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In our occasional column we road test alternative treatments. This week: Hypnopuncture weightloss therapy.

Last updated at 7:37 PM on 21st July 2008

Beauty guru

Beauty guru

This revolutionary treatment involves the combined talents of hypnotherapist Paul Haynes and acupunturist Alex Owen. As the name 'Hypnopuncture' suggests, this is a two-pronged treatment that aims to unblock energy, kick-start the metabolism and dispel bad eating habits.


Paul has been a hypnotherapist for more than ten years - as well as being a Reiki master and energy healer. Acupuncturist Alex has a degree from Middlesex and Beijing Universities and runs his own practice in Hertfordshire. He is also involved in several NHS clinics in London. They met in 2006 when Paul was heading the Chinese medicine faculty at Middlesex University and hit upon the simple but effective way of combining the two treatments for maximum benefit.


Women for whom successful dieting has been a disappointment. Patients expect to lose weight permanently through eating sensibly and exercising. Patients range in age from early 20s to over 70.


'When trying to lose weight, the first thing you need to do is reduce your calorie intake,' says Paul. 'This can be achieved by eating smaller, nutritionally balanced meals and cutting out snacking. It sounds straightforward, but Hypnopuncture is designed to help eliminate food cravings and the desire to snack by using a combination of acupuncture points to bring balance to the body and hypnotherapy to alter unconscious behaviour patterns.'


After a brief consultation and weigh-in, it was a slightly unnerving experience having acupuncture needles inserted in my head, ears, stomach and feet by Alex as Paul lulled me into the primary stages of the hypnotic state. Lights dimmed, and all needles in place, Alex left to let Paul take me through a series of mental gymnastics - imagining glowing pyramids going through spinning halos and words sinking into neon lakes, that sort of thing - that will retrain my subconscious. Almost an hour later I emerged slightly drained, but relaxed. Alex had attached some tiny gold 'buds' to pressure points on my ears to press when temptation arose - the next day, friends assumed I was trying out some weird new jewellery fad.


After two sessions I had lost 6lb and was more focused on eating healthily. I had stopped snacking between meals and had upped my weekly exercise by walking wherever possible. Like all therapies, you have to be willing to put in some hard work yourself, but the treatment certainly gave me the impetus to get started.


Each hour-long session costs 80 and Paul and Alex recommend a total of six weekly sessions to see the full benefits. Contact or call and leave your details on 020 8446 9470.



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