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Posted by: , 24 Apr 2013 7:55AM
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uninsured therapist

I have recently found out that a friend of mine has received a treatment from a lady who is claiming to be a complementary therapist who is charging the public for massage, aromatherapy and reflexology!! I have found out that the lady in question is still at college studying and has no insurance to practice her business from home!! How do i report her?? People are at risk!!!


Jasmine Brown
28 Apr 2013 4:02PM

I find it frustrating when I see this aswell,it annoys me too, but they will end up in hot water if they are not insured and something goes wrong. I dont know who you report it to, sorry to not be much help but I agree with you, it is putting people at risk. I stuck to the rules so rigidly when I was training and it really grates on me when I see people being so unprofessional.
Richard Lawton
21 May 2013 11:56AM

Complementary therapies such as massage are not regulated. That means anyone can work as a CAM therapist without any training whatsoever - completely legally. The only illegality would be if they were *claiming* qualifications they didn't have (possible trading standards issue). Also, any business should follow appropriate health & safety laws, and any laws relating to business premises if they are operating out of home or a room somewhere. Before anyone gets hot under the collar :-) it's important to add that the UK regulates very few professions. There are downsides (very few, IMHO) but it gives us all a great deal of freedom and the space to develop new approaches. People do come up with new and excellent techniques - and in a regulated environment these get completely stifled. best Richard
Maria Varela
29 May 2013 11:13PM

I doubt she will be insured without any qualifications. Hence, she's not allowed to take payment for treatments
Richard Lawton
29 May 2013 11:24PM

Maria - Because CAM is not regulated, insurance is *not* compulsory.
Maria Varela
29 May 2013 11:34PM

Fair point. Don't have enough information to know if she's acting in good faith. It might well be she did not claim to be qualified or insured. It might be be, for example, that she obtained qualifications in her native country, hence she's now attending college here. Usually, when I see a complementary therapist, I'd expect her to hold qualifications, be insured and belong to a professional association. It might not be illegal but I am not sure I choose to be treated by someone without having any idea of her standards. But again, when I travel abroad I don't ask to see anyone's certificate.
Richard Lawton
29 May 2013 11:58PM

Very few professions in the UK are subject to compulsory State regulation. Those that are not tend to have professional bodies (such as the CThA) that offer the consumer assurance that their members are qualified, insured and adhere to a code of conduct; but membership of such organisations is entirely voluntary. In some fields, these organisations actually afford very little consumer protection. But of course it is hard for the consumer to know if they are legitimate or not, and in addition, few consumers know anything about appropriate training. So a massage therapist holds an ITEC diploma and is a member of the CThA. The average person in the street has never heard of either. It sounds official and so they trust it. But they don't actually *know*. The truth is that most people take things on trust - that someone advertising a service is actually trained and competent. Alas, that is not always true. On the other hand, membership of a professional organisation does not necessarily guarantee that the person is any good. Most people when they can seek recommendations from friends, ignoring qualifications and memberships. And to be honest, I reckon that is usually the best way.
Maria Varela
30 May 2013 12:18AM

I understand your point, have seen your posting above. Perhaps that is the case for the general public. But for a good number of people who are already members of "unregulated" professions (like me, and many people in this forum) it would be preferable to choose someone who, having been recommended by someone or a former classmate or friend, also hold qualifications that we recognise. People who are training or qualified in complementary therapies already have a vast network with other practitioners so I doubt they would want to see others who hold no qualifications or insurance. But again, that is my personal point of view, am not claiming it to be better or worse than others. Most people when they advertise their services they indicate what credentials are. Some people will be happy with a recommendation and ignore qualifications, everyone is different. Of course, if the therapist is not good a qualification is just a piece of paper. I have seen some councils would not give you a license to practice without qualifications, plus practising without insurance is, at minimum, extremely risky for the practitioner. I suspect if they ask for qualifications they will want insurance too. In a place where I practice I was asked for both insurance and qualifications. The original post seemed to indicate the therapist claimed to be qualified and insured.
Richard Lawton
30 May 2013 7:31AM

The poster asked how she could report that practitioner. I was merely pointing out that the practitioner is not acting illegally, so there is no way of reporting her.
Shikiara Nelson
31 May 2013 7:28PM

What is the real reason you want to report this person. Is it because you feel your friend was put at serious risk or because you're angry that someone is charging for a service that they are not suppose to do unless they have insurance. At the end of the day anyone can set themselves up as a massage therapist the person isn't breaking any law but it's irresponsible of them to be doing something that they know they shouldn't be at the end of the day it's up to an individual to check the credentials of any therapist they decide to use you can't just assume someone is qualified, registered and insured just because they are advertising a paid service.
Yvonne Webb
23 Nov 2014 9:33AM

I once had a "massage" on a beach in Penang, by a very nice man, who bruised me from head to toe. I realised you put yourself in harm's way if you go to unqualified people. These people bring our profession into disrepute, regardless of any regulation or lack of it. If you know of an unqualified person, go to see them and ask them why they are embarking on this folly! Point out the error in their ways and that they should change for their own and the good of the public.
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