Hypnotherapy in Cambridge

Clinical hypnotherapy (hypnosis therapy) for IBS, PTSD, chronic pain, sleeping difficulties, addictions 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.

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 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. 

Our hypnotherapist specialises in the following conditions:

  • Stress, anxiety
  • Trauma including PTSD
  • Sleeping difficulties, insomnia
  • Gut directed hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Pain, including chronic back pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Menopausal symptoms

Alan Szmelskyj

DO, MSc, Adv Dip Clin Hyp, FRSPH

Registered Clinical Hypnotherapist in Cambridge

  • Registered with The British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis
  • Over 35 years’ clinical experience
  • International Speaker and Presenter
  • Author of many scientific publications on osteopathy and hypnotherapy
  • Trained in Gut Directed Hypnotherapy, the most effective method of treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS
Alan Szmelskyj Registered Osteopath in Cambridge
Alan Szmelskyj DO, MSc, Adv Dip Clin Hyp, FRSPH- Registered Osteopath in Cambridge, UK

World-leading expertise in hypnotherapy for back pain

Hypnotherapy for back pain book

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: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2538

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. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0965-2299(98)80055-1

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 myths

Hypnosis will make me lose control over my body or actions

No, you will remain in complete control. When you are in 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.


Does a hypnotherapist have special powers?

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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Hypnotherapy in Cambridge

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