During recent years, private sector complementary medicine has grown as a significant provider of health care in the UK, and according to many current definitions, this provision may be classified as primary health care. In the context of a relative paucity of dedicated research investigations, and through a combined questionnaire (n = 426) and interview survey (n = 49), this paper provides some base-line evidence on the national sector, considers the previous employment of private therapists, their reasons for practicing, the range of modalities practiced and the positives they gain from this form of caring and business ownership. Although some younger therapists had moved straight from their education into private practice, the most common scenario was for middle-aged persons to enter the sector directly from skilled professional jobs and hence had radically changed their careers. Many were formerly employed in caring-related professions such as nursing, social work and teaching. Often therapists had been disillusioned with particular aspects of their former jobs. However, more frequently, they were simply attracted by the therapies themselves, the conceptual paradigms which underpin them and to the different experiences of business ownership and caring practices. Little is known about private complementary medicine, and it is argued that dedicated studies could build the initial evidence presented here, particularly within the rubric of primary health care research.