The international and sporting work of our members was the theme of our meeting on 1st August in Chichester to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the FHT and also the Olympic Games. As an added bonus we even offered attendees 50% off the entrance fee! There was friendly and enthusiastic atmosphere as 20 members of the group shared stories and techniques which sparked off some really interesting and thought provoking discussion.
We were delighted to hear from five of our members:
- Sarah Williams talked about her work with Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline who organise for children living in the aftermath of the disaster to stay with host families in the UK for four weeks every year. During this time their bodies have a chance to recover from the constant input of contaminated food, water and air so thus boosting their immune system. Sarah told us how she had introduced a successful Story Massage afternoon to the group which helped bring smiles to their faces and encouraged bonding with the host families.
- Eleni Thompson talked about working in a spa in Crete and the difference between attitudes to massage in Great Britain and Greece. Despite high costs of massage, the people in Crete take regular massage to help prevent ill health and block book sessions for several months ahead. However, therapists are so overworked and underpaid that Eleni became so tired she was unable to give an effective treatment. She now has her own room in Crete where she can offer massage without putting too much strain on her own mind and body.
- Rena Kato, an holistic therapist from Japan said that therapists in Japan were also very overworked, many not even having time for a glass of water between clients. Rena, who is currently working as a volunteer masseuse with Havant Football Club, talked about the need for speed and efficiency when working with footballers during the half-time break in the game. She says that during her stay in the UK she has learnt many new techniques and will be able to offer a more varied and individualised treatment when she returns to Japan.
- Mary Atkinson, joint co-ordinator, shared her experiences of using Story Massage with the children who have been so badly affected by the tsunami in Japan last year. Mary travelled to Rikuzentakata, an area devastated by the disaster to join a team of Japanese holistic therapists in April 2012. Despite the language barrier, she found that the healing power of touch communicated respect and hope in a way that words cannot always convey.
- Toni McGloin, joint co-ordinator, helped conclude the evening with a Story Massage she had written especially for the group on an Olympic theme. Toni explained how she uses Story Massage in a local school for children with multiple learning and physical difficulties and finds it helps boost well-being and encourages a calmer, more harmonious atmosphere. For many therapists this was the first time they had participated in this wonderful way of working with basic massage techniques which underpins much of the work of the Massage in Schools Association. Everyone was inspired by this simple form of touch and agreed that it offers many opportunities for working with children and also the elderly.
We were so pleased that so many members joined us for an informative, interactive and inspiring evening in honour of the FHTâ€™s contribution to complementary and beauty therapy for the past 50 years.
Our Next Meeting is onÂ Wednesday 3rd October 2012 (7pm to 9pm) atÂ St Michaelâ€™s Hall, Summersdale Road, Chichester, PO19 6PN when Kim Lovelace with be talking aboutÂ Qigong in Daily Life. You can find out more about our local group by clicking this link – Local FHT Support Group for Therapists. Everyone is always very, very welcome.