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The cost of complementary and alternative therapies

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This page tells you about the cost of specific types of complementary and alternative therapies. There is information about


The cost of using complementary therapies

Many cancer wards, units and hospitals in the UK offer complementary therapies to patients free of charge. You might be offered a set number of treatments free, but have to pay for any further treatment after that. This is not always the case but it is worth asking. You may also be able to have some therapies free, or at a cheaper rate, through your GP. Costs vary depending on the individual therapy.

Several cancer support centres provide various complementary therapies alongside conventional cancer treatments. Depending on the organisation, you may be able to have a single treatment, weekly treatments, or go to the centre daily for a few days for a complementary therapy programme that suits you. You may have to pay for the treatments you have, but there is sometimes an opportunity to pay less than the standard rate, and some centres won’t charge you at all. 

Some of the organisations on our complementary therapy organisations page can give you a list of centres to contact about their prices.

Some cancer support groups offer free or low cost therapies. Some charitable organisations offer free sessions of meditation, relaxation or guided visualisation. Staff at your hospital may also know of local services or you can find them on the internet.

Private practitioners of complementary therapies can charge up to £60 or more per hour. These costs vary from place to place within the UK – for example, treatments are usually more expensive in cities. You can read information about finding a reputable therapist

If you are using herbal remedies, vitamins or dietary supplements the prices can vary a lot. It is important to let your doctor know if you are taking any type of herbs, vitamins or dietary supplements along with conventional cancer treatment. 

For information about costs of  particular therapies go to the individual complementary therapies section and click on the type of therapy you are interested in.


The cost of using alternative therapies

Many alternative therapies are expensive. Some therapies might only cost a few pounds a month, but others may set you back several hundred or more. Make sure you have thought about the ongoing cost before you start taking anything or begin any treatment. 

There is no scientific evidence that any alternative therapy works so it is important to talk to your doctor before deciding to use any of these therapies.

There is more information about costs in the individual complementary and alternative therapies pages. Look under the particular therapy you are interested in.

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Updated: 24 October 2014