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The Royal Society of Medicine will be told today that doctors should be taught to help patients to not feel pain through hypnosis rather than using general anaesthetics during some operations.

Professor David Spiegel, of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at Stanford University in the US, is also recommending that hypnotherapy is added to the list of approved therapeutic techniques for the treatment of conditions such as high blood pressure and pain management. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) who decide if these techniques will be authorised is yet to comment on the recommendation.

Hypnotherapy Already Approved For Treatment Of IBS

NICE has already approved hypnotherapy for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.”It is time for hypnosis to work its way into the mainstream of British medicine,” Spiegel will say at the joint conference of the Royal Society of Medicine, the British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis and the British Society of Medical and Dental Hypnosis.

“There is solid science behind what sounds like mysticism and we need to get that message across to the bodies that influence this area. Hypnosis has no negative side-effects. It makes operations quicker, as the patient is able to talk to the surgeon as the operation proceeds, and it is cheaper than conventional pain relief. Since it does not interfere with the workings of the body, the patient recovers faster, too.

“It is also extremely powerful as a means of pain relief. Hypnosis has been accepted and rejected because people are nervous of it. They think it’s either too powerful or not powerful enough, but, although the public are sceptical, the hardest part of the procedure is getting other doctors to accept it.”

NICE said if hypnotherapy could be shown to be cost-effective and consistent delivery could be guaranteed it could be considered as an approved therapeutic technique.

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