BBC2 series on alternative therapies

March 16, 2008

Mon 17 Mar, 9:00pm – 10:00pm 60mins


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 hypnotherapy.

Half a million people in England use hypnotherapy every year. It's claimed it can help with smoking, weight loss, phobias, allergies, and even breast enlargement. But what do we really know about hypnotherapy and hypnosis?

In the first in a new series, 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, starting with hypnotherapy.

Travelling across the UK, Europe and over the Atlantic, in a journey that is at times funny, intimate, moving and revealing, she follows patients and scientists working in the area. She meets Richard, the policeman, who wants to quit smoking; Nicola, who wants to eat less chocolate; and Mandy, who wants teeth implants without anaesthetic. Kathy tries hypnosis for herself as she learns about the science behind the hypnotic ‘trance'.

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

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