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How to find an Alternative Practitioner

Magazine and news articles
Local magazines and newspapers frequently have articles written by respected health practitioners in the community.  You can learn useful information about a practitioner's treatment approach or specialization by reading their article.  Many local magazines also publish public-voted lists of "the best of the city", which often include health practitioners. 

Governing organizations
Alternative therapies that are regulated by state or provincial governing bodies require practitioners to pass an examination and obtain a license before they can legally use a professional title, such as chiropractor.  These associations set strict standards for education and professional competency, can confirm a practitioners credentials, and even tell you if any complaints or charges have been made.  However, they usually cannot provide information about a practitioners specialization or further education.

Professional associations
Membership in a professional association is optional, and a license is not required to legally practice.  There are frequently several professional associations a practitioner can join, so it is essential to inquire about the level of training and education required for certification and theoretical approach. Professional associations can often provide information about a practitioner's specialization and further training, but be aware that some associations do not check their members qualifications.

Other health practitioners
Asking a trusted health practitioner, such as your family doctor, naturopath, chiropractor, or acupuncturist, for a recommendation is a great way of finding a practitioner.  Most health practitioners are familiar with other professionals in the community.

Reputable schools of non-traditional therapies hire experienced, well-known practitioners as teachers.  Involvement in teaching, writing, and research usually means that they are aware of the latest developments in the field; teachers also communicate well and will use words and explanations you can understand.

Friends and family
Friends, family members, and co-workers can provide valuable recommendations based on personal experience.  Be sure to ask what they liked and disliked about the treatment, how effective the treatments were, how many treatments they needed before they noticed results, and the therapist's treatment philosophy.  Even if you do not choose to see this practitioner, you will learn more about what you want and what is available in your city.

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