Complementary therapies on the NHS

More people would enjoy the benefits of complementary therapies if they were available free on the NHS. One of the big advantages of our health service is that you can go to the doctor and receive treatment free of charge, but while you may be given a prescription for drugs or referred to a specialist, what are the chances of being sent for a massage or a session of reflexology to ease your stress?

The answer is that the chances are quite slim and again it is a bit of a geographical lottery. If you live in areas where the GP practice (or Primary Care Trust) is in favour of such therapies you may find it much easier, than one where only traditional treatments are available. 

Both osteopathy and chiropractic are regulated which means that they are accepted under NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) guidelines, yet surprisingly they are not as available as you might expect.
Acupuncture is, however, widely available in the NHS but provision is still patchy and you may not get it wherever you live.


Some people believe that having a more integrated medical system including therapies would help to cut NHS bills by preventing illness before it became more serious – and more costly. 

Click here to read about if it’s possible to get the following therapies on the NHS, and if so where:

• Acupuncture
• Alexander Technique
• Aromatherapy
• Chiropractic
• Counselling
• Herbal Medicine
• Homeopathy
• Hypnotherapy
• Manual Lymph Drainage
• Nutrition
• Osteopathy
• Reflexology
• Reiki
• T’ai chi 

To read about some inspiring GP practices and clinics click here

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