the 2013 FHT Annual Training Congress at the NEC…

A big thank you to all those members, friends and expert speakers who joined us at our 2013 Annual Training Congress, held at the NEC, Birmingham, on 19 May.

As always, it was lovely to meet so many members face-to-face – including several of our FHT Excellence Award winners – at what was a truly inspiring event. Initial feedback certainly indicates that our seminars and workshops were very well-received, and that members appreciated having some longer sessions in order to learn more in-depth knowledge and skills.



Our first all-day workshop held at an FHT Annual Congress was also a huge success, with 15 delegates completing a short Fascial Facial course with Ruth Duncan, from MFR UK. Members who completed this training and have insurance through the FHT will now be covered to practise what they learned on the day.

Thank you to all those who were able to stay and join us at our Social Hour at the end of the day, to enjoy some refreshments and nibbles and the opportunity to mingle with other members, FHT staff and Governing Council members. It was also lovely to be joined by Ruby Siah SK, Chief Accreditation Inspector, FHT Malaysia, who was presented with a glass plaque by FHT President, Jennifer Wayte, in recognition of her work in improving therapy training standards in Malaysia.

And finally, congratulations to Tracey Nixon, MFHT, who won a therapy coach – kindly donated by Affinity – which was raffled on the day to raise money towards the FHT President’s Project. Spearheaded by Jennifer Wayte and supported by Mel Cash and Bharti and Raj Vyas, the aim of this project is to provide holistic therapy training to people in underprivileged parts of India, helping to not only improve their prospects, but also the health and well-being of their community. Thank you to those who purchased tickets and contributed towards this very worthwhile cause.

If you did not have a chance to complete a feedback form on the day, please feel free to send in your comments by downloading and completing our Feedback Form and returning this to

For those who were unable to join us on this occasion, we hope you’ll consider coming along next time, so that you can enjoy all of the wonderful opportunities a member-dedicated event like this has to offer.

Click here for some of our favourite photos from the event. 



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FHT President, Jennifer Wayte, launches the President’s Project

Find out more about this exciting project...


Namaste! Those of you who attended our 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner last October may remember that it was at this auspicious event that I announced the President’s Project. Supported by the FHT, Mel Cash, FHT Vice-president Bharti Vyas and her husband Raj. The aim of this project is to develop a therapy training programme in India, which includes building a classroom and treatment clinic, in order to train students and provide much needed employment opportunities to those from the underprivileged sector.

I am pleased to report – and particularly to those of you who kindly helped us to raise more than £700 towards this project at the Gala Dinner – that steady progress is being made to turn this into a reality. Raj and Bharti (who are in India as I type), Mel and I are busy seeking support for this project from officials and dignitaries, both in India and the UK, in order to get things moving. Rest assured you will be the first to know as soon as I have anything new to report.

Meantime, one more plea to help us add to the money pot for when this project does get the green light: at the FHT’s Training Congress on 19 May (click here for information) we will be holding a raffle for a portable couch, kindly donated by Affinity, so please bring a spare pound or two with you on the day. If you don’t turn out to be the lucky winner, at least you will know you have played a vital part in helping this worthy cause. I thank you in advance for your support.


College of Medicine poster session

Open to you...

The College of Medicine’s third Annual Conference includes a poster session open to students, clinicians, health practitioners and researchers.

"The College of Medicine’s 3rd Annual conference will be on the theme of self-care, entitled ‘Who Cares?’ during National Self-care week.

Self-care aims to help people take care of themselves in a healthy way and let them know what is available to help to look after their health and wellbeing. It includes understanding what choices are available to them in order to live as healthily as possible with long term conditions such as diabetes, dementia, mental illness, etc.

The College of Medicine Conference 2013 includes a poster session open to students, clinicians, health practitioners and researchers. Poster authors will be invited to display and present their posters in a dedicated poster area during the conference. The informal and interactive setting of the poster session provides an opportunity for presenters to demonstrate their work with originality, quality, and clarity; to converse with conference participants; and to invite feedback from their peers.

It gives conference delegates a forum in which to learn about innovative research projects in the field of ‘self-care’ that have perhaps not yet been concluded, but which have generated interesting preliminary results. It also provides poster presenters with an invaluable opportunity to receive constructive comment from knowledgeable sources."

Submission information >>

Deadline: 24th May 2013 


Research by FHT fellow shows positive effects of reflexology on pain

Co-authored by a fellow of the FHT...
A study co-authored by FHT fellow, Carol Samuel, PhD, which was published in the May issue of Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, explored the effects of reflexology on pain threshold and tolerance using an ice-pain experiment and sham TENS control.

Fifteen healthy subjects (11 female and 4 male, with a mean age of 37.7) who had no previous experience of reflexology or TENS took part in the study.

A cross-over design was used, with each subject receiving a 45-minute reflexology treatment and 45-minute sham TENS intervention, one week apart.  The reflexology intervention was a standard treatment, to ensure all reflex points were covered, and the TENS machine (control intervention) had no electrical output, other than a digital timer.

After receiving the reflexology and sham TENS, subjects were required to immerse their non-dominant hand in ice-slurry, with time measurements taken for pain threshold (the time taken for subjects to experience the first sensation of pain) and pain tolerance (the time when subjects could no longer tolerate further pain), as well as heart rate.

The results showed that after reflexology, subjects were able to hold their hand in the ice-slurry for longer before they felt pain, and could also tolerate pain for a longer period of time, compared to sham TENS.

Dr Ebenezer, co-author of the study from the Department of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Portsmouth, commented: ‘This is an early study, and more work will need to be done to find out about the way reflexology works. However, it looks like it may be used to complement conventional drug therapy in the treatment of conditions that are associated with pain, such as osteoarthritis, backache and cancers.’

The study has been featured in national media, including:

The Independent

The Telegraph

Further information can also be found on the University of Portsmouth’s website

1 Samuel CA, Ebenezer IS. Exploratory study on the efficacy of reflexology for pain threshold and tolerance using an ice-pain experiment and sham TENS control, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice (2013),

FHT members supporting therapy standards

Sue Lorrimer MFHT, has been elected to PSB...
FHT member and professional massage therapist, Sue Lorrimer MFHT, has been elected by her peers to sit on the independent voluntary regulator’s, CNHC,  Profession Specific Board (PSB) for massage therapy. Sue, who practises in the North of England began her training in holistic therapies in 2003 and runs her own health promoting business serving clients which include Teesside University.  At the University Sue has been involved in a funded research project into Thai and Swedish massage and continues to write case studies and critical reviews in complementary healthcare. The FHT wishes Sue every success in her new role supporting the development of standards and professional practice in massage therapy.

FHT Governing Council member, Christine Fisk FFHT, is the lead expert on the PSB for Aromatherapy. Christine has been a member of Aromatherapy PSB since its inception 3 years ago however her promotion to the lead role will ensure that aromatherapy continues to move forward in terms of skill, competence and public safety.

Sue and Christine join FHT President, Jennifer Wayte FFHT, who has previously been the lead PSB member for Massage and who is now the current lead for Sports Therapy. Other FHT members who represent their disciplines on behalf of the industry are Herman Fenton MFHT for Sports Therapy, and Tanya Morgan FFHT, for Reflexology.

The FHT continues to be the only professional association that supports the CNHC for all voluntary regulated modalities. 


Image © 2012 Teeside University


Employers prefer apprentices over graduates

Firms are recruiting apprentices rather than graduates due to Government incentives and difficulty finding graduates with appropriate skills or degrees, according to a report by and the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR). Nearly 60% of firms surveyed said they had struggled to fill vacancies and almost 30% considered apprenticeships to be crucial to addressing skills shortages. Separate research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) estimated apprentices would add £3.4 billion to the economy by 2022 through an increase in productivity by an average of £214 per week per business.

Click here and here >> for more information


ICCMR 2013

8th annual congress of the International Society of Complementary Medicine Research (ISCMR)...
Long term conditions: developing global integrative and sustainable solutions

11-13 April 2013 @ Institute for Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

The 8th annual International Congress of Complementary Medicine Research - ICCMR 2013 - will focus on the global sustainability of healthcare for long term conditions such as diabetes, chronic pain, cardiovascular disease, psychological problems, neurodegenerative conditions and arthritis. Long term conditions are the major cause of mortality among adults in almost all countries; between 35 and 58 million deaths annually worldwide are due to these illnesses and their complications. In addition:
  • 80% of medical consultations in industrialised countries are for long term conditions
  • The spiralling cost of healthcare – particularly in developed economies – is a matter of pressing concern as economic growth continues to flat-line
  • Conventional medicine has been extremely successful in many acute situations but sufferers of long term conditions often take multiple drugs and have a high prevalence of iatrogenic illness
  • The carbon footprint of the pharmaceutical industry is substantial and many of its products are targeted at long term conditions
  • The underexploited resources worldwide from within traditional/complementary/ integrated medicine may have the significant potential to address these issues. This agenda will seek to highlight and exploit effective treatments, sustainable in environmental and economic terms, and to mobilise all relevant medical resources and self-care approaches from diverse regions of the world.
The congress will promote discussion on the generalisability of self-care techniques such as yoga and Tai-chi. These traditional self-care methods will, with increasing research support, be relatively easy to generalise globally, despite their deep cultural roots in India and China.    

ICCMR 2013 will also consider the implications of the CAMbrella report and suggested European research and delivery strategy. This report is due for publication a few months before the conference and although mainly relevant for the EU, it will have worldwide implications.

Congress leaflet >>
Congress programme >>

Visit for more details and to book



Improving the patient experience...
Tuesday 2nd July @ University of Westminster, New Cavendish Street campus in Central London

The Complementary and Alternative Medicine Strategy for Research and Development (CAMSTRAND) conference has been held annually in the UK since 2002. Previously hosted by the Universities of Bristol (2010), Southampton (2011) and Cardiff Metropolitan (2012), CAMSTRAND 2013 will be hosted by the University of Westminster at the Cavendish Campus in central London.

Designed primarily for doctoral and post-doctoral researchers, the conference also provides a forum for researchers with a range of experience, as well as health professionals and therapists/practitioners, with an interest in complementary medicine research. The pre-conference events on Monday 1 July include two workshops between 1 - 4pm and the conference dinner.

Keynote Lecture: “The Power of Patient Narratives & Implications for CAM Research”
Damien Ridge, Professor of Health Studies, University of Westminster

Pre-conference workshops, Monday 1st July

Workshop 1 : What use are systematic reviews to patients?
Do you want to understand more about systematic reviews? Have you thought about getting involved in a Cochrane review? Would you like to know more about how patients’ can be involved in systematic reviews? If so, this workshop may be of interest (Presenters include Dr Hugh MacPherson, University of York and representatives from the Cochrane Consumers network).

Workshop 2: Evaluating CAM practice & patients’ perspectives
Do you want to understand more about how to evaluate the service you are providing? Would you like advice on the best way to explore patients perspectives? Do you have some experience with evaluation and keen explore collaboration? If so, this workshop may be of interest. (Facilitators: Professor Nicky Robinson, London South Bank University and Dr Marie Polley, University of Westminster).

Abstracts welcomed – the closing date for submission is Friday 19th April.

Event leaflet >>
Workshop information >>
Booking form >>
Abstract submission form >>

For further details and to book, visit

Bowen Therapy is approved for Hong Kong’s public hospital system

Bowen Therapy, based on the work of Tom Bowen (1916-82), has been used unofficially by Occupational Therapists (OTs) in Hong Kong for some years but is now officially listed for direct referrals by Doctors and Specialists to OTs within the Hong Kong public hospital system.

The Central Organising Committee (COC) of the Hong Kong Hospital Authority, charged with deciding on what therapies are available for HK’s 7.08 million inhabitants, decided that Occupational Therapists, who had successfully trained with the International School of Bowen Therapy (ISBT), could treat patients within the hospital system.

Full details >>


Report looks at responses from cancer survivors following diagnosis and treatment


A recently published report, supported by the Department of Health, summarises text responses from cancer survivors on how they feel about their quality of life following diagnosis and treatment.

The report is aimed at commissioners, commissioning support units and providers to help them understand how services may offer appropriate education, advice and support to the growing numbers of people who are living well, following completion of cancer treatment.

This report complements the ‘Cancer survivorship patient reported outcome measures pilot survey’, published in December 2012, where respondents could voice their opinions in a free text comments section.

It shows how the data can provide rich insights into the patient’s needs and suggests some helpful implications on service delivery in the areas of quality patient care during the treatment phase; preparing patients for survivorship; and supporting patients during survivorship.

To access both reports, visit

University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre seeks complementary therapists

University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre is looking for volunteer complementary therapists to provide therapies at the Macmillan Support and Information Service, UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre, Huntley Street London WC1E 6DH.

Therapies include aromatherapy, massage, reflexology and reiki, and are available to cancer patients and carers at the Centre, helping to reduce stress and anxiety, cope better with illness and pain control, and also relieve some side effects of treatment.

For full details, please download the role description >>

To apply or for further information, please email

Please note: while the FHT believes that volunteering often provides members with valuable clinical experience and training, we do believe that complementary therapists should be paid for their professional services.


Working to bring health professionals together

Since its inauguration in 2010, the FHT has enjoyed a close working relationship with the College of Medicine, and its Chair, Dr Michael Dixon (pictured).

The College aims to unite patients, doctors, nurses and other health professionals; an alliance it believes will ‘combine scientific knowledge, clinical expertise and the patients’ own perspective, to redefine what good medicine means.’ In doing so, the College hopes to renew the traditional values of service, commitment and compassion, and create a more holistic, patient-centred, preventative approach to healthcare.

To read an FHT interview with the College’s Chair, Dr Michael Dixon, click here >>

A year’s free membership

The FHT has recently negotiated a year’s free membership of the College of Medicine* for all FHT members. Benefits of membership include access to College reports, and discounted courses and seminars, including the College’s 2013 Annual Conference and First Thursday Lectures.

To enjoy a year’s free membership, FHT members must apply before the 31 March, 2012.

For more information, click here >>

College of Medicine Annual Conference 2013

This year, the College’s annual conference will be held at the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Regent's Park, London on Tuesday, 11th June. The focus of the conference this year will be self-care, and confirmed speakers include Norman Lamb MP, Minister for Health; Professor Kay Riley, Chief Nurse, Barts Hospital; Richard Lane OBE, President of Diabetes UK; and Professor Sir Graeme Catto, President, College of Medicine.

Cost: £100 for College of Medicine members (non-members: £160).

For more information, click here >>

First Thursday Lectures

Throughout 2013, members of College of Medicine and the FHT can continue to enjoy a 40% discount off any of the College of Medicine's First Thursday Lectures, commencing this spring. These lectures take place on the first Thursday of each month, at various venues across London. Topics vary but each lecture focuses on cutting edge science and new approaches across healthcare, from links between insulin resistance and athletic performance, to the role of herbal medicine in orthodox health care.   

Cost:  £12 for College of Medicine members (non-members: £20).

For more information, click here >>

Entries for the Michael Pittilo Essay Award now open

The College recently announced details about its 2013 Michael Pittilo Essay Award, which is open to all UK students studying a healthcare subject at undergraduate level or above, including medicine, midwifery, nursing and voluntary or statutory regulated CAM therapies, and more.

The FHT is proud to have been part of the judging panel for this award since it was first launched in 2010.

The title for the 2013 award, in line with the College’s annual conference theme of self-care and greater opportunities for health, is:

Q. Who cares? With services overburdened by growing demand and restricted supply, what opportunities for health creation are there to improve the accessibility and sustainability of health services in the UK?

The winner will receive £500, have their essay published in International Therapist, and the opportunity to present at the College of Medicine’s annual conference on 11th June 2013.

Entries close at 6pm, Friday, 26th April, 2013

For more information, click here >>

To read the winning Michael Pittilo essays from 2010 to 2012, click here >>

*Please note that while the College of Medicine and FHT share many common values, the College offers different membership benefits to that of the FHT. The FHT’s primary objective as a professional association is to support and promote complementary, holistic beauty and sports therapists, through a range of services and products that are tailor-made to help you and your therapy practice.


Volunteering opportunity with The Disability Foundation (TDF)

Based at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London, the TDF offers low-cost complementary therapies to those affected by disability or chronic illness. They also offer treatments to their families, carers and NHS staff.
For more info and to apply >>

While the FHT believes that volunteering often provides members with valuable clinical experience and training, we do believe that complementary therapists should be paid for their professional services.

Entries now open for College of Medicine`s 2013 Michael Pittilo Student Essay Award


The College of Medicine has announced details about its 2013 Michael Pittilo Essay Award, which is open to all UK students studying a healthcare subject at undergraduate level or above, including medicine, midwifery, nursing and voluntary* or statutory regulated CAM therapies, and more.

Now in its fourth year, the award is named after the late Professor Michael Pittilo, Vice Chancellor of Robert Gordon University. Professor Pittilo was a scientist, educationalist and champion of inter-professional education. He was also chairman of the regulatory working groups for herbal medicine and acupuncture.

The FHT is proud to have been part of the judging panel for this award since it was first launched in 2010.

The title for the 2013 award, in line with the College’s annual theme of self-care and greater opportunities for health, is:

Q. Who cares? With services overburdened by growing demand and restricted supply, what opportunities for health creation are there to improve the accessibility and sustainability of health services in the UK?

The winner will receive £500, have their essay published in International Therapist, and the opportunity to present at the College of Medicine’s annual conference on 11th June 2013.

Entries close at 6pm, Friday, 26th April, 2013

For more information, click here >>

*Complementary therapies currently under the voluntary regulation of the CNHC include Alexander technique teaching, aromatherapy, Bowen therapy, craniosacral therapy, healing, hypnotherapy, massage therapies, microsystems acupuncture, naturopathy, nutritional therapy, reflexology, reiki, shiatsu, sports and remedial therapy and yoga therapy.


Voluntary Regulator Profession Specific Board (PSB) elections

Since the CNHC, the voluntary regulator for complementary therapists, was set up in 2008, Profession Specific Board (PSB) members have been selected by each discipline-specific regulatory working group in advance of the register opening to that discipline. This was agreed by CNHC’s Board as a starting position until the CNHC register had become well established.

Following consultation with CNHC’s Profession Specific Boards, and in line with CNHC’s original policy to review the PSB appointment process, the CNHC Board has agreed that members of PSBs will now be selected through a process of elections.

This means that CNHC registered practitioners will be able to stand for election as PSB members, to be voted for by CNHC registered practitioners from the discipline concerned. The aim is to introduce a democratic process which gives CNHC registered practitioners a direct say in who will represent them as advisers to CNHC’s Board.

To view the role and criteria for the PSB, click here >>

The elections will take place on a rolling programme over a period of several years, in line with the incremental way in which the register has opened to each discipline. The first elections will take place early in 2013 and further details will be made available via FHT Member communications.

FHT fees freeze in 2013

Enjoy the same prices for another year...

We are pleased to announce that in 2013, the FHT will not be increasing its membership fees. The fee freeze over the past five years has been against a background of a troubled economy and rising inflation in the same period.

Staff at the FHT are very proud to have made significant cost efficiencies, without reducing the quality of services provided. We are also pleased to confirm that the Medical Malpractice, Public and Products Liability insurance policy also sees a fee freeze this year, reflecting the high standards of our membership and the low levels of claims being made.



More than 2,000 Britons lack the confidence to challenge GPs and consultants

A recent poll of more than 2,000 Britons shows that many patients do not have the confidence to challenge the medical advice of GPs and consultants.

Following these results, the Patients Association has partnered with Bupa to provide guidelines for patients who feel that they are not satisfied and want their concerns to be addressed.

Dr Paul Zollinger-Read, Chief Medical Officer at Bupa, said:

“As a former GP, I know how little time each patient has with their doctor and that’s all the more reason to make the most of the time you do have.  It’s very important for people to feel empowered to ask questions, discuss alternative treatments and to fully understand the risks and benefits of a procedure.

“Our research shows those who are most in need of good health advice are the least confident during their appointments, so doctors must also prompt questions and encourage patients to speak up. Everyone benefits because patients who are involved in decisions about their care are much more likely to have a satisfactory result.”

Bupa press release and the Constructive Conversations patient booklet >>



Looking for funded therapy training?

Find out more about the Adult Entitlement to Learning scheme...

The Skills Funding Agency has published a list of qualifications for eligible adults aged 19 and over that can be funded under its Adult Entitlement to Learning scheme. If you are eligible you could study for a qualification and have no course fees to pay!

The eligible qualifications include Level 3 Diplomas in complementary therapies, beauty therapies and sports therapies. To see the full list of eligible qualifications go to the Skills Funding Agency’s recently published update >>

To see a list of training organisations that have successfully applied for funding for adult learners, click here >>

The Queen’s doctor takes a holistic approach to healthcare

Dr Tim Evans, Apothecary to Her Majesty and the Royal Household, is passionate about complementary therapies. He spoke to The Telegraph about his holistic approach to healthcare:

"He has had colonic hydrotherapy (“it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be”), raves about acupuncture (it has almost completely got rid of his hay fever) and thinks osteopathy is great. “But there’s not a lot of evidence behind homeopathy, which is a shame.”

He says he takes a “holistic approach” to things and goes in for “functional medicine, where we look at the patient, not the illness – it is about prevention, not cure. I have always been an integrated doctor, even when I didn’t realise it.”

Full article

Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls


Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012

Clarification on new legislation...
Habia has issued some clarification on the 'Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012', following concerns that enforcement bodies may charge businesses for inspection.

Wendy Nixon, Habia’s health and safety expert, said, “Whilst we encourage salons to remain vigilant on all health and safety matters, they should rest assured that these changes in no way affect them and that they are not going to be charged for inspection.”

Full details >>

New research into the use of complementary therapies for arthritis sufferers

More info...

Research published in the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing looked at the use of complementary and alternative therapy among Lebanese patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, as well as the perceived efficacy and side effects of complementary and alternative therapy in the treatment of these diseases.

Therapies used included exercise, massage, acupuncture, yoga, meditation, herbal medicine and dietary supplements, with many reporting them beneficial.

Further details and research abstract >>


FHT saddened at the loss of Boo Armstrong

Read more about Boo''s contribution to integrated healthcare...
The FHT is deeply saddened to learn of the untimely passing of Boo Armstrong, founder of Get Well UK and campaigner for making complementary and alternative medicine available through the NHS.

The FHT had the privilege of knowing and working with Boo during and since her ground breaking yearlong pilot study in Northern Ireland where patients were given CAM through the NHS. The pilot, which was covered in the BBC documentary Get Well NI, delivered results reported by patients and their GPs, showing improvement in symptoms, physical and mental health, reduced visits to the GP, less time off work and decreased dependence on painkillers. Boo's mission was to use the Northern Ireland pilot to change perceptions and highlight the success of CAM therapies.

Boo, a multi award-winning social entrepreneur, was tireless in working towards her vision that every person in the UK deserves access to the very best of conventional and complementary medicine, with doctors and practitioners working together for the benefit of patients. In her young life, Boo achieved many things for the advancement of integrated healthcare including: raising more than £1m for charity; a director of Women & Health, an award-winning integrated health project in Camden, North London; a member of National Clinical Audit Advisory Group, brokering contracts for complementary and alternative medicine to primary care trusts and social services; a Women's Parliamentary Radio board member; winning several awards and being a finalist in the 2004 Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

Boo Armstrong recently lost her battle with cancer and will be remembered for saying "the thing that really gets me out of bed in the morning is justice and injustice". Boo will be sorely missed by the FHT and everyone who sees CAM as a valuable addition to the NHS.

To read more about the 2007 Get Well Northern Ireland pilot and the innovative work carried out by Boo Armstrong, visit Get Well UK >>

Volunteering opportunity with the Hammersmith and Fulham Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service

More info...
The Hammersmith and Fulham Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service is looking for volunteers to provide complementary therapies for their clients. Induction training and regular support will be provided. Travel expenses will be paid.

If you're interested in this volunteering opportunity, please contact Gabriella Angus: 07890 345421 /

While the FHT believes that volunteering often provides members with valuable clinical experience and training, we do believe that complementary therapists should be paid for their professional services.

A night to remember


Top 50 most influential GPs

Integrated health advocate, Dr Dixon...
The FHT is delighted to read that Dr Dixon, integrated health advocate and Chair of NHS Alliance and the College of Medicine, has been ranked 9th place in the ‘Top 50 most influential GPs’.

Full details on PulseToday >>

To read an FHT interview with Dr Dixon, click here >>


Funding for research into the effects of nutrition and adiposity on cancer is available

The World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRFI) is inviting applications from nutrition researchers, educators and practitioners for its regular grant programme.

This provides funding for research into the effects of food, nutrition, physical activity and body fat on cancer.

Two types of grant are offered: Investigator initiated grants; and Regional seed grants. Grants are worth up to £250k.

For further information


WorldSkills competitions

The biggest international skills competition in the world...
Held every two years in one of its 61 member countries/regions, the competition sees around 1,000 young people aged 18 to 23 from across the world come together to compete for medals in more than 40 different skills including aromatherapy, reflexology, beauty therapy, nail art and hairdressing.

The next WorldSkills competition is in Leipzig from 2-7 July 2013. The members of Squad UK were announced in July and were chosen from among the UK’s most talented apprentices, employees and learners after they competed in tough three-day selection events held throughout the UK. Squad UK competitors will compete for coveted places in Team UK at further selection events which will be held throughout the UK in March 2013.

Team UK will be hoping to build on the success of WorldSkills London 2011, where the UK won 5 Gold, 2 Silver, 6 Bronze Medals and 12 Medallions for Excellence in front of an audience of 200,000 which included Prime Minister David Cameron and Skills Minister John Hayes.

Many of this year’s WorldSkills UK National Finals will be held at WorldSkills UK at the NEC, Birmingham on 5 - 17 November 2012.
More info

Special training offer for FHT members

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World Reflexology Week - free resources for members!

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New scam directed at therapists!


Olympic pride

The FHT is proud to share some of our members’ involvement in the Olympics and Paralympics...

At our recent FHT 50th anniversary training congress and exhibition, we were delighted that some of our members came forward to tell us about their involvement with the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, from an Olympic torchbearer, to sports therapists forming part of wider medical teams to support athletes.

Those who attended the drinks reception on the Saturday evening of our 50th celebrations in the Kestral Suite of the Heritage Motor Centre would not have failed to have seen our FHT member in the striking Olympic torchbearer uniform and gold torch. We were delighted to invite Stan Cantrill onto the stand to talk about his role as an Olympic torchbearer and his upcoming work providing massage to footballers at the Olympics and athletes throughout the whole Paralympics. Having received a remarkable fifteen nominations, a number of which were for his therapy work, Stan was honoured to have been chosen to carry the flame through Hereford in May.

We were pleased to be able to congratulate other FHT members who told us about their imminent involvement with the Olympics and Paralympics, including Sandra Revell and Richard Argles, two sports therapists working as part of medical services teams at the Olympics and Paralympics. LOCOG, the London Olympic organisers, as the host nation is supplying medical teams for all athletes, regardless of country and sport, to provide competitors with access to the treatments they may require. The medical team services include sports medicine, dentistry, imaging, physiotherapy, chiropractic, osteopathy and sports massage.

Sandra will be working at the Stratford polyclinic in the Olympic village during the Olympics, then based at Royal Artillery Barracks during the Paralympics, which is the venue for shooting and archery. Richard will be based at a polyclinic at Weymouth forming part of the wider support team for the athletes from the sailing teams, and then at the Goalball event at the Paralympics.

Steve Bowerman, MFHT, is also working at the Olympics, providing sport massage to athletes at Eton Dorney and the Athletes village at the Royal Holloway University. Having volunteered two years ago, Stephen had an interview last year before being offered the role providing sport massage treatments to the rowers and canoeists for three weeks throughout July and August.

Emma O’Reilly, MFHT, has been working with Olympic athletes privately in her sport clinic, treating members of the GB cycling team, including Victoria Pendleton. Cyclists appreciate Emma’s cycling background, therapy experience, and understanding of the different requirements of elite athletes. Emma is part of the athlete’s wider support team, communicating regularly with the medical team at British Cycling to ensure the provision of therapy treatments that support the athlete’s training programme and performance at competitions. 

We wish all of our members who are involved with the Olympics and Paralympics all the best, and look forward to sharing more information about their work in a later issue of International Therapist.

Are you involved?

If you are also involved in the Olympics or Paralympics, please do let us know (email, as we would love to share your work with other members.


Free trial posters for FHT sports massage therapists

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Latest CEPEC Newsletter for beauty therapists

The European Confederation of Professional Beauticians and Cosmeticians (CEPEC) was founded in 1996, to represent the beauty sector at European level. FHT Vice-president, Carina Fagan-Brereton, is currently president of CEPEC, and Magda Naudi, MFHT, is Secretary General. To read a copy of CEPEC’s latest newsletter, please click here >>

Habia Conference in Scotland, 10 September 2012

Changes and challenges currently faced by educators...
Habia, the sector skills body for hair beauty, nails, and spa therapy, is hosting a conference on 10 September, focusing on the changes and challenges currently faced by educators in Scotland. For more information, click here >>

Heartening news for reflexologists

A three-year study by the University of Stirling has found that reflexology had an effect on the hearts of volunteers...
A three-year study by PhD researcher Jenny Jones, from the School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health, University of Stirling, and Professor Steve Leslie, a cardiologist from the Cardiac Unit at Raigmore Hospital, looked at the effects of reflexology in both healthy volunteers and patients with cardiac disease.

The results of this double-blind randomised controlled trial (RCT) showed that working the heart reflex on the feet had a small effect on heart function in healthy volunteers. No heart function change was detected when ‘non-heart’ reflexes or other areas of the feet were treated. While there was no change in the hearts of the cardiology patients, all subjects in this group found the treatment to be very relaxing, indicating that reflexology is a safe and useful relaxation tool for cardiac patients.

Jenny told the FHT, ‘Professor Leslie and I are very pleased to be able to provide some positive research in this area, as there is currently a lack of scientific evidence available on complementary therapies such as reflexology. We are very excited by these initial results which warrant further research.  Furthermore, as cardiac patients and doctors are unclear whether reflexology is safe, we can now confidently say that there is no major change in cardiac function in this patient group, although longer term effects need further study’.

The full research paper will be published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice and is available online at:

Further information and related articles can also be found at:


FHT Statement on BBC news items regarding ‘laser hair removal’ treatments and regulation

On 18th July, 2012, the BBC reported that ‘leading skin specialists say they are worried about the lack of regulation for laser hair removal [sic]’. An article published on the BBC website stated, amongst other things, that:
  • ‘The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) says beauty therapists often do not have enough training to perform it [laser hair growth reduction] safely.’
  • ‘The association [BAD] says it should be done by a doctor, or under the supervision of one.’

The FHT was extremely disappointed when the Care Quality Commission (CQC) ceased to regulate the use of IPL and lasers for cosmetic purposes in England in October 2010. This effectively meant that overnight, therapists without appropriate training could offer IPL and laser-based cosmetic treatments to the public, posing numerous health and safety risks.

IPL and lasers are classed by the beauty therapy industry as advanced beauty therapy practices (Level 4). In 2010, national occupational standard (NOS) units in IPL and laser treatments, for the purposes of reducing hair growth and photo rejuvenation, were produced by Habia, the government-appointed sector skills body for beauty, hair, nails and spa therapies. (Please note that these units are currently under review.)

Click here to read the FHT's full statement >>


RGF provides £15 million funding for start up support programme

A new business start up programme has been launched following the award of £15 million of funding from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF), and a further £1 million from Barclays. The Ready for Business programme will be run by the National Enterprise Network and is specifically aimed at the transfer of public sector employees into the private sector. The scheme will provide a package of support including seminars, one-to-one advice, access to finance, business planning and ongoing mentoring.

More information about Ready for Business >>


A golden moment:

the FHT 50th Anniversary Training Congress and Exhibition
With over 50 expert speakers producing high calibre seminars and workshops, a top class selection of exhibitors, a celebration drinks reception, and a member with a real Olympic torch, this was a truly golden event. Thank you to all those members, speakers and exhibitors who made our FHT 50th Anniversary Training Congress and Exhibition such a memorable occasion

Held at the prestigious Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire, on 7th and 8th July, it was wonderful to meet so many of our members, face-to-face. As an FHT member event, it certainly had an extra special atmosphere this year, with lots of people commenting that while it was extremely professional and well organised, they also felt part of the ‘FHT family’ and especially proud to be a member of our association.

Members enjoyed the opportunity to meet and mingle with both like-minded therapists and FHT’s Governing Council and staff, who were all on hand to offer their support and advice. Our exhibitors also commented on how pleased they were with the calibre and professionalism of our therapists.

A special thank you to all those who joined us at our 50th anniversary drinks reception on Saturday evening, in the magnificent Kestrel Suite. Our FHT History film presentation gave the audience an understanding of how the FHT has led the therapy industry for five decades and it was a real thrill to hear from FHT member, Stan Cantrill, who was an Olympic Torch Bearer in Hereford this May. Several members also came forward who are working as therapists at the Olympics in general, or for specific national teams. Go Team GB!

We were very touched by the number of our members who had travelled some distance, just to attend the Congress – from as far as Ireland and Canada. We thank you for literally going that extra mile (or several thousand) to join us and hope that you gained enough from the event to make you smile all the way home.

If you did not have a chance to complete a feedback form on the day, please feel free to email us your comments at Although we think the event was a huge success, we are always looking for ways to improve our membership services in the future.

For those who were unable to join us on this occasion, we hope you’ll consider coming along next time, so that you can enjoy all of the wonderful opportunities a member-dedicated event like this has to offer.

Click here for some of our favourite photos from the event


Office opening times

During the FHT 50th Anniversary Training Congress and Exhibition.

The office will close from Friday 6th July at 12.00pm to Monday 9th July at 12.00pm.

If you haven't booked your ticket for the event, don't worry - you can still come along!  Entry is free and there will be a limited number of tickets for lectures and workshops available to purchase from the booking desk at reception.

Directions and opening times for the event can be found by following the link below.

Full details >>




College of Medicine free lecture

An Evening with Dr Robin Youngson on Thursday 5th July...
Dr Robin Youngson, Founder of, the global social movement for health professionals, students, patient activists and all those passionate about re-humanising healthcare will be a guest speaker on Thursday 5th July, 6-8pm at the University of Westminster. Robin is also in the UK to promote his new book, ‘Time to Care: how to love you patients and your job’ and the event will double up as his UK book launch.
Previously, Robin has been an adviser to the NHS Confederation, a founding member of the national Quality Improvement Committee in New Zealand and was the NZ representative on the WHO International Steering Committee for Patient Safety Solutions. He also helped launch the WHO strategy for “People at the Centre of Healthcare” in 2007.
Dr Youngson’s message is vital to health practitioners, running to the very core of the College of Medicine’s founding principles of service, science and healing.
This event is free to attend. To confirm your attendance, please email

Free support service for social enterprises launched

Free advice online and by phone...
A new support service for social enterprises is being launched in the UK by the University of Northampton in partnership with Exemplas. The Inspire2Enterprise service will provide free advice online and by phone about starting up, managing and running a social enterprise, as well as operational and financial planning, strategy and marketing. A paid-for face-to-face advice service will also be available, along with coaching, mentoring and training.

For more information, click here

Inspire2Enterprise brochure

How does this apply to me?

Members who run well-being projects within their community would be a perfect example of a social enterprise.  A 'social enterprise' in an organisation with a clear social mission, maximising profits for the continued wellbeing of its target market. Its social mission should be set out in governing documents, it should reinvest the majority of its profits, be accountable and transparent.   



FHT Statement on media coverage regarding inappropriate behaviour during massage

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The new NHS 111 service has reached over 1 million calls!

If your client mentions health concerns...
This service enables patients to reach the whole of the NHS with one free number, for those who:

  • Need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency
  • Need some guidance about the best possible service
  • Don’t know who to call or don’t have a GP to call
  • If your client mentions health concerns, this will help them to seek advice with ease.

For more information >>

Complementary therapy coordinator receives MBE

Congratulations to Keith Hunt...

Congratulations to Keith Hunt, complementary therapy coordinator at the Royal Free London (NHS), who is to be awarded an MBE as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2012.

People from across the United Kingdom receive Honours in recognition of outstanding achievement and service to society.

Keith started a complementary therapy service for patients at the Royal in 1992, as a voluntary massage service for referred cancer patients. Twenty years on, he has expanded the service considerably and is now the complementary therapies coordinator and leads a team of qualified therapists, including permanent staff and volunteers.

In 2010/11, the team provided more than 21,000 treatments for both patients and staff at the Royal - the youngest being 5 years old and the eldest 101 – a clear indication of the extraordinary, wide-ranging appeal of complementary therapy.

For more information about the complementary therapy service at the Royal Free, click here >>

To read an article about Keith’s work, published in Freestyle (May 2005), a newsletter produced by the Royal Free, click here >>
Source: The Guardian; Royal Free London.

Watch the Royal College of Midwives'' video on the threat to maternity services

Sign the petition...

A forty second animated video encouraging people to sign an e-petition calling for 5000 more midwives has been launched by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM). The video is the latest move in the RCM’s Protect Maternity Services campaign.

The animation and voiceover highlight the rapidly rising birthrate and the lack of adequate numbers of midwives to cope with the demands being made on maternity services. Viewers of the animation can click straight through to the RCM’s e-petition, and buttons under the video enable it to be shared via Twitter and Facebook.

The e-petition calling for 5000 more midwives is one of the top ten most popular petitions with over 46,000 signatures so far. 100,000 signatures are needed by August 22nd 2012 to generate a parliamentary debate on the issue.

RCM Chief Executive, Cathy Warwick, said: “I hope that the animation will be shared by midwives and the public with colleagues, family and friends. We really need people to get behind this campaign and to sign our petition.

The Government know there is a problem and are committed to training more midwives, but what is needed are more midwifery jobs. It is pointless training more midwives if they cannot get employment.”

The animation can be viewed at and a direct link to the e-petition is


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Volunteers and charities to benefit from portable CRBs

Volunteers will only need a single criminal records bureau check. More...

Volunteers will only need a single criminal records bureau (CRB) check allowing them to work for multiple organisations, under new legislation passed earlier this month. Organisations will be able to check any new information recorded by the police since the CRB certificate was issued, and enhanced checks will only be required for certain roles requiring very close contact with children or vulnerable adults. In addition, the Cabinet Office has published a code of good practice for volunteers, and a set of guidelines for charities on how to run an event, written by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

There is more on the new legislation at:


The Treatment Experience Zone at Mind Body Soul, Olympia

Limited space available for independent therapists...

To celebrate their 10 year anniversary, the Mind Body Soul Exhibition at Olympia (28-30 September) has introduced a new element to this year’s event.

The Treatment Experience Zone is an area dedicated to independent therapists, where visitors can explore and experiment a wide range of holistic therapy taster sessions from Acupressure to Thai massage, to heal the mind, body and soul.

Stands measure 1.5m x 2m and cost £250 plus VAT (£292 plus VAT for a prime position). This offer is only available to independent therapists, with limited space available.

For more information, email or call 01787 224040.


The Queen uses homeopathy

"She is a firm believer in alternative remedies" More...

In today’s Daily Mail, correspondent Brian Hoey reports:

“For her extended foreign tours, the Queen’s luggage can weigh more than four tons — and that includes 60 vials of homeopathic medicines, carried in a special leather case, without which she won’t travel anywhere.

She is a firm believer in alternative remedies, preferring them to conventional medicine.

She has even  been known to treat one of her corgis homeopathically after the animal  cut its foot. She bathed the wound in a special ointment and the injured paw was healed within days. When she was asked why she used the treatment, she replied: If it’s good enough for me, it should be good enough for my dogs.’

Packets of vitamins, cold cures and treatments for every sort of ailment  — from Montezuma’s Revenge to arthritis of the knees — are all packed.

There’s even a special little electro-magnetic gadget for massaging the aching shoulders or wrists of the woman who was once said to ‘shake hands for a living’.

As for never sneezing: if the Queen  has an outdoor engagement and is likely to be troubled by pollen, she takes a pre-emptive hay-fever antidote.


though she carries her own handbag (which contains just a handkerchief, lipstick, a tiny mirror and a copy of the day’s programme), one of her ladies-in-waiting always has what is known as the ‘Brown Bag’.

This holds all the essentials she might need in an emergency: spare pairs of tights, gloves, those sweeteners and a moist, lavender-scented cloth in case of extreme heat.

Read more:

Image source: NASA/Bill Ingalls


The FHT blog - ''Live from HQ''

We update you live from FHT HQ and the therapy world at large...

Updated daily with hot off the press news, information and trends in the complementary, beauty and sports therapy industry. Recent posts include:

Jubilee celebrations have hit Neal's Yard Remedies...
Thyme heals all?...
Hot lips indeed!...
Real mink eyelashes are sweeping UK salons...
The UK's Longest Bike Ride 2012...
Osteoporosis and men...

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Feel free to share our posts on Facebook and Twitter by simply clicking the '+' share icon.


The UK''s Longest Bike Ride 2012

Help with tired and achy muscles at the event...
The UK's Longest Bike Ride 2012 is looking for sports massage therapists to help with tired and achy muscles at the event, between 14th and 23rd September 2012.

The team intends to cycle over 1000 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats, covering 100 miles a day - a serious physical challenge! The team hopes to raise over £100,000 for the UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre in London - the new, purpose-built facility which will redefine cancer care.

If you would like to help for part, or all of the route, please contact Claire Redrup on / 07814 031 392.

Twitter: @uklongestride

Hair and beauty industry set to create 11,000 jobs in 2012


The hair and beauty industry is set to generate 11,000 new jobs this year, according to a survey by Salon Services. The survey found that jobs in London could see the greatest growth with 32% of respondents saying they would create roles, equating to an estimated 2,298 new jobs.

The industry's growth has been driven by an increase in demand for male hair and beauty treatments over the past year, with 66% of those respondents offering male treatments reporting an increase in demand. The report found that 31% of male clients requested massages and 30% asked for hair removal, while nail and tanning treatments rose by 18% and 17% respectively.

Read more on this survey >>

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos


Complementary Medicine found to be one of the fastest growth businesses


Less than five per cent of all small businesses play the biggest role in boosting the UK economy and account for two-thirds of all private-sector employment, according to a new report by Santander Corporate Banking. The highest concentrations were found in sectors such as Social Work (14.7 per cent), Complementary Medicine, such as homeopathy and physiotherapy, (11.4 per cent), and Architectural and Engineering activities (7.7 per cent).

More >>

Similar findings can be found here >>


CNHC voluntary register opens to Reiki practitioners

Its register opens to Reiki practitioners on 14th May 2012...

The voluntary regulator’s role is to independently protect the public and is the only voluntary regulator for complementary healthcare that was established with government support. Reiki is the 14th discipline to join the CNHC register since it opened in January 2009.

FHT members who are qualified Reiki practitioners and wish to be verified by the FHT can complete the online registration form ( and save the CNHC administration fee.

For more information visit


Do you run well-being projects within your community?

£1 million programme launched to back social enterprise...

A new £1 million programme to provide training and funding for social enterprises has been launched by the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE). The Lloyds Banking Group Social Entrepreneurs programme aims to support 750 social enterprises over five years by providing training programmes and grants to help them start up or grow. Alastair Wilson, chief executive of the SSE, said: "To tackle the huge social and environmental challenges that we face today, we need to recruit inspirational people with entrepreneurial flair from our communities - and give them the best tools to succeed.

How does this apply to me?

Members who run well-being projects within their community would be a perfect example of a social enterprise.  A 'social enterprise' in an organisation with a clear social mission, maximising profits for the continued wellbeing of its target market. Its social mission should be set out in governing documents, it should reinvest the majority of its profits, be accountable and transparent. 

Click here for more information about the Lloyds Banking Group Social Entrepreneurs programme 

For information about other ways of funding social enterprises, click here >> 


NHSBT and Facebook use the power of sharing to boost organ donation

Full details...

A new collaboration to help boost the number of people on the Organ Donor Register was announced today by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) and Facebook.

Facebook’s new Timeline enables people to post key life events and milestones to their profile. From today, by clicking a new health and wellbeing button,  this can include their intention to become an organ donor - with the added benefit of sharing that information with friends and family.

NHSBT already uses social media to engage with wide audiences and people can register to be an organ donor on NHSBT’s Facebook page. The new initiative means people can log their support for organ donation on their Facebook Timeline and, if they wish, click through to NHSBT’s Facebook page at to officially register.

People who use Facebook will not have officially registered their wishes unless they sign-up to the ODR. But even if they don’t actually register, they will still be sharing their views with friends and family which is a crucial part of organ donation.  Over 30 million people in the UK use Facebook.

NHSBT’s Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation, Sally Johnson, said:

“We need more people to sign up to the register and share their wishes with their friends and family, our job is to make that as quick and easy as possible. This is an exciting new way to use the power of social media to reach a huge audience and encourage people to think about it, act, and share that information.”

Evidence shows only 50% of those who wish to donate organs after death let their families know. Relatives who know about wishes to donate are 50% more likely to agree to donation.  Each time consent is given for organ donation, this can save or improve the lives of up to nine people.

Currently around 10,000 people need a transplant in the UK and three people die every day waiting. 

Facebook’s UK Director of Policy, Simon Milner, said:

“Small acts of kindness happen every day on Facebook but we hope that our partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant will use the power of friendship to save lives. More than 30 million people in the UK will be able to show on their Timeline that they are either on the organ donation register already, or can register with the NHS on their Facebook page in a few simple steps. We hope that as a result of this partnership, UK Facebook users will together be able to reduce the number of people who needlessly die waiting for an organ each year.”

Today’s announcement coincides with the launch of a similar venture in the United States of America.

Visit to officially register


FHT Member, Mary Atkinson, supports Tsunami survivors with Positive Touch for Children Programme

In February, we told you about Mary Atkinson’s incredible Positive Touch for Children Programme, in kindergartens and schools in Rikuzentakata, Iwate. This city was one of the hardest hit by the Tsunami in Japan, in March 2011.

Mary has just returned from Rikuzentakata with this very moving update >>


New film explains the importance of folic acid to any woman who can have a baby

Released by the national charity Shine...

As part of their campaign, Go Folic!, Shine aims to communicate the message that taking folic acid is essential in preventing birth defects such as spina bifida.

"Although many women would make an association between folic acid and pregnancy, the majority are unaware that it needs to be present at conception, ideally being taken three months before a baby starts to develop," explains Shine’s Chief Executive, Jackie Bland.

"The ‘I am a…’ film communicates this message clearly and effectively from a mother’s point of view and we hope it will be widely circulated and used by anyone concerned to prevent these disabilities occurring. By ensuring that folic acid is taken correctly by more women we really can save and change lives."

To watch the film >>

For more information on the Go Folic! campaign see:


Therapy practitioner advertising update

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Sports Therapy announcement by Skills for Health

Skills for Health (SfH), the Sector Skills Council for Health, has announced...

Skills for Health (SfH), the Sector Skills Council for Health, has announced its lead responsibility for developing the Sports Therapy National Occupational Standards (NOS). SfH has agreed with Skills Active, the Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure, Learning and Well-being, and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), that the Sports Therapy NOS will transfer to the Health sector.
NOS describe the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to undertake a particular task or job to a nationally recognised level of competence. They focus on what the person needs to be able to do, as well as what they must know and understand, to work effectively. They cover the key activities undertaken within the occupation in question, under all the circumstances the job holder is likely to encounter.



FHT member discount for College of Medicine (CoM) workshops and conference


For the third year running, the FHT is delighted to have been invited to join the panel of judges for the Michael Pittilo Student Essay Award 2012, organised by the College of Medicine (CoM). The winning essay, which this year will focus on strategies that can be used by health practitioners to encourage healthy ageing, will be published in International Therapist, and the winner will have the opportunity to address the CoM annual conference.

CoM annual conference: ‘Healthy Ageing: Radical New Solutions’
2-3 May 2012
At the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London

We are also pleased to advise FHT members that those wishing to attend the CoM annual conference and workshops can enjoy the same discount available to CoM members when booking. This year’s theme is ‘Healthy Ageing: Radical New Solutions’. The conference will feature 2009 Nobel Laureate Professor Elizabeth Blackburn, international expert on ageing and telomeres, as keynote speaker.

To see the programme with its array of high profile speakers, click here >>

Wednesday 2nd May

CoM will be running four practical workshops on (i) women's health; (ii) back pain and neuro-musculoskeletal conditions; (iii) anticipatory care; and (iv) herbal medicine. To read more about these workshops, click here >>>

Thursday 3rd May

The conference dinner on the Thursday offers opportunities for delegates to socialise and network. The CoM are expecting a VIP guest who will be delivering a major health policy speech.

To book your place, click here >> or download a paper booking by clicking here >>

When booking, quote ‘FHT’ to receive the same discount as CoM members


Launch of The M.E, CFS and Fibromyalgia Recovery Association

Find out how you can be involved...

Inaugural lunch 
Monday 7th May at 12.30pm
Effingham Park Hotel, West Sussex

The M.E, CFS and Fibromyalgia Recovery Association is a social enterprise, formed to educate, inform and inspire those suffering or dealing with M.E, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia.

The Association has been founded by those who have personally experienced M.E but now feel fully recovered, along with those who have dedicated their working lives to helping others to recover.

Come along to their inaugural lunch, to:

  • Meet international TV broadcaster Nicholas Owen who is hosting the event
  • Meet VIPs who are leaders in M.E recovery
  • Enjoy live entertainment with Rock Choir, as seen on TV
  • Free goody bag
  • Help raise funds to launch their much needed helpline
  • Change the way M.E is perceived and presented

Only £50 per ticket!

Visit to book

Download the event leaflet >>
Read the press release >>


Could cabbage hold the key to preventing diseases? Take part in this study...


Scientists are investigating whether compounds found in cabbage could help prevent against diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Experts from the University of Aberdeen's Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health are calling for volunteers to take part in a study into the potential health benefits of different varieties of the vegetable.

Dr Wendy Russell, from the Rowett Institute, who is leading the project, said: "Our study will investigate compounds found in different species of cabbage produced in Scotland, with the aim of identifying which ones have a positive impact on health when we eat them.

"Volunteers taking part in the research will be required to eat quantities of kale, white and red cabbage, and we will monitor the affect eating these vegetables, has on their body over the course of a day.

"Building a clear picture of where the different compounds found in cabbage travel in the human body, and what they are converted into, will help us understand if any of these compounds could potentially help prevent against different types of cancers and cardiovascular diseases."

The study is one component of a wider project being conducted at the Rowett Institute looking at the potential health benefits of Scottish produce.

It is part of a major multidisciplinary research initiative funded by the Scottish Government to address issues such as climate change, land use and food security.

Dr Russell continued: "The overarching aim of our research is to not only improve Scotland's health but also boost the wealth of the nation.

"If we can identify compounds in foods produced in Scotland, such as cabbage, which have clear health benefits it would provide the evidence needed to encourage the public to choose these foods as part of their regular diet.

"It would also allow us to give strong agricultural advice on developing strains of these vegetables that are more prominent in these particular compounds, and to influence manufacturers of health-conscious ready meals to include these vegetables in the products they develop in the future."

Healthy, non-smokers from Aberdeen city and shire, between the ages of 18 and 55 are sought for the cabbage study, which will be based at the Rowett Institute of Nutrition of Health in Bucksburn.

Volunteers should not be taking any prescription medication, regular aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antihistamines, antibiotics or nutritional supplements.

Those interested in taking part in the study should contact David Bremner on 01224738785 or by email at

If you do take part, we would love to hear about it. Please email with any updates.

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

University of Aberdeen

Volunteer therapists required for a 39-bedroom homeless hostel in Kings Cross, Camden


Single Homelessness Project (SHP) provides innovative accommodation and support services to 3,500 of London’s most vulnerable people. It provides supported accommodation for homeless people facing social exclusion, giving the specialist support they need to find stability and move on in their lives. SHP’s approach to working with clients is based on their full involvement in support planning.

SHP is now seeking to complement the positive work undertaken with residents, with additional complementary therapies to aid their progression. The vacant positions are being sought at a 39-bedroom hostel in Kings Cross, Camden, known as Dennis Handfield House (DHH). DHH is part of the Camden Pathway. The service is for people with needs relating to continued drug and alcohol use, or/and people who are designated 'Multiple Exclusion' under the Camden Pathway.

The service aims to retain in accommodation those previously excluded from other hostels and stabilise their risky and harmful behaviours including addressing street activity and anti-social behaviour.

The service also aims to work in partnership with external agencies, including primary healthcare services and specialist services, such as needle exchange facilities. It strives to promote meaningful use of time and prepare clients to move on towards independence through the Camden Hostels Pathway.

SHP is hoping to recruit a variety of therapists to undertake regular sessions of therapy for clients to access. Therapies include: emotional freedom technique (EFT), acupuncture, reiki, shiatsu, reflexology, massage, aromatherapy, nutritional therapy, stone therapy and aoga. However, this is a new venture for the service and is open to suggestions of any therapy which may benefit residents.

If you are interested in this post please contact SHP for an application form at Alternatively, please go to

CVs will not be accepted

SHP is IIP accredited and an equal opportunities employer.

Registered Office: 245 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8QY
Company Limited by Guarantee Number 1741926 Registered in England | Registered Charity Number 287779

While the FHT believes that volunteering often provides members with valuable clinical experience and training, we do believe that complementary therapists should be paid for their professional services.

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

Single Homelessness Project (SHP)

Music reduces anxiety, reports surgeons

Easy listening tracks and chart hits are said to have a calming effect...

"Playing music to patients while they go under the knife reduces their anxiety and may even aid healing, surgeons say.

Easy listening tracks and chart hits can have a calming effect on patients who are awake for surgery under local anaesthetic, a team at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford found.

Listening to the radio also helped.

Their small study, published in Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons, tracked the progress of 96 patients having minor surgery at the hospital."

Click here to read the full BBC article

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos


The Chancellor''s Budget 2012 – FHT Members’ Summary Report

This is a members-only item. 

Please login at the top-right of this page.

FHT enters international accreditation partnership in Malaysia


After 50 years in the UK, the FHT is taking its therapy training course accreditation to Malaysia with the intention of raising the quality standards of training outcomes and skill standards of professional therapists in complementary healthcare, holistic beauty and sports therapies. 

More >>

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos


Volunteer therapists needed to support charity walk in Wales

200 mile walk in aid of Hope House Children’s Hospice...

In May, FHT member Ed Robinson (pictured) will be supporting his good friend, Paul Ashley, as he embarks on a 200 mile coast to coast walk, from Conwy to Barry Island, in aid of Hope House Children’s Hospice ( Hope House provides care and support to terminally ill children and their families across Shropshire, Mid Wales, Cheshire and North Wales.

Starting his challenge on 8 May, Paul hopes to complete approximately 20 miles a day and is looking for massage/ sports massage volunteer therapists to support him during the course of his challenge. The role would include:

• after care, at the end of each day’s walk, and to aid recovery getting ready for the next day;
• to drive the support vehicle;
• to offer general assistance before, during and after each day’s walk.

All travel and living expenses will be met, including accommodation, and meals provided throughout the walk.

“Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a newly qualified therapist, I believe this offers a great opportunity to either gain experience or give a little back to the community”, says Ed. “Plus there will be plenty of PR exposure. I would jump at the chance to support Paul for the entire period, however with a 6-week old baby, I don’t think my wife would appreciate it!

“I would be grateful if any of my fellow FHT members would consider this request and let me know whether you could help out, for part or all of the challenge.”

Volunteer members must be appropriately qualified and insured.

If you are interested in supporting Paul, please contact Ed direct:
M. 07525 212520

To read a supporting letter from Hope House Children’s Hospice, click here >>


FHT Statement on the closure of university CAM courses

Released: 13.03.12

In recent years, British universities validating or running CAM degree courses have been subject to severe criticism from anti-CAM lobbyists, who believe that non-evidence based medicine should not be taught in state-funded institutions. 1 

This, coupled with funding issues, has resulted in an increasing number of universities dropping their CAM degrees, or no longer validating those run by local colleges.

FHT comment

The FHT is extremely concerned that universities offering and validating CAM degree courses are under attack from anti-CAM lobbyists, not least because a number of academics have recently stressed that this will potentially remove individuals from academic positions who have the ability to contribute to the evidence base that a number of CAM modalities are said to be lacking. 2 3   

It is important to note that one of the key driving forces behind the anti-CAM lobbying is a concern that patients may choose, or are being actively encouraged, to use ‘unproven’ CAM in place of conventional medical care.

The FHT represents professional therapists who offer complementary therapy services alongside – and not in place of - conventional medical care. If a client is under the care of a medical professional, such as a doctor or midwife, members of the FHT have a duty to obtain permission to treat the client before commencing with complementary therapy. Similarly, therapists are not qualified to diagnose medical conditions, and have a duty to refer clients to a medical professional to seek a diagnosis, where appropriate.

We would like to stress that the FHT in no way condones its members discouraging clients from seeking medical treatment. If the FHT were to receive a complaint against one of its members, claiming that the member had discouraged their client from seeking medical treatment, the FHT would carry out a full investigation.

1. The Telegraph (31 January, 2012) Complementary medicine courses in universities: how I beat the varsity quaks, by David Colquohoun
2. Moynihan R. Assaulting alternative medicine: worthwhile or witch hunt? BMJ 2012;344:e1075
3. Andrews G, Mackereth P. Age, sex, disease, ethnicity et al – Are complementary therapies reaching the parts? Complementary Therapises in Clinical Practice: 18 (2012) 2-3.

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos


Sports & Remedial regulator register to change its name

Following a review of this therapy register...

Announcement: 8 March 2012

Following a review of CNHC’s entry criteria in relation to the Sports & Remedial Therapy register, CNHC has agreed, in consultation with CNHC’s Sports & Remedial Therapy Profession Specific Board (PSB) and Massage Therapy PSB, that with effect from 19th March 2012 the Sports & Remedial Therapy register will be renamed as the Sports Therapy register.

This means that with effect from Monday 19th March 2012 the Sports Therapy register will be open to practitioners who have successfully undertaken a qualification in Sports Therapy which meets as a minimum, the National Occupational Standards (NOS) and core curriculum for Sports Therapy.

What this means for individuals already registered as Sports & Remedial Therapists

All existing CNHC registered Sports & Remedial Therapists will stay on the Sports Therapy register, as all have been verified as having completed training which meets the NOS and core curriculum for Sports Therapy.

Proposed way forward for Remedial Therapy

Members of the Sports & Remedial PSB will be developing an application to CNHC for Remedial Therapy to be considered for registration as a distinct discipline, using the ‘aspirant professions’ criteria published by CNHC. CNHC will advise registrants of any developments in due course.

The Sports & Remedial Therapy PSB will be renamed as the Sports Therapy PSB.

Practical information for CNHC registered Sports & Remedial Therapists Existing CNHC registered Sports & Remedial Therapists will remain on the register as Sports Therapists and will be displayed on the public register as Sports Therapists with effect from 19th March 2012. Current Sports & Remedial Therapy certificates will remain valid until renewal, at which time practitioners will be invited to renew under the title Sports Therapy.

Any practitioners with questions or concerns about the change to the Sports & Remedial Therapy register should email: or call 020 3178 2199


FHT Chief Executive, John French, on Swindon 105.5

Swindon 105.5 ‘Health Matters’ radio show discusses CAM…

FHT Chief Executive, John French, joined presenters Christina Strang and Ann-Marie Stanford on Monday 5th March to discuss NHS integration of complementary healthcare. This interesting discussion was repeated on Thursday 8th March at 11pm.

Health Matters is a weekly show on Mondays at 1pm, with information and discussion on health and wellbeing, relating to issues locally, nationally and internationally. This programme is repeated on Thursday evenings at 11pm.

John French will be discussing the latest developments and standards in complementary therapies on a regular basis, raising awareness for our professional, qualified therapists and the therapies they practise.

Click here to listen to the show

FHT, Swindon 105.5

Peterborough Local Support Group (LSG) enjoys Laughter Yoga

Find out more... 

Peterborough LSG had its first meeting last Thursday at St B's Hall, Main Street, Yaxley. This included a session of Laughter Yoga, which increased endorphin levels of the 18 attendees, encouraging a general sense of happiness and well being.

Organiser Teresa Martin told the The Evening Telegraph: “It’s crazy and not like normal yoga.

"There’s a lot of marching around the room and pretending to be silly animals.

“At first you think it’s really weird, but then you start laughing and we were in hysterics by the end of the evening.

“Increasing your endorphins makes you feel better and it is not strenuous so it’s especially good for the elderly and disabled people.

“It was very popular and we are trying to get another one organised.”

The next meeting is arranged for Thursday 22nd March, from 7.30-9pm. For further information call Teresa on 01733 245614 or 07710 776902.

To find your Local Support Group, click here

Click here to read The Evening Telegraph news article

The Evening Telegraph

Starting your own business?  Not sure where to begin?

Free ‘Starting Your Own Business eLearning’ has the answers…

HMRC has just launched ‘Starting Your Own Business eLearning’, for those with questions on record keeping, tax, National Insurance and expenses.  The course guides you through everything you need to know about going self-employed, including useful tips from business owners who have been exactly where you are now.

You can work through the course in one go or dip in and out whenever it suits you best.

While the course features people starting up a business in the hair and beauty industry, the information is applicable to all complementary, holistic beauty and sports therapists.

For further details and to get started, click here >>

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

HMRC, Business Link

New Chichester Local Support Group

Set up by FHT Member and author, Mary Atkinson

Mary Atkinson, MFHT, has set up a new Local Support Group which will meet at St Michael's Hall in Summersdale Road, Chichester. Local Support Groups are a great way for therapists to meet, network and exhange ideas.

The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 4th April, costing just £5 for members and £7 for non-members.

For further details, visit or call Mary on 01243 779600. Alternatively, click here to find your Local Support Group.

The new Chichester group was also featured in the Chichester Observer on Tuesday 21st February. Read article >>

FHT, Chichester Observer

Channel 4 show debates alternative medicine in the NHS

‘Should alternative medicine be available on the NHS?’  More...

This statement is in response to the Channel 4 series, ‘Should alternative medicine be available on the NHS?’, being televised from 13th to 19th February, 2012 (Channel 4, 7.55 pm) is a Channel 4 opinion show, which explores different moral and ethical issues each week, providing seven different points of views or perspectives in order to stimulate discussion.

This week (13th – 19th February, 2012), the theme being discussed is ‘Should alternative medicine be available on the NHS? (1)

The seven people giving a short film presentation on this topic are:

  • Raymond Tallis –a hospital doctor for 35 years
  • Andrea Giles – who was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer
  • Leanna Broom – a qualified medical herbalist
  • Sile Lane – who works for Sense About Science
  • Steven Isserlis – a cellist whose wife died of cancer
  • Professor David Peters – medical doctor and osteopath
  • Martina Hinds – a Bowen technique therapist

All of the short films, which are less than two minutes long, can be viewed online at and if watching online, viewers can share their comments.

FHT Comment

The FHT welcomes discussions surrounding the use of complementary and alternative therapies within the NHS and is pleased that there is a balance of views being expressed in the short films televised as part of this series. 

However, in light of some of the opinions expressed, the FHT would like to stress that:

  • The FHT agrees that complementary therapies should be available on the NHS, providing that the therapists offering these services are qualified to national occupational standards in the relevant therapy; hold appropriate insurance cover; and belong to a professional association that has a respected Code of Ethics and Disciplinary Procedure, which members must abide by.

  • While the FHT approves the use of complementary therapies alongside conventional medical care, to support people who live with a medical condition, it in no way condones members discouraging their clients from seeking or continuing with conventional medical care. 

  • All FHT members must adhere to the FHT Code of Ethics and Professional Practice, (2) which states:

‘You [FHT members] should not be claiming to ‘cure’ or ‘heal’ medical ailments or to diagnose medical  conditions’ (Section 3.1);

If you [FHT members] have cause for concern regarding the health of your client you must refer them to see their GP to seek a diagnosis and medical advice’ (Section 5.5).

  • The FHT is a professional association that promotes and protects the interests of complementary, holistic beauty and sports therapists. Members must hold appropriate insurance cover and qualifications that meet (or exceed) national occupational standards, and abide by a strict Code of Ethics and Professional Practice. These exacting standards in turn also help to protect the interests of the general public. While complementary therapists are not yet covered by statute, members of the public may wish to seek the services of a therapist who is registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council, which is the official, independent voluntary regulator of complementary therapists. For more information about the CNHC, visit

  • While there are a number of challenges in terms of funding and conducting appropriate research into the effectiveness of complementary therapies, an increasing number of systematic reviews and peer-reviewed research papers have indicated that certain complementary therapies are safe and effective in supporting people with specific health conditions. (3,4) While more robust research is called for, with commitment from the growing band of academic clinicians and their university departments, it is hoped that more evidence base to support the use of complementary therapies will be available in the near future. The Black (5) report , published by The King's Fund (August 2009) is also likely to encourage more research.

For more information:
T. 023 8062 4376


2. The FHT Code of Ethics and Professional Practice (Revised: 1 May, 2011)

3. Shin, Lee (2007). Effects of aromatherapy on hemiplegic shoulder pain and motor power in stroke patients: a pilot study. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, March 2007, 13 (2): 247-51.

4. Kim, Kim, Yeo, Hong, Lee & Jeon (2011). The effect of lavender oil on stress, bispectral index values, and needle insertion pain in volunteers. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Sept 2011, 17 (9): 823-6

5. Assessing complementary practice – building consensus on appropriate research methods, The King’s Fund (2009)


New Macmillan Cancer Centre seeks volunteer therapists

Therapists qualified in aromatherapy, massage, reflexology or reiki...

The UCH (University College Hospital) Macmillan Cancer Centre, due to open this spring, is a purpose-built facility that aims to put the needs of patients at the centre of cancer care.

They are currently seeking volunteer therapists who are qualified in aromatherapy, massage, reflexology or reiki to join their complementary therapy team, providing valuable support to cancer patients and their carers.

While the FHT believes that volunteering often provides members with valuable clinical experience and training, we do believe that complementary therapists should be paid for their processional services.

Those interested in volunteering must:

  • Have a qualification in aromatherapy, massage, reflexology or reiki  that meets national occupational standards and/or core curricula (NOS) and have been practising that therapy for at least a year;
  • For aromatherapy, massage and reflexology, be registered with the CNHC (which will also apply to reiki, when the CNHC opens its register to reiki practitioners);
  • Have appropriate insurance cover; and
  • Be willing to work half a day or one day per week/fortnight for a minimum period of one year
  • Strong communication skills, adaptability and self-sufficiency are also a requirement, along with a willingness to undertake training.

All volunteers will receive ongoing support and guidance, including a full induction, regular reviews with the senior complementary therapist, debriefing and access to cancer-related learning resources.

For more information:

Please click here to read the UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre Volunteer role description

Contact Naomi Neiland at or tel. 0203 4477360

If you get involved…

Please let the FHT know if you are successfully recruited as a UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre Complementary Therapist Volunteer – we’d love to share your story and experience with other FHT members. Email Karen Young at

Macmillan, UCH

Eve Taylor, OBE, MFHT, featured in Daily Express

From Avon lady to entrepreneur, FHT member Eve Taylor is featured in the Daily Express, where she talks about how she developed a successful skincare range with a turnover of £1.7 million in 2011 [link to news article]. To read an article published by the FHT about Eve, click here >> 
FHT, Daily Express

Manual Therapist Employment Survey 2012

Please take 5 minutes to complete this survey...

Are you a Manual Therapist? Perhaps a sport therapist, remedial therapist, massage therapist, soft tissue therapist or even a combination. If so, please take 5 minutes to complete the Manual Therapist Employment Survey 2012. The results of this survey will be made available to all FHT Manual Therapy members.

Thank you.

To complete the survey
click here

URGENT! Should universities teach alternative medicine (in Australia)?


The FHT has been asked by our colleagues in Australia to support the continuation of complementary therapies in Australian Universities. Australia is also coming under attack from detractors of complementary medicine and partaking in this poll will help counter those who are being encouraged by the detractors to vote ‘No’.  Please vote now before the poll closes on 8th February.

To vote click here >>


FHT Statement

This statement is in response to the Which? report, ‘Nutritional therapists: gambling with your health?’

Consumer watchdog Which? recently investigated the advice given by high street nutritional therapists and concluded that some of this advice could ‘seriously harm patients’ health’.

Which? researchers, posing as patients with a range of different health problems, attended 15 consultations with nutritional therapists. 

Full details and the FHT Statement >>

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos


New restrictions on hair-dye products

For manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and retailers...

"Relevant to

UK manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and retailers of finished hair-dye products or ingredients of hair-dye products

From 3 January 2012, new restrictions apply to certain substances that may be used as ingredients in hair-dye products.

A number of hair-dye substances will be added to the list of substances that cosmetic products can contain but only under certain restrictions.

One substance will - at the same time - be deleted from the list of substances that are provisionally allowed without restriction.

These changes are set out in detail in the Annex to Commission Directive 2011/59/EU, which amends the two lists in Annex III of Council Directive 76/768/EEC."

For full details and the Directive, click here >>

Business Link

International Therapist needs you!

Calling all Members for a special feature we are writing about your membership journal...

Not only does the FHT celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, but in April you will receive Issue 100 of International Therapist! As part of a special feature we are writing about the journal, we would love to include some comments and quotes from our members. Maybe you:

  • were inspired by a particular article;
  • learnt something that changed the way you practice;
  • have used articles in a unique way (e.g. photocopied A&P crosswords for your therapy students, or framed certain articles to display on your clinic wall); 
  • have kept every issue since you joined the FHT, for reference; 
  • have been a member for a number of years and watched the journal evolve and grow; or
  • have a photo of you reading International Therapist in a really unusual or funny context.

Whatever your story or feedback, we’d love to hear you from, and if you have any photos to support your piece, these would also be greatly appreciated. (Where possible, please send high-resolution pictures, suitable for print.)

Please send your comments, however big or small, to


Funding for social enterprises in Bristol and London

Opportunity to win prize funds of £15,000, £30,000 or £50,000...

Social enterprises and community organisations in London, Bristol and surrounding areas are being given the opportunity to win prize funds of £15,000, £30,000 or £50,000 by entering the Santander Social Enterprise Development Awards (SEDA). Bidders must demonstrate how they would use the prize money to develop one of three community benefits: improving social inclusion, supporting disadvantaged people or creating a greener environment. Winners will also receive mentoring support and business training, as well as working with the Community Foundation network to assess the social impact the prize fund will have on local communities.

Further details >>


The Office for National Statistics launches new consultation into national well-being measures

More information...

Are you happy with your health and relationships? These are two questions that will be used to consider the future of our nation.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has announced a consultation starting this November on how it can assess the UK's progress by more than just economic performance.

The ONS had been asked to make possible a comment made by David Cameron long before he became prime minister to find a new way of calculating the nations's performance other than our gross domestic product. In 2006, Mr Cameron told a conference: "It's time we admitted that there's more to life than money, and it's time we focused not just on GDP, but on GWB - general well-being."

For therapists, general well-being has long been the focus of our lives and our profession, now it seems that the coalition Government is considering a more holistic approach in gathering statistics. People’s satisfaction with life and other individual assessments of well-being are at the heart of measuring the nation’s well-being according to the ONS.

The consultation will explore key themes and headline indicators of national well-being, which they propose are vital in understanding how to measure the UK’s progress by more than just its economic performance. The Office for National Statistics has developed ten key themes, of which individual well-being is one, along with an initial set of measures following extensive feedback to the national debate launched in April 2010 - “what matters to you?”, as well as by studying further research.

The themes or “domains” and the initial measures will be used in discussions with interested groups and individuals to assess their potential as eventual indicators to measure the UK’s national well-being. These themes set to measure how we feel about our lives can be seen as positive movement, awakening the nation’s ability to reflect on its own well-being. Collecting these kinds of statistics will put the UK at the forefront of new thinking into how people and nations can measure themselves.

The set of domains are:

• Individual well-being

• Our relationships

• Health

• What we do

• Where we live

• Personal finance

• Education and skills

• Governance

• The economy

• The natural environment

The consultation will run for twelve weeks with the results to be published in Spring 2012.  There is a discussion paper and facilities for responding on the ONS website at



FHT responds to a recent Daily Mail article

''How a trip to the beauty salon could poison you'' states paper...

This statement is in response to the article, ‘How a trip to the beauty salon could poison you’, by Claire Coleman, published by the Daily Mail on 3 November, 2011:

The Daily Mail recently published an article that identified a number of severe health risks that could potentially be linked to different hair and beauty treatments, including fish pedicures, waxing and nail work.

In the FHT’s opinion, this article is both sensationalist and misleading, as the health risks stated for the beauty treatments featured are hypothetical, based on a single accident, or would be the result of poor practice.

Fish pedicures
The first treatment featured in the article was the fish pedicure, which it is stated ‘could spread potentially deadly diseases’, including ‘HIV or hepatitis’. This section of the article was based on information recently published by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) , which states that ‘Based on the available evidence, the risk of infection with a BBV [blood borne virus] as a result of a fish pedicure is likely to be extremely low, however, it cannot be completely excluded’.

In an online response to the Daily Mail article, Roger Pebody from HIV/AIDS charity, NAS, writes: ‘There are no known cases of HIV infection due to the use of fish spas, or indeed any other water-borne route.’  

It is also important to note that the HPA states in its guidance that ‘the overall risk of infection is likely to be very low if appropriate standards of hygiene are adhered to.’

While the FHT does not accept fish pedicures for membership on ethical grounds, all professional therapists are taught that an open cut, wound or broken skin - which carries a higher risk of a cross-infection – is a contraindication to treatment, which is highlighted in the HPA guidance. It is reasonable to therefore assume that where good, hygienic practice is adhered to, the risk of cross-infection from ANY therapy treatment should be minimal.

Waxing treatments
The article then went on to look at potential health risks associated with waxing treatments. The case given for leg waxing involved the wax being spilled on a client during the course of the treatment, which ‘left the woman with an area of uneven pigmentation, which could require skin grafting’. It is important to note here that the cause of injury was accidental, and not linked to a standard waxing treatment.

It was also stated that ‘If not done properly, [bikini] waxing can remove the uppermost layers of the skin, leaving it susceptible to infections such as MRSA. This is particularly problematic when salons ‘double dip’, repeatedly using the same spatula in the same pot of wax, potentially transferring infections from the skin of one client to another.’

Any FHT member who is appropriately trained and adheres to the FHT Code of Ethics and Professional Practice would not ‘remove the uppermost layers of the skin’, nor would they ‘double-dip’, so once again these health risks are in fact hypothetical and based on poor practice - a ‘what if’ scenario. To put things in context, the Daily Mail could equally publish an article stating that a doctor ‘could’ pass HIV from one patient to another or cause bodily injury to a patient as a result of poor/unhygienic practice, or if an accident happened during treatment or a surgical procedure.

Nail work
The final beauty treatment featured in the Daily Mail’s article is the manicure, for which some therapists use a miniature UV lamp to speed up the curing/drying process of different nail products. While this section included a statement from a dermatologist, saying ‘UV is responsible for most skin cancers, but also ages the skin’, the article does not provide any real life cases, and the FHT is unaware of any evidence to suggest that the appropriate use of UV lamps for manicures causes skin cancer.

In conclusion, it is the FHT’s opinion that the article published in the Daily Mail was unbalanced and misleading, providing ‘worse case scenarios’ that are not at all typical of the beauty treatments featured when carried out by an appropriately qualified and professional therapist. The FHT has written to the editor of the Daily Mail and will make the response available to members in due course.

Statement released: 08/11/11



Some CAM therapies may offer pain relief

News from the Pain in Europe Conference...


At the recent Pain in Europe VII Congress (EFIC), Professor Edzard Ernst from Exeter, UK, noted that while few alternative pain therapies are supported by scientific evidence, some studies regarding acupuncture, acupressure, and aromatherapy have been shown to reduce pain. more  >>


Contacted by the GRCCT?

FHT offers advice for therapists who may have been contacted by this organisation...

You need to be a member to view this article. click here >>


Are you claiming tax relief on your FHT Membership?

More Information ...

The government has tasked Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) with recovering more tax revenues owed to the state. According to Business Link, this will mean an increase in the number of tax enquiries into businesses.

In response to the government’s request, the HMRC will be focusing in particular on tax evasion, with task forces aimed at different sectors. These include (amongst others) businesses that have turnovers close to and just under the VAT registration threshold, and private tutors. However, no small business or sole trader is immune from enquiries by the tax authorities.

In addition, there will be substantially higher penalties for late tax returns, with daily penalties of £10 payable after the 31 January 2012. 

More information is available from Business Link – click here >>


FHT & AoR meet with ASA

More Information ...

On 11th August, the FHT and AoR met with representatives of both the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the CAP Copy Advice Team to discuss the current situation with advertising and the complementary therapies sector. We are pleased to inform members that we have achieved an agreement to work with the ASA to provide clarity and understanding. Further information will follow.

John French(FHT) and Tracey Smith(AoR)


Where are your pictures from?

The FHT would strongly advise all members to check that pictures and illustrations do not infringe copyright.

The FHT has had a number of members get in touch, as they have unwittingly used copyright protected images and received demands for payment from the image owners.

Having the ability to download or ‘drag’ an image across from a website or other source does not mean that the image is royalty or copyright free, or that it can be reproduced without permission of the image owner.

Therapists using the services of a designer should ensure that relevant permissions and licences have been obtained, as liability for copyright infringement lies with the business owner and not the designer. The FHT recommends that any therapist commissioning a designer makes sure they see written evidence that the designer has paid for relevant image licences.

An affordable solution

It is possible to purchase some very reasonably priced therapy and health-related images from websites such as:

It is free to browse these websites before purchasing - simply type in relevant keywords, such as ‘reflexology’, ‘lavender’, ‘massage’, ‘woman running track’, to see what is available.

Additional information about sourcing pictures and illustrations can also be found in an article published in International Therapist (correct at time of publication: November 2008). To read this article, click here >>

If you have any further queries, please contact the FHT on 023 8062 4350 or


FHT endorses new mole and skin check guidelines for therapists

The FHT is delighted to have endorsed and contributed to this new leaflet...

...launched in Parliament on 21 June by the Melanoma Taskforce and British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) as part of their campaign to improve awareness and early detection of skin cancer.

Aimed specifically at well-being, hair and beauty professionals, the guidelines have the support of MPs and high-profile celebrities and industry leaders, including actress and presenter Amanda Holden, Hollyoaks star Gemma Merna, TV and radio presenter Sarah Cawood, and celebrity make-up artists, Ruby Hammer and Millie Kendall (Ruby and Millie).

Killing more than 2,500 people in the UK every year, it is vital that skin cancers are detected and treated early, as swift diagnosis can help save lives. While professionals in the well-being, hair and beauty industries are not expected to diagnose skin cancers, they are uniquely placed to be able to notice changes in moles or suspicious lesions when working with clients.

Endorsed by nine leading industry bodies, including the FHT, the guidelines provide clear and simple information on how to spot the signs of skin cancer, and how professionals can encourage their clients to seek medical advice.

FHT Vice-president, Cheryl Cole, said: ‘I am delighted that the FHT was invited to endorse these guidelines. While we are all aware that complementary, beauty and sports therapists are not in a position to diagnose, having reliable information at our fingertips that will help us spot any potential skin problems is invaluable.’

To highlight the vital role that therapists can play, the guidelines include a short case study by Ray Vyse, MFHT, who noticed a mole gradually change on one of his regular massage clients. He encouraged the client to have it checked by her GP, who promptly diagnosed a malignant melanoma. The client had the mole removed and has fortunately had the ‘all clear’ at each of her follow-up appointments.

Siân James MP, Chair of the Melanoma Taskforce, said: ‘These guidelines represent a major step forward in raising awareness of the importance of early detection of skin cancer. It is something for which we have consistently campaigned. I am also pleased that we have been able to draw support from a wide range of celebrities. It makes a big difference if young people can relate to role models about being careful with their skin.’

A copy of the Mole and Skin Check Guidelines will be distributed to members in the July issue of International Therapist. Meantime, a copy can be downloaded from:

Melanoma Taskforce, British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), FHT

Cheques may get reprieve under pressure from campaigners

Plans to scrap cheques may be delayed...

...after the Commons Treasury Committee told the payments industry that a suitable alternative must be in place first. MPs accused the UK Payments Council of a "colossal error of judgment" and "rank incompetence" in its handling of the proposed phase-out, which Financial Secretary Mark Hoban told the Committee had caused "a great deal of uncertainty and alarm across the country". Richard North, head of the UK Payments Council, said the industry would wait until 2016 before making a decision.

For further details >> and >>

BBC, Totally Money

Do you need some business advice?

The  Business Success Virtual Classroom.  More...

Gill Tree,  a sell out presenter at the FHT Training congress speaking on Business Success would like to offer FHT members a discount on a great online learning CPD module. The  Business Success Virtual Classroom which is offered as part of the FHT website’s CPD online section is now available at the special price of £39.95 (normally £62.50) with an additional 5% discount.  If you need to brush up on your business and marketing skills then act quickly as this offer is available only to the first 100 members.

To access >>

Essentials for Health

EU’s Traditional Herbal Products Directive in place

Since 1 May all traditional herbal medicines available in health food shops, pharmacies, and other outlets in the European Union must be formally registered and approved before they can be sold.

Santander plans £40 million pot for small business in the North West

Click on title for full details.
Santander is to allocate up to £40 million to funding small businesses in the North West of England. It will work with Local Enterprise Partnerships and universities in the region to identify businesses with high-growth potential. The sum represents part of a total fund of £200 million which the bank has set aside for small business investment over the next three years. Chief executive Ana Botin said: "The idea behind setting up this fund is being able to offer something different to small business, which is also sustainable. We are saying to them, if you need some equity in your businesses, which is different from debt, we can offer you that."

Click here for more details >>

FHT gives warning following Virgin Atlantic £300,000 court case payout


Following the recent compensation pay out by Virgin Atlantic to two former therapists who gave Shiatsu massages to airline passengers, the FHT warns customers and employers only to use qualified and approved practitioners when undergoing complementary therapy treatments.

In March 2011, two airline employees were awarded damages against Virgin Atlantic totalling £300,000 after they developed RSI while offering Shiatsu massages to passengers in the Heathrow airport departure lounge.

John French, CEO of the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT), the UK’s largest professional body for complementary healthcare therapists, warns customers and employers of complementary therapists that the therapists involved were not members of the FHT and therefore may not have been suitable qualified to treat clients with Shiatsu to the required standards.

“All FHT Members are trained to at least the minimum standard of training defined by the therapy’s national occupational standards or core curriculum.  They are also required to hold full medical malpractice, public and products liability insurance and adhere to the professional body’s comprehensive Code of Ethics and Professional Practice. Shiatsu massage is a specialist treatment and is required to be carried out by fully trained practitioners to be safe for both the practitioner and client” he said.

“Unfortunately, in an non-statutory regulated profession there is no guarantee that a therapist is qualified, insured and professional so it is important that both the public and employers check to see if they are members of the FHT which guarantees training, competence and safety” he explained.

Shiatsu is a touch-based therapy that applies pressure to areas of the surface of the body for the purpose of correcting imbalances, and maintaining and promoting health. Shiatsu, a Japanese word that literally means finger pressure, derives its theoretical and practical roots from the ancient traditions of Oriental medicine. Shiatsu has been reported as helpful in relieving symptoms in many instances of conditions such as stress, tension, back-, neck- and shoulder pain and other chronic conditions.


HPC confirms regulation unlikely

FHT challenged the HPC recommendation to statutory regulate sports therapy.

The FHT has received a response from the HPC Director of Policy & Standards which confirms that this is highly unlikely following the recent announcement that the government considers ‘assured voluntary regulation’ to be a better way of improving quality. The Command Paper ‘Enabling Excellence’ indicates that in future statutory regulation will only be considered in exceptional cases where voluntary registers are not considered sufficient to manage the risk. The FHT believes that the HPC recommendation will be blocked by this change in government policy.

Sports Therapists are currently regulated by the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) supported and funded by the Department of Health

To read the HPC response to the FHT go to

To read the FHT’s letter to the HPC go to

To read the full paper presented by the Secretary of State for Health go to


More advertising mis-selling

The FHT has been made aware of another advertising company that is mis-selling to FHT Members.

A company called Authorised Publications is making unsolicited telephone calls to therapists selling advertising in a free magazine entitled Community Care Guide, to be distributed to local leisure centres, doctors surgeries and health centres.
While Authorised Publications may be a legitimate organisation the FHT is receiving calls from members who, having expressed an interest in their publications, are finding that they hear no more from the organisation until they are presented with an invoice. The members are not receiving a copy of the publication and when contacting the local leisure centres, doctors surgeries and health centres that should have been receiving the publication it transpires that they know nothing about it.

If you have been contacted by this organisation and are being told that you have a verbal contract with them and that you cannot cancel, please just end the call. Unless you have signed an agreement or contract you are not committed to anything.
The FHT advises its members not to enter into advertising with any of the following organisations.

Authorised Publications
CAS Media
Leisure Medical
lPL Media
MLP Media

The FHT strongly recommends that members do not agree to any advertising or marketing contract or agreement without first confirming the legitimacy of the organisation with the FHT.

FHT members can access some guidelines and a template letter to assist those who have already been contacted by companies and those who may be contacted in the future. Click here >>

If you have experienced mis-selling by advertising companies, please let us know so we can warn your professional colleagues.


Regulator opens register to Microsystems Acupuncture


No more statutory regulation!

The government’s Command Paper ‘Enabling Excellence’ sets out proposals... move away from statutory regulation in preference for enhanced voluntary registers for healthcare professionals.

The Secretary of State plans to establish the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE) as the national accrediting body for health professionals UK-wide who are currently not regulated by statute. Recommendations from the previous Government to regulate certain professions by statute through the Health Professions Council seem no longer likely to be taken forward. It is expected that the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), the voluntary regulator for complementary therapists, will seek accreditation by the CHRE to achieve protection of title for complementary therapists via this route. 

The FHT welcomes the Secretary recognising that a more flexible system is needed to enable employers of professional therapists to assure themselves that prospective employees have met adequate standards of training and competence and to enable individual members of the public who seek care directly from unregulated self-employed professionals to assure themselves about their standards. The FHT has always believed that professional therapists, who are not regulated in law, should be able to demonstrate, if they wish to, that they meet high standards through a voluntary register supported by their professional association.

This paper confirms that it is extremely unlikely that the Government will announce the introduction of statutory regulation of sports therapists in the UK which has been circulating within the industry over the past few months. While the FHT supports the protection of title for sports therapists we recommend that this should be enabled through voluntary regulation rather than statutory regulation.

To read the full paper presented by the Secretary of State for Health go to

Secretary of State for Health

Inspired by the work you do?

Bharti Vyas, celebrity holistic therapist, is waiting to share all her business success with you.

You too can now introduce the highly acclaimed BVM system into your business.

The Bharti Vyas Method of Holistic Therapy (BVM) is a holistic therapy system, which envelopes therapies and gives each person the tools they need to control their specific health and well being. The system is unique, in that it is tailor made to each client’s needs.

This year, a select few will be able to qualify as practitioners of the Bharti Vyas Method with the support of the Federation of Holistic Therapists.

For full details and to book, visit

FHT, Bharti Vyas

2011 Budget

Some of the business key points from the 2011 Budget include...

l The main rate of corporation tax will be reduced by 2% from 1 April, to 26%. The Budget promises a further reduction to 23% by 2014

l Plans to merge income tax and National Insurance Contributions (NIC) will be subject to a consultation this year. The Government says it believes such a change will "remove distortions, reduce burdens on business and improve fairness"

l Some 43 tax reliefs "whose rationale is no longer valid" will be abolished as part of measures to simplify the tax system

l Firms with fewer than ten staff will be exempt from all new domestic regulation for three years from 1 April

l The lifetime limit on capital gains qualifying for Entrepreneur's Relief will be doubled to £10 million - a move the Government hopes will make the UK "a more attractive location for entrepreneurs"

l Small Business Rate Relief will be extended until 1 October 2012

l A total of 21 new Enterprise Zones will be created, ten of which the Chancellor revealed will be located in the following Local Enterprise Partnerships: Birmingham and Solihull, Leeds, Liverpool, Greater Manchester, Tees Valley, North Eastern, West of England, the Black Country, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, and Sheffield

l There will be 50,000 additional apprenticeship places over the next four years, a fifth of which will be advanced and higher apprenticeships set up by businesses with Government support

l New tax avoidance measures will be introduced which the Government hopes will recoup around £4 billion over the current Parliament, including proposals to tackle artificial tax avoidance schemes and disguised remuneration

l The VAT registration threshold will increase to £73,000 from £70,000. The deregistration threshold will also go up from £68,000 to £71,000

l The rate of income tax relief under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) will increase from 20% to 30% as part of measures designed to encourage investment in businesses with high-growth potential

l The SME rate for research and development (R&D) tax credits will increase to 200% from April this year, and 225% from April 2012, along with a simplification of the schemes

l The controversial IR35 tax rules for freelancers survived the Budget, as the Government said that abolishing it would be too costly. However, it has promised "clear improvements" in the way it is administered

l The VAT loophole allowing retailers to zero-rate goods such as DVDs by dispatching them from the Channel Islands will be tightened. The Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR) threshold will be reduced from £18 to £15 from November 2011, and the Government will discuss with the European Commission measures "to limit the scope of the relief so that it can no longer be exploited for a purpose it was not intended for".

The full Budget report and associated notices are available from HM Treasury at:

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has a summary of the measures introduced by the Budget in terms of tax, National Insurance and VAT at:

HM Treasury, HMRC

Beware of advertising mis-selling

The FHT continues to be made aware of companies who are making unsolicited telephone calls to therapists...

...selling advertising space on doctors’ appointment cards. The practices being experienced by members include;

l Pressure selling
l Not being told that they are entering a 2 year rolling contract
l Not being told that there is a 27 month notice period
l Being incorrectly told the local surgery has agreed to use the service
l Having to pay a deposit to secure space before you have seen the copy
l Not being shown artwork before going to print
l Being told that there will be only one professional therapist per leaflet/card
l Being told that pharmacy leaflets will be given out with every  prescription

The FHT advises its members not to enter into an advertising agreement or contract with companies selling pharmacy and surgery appointment card advertising unless you understand the following.

l How long is the contract/agreement?
l What are the cancellation terms of the contract?
l Are you able to check and approve the artwork?
l Do you have written confirmation that you will be the only professional therapists advertising on the leaflet/card?
l Have you confirmation from the local surgery/pharmacy that it has agreed to advertise your services?
l Is the 'local' surgery/pharmacy actually local?
l Can you pay by credit card so you can seek redress from the credit card provider for any provable breach of contract or misrepresentation by the supplier? 

Remember, once you have entered into a legally binding agreement/contract it is very difficult to be released from its terms and conditions without paying the full contract fee which in many cases can be up to 2 years in fees. If you are at all uncertain about the professionalism of the advertising company then play safe - do not entertain them!

The FHT advises its members not to enter into pharmacy and surgery appointment card advertising with CAS Media, Leisure Medical, lPL Media or MLP Media following complaints made by members.

The FHT strongly recommends that members do not agree to any advertising or marketing contract or agreement without first confirming the legitimacy of the organisation with the FHT.

FHT members can access some guidelines and a template letter to assist those who have already been contacted by companies and those who may be contacted in the future. Click here >>

If you have experienced mis-selling by advertising companies, please let us know so we can warn your professional colleagues.


New cancer strategy announced

New plans to transform cancer care and drive up England’s cancer survival rates.
New plans to transform cancer care and drive up England’s cancer survival rates by an extra 5,000 lives by 2014/15 were announced by the government in January.

Improving outcomes: a strategy for cancer - which will receive £750 million in funding over four years – sets out a range of actions to improve cancer outcomes, including:

• Diagnosing cancer earlier;
• Helping people to live healthier lives to reduce preventable cancers;
• Screening more people;
• Introducing new screening programmes; and
• Ensuring all patients have access to the best possible treatment, care and support.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, the National Clinical Director for Cancer, said: ‘We know the main reason our survival rates lag behind other countries is because too many people are diagnosed late. This is why our strategy focuses on earlier diagnosis, which we will achieve through raising the public’s awareness of the signs and symptoms of care and also providing better access to diagnostic tests.

‘But improving outcomes for people with cancer isn’t just about improving survival rates. It is also about improving patients’ experience of care and the quality of life for cancer survivors and our strategy also sets out how that will be tackled.’

In section five of Improving outcomes: a strategy for cancer, it is stated that: ‘The NCSI [National Cancer Survivorship Initiative] has set out five shifts necessary to achieve improved care and support for cancer survivors’, the first of which is: ‘a cultural shift in the approach to care and support for people affected by cancer, to a greater focus on recovery, health and well-being after cancer treatment’.

A full copy of ‘Improving outcomes: a strategy for cancer’ can be downloaded from
Department of Health

Combined support in Scotland to lose weight and quit smoking

Dieters can access smoking cessation support.

In January, the Scottish government teamed up with Scottish Slimmers so that dieters can access smoking cessation support at their weekly slimming classes.

In Scotland, a wide range of support is already available to those looking to stop smoking, from face-to-face or online services and DVDs, to nicotine replacement therapy and group classes.

Commenting on the initiative, Public Health Mininster, Shona Robinson, said: ‘This year we have teamed up with Scottish Slimmers to help people quit at the same time as they’re shedding pounds. This is particularly relevant as many people fear they’ll actually put on weight if they give up smoking, so might put off the decision to quit’.

The Scottish Government

Global report on substance misuse

Information was collected from 147 countries, representing 88 per cent of the world population.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has just published the first ever global report that compares the availability and range of resources available to help prevent and treat substance use disorders.

Information was collected from 147 countries, representing 88 per cent of the world population.

Key findings of the report include:

• Alcohol use disorders are more prevalent than drug use disorders;
• Globally, 39 deaths per 100,000 members of the population are attributable to the use of alcohol (35/39) and illicit drugs (4/39);
• Generally, alcohol and drug use disorders are more common in males than females;
• Less than half the countries surveyed have a specific budget allocated to treatment;
• In the majority of countries, psychiatrists, GPs and addictologists/narcologists are the health professionals primarily responsible for the treatment of substance use disorders;
• Nearly 75 per cent of countries have nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) that focus on alcohol prevention, and 81 per cent that focus on drug use prevention;
• Ex- or recovering addicts provide formal care for people with substance use disorders in nearly 60 per cent of the countries that took part in the survey (most common in high-income countries).

A copy of the full report can be accessed from the WHO website – see URL below.

BMJ ( and ‘The Atlas on Substance Use (2010): Resources for the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Use Disorder’ (


Parkinson’s awareness

Monday 11 April to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease amongst health and social care professionals.

Parkinson’s Awareness Week 2011 will take place from Monday 11 April to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease amongst health and social care professionals, and how the Parkinson's UK charity can support these professionals.

During the week, national and regional activities will run throughout the UK to promote the different ways that people can get involved, including research projects and campaigns to help improve the lives of people affected by Parkinson’s.

For more information, visit

Parkinson’s UK

Cherry juice and recovery from exercise

May help muscles to recover more quickly after exercise.
A recent study suggests that regularly drinking cherry juice concentrate may help muscles to recover more quickly after exercise.

Researchers at London South Bank University gave 10 trained athletes one ounce of concentrate, twice a day for seven days, before and after strength training. The athletes’ recovery rate after exercise when drinking the concentrate was significantly faster than when they drank other juices.

The researchers believe it may be the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action of compounds in the fruit known as anthocyanins that are responsible for the positive effects.

The Telegraph

Health Protection Agency (HPA) to investigate fish pedicures

Investigating safety following concerns about potential infection risk.
The treatment, which has become increasingly popular, involves clients immersing their feet in water filled with Garra rufa fish – a small, toothless carp that nibbles away the client’s dead skin.

A HPA Spokesperson person said: ‘Following a number of enquiries to the HPA from local environmental health officers over the past six months, the agency is currently investigating if there are any potential risks of infection associated with the commercial use of fish spa pedicures in the UK.

‘Alongside colleagues in environmental health, Health Protection Scotland and the Health and Safety Laboratory, the HPA will examine the most up to date evidence of any possible risks associated with Garra rufa fish pedicures and will publish guidelines that will be available UK-wide’.

According to a report published earlier this week by the BBC, fish spas have been banned in some American states over health and safety concerns.

However, the HPA advises that ‘the HPA and Health Protection Scotland is currently unaware of any cases of infection associated with the use of the fish spas pedicures in the UK’.

FHT comment: The FHT does not currently cover fish spa pedicures for membership and insurance purposes. When the HPA has completed its investigation and published guidelines, we will review covering this particular treatment.
BBC, Health Protection Agency

Campaign to end loneliness

Tackling the negative impact of loneliness in elderly people.

A group of four charities* is hoping to tackle the negative impact of loneliness in elderly people through the Campaign to End Loneliness. As well as raising awareness about loneliness, the campaign hopes to fill the gaps in current interventions, and bring individuals and organisations together in order to help end loneliness in older age.

Research over the past few decades has shown that an average of 10 per cent of older people feel ‘always’ or ‘severely’ lonely, and in some socioeconomic groups and ethnic groups, the prevalence of loneliness has been shown to be much higher.

Those who are divorced, recently widowed or living alone are also more likely to experience intense loneliness. Medical research has shown that there are links between loneliness and health issues such as depression, Alzheimer’s and heart disease.

Those who are elderly and feeling the effects of loneliness, or anyone wishing
to help tackle this problem, can access more information from the Campaign to End Loneliness website

*Age UK Oxfordshire, Counsel and Care, Independent Age and WRVS.

Campaign to End Loneliness

Icy game helps burn patients

Helping burn patients to deal with pain when they are having hospital treatment.

A virtual reality computer game, set in an icy canyon, is helping burn patients to deal with pain when they are having hospital treatment.

It is believed that SnowWorld, developed in the United States, is particularly effective because it puts a ‘curtain between the patient and reality’. Although the brain still receives the same level of pain signals while the patient is playing the game, these do not register as the brain can only deal with so much information at any one time.



Advertising your therapies?

This is a members-only item. 

Please login at the top-right of this page.

Herbal medicine practitioners to be regulated

The Government is to create a new register for herbal practitioners.

The Government is to create a new register for herbal medicine practitioners that will allow them to continue supplying unlicensed medicines after April this year, when an EU Directive had threatened to put many out of business. The Directive would have made it illegal for practitioners to supply unlicensed manufactured herbal and Chinese remedies. However, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said that the Government wanted the public to continue to have access to these products.


To read Mr Lansley's ministerial statement >>

The Press Association

Probiotics relieve upset stomachs

Probiotics may help to reduce the duration of infectious diarrhoea by approximately 25 hours.
A comprehensive review has revealed that probiotics may help to reduce the duration of infectious diarrhoea by approximately 25 hours, in comparison to a placebo or no treatment.

The findings from 63 studies carried out all around the world involving more than 8,000 participants helped researchers to investigate the use of specific probiotic bacterial cultures in the treatment of acute diarrhoea (lasting less than two weeks).

Although the studies in the review involved a range of probiotic types, strain and doses, most tested live preparations of lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria. More trials are needed to determine the use of particular probiotic regimens in certain groups, as there were many variables among the different studies.

Source: Allen SJ et al. Probiotics for treating acute infectious diarrhoea. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003048.pub3 (
Allen SJ et al, Cochrane Database

Innovative treatment trial for hypertension

A small study explored an alternative treatment for people with hypertension.
A small study explored an alternative treatment for people with hypertension who do not respond to conventional drug treatment.

The simple surgical procedure involves radio waves deactivating nerves in the kidneys, which then appears to increase blood flow to the organ and decrease the hormonal activity of rennin, which is linked to high blood pressure.

The 52 people who had the surgical treatment showed a significantly greater reduction in blood pressure over a six-month period, in comparison to the 54 people who carried on with the normal drug treatment. While no serious side-effects were apparent during the six-month follow-up, more trials are required to monitor the treatment’s long-term safety and efficacy.

Source: Simplicity HTN-2 Investigators. Renal sympathetic denervation in patients with treatment-resistant hypertension (The Symplicity HTN-2 Trial): a randomised controlled trial. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)62039-9. The Lancet (
Simplicity HTN-2 Investigators, The Lancet

Lycopene and bone loss

A recent study compared the effects of lycopene supplements and tomato juice on chemical markers of bone loss.

A recent study compared the effects of lycopene supplements and tomato juice on chemical markers of bone loss in postmenopausal women.

Sixty women, aged between 50 and 60, who had been postmenopausal for at least a year, were randomly assigned to one of four groups - 15mg of lycopene from regular tomato juice; 35mg of lycopene from lycopene-rich tomato juice; 15mg lycopene supplement; and a placebo capsule with no lycopene.

The women took their assigned supplement twice a day for four months and had blood samples taken prior to the study, at two months and at four months. At the end of the study, the three lycopene supplementation groups showed reduced levels of
N-telopeptide in the blood (an increase in concentration indicates bone is being broken down), while the placebo group showed increased levels.

The researchers reported that the reduction in N-telopeptide was similar to that associated with calcium and vitamin D supplementation. More research is needed to investigate whether lycopene has any effect on bone mineral density.

Source: Mackinnon ES et al. Supplementation with the antioxidant lycopene significantly decreases oxidative stress parameters and the bone resorption marker N-telopeptide of type I collagen in postmenopausal women. Osteoporosis International. DOI: 10.1007/s00198-010-1308-0 (

Mackinnon ES et al, Osteoporosis International

Sleep duration to live longer

A long-running study has suggested that a moderate sleep duration may help women to live longer.
A long-running study has suggested that a moderate sleep duration may help women to live longer. The research involved nearly 450 women – aged 50 to 81 - wearing a wrist-mounted activity monitor at night for an initial assessment of sleep patterns, with follow-up procedures continued for up to 14 years.

Results suggested that those women who slept a moderate amount (five to six-and-a-half hours) lived longer than those who slept a shorter or longer amount of time. The researchers estimated that women who slept less than five hours a night had a 61 per cent chance of survival at the end of the follow-up, in comparison to an estimated 78 per cent for those who slept longer than six and a half hours, and 90 per cent for those who slept in between the two durations.

However, other factors that may have impacted the survival rates were not accounted for.

Source: Kripte DF et al. Mortality related to actigraphic long and short sleep. Sleep Medicine 2010. DOI:10.1016/j.sleep.2010.04.016 (
Kripte DF et al

Diets to maintain weight loss

The risk of developing colorectal cancer may be reduced by lifestyle changes.
A study that compared five diets for the maintenance of weight loss suggests a moderate increase in protein and modest reduction in the glycemic index may be the most effective.

The randomised trial involved more than 700 overweight participants who had lost at least eight per cent of their initial weight through the same low-calorie diet. Randomly assigned to one of five diets that varied in protein content and gylcemic index (a measure of a food’s effect on blood glucose), participants – who could eat as much as they liked from their allocated diet - were monitored for weight gain over a 26-week period.

Of the five diets, the research revealed a high-protein-low-glycemic index (GI) diet may be the most effective for maintaining weight loss. Weight regain was 0.93kg less in groups following a high-protein diet than in those on a low-protein diet, and 0.95kg less in those on a low-GI diet than those on a high-GI diet. Significant weight regain was only associated with a low-protein-high-GI diet.

Source: NHS Behind the Headlines (; Meinert Larsen et al. Diets with high or low protein content and glycemic index for weight-loss maintenance. New England Journal of Medicine. 2010; 363:2102-2113 (
NHS, Meinert Larsen et al, New England Journal of Medicine

Lifestyle risk factors for colorectal cancer

The risk of developing colorectal cancer may be reduced by lifestyle changes.
The risk of developing colorectal cancer may be reduced by the implementation of five lifestyle changes – reducing alcohol intake, increasing exercise, cutting back on red meat, controlling waist size, and giving up smoking – according to new research.

The Diet, Cancer and Health Cohort Study followed more than 55,000 people, between 50 and 64 years of age with no personal history of cancer, for ten years, monitoring whether lifestyle risk factors affected cancer incidence rate. At the start of the study, each participant was attributed a score on the lifestyle index scale, according to number of lifestyle areas (e.g. alcohol consumption, diet, physical activity, etc) that met recommendations of the World Health Organisation, World Cancer Research Fund, and the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations. The higher the score, the healthier the lifestyle.

Results suggested that higher scores on the lifestyle index scale were associated with a lower incidence of colorectal cancer during the ten year follow-up period. The researchers estimated that the number of cancer cases could have been reduced by
13 per cent if every participant had followed the health recommendations for one lifestyle risk area, with an additional 10 per cent reduction in cancer incidence rate if participants had followed recommendations in all five areas.

Source: Johnsen, NF et al. Association of adherence to lifestyle recommendations and risk of colorectal cancer: a prospective Danish cohort study. British Medical Journal. BMJ 2010; 341:c5504 doi: 10.1136/bmj.c5504 (
Johnsen, NF et al, British Medical Journal

Exercise and the immune system

Vitamin B may slow down the rate of brain atrophy (shrinkage) in people with mild cognitive impairment.
Research has shown that moderate exercise may strengthen the immune system and potentially reduce the risk of upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) such as coughs and colds.

The study involved more than 1,000 adults between 18 and 85 years of age, who were monitored daily for URTI symptoms over a period of twelve weeks, either between January and April (winter group) or August and November (autumn group). Of these two groups, participants were divided into three different groups depending on self-proclaimed fitness levels (low, medium, and high), and then divided into a further three groups according to self-reported frequency of weekly aerobic exercise (once a week or less, one to four times a week, five or more times a week).

Combined results from the winter and autumn groups suggested that the participants’ reported exercise and fitness levels were associated with the frequency and severity of URTI symptoms. Factors that may have affected the results, such as age, smoking, and stress, were taken into account. People who reported doing aerobic exercise five or more times a week had 43 per cent fewer days of cold symptoms – with symptoms that were 32 per cent less severe – than those who said they exercised once a week or less.

Source: Nieman DC et al. Upper respiratory tract infection is reduced in physically fit and active adults. British Journal of Sports Medicine. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2010.077875; NHS Behind the Headlines (
Nieman DC et al, British Journal of Sports Medicine, NHS
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