BBC has a health documentary series on alternative therapies. Below are YouTube segments, which make up the episode on hypnotherapy, which first aired on 3/17/08. You can read about the episode here. (If you click on all of the videos except the first, you will get a message that says, “Embedding disabled by request: Watch on YouTube.” If you click on “Watch on YouTube,” it will take you to the link.)
Host Dr. Kathy Sykes explores hypnosis with healthy skepticism, yet an open mind. She begins her journey in the audience of a hypnosis stage show (cringe, cringe). She then observes a smoking cessation session, and a group weight-loss information session. Next she interviews an expert doing a study on hypnosis and suggestion. She then interviews a doctor who successfully uses hypnosis for patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and then witnesses a dental patient getting her two front teeth extracted for implants, relying solely on hypnosis for analgesia. She then interviews an expert on hypnosis for pain management. He is conducting a study that shows a difference in the areas of the brain that light up when using hypnosis for analgesia and the placebo effect for analgesia.
She concludes, “It has been a long journey, but at the end of it, I’ve seen two powerful examples where hypnotherapy may have a place in medicine.” Fairly early in the episode it shows her having her own hypnosis session—not for any particular goal. She enjoyed it but also admitted that she has a hard time letting go to fully experience it. At the end of the show, she schedules another session, feeling that she could be more playful about it after all she has learned—and without the cameras in tow.
I enjoyed the episode, though I couldn’t help but have a running commentary in my mind as I watched it. It shows some common techniques that I take issue with, and I also found myself desperately wanting to provide insight for some of the questions that were raised.
All in all, I recommend it for anyone curious about hypnosis.