Dr Peter Naish, president of the Royal Society of Medicine’s hypnosis section has said that hypnotherapy is a useful tool which he would like to see used more widely across the NHS.
Naish commented that busy GP surgeries probably don’t use hypnotherapy very often, though there are cases where practice nurses have received training.
He also said that it is now known hypnotherapy is not simply a placebo and thus should not only be used as a last resort because nothing else has worked. Instead, he wants to see the treatment placed in the tool bag of medical professionals as a regular standby which is worth trying.
The experts said they would ideally like to see hypnotherapy being used more broadly than just in GP surgeries. There are many cases in which cancer specialists and anaesthetists have effectively used hypnotherapy but unfortunately they are in the minority.
By broadening it’s usage the NHS could save money in areas such as medication, and could also help hypnotherapy to become more commonplace.
Dr Naish and Dr Gerada also discussed the issue of hypnotherapy currently being unregulated. As it stands no legal guidelines have been established which specify the level of training and qualifications a person must have in order to set themselves up as a hypnotherapist.
In order to reduce the number of individuals going to see unqualified hypnotherapists, Dr Naish and Dr Gerada said they would like to see hypnotherapy introduced as part of standard NHS training so that in the future all NHS medical professionals will have it there to use as a tool.
Listen to original BBC radio 4 broadcast.