Untrained therapists blight CAM > Anyone can practice complementary therapies under UK common law without restriction, other than compliance with a number of general legal provisions. So, why bother taking a proper course requiring both time and money, ultimately necessitates an exam and ongoing supervision?
Far easier in this age of instant gratification to sign up for an on-line course and you will have a qualification within weeks.
Even beauty schools are diversifying, offering three days courses in massage and reflexology, despite offering no anatomy or physiology training.
You might think that insurers would weed out the cowboys, refusing to cover therapists with unrecognised qualifications. Too often this is not the case.
Unwell get lost in the therapy jungle
You cannot even trust the marketing slogan that a therapist has taken ‘a course accredited to a Complementary and Alternative Medicine organisations’. A pointless boast when there is no requirement on them to recognise the national standards created by the majority of the profession.
In this therapy jungle the losers are the unwary unwell.
And it is a boom industry. In a 2000 study, £640 million was spent by the public on CAM, offered by an estimated 49,000 practitioners. Nine years later 150,000 CAM practitioners where recorded and that has probably now leapt to 300,000. Well, at least you have a choice!
Weed out rogue therapists
So what is the answer aside from legislation? A good starting point is a referral from your own doctor. Also look at the database run by the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council, on which all Tonic therapists are registered.
This CNHC resource has been approved as an Accredited Register by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, a body accountable to Parliament.
And if you are thinking that becoming the 300,001st CAM therapist, check out the Complementary Health Professionals (CHP) website.