The APNT is a national multidisciplinary organisation established in 1986 by Mario Paul Cassar DO with the aim of representing practitioners of complementary medicine who have reached the requisite standards of training and education.APNT is approachable and welcomes feedback and enquiries from members and non-members.

We aim to represent our members in educational, professional and political matters. To this end the Association is a member of and plays a very active role in the following professional bodies:

Meet The Team

Brittany Spence

APNT Chair

Brittany Spence was elected as chair of the APNT in 2016, and has been on the exec for 9 years.  She was previously chair of the British Complementary Medicine Association, and still holds a PR role with them.

She has a passion for natural medicine and works diligently to be a catalyst and ambassador in the progress of all complementary medicine by connecting the right key people and creating the link between therapies, research, and government.

By profession, she has practiced as a Massage and Bodywork therapist of over 15 years from the age of 18, and is also a marketing and career consultant to other leading health and wellness professionals, educators, and events around the world.  You can learn more about Brittany’s work at

Ron Mercer was our Chair from 2013 – 16. Ron has been Treasurer of the association since 1993 and was also Chair between 1995 and 1999. His focus has been to support and extend the vision of its founder members to provide a multi-disciplinary representation for qualified therapists, where the emphasis is on standards of training and professionalism.

His experience of the benefits of complementary therapies during a time of personal crisis led to a desire to understand the various approaches in greater depth. His training journey, in parallel with his own personal journey, extended through massage, aromatherapy, counselling, craniosacral therapy and the profound “Journey” led by Brandon Bays.

One of the most rewarding jobs on behalf of the association for Ron is to act as an examiner in Swedish, therapeutic, Hawaiian and Indian head massage and aromatherapy. This gives him a chance to meet the therapists of the future and to learn from each individual, as well as confirming their suitability to become eligible for full membership of the association and professionally represent it to the general public.

Ron Mercer


Emma Cane

General Secretary
& Wales Representative

Hello, Shw’mae! 
I’m Emma. I’m a sports and holistic therapist from Rhoose, South Wales. I originally trained in Sports Massage in 2006/07 at the University of Wales in Cardiff (UWIC), now known as the University of South Wales. Then in 2011, I qualified as a clinical reflexologist at the Inspira Academy in Dinas Powys.
With a thirst for learning, since then I have undertaken a range of CPD training and now provide a range of therapies at my therapy clinic in Barry. I am a mum of 2 (a boy aged 8 and a girl aged 3) and feel I am now finding the right work/ life balance I have wanted.
I previously worked for the Welsh Government for 15 years so I have a good understanding of the workings of Government and devolution. I am a Welsh learner and happy to (try to) communicate in Welsh or English (although nothing too technical, please!)  I will do my best to keep you all informed of the news and updates for Wales as well as highlighting any of the subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) differences to England or the other UK Nations.

Paula began her career in health and sports in 1988. She started as a basketball player in her country’s national team and continued as a coach, with a keen interest and desire to help players recover from injuries and return. in their sport as soon as possible.  She was responsible for the first training programs in sport science of the Business and Technological Education Council (BTEC) in the UK. She then turned her attention to new techniques used to enhance post-injury recovery and improve health. This led her to the Bowen Technique, a neurological and peritoneal approach from Australia, created by Tom Bowen. Always enthusiastic and committed to continuous improvement, she was involved in the management of busy clinics and at the same time raising her young children and returned to teaching under the ECBS model. She has always been distinguished by her passion for a unified healthcare and for models that aim to combine the two fields of alternative medicine and allopathy.

Her collaboration with Steve Porter in the North East of England led her to the development of two major centers called NIHP (Northern Integrative Health Practice), which offer a range of exciting and effective approaches to function and pain, and which have proven that new ideas can deliver with the right elements and the right impetus. At this point, real learning began in collaboration with the NHS England, with the aim of truly integrating human care models, taking into account policies, values, beliefs and complex systems. These centers still operate through the website

In 2015 Paula again focused entirely on the Bowen Technique and managed the Bowen College of Bowen Studies for three years. Today she is involved in the further integration of the individual health sectors internationally, through the Red Flag Programs for Therapists in collaboration with the College of Medicine and with pain management consultants, along with her passion for the Scar Release Technique. McLoughlin (McLoughlin Scar Tissue Release – MSTR), which comes to fill a gap in practical training for many therapists. New ultrasound research provides interesting evidence that demonstrates the positive effects of this technique on many aspects of general health.

Paula loves innovation and fun, and has her own vision for health. It seeks its continuous evolution to provide the best possible services to therapists and the general public. Today it provides programs across the UK and Europe through the website


Paula Esson

APNT Progression
& Northern Ireland Representative

Ruth Duncan

Myofascial Release Consultant

Ruth began her soft-tissue therapy career in the USA in 2000. She has been a pioneer of Myofascial Release (MFR) in the UK and has provided advanced MFR workshops for manual therapists under the name ‘MFR UK’ for 16 years. She has also lectured and taught MFR internationally and is the author of ‘A Hands On Guide to Myofascial Release’ published by Human Kinetics.

Ruth is a founding member of the Fascia Research Society, is a past committee member and consultant for the British Fascia Symposium and has delivered many lectures and workshops at trade shows and conferences. She is Vice-Chair of the Scottish Massage Therapists   Organisation (SMTO) and an executive committee member of The Association of Physical and Natural Therapists (APNT).

Ruth’s own training includes advanced MFR techniques, sports and remedial soft tissue therapy, functional rehabilitation approaches as well as many post graduate CPD workshops. Ruth is also currently undertaking a BSc (Hons) in Health Sciences with the Open University.

Lorna Forrester

Scotland Representative
SMTO Chair

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