Complementary and alternative therapy

Explains what complementary and alternative therapies are, how they are used, and how to find a therapist.

Your stories

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Katie Evans
Posted on 04/12/2013

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Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council

46–48 East Smithfield
020 3668 0406

The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) was set up with government support as the voluntary regulator for complementary healthcare. Practitioners register with the CNHC and go onto a public register.

The government has recommended that GPs recommend CNHC registered practitioners to patients who wish to use these approaches. The CNHC has a list of the therapies that are registered with them.

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

Park House
184 Kennington Park Road
SE11 4BU
0300 500 6184

Keep a register of health professionals who meet their standards for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health. Regulate 15 health professions including arts therapists.

Other forms of regulation

Some therapies have professional associations which are membership organisations. They provide a range of benefits and services for practitioners and act in the interests of the profession. Most have their own codes of practice and registers of professionals who work to those.

If you are thinking about going to a complementary or alternative practitioner, it is always a good idea to ask about their qualifications, professional registration and code of practice before starting a course of treatment.

This information was published in November 2016.

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