Choosing a complementary therapist

It’s important to use a registered practitioner. There are several organisations that regulate complementary therapists but registration is not compulsory in the UK. Therapists volunteer to join the register. Those who are members of these organisations have met a required national standard of practice. They may have a quality mark displayed on a certificate of qualification, or in their place of work.

Regulatory organisations will be able to provide you with a list of registered therapists.

When choosing a therapist, you should:

  • always use a qualified therapist who belongs to a professional body – ask the organisation about the level of qualification their practitioners have
  • check if the organisation has a code of practice and ethics, and a disciplinary and complaints procedure (reputable organisations will have these in place)
  • ask the practitioner how many years of training they’ve had
  • and how long they’ve been practising
  • ask what training they have done around complementary therapies and cancer
  • ask if they have indemnity insurance (in case of harm from complementary therapy side effects)
  • be careful not to be misled by false promises – no trustworthy therapist would ever claim to be able to cure cancer remember that some health professionals, such as doctors nurses and physiotherapists, are trained in complementary therapies – so it’s worth checking what services your hospital provides first.