2019 FHT Conference promotes research, best practice and positive body image

This November, the FHT’s highly acclaimed annual conference focused on ways to support the integrated healthcare agenda – from building an evidence base for complementary therapy interventions, to looking at how therapists can help to promote positive body image and esteem in their clients.

Dr John Hughes, director of research at the Royal London Hospital of Integrated Healthcare, UCLH NHS Trust, and co-chair of the Research Council for Complementary Medicine, got the programme underway with a presentation about patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) and how these can be used to evaluate what’s important to the client and whether the treatments are helping to improve their health and wellbeing.

Delegates then heard from Dr Fiona Holland, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Derby. Fiona talked about the impact of negative body image across different populations and shared some startling statistics, such as 54% of women and 24% of men feeling depressed about their bodies and nearly a third of women and girls wanting to look more like models featured in magazines. She urged delegates, ‘If we want to promote positive body esteem in our clients, we need to start with ourselves and how we view our own bodies. We need to be authentic’.

Gwyn Featonby and Sarah Grant, award-winning team members from the NHS Natural Health School, then provided an insight into how they developed the complementary therapy service based at Harrogate District Hospital and the first NHS-approved and owned school for therapists.

This was followed by a presentation by Dr Laura Marshall-Andrews, GP and founder of the Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre, who champions integrated healthcare at her own practice, and finally, Suzanne Ruggles, MFHT, who set up the Full Circle Fund, providing evidence-based support in hospitals to those facing a life-threatening or life-limiting illness.

The day’s programme was then rounded off by conference host, Janey Lee Grace — founder of imperfectlynatural.com and a regular presenter on BBC Radio 2 — announcing the winners of the 2019 FHT Excellence Awards, which serve to recognise those raising the bar in therapy training and practice.

Beauty Therapist of the Year

2018 FHT Excellence Awards winners

Complementary Therapist of the Year
Winner: Jackie Hamilton
For establishing TherapyAid, which provides free complementary therapy support to unpaid carers in Norwich, and promoting integrated healthcare in her local community
Finalists: Rebecca Ayres, Julie Crossman, Emi Howe, Lorraine Millard, Louise Summerscales

Beauty Therapist of the Year
Winner: Joanna Taplin
For providing natural, organic and sustainable beauty at her salon, Sunshine for the Soul
Finalists: Alison Day and Fiona Murphy

Sports Therapist of the Year
Winner: Rebecca Ayres
For supporting athletes training for the Invictus Games with ScarWork therapy
Finalists: Alexandra Fraser and Emily Pollington

Local Group Coordinator of the Year
Winner: Hazel Tudor
For the quality and popularity of the meetings she organises for her FHT Local Group in Waterlooville, Hampshire
Finalists: Dee Kelsall and Carina Stinchcombe

Student of the Year
Winner: Elle Bussey
For developing an oil on canvas foot chart to aid her studies while training in reflexology
Finalists: Samantha Killian and Philip Norton

Tutor of the Year
Winner: Carol Samuel
For developing accredited training courses that inspire students and give credibility to the reflexology treatments they provide
Finalists: Katherine Creighton Crook and Marie Duggan

Announcing the 2020 FHT Conference: Sustainable Health and Beauty

The FHT Conference is a celebration of innovation and excellence in the therapy industry. In 2020, the event will focus on how therapists can support sustainable living and work practices in an ever-changing landscape. Join us for two days of inspiring expert speakers, a gala dinner and CPD training to explore sustainable health, and what this means to you and your clients.

Look out for updates at fht.org.uk/2020-conference