Last updated: Mar 15, 2009
Whether you're getting a deep-tissue massage or trying acupuncture for the first time, picking the right alternative medicine professional is important to your health. Here's how to pick the right one for you.



  • Ask for referrals from your doctor, local hospital, or medical school.


  • Get a recommendation from a professional organization for the type of practitioner you are looking for. The National Institutes of Healths Directory of Health Organizations is a good place to start.


  • Call your local health department to find out if your state has a regulatory agency or licensing board for the therapy youre interested in, and then contact that office for referrals.


  • Check on the training, certification, or other qualifications of your practitioner. See if he or she will speak with you briefly on the phone for this purpose before you make an appointment.


  • Find out how much experience the practitioner has with your health concern and how effective he or she believes this therapy may be for your condition. (Be sure to ask about scientific research, as well.)