Where to Turn When the Medical Model’s Tools are Exhausted

Where does the doctor turn when the NHS tools have been exhausted?

Where does the doctor send that patient who has been investigated to the hilt, has tried all the medications available, has seen every health care professional under the sun and is still attending asking what can be done for their health problems?

Perhaps they have chronic pain, headache, back pain, in need of weight management, smoking cessation, maybe health anxieties, IBS, fibromyalgia, depression, menopausal symptoms, medically unexplained symptoms etc. etc. etc………………………………………


The answer: hypnotherapy and or acupuncture


Acupuncture is recommended by NICE (The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) for migraine and headache (NICE 2012) (Headache Guidence) and also low back pain (NICE 2009) (Back Pain Guidence). Hypnotherapy is also considered by NICE as a valuable treatment for IBS (NICE 2015) (IBS Guidence)? NHS professionals are being trained in mindfulness and hypnotherapy to help them deal with some of the above symptoms in primary care. (PosMT 2009) (PosMT Research)

Acupuncture is widely used in the NHS, in GP surgeries, in pain clinics, by physiotherapists and midwives. Hypnotherapy is also being used in the NHS, here are three example of experienced respected healthcare professionals endorsing hypnotherapy as an effective tool in managing pain, IBS and mental health issues respectively

  1. Professor Soo Downe OBE, following extensive research has introduced hypnotherapy at the antenatal services at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS trust. Patients have the option to be taught self hypnosis for pain control whilst in labour, reducing the need for pharmacological interventions and enhancing the birth experience for all parties. (Hypnobirthing)
  2. Professor Whorwell, consultant gastroenterologist, has been using hypnotherapy to manage IBS symptoms since 1994. He has a well established service at the University Hospital of South Manchester. He has over 300 publications on the subject. (Hypnotherapy and IBS)
  3. GP, Dr. Laura Pogue, lectures all over the country on mental health issues in Primary Care. She has recently implemented The Positive Mental Training programme (PosMT) across Halton and St Helens. This is an RCGP (Royal College of GPs) accredited mindfulness based hypnotherapy training programme for practitioners to utilize in primary care consultations. (Positive Mental Health Training)

PosMT is currently used within the NHS across Britain to treat depression, anxiety, insomnia, stress and various medically unexplained symptoms (MUS). Over 80,000 people have been given the programme, and over 1000 health professionals trained in PosMT.

Acupuncture and hypnotherapy are natural solutions to healthcare problems when all the medical tools have been exhausted. Because they are natural they are totally safe with very few, if any, adverse side effects.

Access to these services in the NHS is unfortunately poor. The services mentioned above are just singular examples of the good work being provided by individual practitioners who are aware of the benefits of these therapies.

Following a suggestion made by CNHC (Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council .CNHC Link), the General Medical Council (GMC) has agreed to amend its referrals guidance to doctors. (GMC guidence)

Doctors can now refer patients wanting complementary therapies to CNHC registrants as they are all on CNHC’s Accredited Register. This is a promising sign, an indication that the ‘powers that be’ are actually recognising the beneficial and acceptable effects of these therapies, an alternative and fresh approach to health care –


The medical model is not the only model!




Alpine Acupuncture Origins

It might be quite surprising to discover that maybe acupuncture originated in Europe and not China as we like to believe.

Mummy discovered in Otztal Alps (South Tyrol, Italy). Thought to have existed over 5,000 years ago in Stone Age Europe.

Acupuncture appears to pre-date recorded history, according to archaeological finds.

We assume the validity of the Asian origins due to the first document to record the practice:  ‘The Nei Jing’, dating around 305 -204 BC. It is thought to be the earliest book to be written on Chinese medicine and the second part focuses purely on acupuncture.

In reality, this ancient art may well have been practised all over the world since time began. It appears the mummified European Stone Age man,  discovered in the Alps on the borders of Austria and Italy in  1991, had certainly been treated for his ailments with some kind of acupuncture therapy over 5,000 years ago. Otzi The Ice Man, has 61 tattoo marks on his body in the form of lines and crosses made by rubbing charcoal in to incisions. They are in areas which may have caused him pain due to disease, injury or degeneration. The marks also strangely relate to certain acupuncture points suggesting their therapeutic nature. It is thought the marks indicate where the acupuncture needles were to be inserted.

This is all very interesting, containing assumptions and intelligent guess work. What is certain is the fact that acupuncture works and it has done for centuries. People continue to benefit form the therapeutic effects. The wonderful fact is, there are no side effects either apart from feeling relaxed and calm during and after a treatment.

Acupuncture is well documented and researched now. It is recommended as a valuable therapy by the NHS. The National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends acupuncture for the relief of low back pain (nice.org 2009) and headache and migraine (2012). There will be more to follow I am sure

I’m also sure that Otzi The Ice Man would have recommended it too – he would have shouted it from the hill tops!


Don’t stop smoking – just for October!

Stopping smoking saves innocent lives

Most smokers are unhappy with their habit. They have tried most cessation products before reaching the hypnotherapist. After two hours they walk out of the office as a non smoker. How did that happen?

It’s not magic and there has to be some effort on the client’s part also:


  • You have to be ready, no point stopping for someone else to make them feel better, this has to be a positive move for you towards better health
  • You have to be prepared to invest in the intervention. People whose first question is ‘how much does it cost?’ are not ready to quit. They have not considered how much their addiction is costing, financially and personally.
  • Prepare for cravings, the more they are resisted, the weaker they become.
  • Prepare for me to give you the hard facts about cigarettes – the ones you have been ignoring. Bad breath; wrinkly, discoloured  skin; smelly clothes; bad heart; lungs; reduced mobility; ill children; orphaned children; loss of limb and life not to mention finances all up in smoke; the list goes on and on and on…………………………………………….

You are probably now wondering what goes on in that crucial two hours. How do I save someone’s future in such a short space of time?

Well, you have to want to be hypnotised, there’s only one person doing the hypnosis and that’s you, I just facilitate the  trance by making positive suggestions for calm and relaxation, it’s a very pleasant experience where your senses are 30% more aware than in normal state. You hear all around you and are aware of being in the room at all times. I cannot make you cluck like a chicken or blurt out all your secrets, unless of course that’s what you normally do in company!

You take your self in to trance every day, several times daily in fact, as you are drifting off to sleep and as you are waking, when reading a book, sometimes when driving – you cannot remember the journey but you were fully functional and safe.

The term ‘hypnos’, Greek for sleep,  is quite unfortunate as there is no sleep involved, if you’re asleep then I’ve let you go too deep. Once in trance I can talk to the subconscious. The part of you that does everything on ‘automatic pilot’, without you actually having to think about it.

I have several techniques for trance induction and therapy which I tailor to the individual, this is key to success.

By concentrating on what being a non smoker will mean to the individual, once I have reiterated all the nasty facts about cigarettes, I can then sell the benefits of being a non smoker to the individual. This will mean something personally to them and the subconscious will accept this as a new, more beneficial coping strategy.

So it’s that simple and very cost effective.

(cost – to bank account; to your health; to the health of others; to the NHS; to your life)

Thank you for reading, if this helps one person quit it will have been worth writing.