(NaturalNews) A psychiatric researcher has called upon the United Kingdom's medical regulatory body to add hypnotherapy to its list of approved treatments for a much wider variety of conditions, in a presentation at a joint conference of the joint conference of the Royal Society of Medicine, the British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis and the British Society of Medical and Dental Hypnosis.
"It is time for hypnosis to work its way into the mainstream of British medicine," said David Spiegel of Stanford University. "There is solid science behind what sounds like mysticism and we need to get that message across to the bodies that influence this area. Hypnosis has no negative side-effects."
Spiegel said that hypnosis is an effective treatment for a wide spectrum of conditions including allergies, high blood pressure and pain. He also urged that the procedure be used in lieu of anesthesia during some surgeries.
"It makes operations quicker, as the patient is able to talk to the surgeon as the operation proceeds, and it is cheaper than conventional pain relief. Since it does not interfere with the workings of the body, the patient recovers faster, too," he said. "It is also extremely powerful as a means of pain relief. Hypnosis has been accepted and rejected because people are nervous of it. They think it's either too powerful or not powerful enough, but, although the public are skeptical, the hardest part of the procedure is getting other doctors to accept it."
Marie-Elisabeth Faymonville of Liege University Hospital in Belgium said that she has carried out more than 6,000 operations using a combination of hypnosis and local anesthesia.
"The local anesthetic is used only to deaden the surface of the skin while a scalpel slices through it. It has no effect inside the body," she said. "The patient is conscious throughout the operation and this helps the doctor and patient work together. The patient may have to move during an operation and it's simple to get them to do so if they remain conscious. We've even done a hysterectomy using the procedure."