Whichever complementary therapy you want to try, it’s important to use a registered practitioner.
Some GP practices or hospitals offer therapy sessions or may be able to recommend a qualified local therapist. There are several organisations that regulate complementary therapists but registration is not compulsory in the UK. Regulatory organisations such as the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) will be able to provide you with a list of registered therapists.
The following is a checklist of practical steps that we recommend you take to reassure yourself before trying a particular therapy or therapist:
- use a therapist who has a specialised qualification and is insured
- ask what experience the therapist has in treating someone with cancer
- speak to the therapist prior to making a booking to ensure you feel comfortable with them
- check what the fees are
- find out what is available on the NHS in treatment centres you may already be using
- always talk to your doctor or medical team before trying any of these therapies
Remember that no reputable therapist would ever claim to be able to cure cancer.
Before you start
Before making any decisions, make sure you have all the information you need about the complementary therapy you’re interested in and chat it through with your medical team.
It’s always worth meeting with your therapist to talk about your situation and what they think their therapy can do for you.
You may find it helpful to take a relative or friend with you to make sure you’ve asked everything you needed to and have as much information as possible to make the right decision. Take your time to decide if you want to go ahead with the therapy.
The cost of complementary therapy
Some complementary therapies are provided free by the NHS. Ask your doctor or nurse if there are complementary therapies at your hospital, GP surgery or local cancer centre.
Therapies that aren’t provided by the NHS or a support group can be expensive and can add up over a long period of time. Check and compare costs to make sure you’re being charged a fair price.