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Hypnotherapy in Cambridge

Clinical hypnotherapy in Cambridge for IBS, chronic pain, sleeping difficulties, and more…

What is hypnotherapy and how does hypnosis work?

During a Hypnotherapy treatment a hypnotherapist helps you to enter a trance-like state when your mind is receptive to positive suggestions.

When you are in a state of hypnosis, you are deeply relaxed, your breathing and heart rates slow down and your brain produces more Alpha waves. 

These Alpha waves are associated with quiet and receptive state when the subconscious part of your mind becomes open and receptive to positive ideas and suggestions.

The thoughts in your mind will become freer from the limitations of your conscious analytical mind. Thereby, self-limiting thinking, emotional feelings or inappropriate or self-destructive behaviours can be made healthier. 

The deeper the hypnotic state that you go into, the more concentrated and focused your mind will become.

You have probably already experienced a state of hypnosis…

It is quite common to go into a hypnotic trance-like state without realising it. For example, day dreaming, becoming ‘lost’ and fully engrossed in a book, film or music. If you’ve gone on a journey and can’t quite remember how you got there, then you’ve been in a mild hypnotic trance-like state.

Our hypnotherapist specialises in the following conditions:

Is hypnotherapy safe?

A recent review study assessed the safety of hypnotherapy in patients with: 

  • Back pain 
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) 
  • Over-reactive bladder 
  • Hot flashes during menopause, and
  • In patients undergoing ovarian cancer treatment. 
This research found that directly attributable to hypnotherapy risks were: 
  • Severe adverse effects- 0% 
  • Mild adverse effects- 0.47% 
Mild side-effects can include drowsiness, dizziness, and patients with a history of anxiety-related disorders may experience a temporary aggravation of their symptoms. 
If hypnotherapy is not appropriately used, there may be a cause for concern. It could happen if the person providing the hypnotherapy, due to their limited medical knowledge, has not taken an adequate medical history. This could result in missing an underlying medical problem that requires some other form of care from a doctor or other health care professional.
Alan Szmelskyj, our Hypnotherapist, is registered with The British Society for Clinical and Academic Hypnosis (BSCAH). This organisation only provides hypnosis training to members of statutorily regulated healthcare professions such as doctors, dentists, psychologists, osteopaths, physiotherapists and chiropractors. 

Hypnotherapy Registration

  • Registered with The British Society for Clinical and Academic Hypnosis (BASCH)

Professional Qualifications

  • Advanced Diploma in Clinical Hypnosis, Staffordshire University, 2011
  • Master of Science degree in Psychobiology of Stress and Stress Management, University of Surrey, 2004
  • Diploma in Osteopathy, British School of Osteopathy, London, 1985
  • Certificate in Pain Reprocessing Therapy, 2022


  • Over 30 years of clinical experience

Recognised Expertise

  • Authored numerous scientific publications
  • Presented at national and international conferences
  • Editor and author of a book and book chapters

Specialist Training In IBS

Trained and approved provider of three leading IBS Hypnotherapy methods:

  • The North Carolina Approach
  • The Manchester Approach
  • The Bremner Method

Specialist Memberships

  • Member of the BSCAH Neuro-Gastroenterology Interest Group
  • Member of the Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology

Flexible and Accessible Treatment Options

  • Available for in-person hypnotherapy at Cambridge, UK clinic
  • Available for virtual hypnotherapy sessions online

Hypnotherapist in Cambridge

Alan Szmelskyj

DO, MSc, Adv Dip Clin Hyp, FRSPH

At CAM Therapies, you will be under the care of a highly experienced, dedicated and compassionate professional, Alan Szmelskyj. His expertise, combined with his commitment to his clients and staying at the forefront of research and innovation, ensures that you will receive the best possible treatment and support.

Hypnotherapy for back pain book

World-leading expertise in hypnotherapy for back pain

Our Hypnotherapist Alan Szmelskyj’s chapter Hypnosis for Managing Low Back Pain: Moving Back for the Future was published alongside other eminent world experts in the treatment of pain by hypnotherapy in the book edited by Professor Mark Jensen ‘Hypnotic Techniques for Chronic Pain Management- Favourite Methods of Master Clinicians’ (ISBN-13: 978-1946832085).

“The authors who have contributed chapters to this volume represent the most experienced and knowledgeable clinicians working in this [hypnotherapy] field throughout the world today” 

Professor Mark P. Jensen

Other hypnotherapy publications

By our Hypnotherapist Alan Szmelskyj

Szmelskyj, AO. (2018). Hypnosis for managing low back pain: Moving back for the future. In Jensen MP (Ed.), Hypnotic techniques for chronic pain management: Favourite methods of master clinicians (Voices of Experience). Denny Creek Press. ISBN-13: 978-1946832085.

Szmelskyj AO. (2018). Nuancing weight management using future focused hypnosis. British Medical Journal 2018;361:k2538 doi:

2017 Speaker at XIV European Society of Hypnosis Congress. Hilton Deansgate Hotel Manchester, UK. Topic “Improving The Efficacy Of Clinical Hypnosis For the Management Of Non-Specific Low Back Pain and Dysfunction”

February 2008 Poster presentation. Advancing Osteopathy 2008 conference. The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Westminster, London. Topic “Stress and palliative stress management in fibromyalgia”.

Szmelskyj, AO. (1998). Do complementary therapies stimulate the body’s natural painkilling medications? A literature review. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 6(1): 36-41.

Szmelskyj AO. (1997). Psychosocial and hypnotic theories of osteopathy and therapeutic applications. Journal of Osteopathic Education and Clinical Practice. 7(1): 32–40.

April 1994 Speaker at 9th Annual Residential Conference. International Association of Hypno- Analysts, Coventry Hill Hotel, Coventry. Topic “Osteopathy and hypnosis. Where do they overlap?”

Hypnotherapy FAQ

No, you will remain in complete control when you are in a state of hypnosis. You cannot be made to do anything that you would not ordinarily do against your will or better judgment or that would conflict with your inner beliefs and values.

Yes, of course. We can arrange for another member of staff to be a chaperone or you can bring a friend or a family member with you to your appointment.

No, a hypnotherapist does not have any special powers. However, a good hypnotherapist will have a thorough understanding of medical science and have advanced training in many different hypnotherapy techniques. They will then choose the most appropriate hypnosis technique for each patient to ensure a successful treatment outcome. 

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