20% off all voucher books for a limited time only

Offer your clients the perfect gift for friends and family this Christmas. With £5, £10 and £20 denominations these unique books are a great way to promote your business. 

Order here before 14 November 2014

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Behind the headlines

NHS choices looks at recent reports into the effect of broccoli supplement, sulforaphane, on autism following a study by the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, the University of Massachusetts and The John Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The study found the symptoms of ASD improved in two-thirds of adolescent and young men who took a sulforaphane supplement.

In the randomised controlled trial, 26 men with moderate to severe ASD took sulforaphane, and nine took a placebo, for 18 weeks.

Improvements were seen in the majority of people taking sulforaphane in terms of irritability, lethargy, stereotypy, hyperactivity, awareness, communication, motivation and mannerisms.

The study was limited by the small number of participants, and the results may not be generalisable to all people with ASD, as it was conducted on a group of young white males.

Still, the results are both intriguing and encouraging, as there is currently no effective drug-based treatment for improving ASD symptoms.

Larger studies on more diverse groups of people will be required to assess the benefits and potential side effects of sulforaphane, which could be recommended for people with ASD.

Full details

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Quote of the week. Do you have a favourite quote or saying?

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Beauty salons should consider breaking with stereotypes, says audio branding specialist

A study conducted by PH Media Group has found the typical voice profile used by firms in their audio branding is female and aged 25 to 35.

The most popular voice is also friendly and reassuring in tone, helping to convey a sense of reliable service and specialist expertise.

But audio branding specialist PH Media Group advises beauty salons to consider breaking with stereotypes where appropriate and choose branding that most accurately reflects their company and its values.

"The fact the most popular voice used in the beauty trade is male will come as no surprise, given the typical customer base," said Dan Lafferty, Director of Voice and Music at PH Media Group.

“A female voice offers a soft, soothing presence, especially when combined with relaxed music, so can help to instil customers with a sense of ease and openness. But that doesn’t mean it will necessarily be the best fit across the board and companies should use a voice which best reflects their products, customer base and service proposition.

"A masculine voice is typically perceived as authoritative, so might be deployed to convey assured expertise, which could be useful in a trade that has occasionally been marred by questions over certain treatments."

The research audited the beauty trade’s on-hold marketing - the messages heard by callers when they are put on hold or transferred - to reveal which voice and music is most widely used.

The most popular music tracks were friendly and relaxed in style, designed to reinforce the welcoming, reliable image communicated through the tone of voice.

Many firms opt to use popular music tracks but, due to existing emotional associations, these tracks are often unsuitable in convincing a customer to buy.

"Sound is a powerful emotional sense," added Dan. "People will often attach feelings, both positive and negative, to a piece of commercial music, which will be recalled upon hearing it.

"Placing a piece of commercial music in an on-hold situation, no matter how cheery and upbeat it may seem, is a lottery of the individual’s previous experience of the track. Using commercial music is also a square peg, round hole scenario, taking a piece of music and trying to make it fit a new purpose to convey a message it was never intended to.

"A bespoke music track starts from the ground up, with each element forming or reflecting the brand proposition, and with there being no previous exposure among the client base. The physical attributes of the track - whether major, minor, fast, slow, loud or quiet - are used to communicate emotional meaning, rather than the personal experience of the individual."

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The King’s Fund ‘How healthy are we?’ infographic reports that musculo-skeletal disorders and mental health problems accounted for more than half of years lived with disability in the UK in 2010.

Access the guide, which contains basic facts on the health of England’s population »

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Free book extract

One of the leading advocates of shiatsu, Akinobu Kishi trained with and assisted the founder of zen shiatsu, Shizuto Masunaga, and is widely regarded as the heir to Shizuto’s work. Akinobu developed seiki soho, which takes the practice of shiatsu beyond manual techniques, and in this extract from his book, Sei-Ki: Life in Resonance - The Secret Art of Shiatsu, he explains the spirit and philosophy behind seiki and its connection with shiatsu.

Members, click here to log in and read the extract, and access an exclusive member offer »

With thanks to authors, Akinobu Kishi and Alice Whieldon, and the publishers, Singing Dragon.

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Quote of the week via Kiah at FHT HQ. Do you have a favourite quote or saying?

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Congratulations to first student to win monthly FHT prize draw!

Congratulations to Marta Dominguez Alonso from Londonderry, our first therapy student to win a £25 Gift Card and fob watch, as part of FHT’s 2014/15 Student Package. If you know a therapy student who is not yet a member of FHT, direct them to www.fht.org.uk/student to learn about the benefits of joining, access free learning resources and take part in our monthly prize draws. Terms and conditions apply.

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Base Formula Consultant Aromatherapist, Joannah Metcalfe, writes about the use of black spruce essential oil for its calming properties on the Base Formula blog:

Black Spruce essential oil (Picea mariana) has an exceptionally deep, resinous, rich aroma, with slightly smoky hints and a refreshingly cleansing aroma. It is distilled from the needles and twigs of the Spruce tree – that is native to North America and Canada. Black Spruce has been used for thousands of years – traditionally for respiratory complaints and rheumatic/arthritic conditions. Native Americans also smeared the resin liberally on their skin to help protect them from insect bites. 

Full article 

FHT has teamed up with Base Formula to offer members a special 10% discount on aromatherapy products. Find out more »

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Today is World Mental Health Day – an annual celebration of mental health education, awareness and advocacy. 

In the International Therapist article, State of Mind, Dr Karen Pilkington looks at the evidence base and use of complementary therapies in anxiety and depression. Read the article here

Find out more about World Mental Health Day here

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