Healthcare science week took place earlier this month to highlight the role science plays in our healthcare, whether that is genetic research, or to find a cure for a particular ailment. So in a bid to educate the masses in the effectiveness of hypnotherapy, we need to ask why so little research is being done in this area? The truth is not because Hypnotherapy is a stage act, but because a lot more money is pumped into drug research, as there is more money to be made from selling drugs.
In countries, which do not rely purely on medication, research into hypnotherapy is quite active.
A few weeks ago I became a senior associate of the Royal Society of Medicine, which own a huge resource of information about hypnotherapy, most of which comes from the States, but the latest research into efficacy of self-hypnosis in pain management in female patients with Multiple Sclerosis, was conducted in Iran. The study evaluated self-hypnosis for pain control, where a randomised clinical trial was conducted on 60 patients, who were assigned to either a control group or to a self-hypnosis group, in which patients performed self-hypnosis at least 10 times a day. All patients were trained to score the perceived pain twice daily on a numerical rating scale. Repeated-measured analysis showed a significant difference between the groups where pain intensity was significantly lower in the self-hypnosis group; this group could effectively decrease the intensity and could modify quality of pain felt.
Effective research in this area, backs up the training I had in pain management by the Oncology department of Cardiff hospital, which has a hypnotherapy department to help cancer sufferers with all kinds of problems, from pain, to chemotherapy nausea, to needle phobias. In Manchester, Doctor Peter Whorwell pioneered research into the best, most effective way of managing irritable bowel syndrome and came to the conclusion hypnotherapy was better than medication. In Guys hospital last year operations were carried out using hypnosis instead of general anaesthetics.
In France hypnosis is used quite a bit in hospitals but by qualified doctors, and hypnotherapy has been suggested by the College of Medicine to be used alongside other holistic therapies in helping patients of the NHS reduce the medication they are on, changing lifestyle and leading a happier healthier life. Now it’s the turn of GP practises to cut back on the amount they spend on drugs, more needs to be done in helping to pay for these holistic therapies, as it’s not going to come out of NHS funds.
I sometimes see patients from the GP practise I work from, but they just cannot afford to have holistic therapy, and therapists are not able to charge next to nothing for treatment – in fact the GP practice I work from has just increased my rent from £10 per head to £45 for the afternoon. Before I could take a small handful of people on low incomes and charge very little, now I cannot do that. How is this gap going to be filled?