Regulation & Research
This page provides information about:
- Professional Memberships
- The Advertising Standards Authority
The Pain Care Clinic offers professional complementary therapies and is covered by professional indemnity insurance. The Pain Care Clinic itself, and/or its individual therapists, are members of various professional bodies which require minimum standards for training and recognised qualifications and which have systems for dealing with complaints and taking disciplinary action.
Since February 2011, and a report entitled Enabling Excellence, the UK government has abandoned plans for statutory regulation of complementary therapists, in favour of continuing voluntary regulation. Therefore the Pain Care Clinic is as regulated as it can be at present.
Like complementary therapists, the UK marketing industry has its own system of voluntary regulation, the Advertising Standards Authority. The ASA is made up of, and funded by, representatives from the advertising and marketing professions. The ASA has issued its own voluntary code of practice and ‘help note’ in relation to health-related marketing. This code of practice does not represent the law. However it does prevent complementary therapists from using the words ‘treat’ and ‘help’ in relation to medical conditions without scientific ‘substantiation,’ by which the ASA means carefully controlled experiments on animals and/or humans.
This puts complementary therapists in a difficult position because:
- The Advertising Standards Authority is made up of representatives of the world of advertising and marketing, who lack knowledge and training in complementary therapies
- Scientific research is expensive, and often funded by drugs companies who generally do not fund research into complementary therapies (please see the research section below)
- The ASA is at odds with government-approved qualifications under which complementary therapists are trained to treat specific medical conditions
- In addition to their specialist techniques, complementary therapists often use the same treatment protocols and methods as medical practitioners and other statutory regulated healthcare professionals, such as physiotherapists.
As such, it is our opinion that the ASA’s position is an unjustified intrusion on free speech. Nevertheless we must comply with their code of practice or risk expensive legal action and/or having this website shut down.
Scientific research into the effectiveness of complementary therapies is hard to come by. This is because the vast majority of research is funded by private companies with profits in mind, or by the government which tends to direct funding towards purely ‘medical’ treatments within the NHS.
Occasionally charities and patients’ groups, which have first-hand knowledge of the limits of medical treatments, are able to raise enough money to fund their own research into alternative and complementary therapies in relation to specific medical conditions. But this does not happen often.
Therefore, much of the evidence to support the effectiveness of advanced massage and myofascial release in relation to specific medical conditions does not comply with the ASA’s guidelines (see above). And our beliefs about the effectiveness of the therapies we offer are based on our carefully documented experience of work with individual clients.
We continue to accept recommendations and referrals from regulated healthcare professionals, such as doctors and dentists, and wait for the science to catch up.