Alternative Therapies on the BBC

BBC Press Release – BBC2 17.03.2008 @ 9pm

Imagine having your dentist pull your teeth out and drill into your jaw with
no anaesthetic – just someone muttering in your ear about being on the
beach.   Sounds alarming?  Welcome to the extraordinary world of

Half a million people in England use hypnotherapy every year.  It’s claimed
it can help with smoking, obesity, tinnitus, weight loss, phobias,
allergies, anxiety and even breast enlargement.  What do we know about
hypnotherapy and hypnosis?  And how are scientists trying to find out about
how it works and its effectiveness? 

In the first in a new series, Professor Kathy Sykes, Professor of Science
and Society at Bristol University, embarks on a personal and scientific
journey to explore three popular alternative therapies: reflexology,
meditation and hypnotherapy.

Travelling across the UK, Europe and over the Atlantic to Montreal, Kathy
Sykes, in a journey that is at times funny, intimate, moving and revealing,
she follows patients who are pinning their hopes on hypnotherapy.  There is
Richard, the policeman, who wants to quit smoking; Nicola, who wants to eat
less chocolate; and Mandy, who wants teeth implants without anaesthetic.
Kathy herself has a go at being hypnotised as she tries to understand more
about the science behind the hypnotic “trance.”

She meets hypnotherapists, and also mainstream scientists, who are looking
inside our brains to try and unravel what goes on during hypnosis.  She
meets Professor Peter Whorwell in Manchester who is pioneering the use of
hypnotherapy for people suffering from the symptoms of Irritable Bowel

A mixture of serious science and personal journey – Alternative Therapies is
intriguing viewing for anyone interested in the ever-growing, ever-confusing
and controversial world of alternative therapies.

Alternative Therapies has been fully-funded by the Open University. More
information on the series can be found at

related articles

Comments are closed.