Working as a self employed complementary therapist in France

Great to have found this site.
I’ve just moved to France with my partner and we are in the process of buying a house near Brantome, at the first contract stage. In England I worked self employed as a complementary therapist, offering Craniosacral Therapy, life coaching and Reiki. I am hoping to be self employed here offering the same. I’ve heard that there maybe issues with qualification recognition. Also, I think I would have to apply for micro entrepreneur but I’m not sure what I would put down as my profession as from what I’ve read, I don’t think complementary therapy is recognised. Any advice would be very much welcome. Thank you

Hi Gabrielle and welcome to the forum.

Please could you amend your Registration to show your full name… as per our T and C’s…

If you are not sure how to do this… simply put your full name on this thread and I will amend things for you.


Hi Stella

Yes, sorry. I’m not sure how to do it. My full name is Gabrielle Gabriel
Thank you

You may well not be allowed to do something seen as a sort of physiotherapy, and what is your French like?

Complementary therapy like reiki is not recognised here, as in the costs are not reimbursed by social security so people have to pay for themselves. So qualifications are not recognised formally, although of course anyone wanting to go to a practitioner would probably want to know. Any kind of physiotherapy is considered medical and is highly regulated here and I doubt UK complementary therapy qualifications would be recognised at all.

The main category for auto-entrepreneurs for this would be “soins corporels, modelages” which covers shiatsu, craniosacral massage and reiki. Not sure what life coaching would fall under, maybe “services des guerisseurs”. Don’t forget that insurance here is more complex.

Life Coaching seems to be quite big, in Paris at any rate. It’s surprising how often I hear Parisian contacts casually mention their Life Coach.

+1 to Jane’s comments. You need to know what therapies are réglementées and what aren’t, where to draw the line, and be very careful not offer/provide any treatment that could be classed as “medical”.

You absolutely don’t “have to apply for micro entrepreneur”, there are various options and ME is not necessarily the best choice for you. You need to crunch the numbers to decide which would be the best fit with your business model. If you’re going to have to invest in equipment, premises, insurance etc, you may be better off with a réel tax structure.

@gabrielle might find it worthwhile to acquaint herself with the practice of sophrologues who are the closest comparateurs of life-coach I can think of, and whose services, ateliers and conferences seem to be very popular, and advertised locally.

The period du 13 mars au 10 Avril is designated ‘Le mois du sommeil’ and will feature several sophrology expositions, workshops, talks and conferences on sleep here, in what seems already to be an extraordinarily sleep well-adjusted part of France. Houses are all dark by 2230 at the latest, and people are up and about at 0700 sharp by the church bells.


Isn’t sophrology more about relaxation and getting your mind and body in harmony? In a previous existence I was “given” a life coach as part of my employment and that seemed all about getting me to do more, faster and with intense focus on goals. Not harmonious or relaxing at all.

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Quite right. I think I might have been naive in thinking that @Gabrielle’s orientation to her life-coaching endeavors were more holistic than results-driven. I should get out less. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Thank you! My French is not so good at the moment but I’m learning.

Hi Jane Jones, Thank you so much for taking the time to get back to me and the advice you’ve given. Do you know who i would ask about insurance?
Thank you again

Hi Anna,
Thank you so much for all the advice and taking the time to get back to me. Really appreciate it.

Hi Peter
Thanks so much for the advice. That’s the type of life coaching I am hoping to do, so I will take a look at their workshops.
Many thanks