Professor Kathy Sykes from Bristol University, earlier this year presented a new series on alternative therapies, starting with hypnotherapy. Trying to combine hard science with populist telly, she asks the one big question – does it work? The answer is a qualified yes. She watches a woman having two teeth pulled out under hypnosis without any local anaesthetic. The patient feels virtually no pain and her pulse rate remains flat, while Professor Sykes is nearly sick. But there seems to be almost no scientific explanation as to how it works. Claims that it can help people to lose weight or give up smoking may be true, but – according to this programme – it’s no use when it comes to breast enhancement. Lest you were wondering.”

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