I just watched a very interesting tv program about hypnosis - it would appear to me that hypnotherapy could be very effective in the treatment of all manner of things. Has anyone had experience of hypnosis, have you been treated perhaps?

If it is as effective as this program claimed I wonder why it isn't more widely used.

The program I watched was actually presented by illusionist/entertainer Derren Brown so it wasn't a medical documentary, it was interesting though and a good stating point for discussion I think.

Im a retired hypnotherapist....Nice to see interest in mind over matter and taking back our health chats here. :)

You are in the right place then.....

I do however love a lively discussion. :slight_smile:

Think I might have assumed that in our PMs.....sorry!

I don't think anybody suggested you are David.

I am NOT a hypnotherapist.

Celeste you are absoloutely correct. The problem is we all hate Pharma's...the big bad companies that exploit, sending drugs to trial on poor black Africans...who have no say in what happens...not only that...they charge huge amounts for drugs and often NICE in the Uk cannot therefore agree to the efficacy of their use. But...and its the biggest but in the world....without these organisations...you can forget finding cures or treatments for any of the major or minor conditions affecting mankind. They are not only the devil they are also the Angels...and we need to be aware of that. No company is a charity....they will not be willing to pour millions into finding treatments for conditions if we dont buy their drugs....its a two way street; having worked in sight loss I was so aware of all facets...we wanted the treatments...but didnt want the huge price tags that the hospitals refused to cough up....

The irony is, and I am far more comfortably in the domains of politics and economics than in any medical area, that many of the people who pull the strings at the 'top' of political and financial institutions are exactly those who would occasionally benefit from a good psychologist or some hypnotherapy. If everybody thinks small fry icons like Alan Sugar or Rich Branson are representative of the extremely wealthy, then they need to come along to some of the UN sessions I've been to where bankers have screamed about misuse of funds to save West Africans from the HIV/AIDS epidemic. I have had pictures of Hitler or Mussolini in mind watching some of them, except that one man did what neither of them did, he literally frothed at the mouth. I have talked with people who also thought that a good session (or 40) on the couch and maybe some of these people might see reason. Those people are the real string pullers, I have seen strong people like Kofi Annan wilt confronted with them, and when I was present for UNICEF at a meeting when one of them said it was a surplus agency and child saving was "God's work, not UN employees" I thought the world beyond redemption.

Except at research level where only the pharmas have the enormous amounts of money required, sadly!

having had recent experience of working in an NHS hospital, the tight link specialists had with drug companies is far less common than in the past. Ditto with GPs...who at one time were provided with holidays by Pharma's! When working in charities, dealing with sight loss...we did everything we could to maintain distance....they would be trying to throw money at us...but you always knew at the end of the line would be a hook.....I even remember refusing luxurious accommodation for one of my support groups at a private hospital....the reason? I had walked past no less than 30 adverts for surgery to enhance vision; new drugs that should improve sight...and on and on.... I passed all these on the way to the meeting room and didnt want our groups to have the pressure of seeing these empty promises on a weekly basis.

Celeste, absolutely. Drugs, like research, race ahead of themselves at an alarming rate. The 'definitive' thing today is passé tomorrow. It is all a minefield, but the only way to keep it safe is to work together. Is that not after all why many of the alternatives to 'conventional' medicine are called complimentary medicine? Sadly, with the specialists at least, too many have research funding from particular big pharmaceutical companies that give their work a bit of a slant...

Quite right Carol, there is far more than enough available on the Internet for most people to be able to do decent research. Indeed, many of the pay-to-use and member-by-profession sites offer very little more. I have the fortune of being a member of a copyright library and so get to see those closed collections when I need them and am generally none the wiser for it.

On issues like hypnotherapy and alternative therapies it is a matter of choice and information. I am of the opinion that many, not all but nonetheless too many, medical practitioners are not as straight with patients as they could be. I think far too many people undergo treatments using uninformed consent, which is to say waffling in medic-speak in such a way that those who need to give consent are completely browbeaten and with others simply proceeding as if information had been comprehensively given then consent solicited. Many medical practitioners will deny that, but that is up to them. However, those administering alternative therapies can be just as uninformative, for instance properly explaining the real advantages and disadvantages of their treatment. It is incumbent on the hypnotherapist, or whoever, to explain the advantages and disadvantages of what they are proposing, the alternatives and the possible (not 'absolutely certain') outcomes of not accepting treatment.

Research is a dangerous justification for anything on this earth, as Carol is implying, since as soon as one stage of research is completed, the next begins. Otherwise an entirely new research or a rival research. There is no domain in which research is ongoing that findings are not overhauled, updated, replaced, challenged and far more. Research only proves what went before, it does not provide any more than a hypothesis for what is to come. Thus hypnotherapy and the fickle nature of the human being are evidence of a lack of conclusive evidence as to whether it works or not since it is successful for many people and has no effect on others. I am having physiotherapy for a broken shoulder at present, occasionally my physio has tried Bowen Technique which I am informed has revolutionised physiotherapy. Whoopie! I think Tom Bowen was a very convincing quack. It does nothing for me. Many people will tell me I am wrong.

Thus, David, how do you then confront me who has worked in both impoverish, developing and isolated, rural communities where 'Western' medicine is not available but their (for want of a better word) shamanic methods work? That is folk medicine, but then is that not the ancestor of all modern medicine which is thus merely a progression? Dismissing out of hand is easy, accepting evidence often harder. To that end from scepticism in younger years I am now disgusted by the effective dumping of pharmaceutical products in small to excessive overdoses on people instead of holistic approaches to heal the main and accompanying conditions/ailments. I don't care what scientists tell me, I have spent four decades among them and their research domains are as speculative as my own but they more than we social scientists are quick to dismiss and medical science is at the forefront of that dismissive attitude.

David I note your experience of GPs was not UK based....so maybe we are arguing from different viewpoints. I also checked out pubmed...which is a site that headlines articles/research/citations....you have to pay to actually read through most of the research papers and you cant refer patients without having a sound understanding of the therapy...considering there are hundreds of alternative therapies...I suggest there are not enough hours in a day to become full appraised of which therapies have good solid proven research and which are as good as useless. Its beholden to patients to decide if they want to go the route of regular medicine or try alternative therapies....which several of us on this site have tried....there is enough info on the internet for us to educate ourselves and make our decisions based on our own research.

I have only ever experienced this in Newcastle when I was trying to give up smoking and spent 30 mins lying on a leather sofa with soft music playing in the background and a guy with a true Geordie accent telling me to "Just relax and let yersell go" I spent the full 30 mins trying not to laugh and came out and lit up. Saying that though a girlfriend of mine had hypnotherapy for a chocolate addiction and she now can't look at a bar of chocolate without feeling ill, so it can work but perhaps not for all. Interesting topic James and I must read through the other replies.

And again...different experiences. Ive certainly come across GPs that are neither up to date nor open minded; as a matron I took one GP through a complaints procedure that lasted nearly 2 years and pretty much finished his career...so I dont make my claims without my own experiences. We had a good friend who bought our large Victorian house in Brighton to practice his hypnotherapy and use of many other alternative practices. I am happy to use several alternative practices myself, as is my husband. What I find sad is when blanket statements are made damning most people in a specific group.....and I tend to suspect in those instances that the person making the complaints have sometimes caused a negative reaction themselves. I worked as a Marie Curie nurse which is certainly a role where you work hand in hand with GPs and found most of them open to learn of any techniques and practices that could help their patient in terms of pain relief.... and we would use any alternative therapies that the client could believe would help them.


Hi Carol, Thanks for sharing. :)

In my experience - almost 30 years in health as a midwife and registered nurse- a significant number of GP's work neither evidence based nor wholistically.

It is such a shame that they cannot actually accept that western medicine does not have all the potions to firstly prevent health problems, and secondly treat them effectively. If GP's were more open to all therapies, and not in a powerplay for the $$$, western society may be in a healthier state.

A patients expectation is not necessarily good medicine / healing / preventative practice.

I agree, all working together for the health of our societies :)

Thanks James for instigating a HOT topic! :)

David I think it works both ways. Sounds like maybe you had less than good experiences with mainstream medicine. As a GPs wife and someone who worked in a GP practice as a nurse...I can assure you the vast majority of GPS spend up to 6 hours a day reading...most of that in their own time and all of it relevant to their jobs. GPs are inundated with reading material...and what they absolutely have to know about, are all the new drugs available and most of their patients will be expecting their GP to practice mainstream medicine....and whilst there are many good alternative therapies around...it takes a lot of time to read up about every single one....and maybe the alternative therapists could check out what mainstream medicine has to offer as well? two way traffic?

This is probably repeating others but from a clinician's side of things, it works very well with some people and not so well with others. My practice utilised a mixture of conventional and chemical hypnotherapy (using short acting benzodiazepine drugs) for relaxation and sedation prior to surgery. Some very anxious patients required little of the latter if one took the time with prior conventional hypnotherapy.