Who benefits most when you are prescribed a drug? How many chronic conditions has conventional medicine cured?
Do you know what's in your medicine? Be proactive in your approach to your health.
We are not made up of pharmaceutical drugs - so they are not always the answer to long term health. Pills can help,but they shouldn't be the first and only option.
A healthy external environment and living in a non fear based world makes for better health.
Tuesday, 14 June 2016
A colleague and myself recently set up a website to accompany our complementary therapy courses.
The following posting relates to our experience as therapists and teachers.
When I first
started in complementary health, the college I trained at pushed students
towards being a member of the FHT, The Federation of Holistic Therapists. We were told that being a member of the FHT,
would ensure the public that you were a bona fide practitioner and that could
help you get clients. One slight
problem, the public had never heard of them.
to be the largest professional body representing therapists, this is fine
except so do many other professional bodies… and there are so many. Just what is
a practitioner to do…and what does it mean for them anyway.
research (google) professional bodies for insert
therapy name, a mass of different organisations with varying levels of
requirements for membership, pop up. Each one making claims that they are this
lead body or that lead body, each trying to outdo the level of training
required but in varying ways.
If they are
not ‘The’ lead body, they are ‘The’ largest body. The lead here, the lead in
Europe – soon there will be one that spans the universe…..guess what, the
public will still not have a clue what they do or who they are or what it might
mean re the practitioner.
like quangos after quango’s paid for by ever increasing fees from practitioners
that feel they should join them but often question why.
What do you
get by being a member? Some offer discounts,
some offer cheaper conference places, various financial benefits on things you
very often don’t need anyway and if you didn’t pay the fee in the first place,
you could use that towards your own chosen CPD (continual professional development)
Sometimes there is access to a magazine – very often a self-congratulating
piece of propaganda, featuring the same faces every quarter.
organisations are nothing more than a mass of letters and acronyms – all claiming
that being a member will enhance your professional status. CThA, CMA, BacP,
BCMA, GCMT, NAMMT, APNT, SMA, CNHC…the list goes on. Each one
costs money and you could end up spending a fortune.
So it was a
real eye opener for me when I attended the recent Balens conference. Balens are a UK based insurance company that
are very large and have an ever growing foothold in the field of complementary
therapy. One of the speakers gave a talk on what he called the Alphabet Soup of
organisations. What an appropriate
really split into 2 forms. The first are
the professional bodies, and they offer support to practitioners, often set up
by practitioners, you become a member and they ensure their members meet the
standards they set up. They may
provide training and or CPD events and can represent practitioners if ever
complaints are made against them.
have the regulatory bodies….now that sounds official and scary, but do they
have any real clout…only if you are a member. Do you have to be a member? NO. These are voluntary registers that might have
government support and some funding; they say they are there to protect the
One such register
is the CNHC, but if you google them, you find plenty of complaints from what
were once members and plenty of members not renewing their membership. You can set up any organisation you like, but
if people don’t join it, then you have no organisation. It seems numbers of the CNHC are falling…may
be, like me, people are not keen to pay money to an organisation that are more
about regulation than they are about the therapies they claim they represent. It’s like paying for the stick for someone to
beat you with and not support you fairly. They seem to set the scales against
you. Any weak
links in a commercial world will naturally fall by the wayside.
are not medical practitioners, no one prescribes drugs and do not have ultimate
responsibility for patients health, as we do not diagnose or treat specific illnesses. The public visit a therapist because they
wish to take a different approach to their wellbeing in general, it is not free
and therefore if that practitioner is not helping or not providing the service
that matches client’s needs, they vote with their feet and don’t go back…in a
way, the industry takes care of inadequate practitioners naturally. If people don’t use a certain store because
it fails them, that shop will close.
decided to set up our own courses and thought about getting them accredited, we
met with the same problems that practitioners face, on who to belong to.Which
professional body is best?
It was a
minefield, especially as one of our main courses does not fit into any of the
existing models but strangely we had less problem getting this recognised than
our more traditional courses.
I have to
say the real low point was the organisation we have one of our courses with,
the CHP, has aligned itself with the GCMT, the General Council for Massage
Therapy….I was told they are ‘The’ leading body…but they seem one of many.
We wanted to
put through our Indian Head Massage course, but were told that we need to
insist on a body massage qualification first before therapists could do this
course. I had never heard of anything so
was brought to this country by Narendha Mehta, in the 1960’s it is part of the
oldest medical system in the world, The Ayurveda system, which is thousands of
years old. The massage techniques that
were being required before anyone could study Indian head are just about 200
those that developed what we know as Indian Head massage, had a time machine,
nipped forward and then returned to develop Indian Head, this request was
nonsense…and coming from ‘The’ lead body.
set up in London by Narendha Mehta himself, makes no pre-requisite. So is this lead body declaring that his
courses are not meeting the European standards, as he is not asking for body
massage first….without him, we might not have the therapy here to start with.
This is a
typical example of these organisations, becoming so obsessed with their criteria;
they have forgotten to look at the origins of the therapy in the beginning.
So back to
What does a
therapist actually have to do?
turns out you do not have to register with any voluntary regulatory body. You
do not have to join any professional body, and scarily, you do not have to have
however have to comply with trading standards.
You would be
crazy to practise without insurance, because we live in an increasing litigious
world. If you have a complaint against you, your insurance company will take it
up, you don’t need a professional body to do that, the legal team of the
insurance company will take that on.
If you are a
dedicated therapist, you will naturally want to keep your knowledge up to date,
keep training and learning and work within health and safety guidelines.
decided that we would get all our courses insured through Balens, so that
anyone wanting to practise can get their insurance through Balens too.
offering courses that meet the occupational standards and in keeping with the
ethos behind their origin. We aim to
help you become professional therapists and point you in the right direction to
keep skills updated, and work within safe frameworks. We do not need to behave
like medics; we just need to be safe practitioners.
I like what
Balens are doing on the bigger stage and the last few conferences are better
than any I’ve ever attended provided by ‘professional bodies’ over the years.
The calibre of speakers has been fantastic. Balens are
filling a void.
prepared to join organisations that take your money and offer nothing of
significance in return. Nor am I paying voluntary regulators money to buy that
stick to beat anyone with.
saying don’t join, but be aware that you have choice and ask what you would
gain by joining. Don’t be mislead by claims that you can work within the NHS etc
in reality our NHS struggles to provide its own approach to health care. There
are not going to suddenly find money to pay for alternative methods just yet and an abundance of posts.
ethos and philosophies merge, we will work with professional bodies, but my
experience of the Indian Head has made me question the basis on which they work
If and when
there is one body, one authority, be it lead, biggest, European etc, and it
actually is compulsory and carries real weight, then we can work to that. Until
then, how on earth are therapists expected to know who is best and just how
many fees do you pay out each year.
If and when
that body is formed, let’s hope it is by people who are interested in the
practise of complementary therapy and not just regulators. Please can it be
formed with common sense and not try and regulate therapies as if they are
Many think therapies
are pointless and of no real benefit – yet think they need regulating….bit of a
paradox. The moment compulsory regulation
comes in; it would be recognition that therapies actually have the ability to