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Having complementary therapy? Read our top tips.

massage therapy

From acupuncture to aromatherapy, reflexology to reiki, complementary therapies are growing ever more popular. But how do you know you can trust the practitioner who is treating you?

Unless you receive your treatment from a doctor or other regulated professional, you are most likely to be treated by someone who isn’t regulated by law. What does that mean? In simple terms, it means you have no idea exactly who is treating you (or how qualified they are) unless you do your own research. In the UK, it’s legal to offer complementary therapies without any training or qualifications. Sounds crazy? Well, that’s where the Accredited Registers programme can help you out. Search for Practitioners >

Accredited Registers are there to help you choose from a list of practitioners who have been thoroughly vetted. What’s more, everyone on one of the registers must:

  • Sign up to a code of ethics/conduct
  • Be insured to practise
  • Have appropriate training and qualifications for the treatments they offer
  • Demonstrate that they are continually learning and updating their skills and knowledge (also known as CPD)

8 ways to be sure you’re in safe hands:

1: Choose a safe therapist

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We suggest you always choose a safe practitioner from one of our Accredited Registers.

2: Find out more about your therapist

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Be comfortable with your choice of therapist by asking a few questions about their background and training.

3: Is this treatment right for me?

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Don’t let anyone pressure you into having a treatment done there and then. Take some time to do your research.

4: Have a consultation first

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A reputable therapist will be happy for you to have an initial consultation before starting any treatment.

5: Check with your GP if you're on medication

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If you're unsure about receiving complementary therapies while on medication, always check with your GP first.

6: Is the environment professional?

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Complementary therapies should always be delivered in clean, safe and professional environments. Don't accept anything less.

7: If you're concerned, speak up

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If you feel uncomfortable at any point, say something. All practitioners on Accredited Registers sign up to a code of conduct.

8: Know your rights

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All Accredited Registers have a complaints process and all practitioners must have insurance in place to cover you if something goes wrong.

Download and keep our advice for safer lip fillers

Remember, no treatment is ever completely risk-free. But following this checklist should ensure your treatment is administered by a registered practitioner in a clinical environment.

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8-point safety checklist

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Find a safe practitioner near you today by checking these Accredited Registers

British Acupuncture Council


The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) is a self-regulatory body for the practice of traditional acupuncture in the UK.

The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) is a voluntary regulator of complementary healthcare practitioners. They were established with Department of Health funding and support and their key purpose is to protect the public.

The Federation of Holistic Therapists is a professional association that operates a complementary healthcare therapist register for qualified, professional and insured therapists.

The Society of Homeopaths operates a register for practitioners who are trained to high standards and adhere to a strict code of ethics and practice.