What is the CNHC?

Share This Post

About one in five members of the public use some sort of complementary therapy, complementary therapy being broadly defined as ‘treatments that fall outside of mainstream healthcare’ (source: nhs.uk, ‘All About Complementary and Alternative Medicine’). This definition includes osteopathy, chiropractors, massage therapists, along with disciplines such as homeopathy and naturopathy. But did you know that, with the exception of osteopaths and chiropractors, complementary therapies are not currently statutorily regulated, meaning anyone can set up as a complementary therapist, even without any training, qualifications or insurance? If you didn’t, you’re not alone. About 70% of people asked were also not aware of this.

So what to do if you’d like to go to a massage therapist, yoga therapist, or Alexander technique practitioner but don’t know how to choose? Enter the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).

The CNHC was set up in 2008 with government funding to serve as a voluntary regulatory body for complementary therapists, and in 2013 was approved by the accredited voluntary register. The purpose of the CNHC is to protect the public, so when you go to a CNHC-registered practitioner you know they’ve met certain standards. They also have an independent complaints procedure for members of the public that mirrors statutory regulatory bodies, so if you’re having an issue you can’t resolve with the therapist directly and believe they’ve acted unprofessionally or inappropriately, you can lodge a complaint through them.

Why Choose a CNHC-registered Practitioner?

Every therapist on the CNHC register has to meet national occupational standards for their therapy and abide by a strict code of conduct and ethics, so when you go to a CNHC-registered practitioner you can rest assured they’ve met those standards.

The Department of Health has recommended that where the CNHC registers the complementary therapists in question, you consult with someone who is CNHC registered, and that GP’s recommend their patients do the same.

Organisations which already recommend or require the use of CNHC-registered practitioners include Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Macmillan Cancer Care, Mind, Citizens Advice, as well as a number of other health charities and hospices.

Some insurers will reimburse for certain therapies from CNHC-registered practitioners under specific plans.

The CNHC was set up to act primarily in the interest of the public vs. the interest of the therapist.

CNHC & Leyton Sports Massage

At Leyton Sports Massage, all our therapists are CNHC-registered. We believe it’s important that our clients know they’re receiving professional, skilled care from therapists who have met certain standards. We believe that people who set up as sports/massage therapists without the appropriate training or qualifications are harming the reputation of our therapy, which means that fewer people are aware of how beneficial it can be. We hope that by maintaining CNHC-registration, along with relevant professional body memberships, it’s just one more way that our clients feel confident when coming to us. For information regarding individual therapists’ CNHC registration and other professional affiliations, you can see their bios on the Our Team page on our website.

How to Find a CNHC-registered Practitioner

Now that you know about the CNHC, how do you find a CNHC-registered practitioner? All CNHC-registered therapists can make use of the CNHC quality mark (seen here at the top of the page). The CNHC website also has a register where you can search for a practitioner in your area: Search the CNHC register. You can find out more about the CNHC via their website.

Important note: If a therapist is not CNHC-registered, it does not mean they are not qualified or insured. However, if a therapist is registered with the CNHC you know they have met independently verified occupational standards for their therapy.

Tell Your Team

Are a member of a sports club or interest group, or do you think you know others who would like to know about the CNHC? We have posters and pamphlets you can put up in your sports clubhouse, leisure centre or office and we can come give a short talk about the CNHC. For more information or to ask for flyers/posters, email katherine@lsmclinic.co.uk.

Disciplines Currently Registered by the CNHC:

Alexander Technique teaching
Bowen Therapy
Craniosacral Therapy
Massage Therapy
Microsystems Acupuncture
Nutritional Therapy
Sports Therapy
Yoga Therapy

*This article was originally published on 18 September 2013. It was updated on 31 July 2014 to show the new quality mark from the CNHC including the AVR symbol, updated link for the Our Team page, added the information that they are an accredited voluntary register, and added the information about the flyers/posters/talk.

Want simple self-care tips straight to your inbox?

subscribe to our mailing list

more posts...

News & Articles

The Onion Analogy

Have you ever noticed that things in our body can build up?

You might have an imbalance or less-than-ideal movement pattern, and that makes your body compensate or adjust somewhere, which in turn creates another compensation.

In today’s post, I’ll explain the onion analogy, how we use it in our practice, and how you can use it in your day-to-day life.

Read More »

Need help with achy or sore muscles during lockdown?

check out our video sessions - they may help

Digital composite of highlighted spine of woman with back pain at home

Need Help? Have questions about our services?

send us a message

Include your name, email and message and someone will get back to you as soon as we can.

Simple Self-Care & 10% Off

Input your name & email and you’ll be signed up for our weekly or monthly self-care emails and as a thank you for joining you’ll get 10% off your first session with us – for January only!

Thanks for entering!

Check your inbox for: 

a) the confirmation of your entry


b) the two free gifts so you can choose which one you want. 

Simple Self-Care - In Your Inbox

Sign up for our self-care tips & get our weekly or monthly email with new videos & tips for feeling better in as little time as possible – whether it’s at your desk or on your training runs and everything in between.

Free Workshop

effective, pain-free foam rolling

Free Workshop

make good seated posture easier

Ready for a session?

We seriously can’t wait to see you! 

Choose your preferred day/times and we’ll get back to you with a confirmed booking within 1 – 2 max – working days.

The LSM Waitlist

we can't wait to see you when we're open.

input your name & email and we'll get in touch as soon as we're open for bookings

Feel Better at Your Home Workstation

Sign up for our self-care tips & get our free posture checklist.

It makes good posture easier and takes pressure off your neck, shoulders and back – in 7 minutes.