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Complementary therapies register

Complementary healthcare practitioners now have a new register to help protect people who use the therapies.

Produced by the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), it is a voluntary register and the kitemark will act as a "hallmark of quality" for the sector.

Those involved in massage and nutrition will be the first able to sign up to the register.

Then, throughout the rest of the year, it will become open to practitioners of reflexology, reiki, Alexander technique, aromatherapy, Bowen technique, yoga, cranial therapy, homeopathy, naturopathy, and shiatsu.

It is estimated that one in five people in the UK use the services of the country's 150,000 complementary healthcare practitioners.

Health minister, Ben Bradshaw, said: "Public safety is paramount. Registration, whether voluntary or statutory, is about protecting patients, and I am pleased to see this important milestone in voluntary registration.

"People should always seek their GP's advice to ensure that any other therapy they use does not conflict with orthodox treatment."

Funded by the Department of Health and backed by the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health, the CNHC was launched in April and aims to bring complementary therapies under a single body.

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Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council