The NHS needs to recognise a wider range of mind/body approaches

College of Medicine, CAM and Integrated Medicine.  As a Hypnotherapist who has seen so many positive results with clients, it has been increasingly frustrating knowing that many Healthcare professionals, the Government and the NHS do not fully recognise the benefits of complementary medicine, including Hypnotherapy.  So, when I read The College of Medicine and Integrated Health’s paper entitled “Hope for the Future”.  The tag line being “a manifesto for the next ten years where patients, people and community come first” my thoughts were “at last”……

As professionals it is not for us to tell our clients what they should and shouldn’t do, we are there to guide, to empower, enabling them to be the best that they can be and if they are on conventional medicine, it is not for us to tell them not to be.  However, over the years I have met clients who have been told that they should not “go to a Hypnotherapist” because it could affect their treatment by people with no clear understanding of what hypnotherapy really is and how we could be working together for the client/patient’s well-being.

When I read that the tide could be turning in favour of conventional medicine working together with complementary additional treatments, allowing the patient the best possible care, I felt it was positive sign.

Within the paper the focus is on obesity, loneliness, prescription of opiates, cancer, lack of physical activity, prescriptions for anti-depressants, the lack of understanding of health care professionals regarding complementary therapies and the fact that two-thirds of Doctors regret making the decision of training to be a Doctor.  With all of these issues, including despondency within career choice, Hypnotherapy may indeed help.

As part of our work as a Hypnotherapist we  focus on the mind/body connection and within the paper the executive summary states  “we also look at how we can better connect with ourselves by living healthier lifestyles including eating good food and exercising more, and the importance of respecting the connection between mind and body” – hurrah!

One of the specific action points is that “The NHS needs to recognise a wider range of mind/body approaches and fund research on them” and “Greater research funding (Post Covid-19) should be directed towards the role of food, natural remedies and complementary medicine to enhance resilience”

There are 15 chapters in this paper, two that as a hypnotherapist I was particularly interested to read.  The first being chapter 9 “integrated healthcare:  How complementary and conventional medicine can work together”. By Dr Naveed Akhtar and Dr Toh Wong, both of whom combine being a GP with CAM skills such as hypnotherapy and acupuncture.

The College of Medicine believe that “the focus should be on individualised patient care and combining the best of Conventional Western Medicine and evidence-informed CAM therapies within current mainstream medical practice”.

They intend to form a Faculty of Integrated Heath and an Integrated Health Network for practitioners to work from both fields together and an Integrated Medicine Alliance of leaders and members to help raise the profile and credibility of complementary medicine.

The college will hold an annual Integrated Health Convention (currently on the 11th of February 2022 online).  This will be open to the public, conventional and CAM practitioners. There will be a National Centre for Integrative Medicine Diploma promoted to medical, nursing and pharmacy students.

A very interesting paper, let’s hope that we can keep the momentum going. You can read the paper for yourself here:

Louise Matthews