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Student and Training FAQs

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Student and Training FAQs

Note: Some bits have been collected over time and exam boards, policies and all sorts change or may vary from one course provider to another, so don't take it for granted this is all the most current and up to date information for the course you're after.

Ok yet another post I'm going to cobble together bit by bit.. few of the most frequently asked questions on this forum, check back from time to time and you should see this one grow. If you have any you think need adding post here and we'll try and make this a good first stop for everyone.

You may not agree with all the bits I put on here, I'm going to primarily copy comments from other students or reword them in order to get this up and running. I've not been on all the courses myself and a lot of what's about to be posted is personal opinion and experience of others, so if I'm wrong, let me know and apologies if I've transferred something in error. Oh and it's not complete either, so any bits I've missed lemme know!

Which qualifications are the best?
ITEC and VTCT (IIHT/IHBC/NVQs) are well recognised and available at many colleges and privte schools over the country. ITEC and VTCT both have exams at the end and require students to have completed a number of case studies and practical examinations.

I want to work abroad, which qualifications should I obtain?
ITEC is widely accepted (Africa, Australia, New Zealand and most European countries)and VTCT exams are becoming increasingly acceptable abroad, there are many other examining bodies which are recognised worldwide but if you have any doubts contact the examining body and your insurer and check this with them. You may find that you need to take out local insurance in the country you are working in in order to practice.
For countries such as France you may need to obtain a medical qualification for therapies such as aromatherapy.

I am about to start practice, do I need a licence?
This is not a requirement in the UK although some local authorities require it. Contact your local council and check with them to ensure you are acting within the law.

What is a contractual agreement with a client?
A contractual agreement is important because it ensures that both client and therapist act within agreed terms. Often the agreement is signed off as part of the consultation. This also ensures you act knowing all contraindications, and with agreement over what is expected during the treatment and that aftercare is also agreed.
If a salon says that it will provide an aromatherapy massage, lasting for 1Hr 20 mins at a price of £35.00 and then gives just a basic massage with no essential oils and the massage lasts just 1 hour, but they still charge £35.00 they have broken the agreement between the client and the salon.

I want to train in Holistic Therapies how can I fund it?
Some courses are subsidised by the government, others are not (primarily private schools. If you are on income support or other benefits you may be entitled to a reduction in course fees. In other cases you may be able to apply for a career development loan (CDL).

I am about to start a new course - what uniform do I need?
This will vary from one college to another, some will stipulate that you have to wear a uniform purchased from the school itself.
Long hair should normally be tied back regardless for hygiene reasons.

What can I do to relax - or what can I tell my client to do to relieve his or her stress?
gentle exercises, stretches
epsom salts (water not suppose to be too hot)
breathing through abdomen/using diaphgram
stillpoin inducer (two tennis balls in a sock placed under the occiput for up to 20 min)

What is a non-effective treatment?
E.g. A client has been coming to you for massage for some time yet not achieving any good results, and you suspect an underlying structural problem , in which case the massage is proving non-effective - there fore you might want to advise the client to cease massage for a while and refer to an osteopath etc.
cases where massage would not give the desired effects i.e. weight loss
Pain/stiffness that is due to skeletal misalignment not simply muscular tension - refer to an osteopath or chiropractor :massage can ease tense muscles but cannot stop them recurring if there is and

Reproductive issues - refer to accupuncturist or reflexologist reducing stress will help if there is no physical problem but massage cannot address other problems
Weight management - counselling or dietary advice ie kneading can help tone an area (cellulite)but will not shift fat.
Those who are on a poor diet /do not drink enough water - massage will make them feel better temporalily but they need to change their habits to see long term benefit
the very unfit - refer to a professional trainer or doctor -need to take exercise - massage can get blood flowing locally but is no replacement for gentle exercise to help move the blood around the body .
You could compile a list of other therapists/practitioners in your area for the other treatments you don't offer. It will be sueful for when you qualify and will show you have really considered this .

I am training at the moment, do I need insurance, if so, where from?
Some courses such as AOR reflexology will require you to have insurance with them for the duration of your course to cover your case studies. Some training providers will also require this. You are best to check with your school or college about this.

I am a student - can I charge for treatments?
When you are training you are normally not covered to practice. If you have insurance you will be insured as a student and not a professional in this particular therapy so best not to charge. In some cases you may be able to charge cost price for equipment used such as oils or ear candles.

I want to study body massage, do I need an anatomy and physiology qualification?
You do not always need a qualification in A&P to attend a course, but if you wish to practice you will normally need to complete a level 3 certification.

Where can I study Hopi Ear Candling?
Linda Stokes -
Barnfield College, New Bedford Road, Luton

I want to study massage in Manchester, where can I go?
Sandra Day School of Health Studies in Rochdale (01706-750302)

I failed my exam - will I have to take the same paper again?
Normally there are a number of papers in circulation so it is unlikely you will take the same paper again for final exams. In some VTCT courses if you fail one of the interim exams, you will be given that mini-paper again for completion, in some cases you are given three chances to pass.
ITEC and the AOR often let you retake your final exam once as long as you have passed your case studies, and after that you would need to etake the entire course.

What is body language?
Body language is a non verbal form of communication that actually tells you far far more than words.
Body language is the nonverbal, usually unconscious, communication through the use of postures, gestures, facial expressions, and the like.

I have done a VTCT course how long will it take to get my certificate?
This will vary from one establishment to another, some will take 6 weeks, others up to 9. If you need notification from your college that you have passed the course for insurance purposes they can be produce a letter stating this for you.

Where can I get insurance?
IPTI - <a class="go2wpf-bbcode" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href=" ">

Where can I buy a uniform?
Inline 01483 281205
Aston and Fincher
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Alexandra workwear

After I pass will I have letters after my name?
Yes. Most courses will entitle you to use a specific acronym. Some governing bodies will let you do this as long as you are a member.
If you're in the FHT and IIHHT - IIHHT, MICHT

6 Replies
Sarah Says Relax
Posts: 120
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Joined: 16 years ago

RE: Student and Training FAQs

Hello there. Just wanted to say how useful this information has been. You've answered some questions there that I've had floating around in my head for a bit! I've only just joined the site today and although I've not actually started my course yet, I've found it really helpful and have a feeling I'll be spending a fair amount of time on here!

I've posted a message in the new members forum. Not sure if I've posted it in the correct place, but was wondering if I could be cheeky and ask your opinion on my query? 😉


Sarah Louise

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Joined: 17 years ago

RE: Student and Training FAQs

I notice you are in 'Sunny Wolverhampton'! I am studying in Henley-in-Arden with Warwickshire college, I really am not happy with the course, as you may see in some of my other posts, so I won't go on about it. Do you know of any good private colleges in the area were I can domodular study once I have my basic Beauty therapy NVQ level 2 qualification? I would really like to move on to more Holistic based therapies, any info you have would be really useful, thanks,
Michelle x
(P.S. I already have A+P level 3)

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Topic starter
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Joined: 19 years ago

RE: Student and Training FAQs

Heya, I am indeed in sunny Wolverhampton.

Try Athena School in Willenhall, they don't do beauty, but they do do holistics. [link=][/link]- it's run be Debra Goldston. They have a pretty good choice there and the quality of teaching is excellent. The courses usually lead to ITEC where possible. There's also Walsall Hospice, also in sort of the same area, but once again the teaching is excellent. Lynne Hancher teaches there, she trained me in Reflexology and she makes the learning lots of fun.

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which course?


I have been looking through these threads but I am still confused!

I am thinking of starting to do a Diploma in Aromatherapy and/or Reflexology. I have seen a course starting soon for the ITEC qualification, and another which is through a smaller school which is not an ITEC course, but is accredited.
There is a big difference in price and I wanted to know if ITEC really is worth it for these courses?
Does anyone have experience of this?

Many thanks for any help you can give me - I am getting a bit confused!

Kirsten Dow
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Joined: 2 years ago

I am looking to purchase the Helen McGuinness Hot Stone therapy DVD's, however I can't seem to source them anywhere! Does anyone have any suggestions on where I can purchase them? I have tried the usual Amazon and Ebay etc. I have also emailed the Helen McGuinness website, just waiting on a response. Just wanted to see if you guys had any ideas! Thanks!

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The courses usually lead to ITEC where possible.