Local therapist recognised with excellence award

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Dorset-based reflexologist, Elle Bussey, has won the title of 2019 FHT Student of the Year at a national awards ceremony

The award was presented to Elle at the 2019 FHT Conference: Supporting the Integrated Healthcare Agenda, held at The King’s Fund, London, on 29 November.

Organised by the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT), the Excellence Awards aim to bring much deserved recognition to high-calibre practitioners, students and tutors working in the fields of complementary, holistic beauty and sports therapy.

Following in the footsteps of her mother and grandfather, Elle decided to pursue a career in holistic therapy. Initially interested in learning about herbs and plant essential oils, she found that she was being increasingly drawn to reflexology, a complementary therapy that aims to restore balance to the whole body by working different reflexes on the feet. Elle researched the subject extensively and with some gentle encouragement from her family and friends, she decided to embark on a reflexology diploma at Bournemouth & Poole College.

While studying, Elle found anatomy and physiology (A&P) to be her greatest challenge, and her struggle to find a chart with the anatomy illustrated accurately on both feet, along with corresponding chakra colours, prompted her to create her own foot map using oils on canvas (see opposite). Elle found it not only helped to enhance her own learning of A&P, it improved the flow of her treatments, as she was able to visualise each body area on the feet more clearly as she worked. She has also found the detailed map a useful tool to use during her treatments, when clients asked questions about a specific area she had worked.

Now a qualified and fully insured reflexologist, Elle has refined her foot map and now sells copies online. She hopes that other reflexologists will find it a useful resource, as well as colourful piece of artwork that can be displayed in therapy rooms.

Speaking about her win, Elle says: ‘I am delighted and so grateful to have won the 2019 FHT Student of the Year award. Winning this means the world to me and I am honoured to be recognised by such an organisation. I feel thankful and inspired to have received this confirmation and I'm very excited to continue my work in developing reflexology maps’.

Christopher Byrne, President of the FHT, says: ‘These awards are designed to recognise individuals who are excelling in therapy practice and education and are an inspiration to others. Winners like Elle should be exceptionally proud to be selected from a pool of high-calibre peers, in awards that are recognised across the industry. Well done.’


Picture caption: Elle Bussey (centre) receives her 2019 FHT Complementary Therapist of the Year award from FHT Vice President and Excellence Awards judge, Gerri Moore (left) and BBC 2 radio presenter Janey Lee Grace (right).

For more information, photographs or an interview, please contact:

Karen Young – Editor and Communications Manager  > kyoung@fht.org.uk  > Tel: 023 8062 4376

Notes to editors:

About the FHT Excellence Awards

The FHT Excellence Awards were first launched in 2011 to showcase the enterprising and innovative work being carried out by qualified complementary, holistic beauty and sports therapists, as well as those setting the bar in education.

The 2019 FHT Conference and Excellence Awards were kindly sponsored by: botanica2020, [comfort zone], Integrative Healthcare & Applied Nutrition magazine, Eve Taylor, Physique, Songbird, Urban Veda and Warwick Holistic Health Questionnaire. The event was supported by: College of Medicine and Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.

About the FHT

The Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) is the UK’s leading professional association for complementary, holistic beauty and sports therapists, and has been developing and promoting the highest standards in therapy education and practice for more than 50 years.

The FHT runs the largest Accredited Register of complementary therapists to have been independently accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, a body accountable to parliament. The Accredited Registers programme is government-backed and ensures the public, care commissioners and employers can choose a non-statutory regulated health practitioner with confidence.

The FHT is happy to advise or comment to the media on any matters relating to complementary, holistic beauty and sports therapy, including training standards, safe and responsible practice, and regulation.