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Alternative medicine organisations

Alternative medicine (also known as complementary medicine) is a term used to explain how you can maintain and improve your health in ways the NHS don’t traditionally offer.

However some forms of alternative medicine are available through the NHS from certain GPs and hospitals. Therapies which may be available through the NHS are acupuncture, osteopathy, homeopathy and chiropractic. You may be referred depending on local healthcare commissioning and funding arrangements.

If you are thinking of seeing someone privately who offers complementary or alternative treatments, it's a good idea to check their credentials.

Read this page to find the contact details for a number of complementary medicine organisations. They include regulatory bodies, which are mainly concerned with setting standards and dealing with complaints, and professional associations, which promote the interests of their members.

Top tips

The Department of Health recommends that where the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) registers the complementary therapists in question, you should consult with someone who is CNHC registered.

Check its website to see which complementary medicines it covers at www.cnhc.org.uk.

Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC)

The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) is the UK voluntary regulator for various complementary therapies. A list of the therapies covered can be found on its website. Its main purpose is to enhance public protection. It does this by setting national standards and keeping a register of practitioners who meet those standards. It operates a code of conduct and deals with complaints about breaches of the code.

The Department of Health recommends that you choose a CNHC-registered practitioner, where possible.

Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC)
83 Victoria Street
London
SW1H 0HW

Tel: 020 3178 2199
Email: info@cnhc.org.uk
Website: www.cnhc.org.uk

The British Complementary Medicine Association

The British Complementary Medicine Association operates a code of conduct for its member organisations who represent practitioners of many forms of complementary medicine. It can give you a contact name and number of a qualified and registered practitioner in your area.

British Complementary Medicine Association
PO Box 5122
Bournemouth
Dorset
BH8 0WG

Tel: 0845 345 5977 (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 10.00am-5.00pm)
Email: office@bcma.co.uk
Website: www.bcma.co.uk

The Alexander Technique

You can get details of certified Alexander Technique teachers from:

Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique
1st Floor
Linton House
39-51 Highgate Road
London
NW5 1RS

Tel: 020 7482 5135 (Mon-Fri 10.00am-5.00pm)
Fax: 020 7482 5435
E-mail: office@stat.org.uk
Website: www.stat.org.uk

Acupuncture

The British Acupuncture Council

You can get details of the members of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) from:

British Acupuncture Council
63 Jeddo Road
London
W12 9HQ

Tel: 020 8735 0400
Fax: 020 8735 0404
E-mail: info@acupuncture.org.uk
Website: www.acupuncture.org.uk

The International College of Oriental Medicine (UK)

You can find a register of graduates from:

International College of Oriental Medicine (UK)
Van Buren House
Green Hedges Avenue
East Grinstead
West Sussex
RH19 1DZ

Tel: 01342 313106
Fax: 01342 335104
Email: clinic@orientalmed.ac.uk
Website: www.orientalmed.ac.uk

Chiropractic

General Chiropractic Council (GCC)

Any person in the UK who describes themselves as a chiropractor must register with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC). It is a criminal offence to describe oneself as a chiropractor without GCC registration. The GCC's statutory duties are regulation, development and promotion of the chiropractic profession. A register of chiropractors is available on the GCC website.

General Chiropractic Council (GCC)
44 Wicklow Street
London
WC1X 9HL

Tel: 020 7713 5155
Fax: 020 7713 5844
Email: enquiries@gcc-uk.org
Website: www.gcc-uk.org

The British Chiropractic Association

The Association keeps a register of qualified practitioners. You can send specific technical enquiries to the Association.

British Chiropractic Association
59 Castle Street
Reading
Berkshire
RG1 7SN

Tel: 0118 950 5950 (Mon-Fri 9.00am-5.00pm)
Fax: 0118 958 8946
Email: enquiries@chiropractic-uk.co.uk
Website: www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk

The Chiropractic Patients Association

This is an association of patients who have benefited from the chiropractic diagnosis and treatment of musculi-skeletal complaints. The Association will answer general questions about chiropractic but specific technical inquiries should be sent to the British Chiropractic Association.

Chiropractic Patients’ Association
Twingley Centre
The Portway
Winterbourne Gunner
Salisbury
Wiltshire
SP4 6JL

Tel: 01980 610218
Fax: 01980 611947
Email: info@chiropatients.org.uk
Website: www.chiropatients.org.uk

Herbalism

National Institute of Medical Herbalists

A list of qualified practitioners is available on the National Institute of Medical Herbalists' website. Members of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists can use the letters MNIMH after their name.

National Institute of Medical Herbalists
Clover House
James Court
South Street
Exeter
EX1 1EE

Tel: 01392 426022
Email: info@nimh.org.uk
Website: www.nimh.org.uk

Homeopathy

Qualified homeopaths

Lists of qualified homeopaths are available from the following organisations.

British Homeopathic Association

British Homeopathic Association
Hahnemann House
29 Park Street West
Luton
LU1 3BE

Tel: 01582 408675
Fax: 01582 723032
Email: info@britishhomeopathic.org
Website: www.britishhomeopathic.org

The Society of Homeopaths

Society of Homeopaths
11 Brookfield
Duncan Close
Moulton Park
Northampton
NN3 6WL

Tel: 0845 450 6611 or 01604 817 890
Fax: 0845 450 6622
Email: info@homeopathy-soh.org
Website: www.homeopathy-soh.org

Homeopathic Medical Association - UK

Homeopathic Medical Association - UK
7 Darnley Road
Gravesend
Kent
DA11 0RU

Tel: 01474 560336 (Mon-Fri 10.00am-1.00pm; 2.00pm-4.00pm)
Email: info@the-hma.org
Website: www.the-hma.org

Hypnotherapy

UK Confederation of Hypnotherapy Organisations

The UK Confederation of Hypnotherapy Organisations is an umbrella body for the profession and can provide information on its member organisations, from which details of local practitioners can be obtained.

UK Confederation of Hypnotherapy Organisations (UKCHO)
Third Floor,
207 Regent Street
London
W1B 3HH

Tel: 0161 652 2284
Email: Petermatthews@manageyourstress.co.uk
Website: www.ukcho.co.uk

Massage and manipulative therapy

London and Counties Society of Physiologists

The London and Counties Society of Physiologists (LCSP) is a professional association of private practitioners in the field of remedial massage, manipulative therapy, beauty therapy, osteopathy and chiropractic. The Society operates a code of conduct and ethics for its members. A register of members practising throughout the country is available on the LCSP website.

London and Counties Society of Physiologists
38a High Street
Lowestoft
NR32 1HY

Tel: 01502 563344
Fax: 01502 582220
Email: lcsp@btconnect.com
Website: www.lcsp.uk.com

Naturopathy

General Council and Register of Naturopaths

The General Council and Register of Naturopaths keeps a list of qualified members. The list is available on the General Council and Register of Naturopaths website, or printed copies of the register are available by post at a cost of £3.00 including UK postage.

General Council and Register of Naturopaths
1 Green Lane Avenue
Street
Somerset
BA16 0QS

Tel: 01458 840072 (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 9.00am-1.00pm; 2.00pm-6.00pm)
Email: admin@naturopathy.org.uk
Website: www.naturopathy.org.uk

Osteopathy

General Osteopathic Council

The General Osteopathic Council can advise on all aspects of osteopathy. It operates an advice line, provides fact sheets, details of osteopathic schools, names and addresses of osteopaths, and gives information about whether they are registered with the Council.

General Osteopathic Council
Osteopathy House
176 Tower Bridge Road
London
SE1 3LU

Tel: 020 7357 6655 extension 242 (Osteopathic Information Service)
Fax: 020 7357 0011
Email: contactus@osteopathy.org.uk
Website: www.osteopathy.org.uk

Reflexology

For information about reflexology you should contact the British Complementary Medicine Association.

Spiritual healing

The Healing Trust

A list of healers who have met the Trust's standards is available on its website.

The Healing Trust
21 York Road
Northampton
NN1 5QG

Tel: 01604 603247
Fax: 01604 603534
Email: office@thehealingtrust.org.uk
Website: www.nfsh.org.uk

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