Sooo… following what I believed to be the poorest piece of television, in a documentary about hypnotherapy here in the UK (read last months blog entries), today I am frothing at the mouth again as a result of this current band-wagon jumping by the ‘scientific’ community looking to highlight how everyone is being misled by alterntive therapy…
Why oh why is there so much contrasting opinion? I can’t stand these types of authors and so-called ‘professors’ parading themselves as snooty swots and egg-heads wanting, no -trying in vain, to send shockwaves through society about how much danger we are all in….
Today, the Daily Mail are promoting a new book, unfortunately, as a result of it stimulating me to write this today, I have inadvertently ended up promoting it too. Please ignore the book and the authors… Even the Daily Mail have sunk to giving their advertorial the title of “Are we being hoodwinked by alterntive therapies?” — I mean, what an insinuation?!
What they claim to be doing with this book, is saving us idiotic Joe Public from the charlatans working in alterntive medicine and uncovering ‘evidence’ to advise us what therapies and alternative medicine we should be trusting and what we should not.
I am not going to beat around the bush any further, here is what they say about hypnotherapy:
WHAT IS IT? The use of hypnosis, a trance-like state, for therapeutic purposes. In recent years, hypnotherapy has become recognised in several areas of healthcare — it is practised by several healthcare professionals, including psychologists, counsellors and doctors.
Hypnotherapists treat a range of chronic conditions, including pain, anxiety, addictions and phobias.
DOES IT WORK? Dozens of clinical trials show that hypnotherapy is effective in reducing pain, anxiety and the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. However, the evidence is that it’s not effective to help you stop smoking, even though it is frequently promoted in this context.
Ok, so it is not that bad, in fact, it even can be seen as good. Certainly in contrast to what they have said about other therapies and alternatives.
But, but, butttt… How on earth have they failed to read research such as this hypnosis article cited in the New Scientist?
Basically, these two authors are doing a great job.. They are stirring up the public and folk like me, framing us all in their contrived manner so that they sell more copies of their pseudo-science claptrap book.
You know when they do those celebrity boxing matches for charity on TV? Well, if any remote satelite TV channel wants to put on one of those boxing matches with me and either of these authors, then please do so, get in touch…No-one is likely to be interested in watching it, however, I’ll use hypnotic techniques to train and they can use pseudo-science… Bring it!
Hmmm… Not the most evolved approach by me, eh? 😉
I am not going to write any more in-depth as I am simply promoting their book, if you read the Daily Mail article, then read it through the same frame of mind as you would when reading Jeffrey Archers legal defense!
Hahahaha… I am off for some self-hypnosis and a cup of Camomile… What a spirited, invigorating start to the day.
Ooooooh – this kind of stuff makes me SO cross!
In the interests of disclosure, I run a complementary health clinic, but to say that chiropractors are dangerous charlatans is just flat out untrue. I bet our chiropractor would have something to say about this – and a long list of satisfied clients.
And I’m sure Jenny would have something to say about the comments on hypnotherapy too.
ARGH! Like you say – provoking controversy just to sell books.
Can we make that boxing match a tag team? 🙂
Well, there are two authors – lets tag team wrestle them! Hahaha.
Chiropracters are dangerous charlatans. There I said it. Large scale consumer research has consistently shown no benefit to spinal adjustments. Many chiropracters run franchises where they lure people into treatment by offering free spinal analysis that is basically an excuse to tell unsuspecting punters that they are going to hell in a handcart unless they sign a direct debit mandate to have their spine cracked twice a week for the next six months. I speak as someone who has had chiropractic treatment but pulled out when I saw through the scam. My chiropractor showed me a slight curvature in my spine which she called “mild scoliosis” but I read elsewhere, in a book by a respected back specialist, that is normal and not a cause for concern, and that chiros are well-known for using it to frighten punters into paying for expensive and totally ineffective treatment.
As for this book, ironically, Adam, I think it’s sounds great. The researchers say exactly what I would expect. You are mistaken in your own interpretation of the research, with respect. The meta-analysis reported in New Scientist is based on old studies that don’t meet modern research design criteria, and are considered unreliable. There’s a complicated debate worth having over that conclusion, but it’s a reasonable position to adopt given the facts. They might have said that we are still waiting for the outcome of more sophisticated modern studies on hypnotherapy. However, I have to say that even as a hypnotherapist myself, I am well-aware that direct suggestion scripts typically have about 17% sucess at one-year follow-up. Researchers therefore distinguish between this approach and hypnosis combined with CBT which is arguably about twice as effective, under the same conditions.
Hypnotherapists in private practice get a higher success rate mainly by doing things to select their clients, primarily charging high fees and asking how motivated they are, etc.
Adam, I just wrote a big post the other day on that same study: Hypnosis isn’t magic, but it can help you stop smoking. It’s been around for 15 years, it examined 600 studies covering almost 72,000 people, it clearly concluded that hypnotherapy is much more effective than drugs for giving up smoking. Yet what do we see promoted by government stop-smoking programmes? Drugs.
I notice that Dave Sabat‘s posted in response to the same Daily Mail article about a more recent study, much smaller scale, showing the same thing (in fact, the outcome in that study was that hypnotherapy was more than three times as effective as nicotine replacement therapy, which actually performed worse than control).
We need to club together on this and make these findings better known.
I haven’t seen the TV piece, nor will I read the book, but from your report it doesn’t seem these people have done enough open-minded investigation to arrive at any sort of useful contribution to the possible values of alternative therapies, much less to write them off. The one possibly useful contribution such verbiage makes, is to demonstrate their consistency within their chosen trance (reality).
Don, always good to hear from you and have my feet kept on the ground. Very interesting points you make… I’ll read up and on…
Mike, I’d love to hear from you some more – PM me and maybe we can put our heads together.
Michael, thank you kindly for your contribution.
Excuse my late responses… I have been out of town and what with wedding plans, moving house, work, etc, etc, Excuses, excuses! 😉
Adam, further to this piece the same material is now up on the web at:
I’ve left a comment there basically reprising what I said in my own blog post.