Complementary and alternative treatments - Where
Where can I get complementary and alternative treatments?
The NHS does not usually offer complementary and alternative treatments. You may be able to get complementary and alternative treatments through the following ways:
- Private therapist or practitioner
- Alternative therapy centre
- Health spa
- Mental health charity
How do I choose a practitioner or therapist?
Complementary therapists do not have to register with a professional body to treat people. You should check if a private therapist is a member of a professional body such as the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). To become a member a therapist will have to meet certain standards set by the professional body. A therapist that is a member of a professional body will also have to follow the code of ethics and complaints procedure.
Many types of treatments have their own professional body. They set standards for their therapists to follow. They hold registers for qualified practitioners. There is a list of professional bodies here.
Think about the following points when you choose your complementary therapist:
- Compare the cost of treatments.
- Make sure that you are not being over-charged.
- Ask the therapist about their qualifications, membership of a professional body and how long they have been practising.
- Always make sure the practitioner has the right insurance. Therapists should have insurance before they can become members of the CHNC or other professional bodies.
- Choose a complementary therapy that suits your needs. Other people may tell you what has worked for them. But remember that the results may be different for you.
- Know what to expect. Research the therapy. No reliable therapist should claim to be able to cure severe mental illness.
Ask your doctor or nurse for their advice. This is important if you want to try a therapy which involves medicine.
How much do complementary and alternative therapies cost?
Private therapists can be expensive. They can charge any price. Usually they will charge around £40-£70 per hour. You can ask your GP if the therapy you want is available on the NHS. The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) may recommend a complementary or alternative treatment. You can ask your local Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) if the therapy is available in your area. You can find your local PALs on their website here.
You may be able to get low cost or free complementary and alternative treatment. But this is unusual. You can use an online search engine such as Google to see what is available in your local area.
Need practical advice & info? We can help.
Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, not including bank holidays