Reflexology and massage most popular complementary therapies

Reflexology and body massage are the most popular complementary therapies demanded by clients, according to new research by The Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT).

The FHT’s member survey found that reflexology treatments were the most in-demand ritual (51%), followed closely by body massage (48%) and aromatherapy (36%).

73% of respondents said support for long-term health conditions was the most common reason behind clients seeking these treatments, with cancer, arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and dementia the issues most commonly cited.

The survey also found that 86% of complementary therapists are self-employed and nearly half (47%) offer treatments out of their own home. Word-of-mouth is proving to be the most powerful marketing tool for most, with 84% saying this method has generated them a healthy number of new clients. The biggest concern raised by those surveyed was the standards in therapy practice and training, with 40% worried they wont be taken seriously by medical and other healthcare professionals.  

FHT president Jennifer Wayte said: “The survey demonstrates two things; that complementary therapies offer wellbeing benefits which extend beyond the traditional ‘pampering’ and that consumer awareness of standards should be a key concern of the industry.

“While we never claim that complementary therapies can cure or treat medical conditions they support those affected, helping them to manage their symptoms and cope with the emotional and physical challenges they face on a day-to-day basis.”