Choosing a complementary therapist

There are several organisations in the UK that have registers of complementary therapists. Therapists volunteer to join the register, as registration is not compulsory. The organisations ask that members have met a national standard of practice. They may have a quality mark displayed on a certificate of qualification, or in their place of work. This is different to the way doctors and nurses are registered in the UK. Doctors and nurses must also meet a national standard of practice but it is regulated by law.

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

When choosing a therapist, you should:

  • Remember that some health professionals, such as doctors, nurses and physiotherapists, are trained in complementary therapies – so it is worth checking what services your hospital provides first.
  • Always use a qualified therapist who belongs to a professional body – ask the organisation about the level of qualification their therapists have.
  • Check if the organisation has a code of practice and ethics, and a disciplinary and complaints procedure.
  • Ask how many years of training they have had and how long they have 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.

Near to where I live is a lovely cancer support centre. They offer a range of complementary therapies and you can even just drop in for lunch and a chat.