Where you can go to have complementary therapies | Cancer Research UK
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Where you can go to have complementary therapies

Nurse and patients talking about cancer

This page has information about where you can go to have complementary therapies – it doesn't include alternative therapies. There is information about


Complementary therapies in hospitals

Many cancer wards, units and hospitals now offer patients a range of complementary therapies free of charge, as part of their care. Those most commonly offered are

Other types of complementary therapy may be available, such as

It is always worth asking what is available in your own clinic or hospital. Some therapies may also be available for carers.

Therapists who work in a hospital setting must have the necessary qualifications. They are usually registered with organisations that regulate complementary therapy practitioners.

The organisations include the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

The CNHC and HCPC make sure that practitioners registered with them are properly trained, qualified and insured. The therapist will be familiar with working with people with cancer. They may be working as volunteers or may be paid employees of the hospital. 

If your hospital doesn’t offer complementary therapies check with your nurse or doctor. They may be able to recommend somewhere else in your area. 

You can read more about finding a therapist.


Complementary therapies in hospices

Many hospices offer their patients, and sometimes their carers, a range of complementary therapies free of charge. They may be able to offer a wider range of therapies than those provided in hospitals. 

Practitioners in hospices are usually registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council. 


Your GP practice

Some GP practices around the UK offer complementary therapies as part of their care. They will have therapists on site with the necessary qualifications and may offer

Or your GP may have training in specific therapies, such as

You may have to pay for these extra services from your GP practice but they may not be as expensive as going to a private therapist.


Voluntary and charitable cancer organisations

Some cancer charities or organisations offer people complementary therapies. 

Look in our complementary therapies organisations section for a list of organisations that offer information about complementary therapy services.


NHS Homeopathic hospitals

There are 4 NHS homeopathic hospitals in the UK – in Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool and London. They see people with a variety of conditions, including cancer. As well as homeopathy, they offer other complementary therapies. 

Some of the hospitals run a support programme for people with cancer. 

You can find details of these homeopathic hospitals on the homeopathy page.


Therapies in independent cancer support groups or centres

Across the UK, there are several centres that offer support, information and complementary therapies to people with cancer. Some charge for these services and some don’t. Some will charge people who can afford to pay, but don’t turn anyone away because they can’t afford the costs. Some centres offer services to carers, as well as people with cancer.

The groups or centres can provide physical, emotional and spiritual support and offer practical advice on nutrition. 

To find centres in your area look at our complementary therapy organisations list.


Complementary therapies in private practices

There are thousands of private complementary therapists around the country. Some may have their own private rooms or use a room that is part of a health or fitness centre. 

Look in the section about finding a therapist for information on the best way to find someone to suit your specific needs. 

You can also find therapists who are properly trained, qualified and insured on the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council website.

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Updated: 3 October 2014