AN East Riding doctor's surgery is to offer hypnotherapy to patients in bid to cut obesity rates in the county.
Clinical hypnotherapist Sheila Granger has joined Beverley and Molescroft Surgery, in Lockwood Road, Beverley, to work as a private alternative practitioner, where she will trial hypnotherapy as a treatment for obesity.
Ms Granger is pioneering a weight-loss programme which incorporates a "virtual gastric band", which she said had a 95 per cent success rate in a group trial last year, and had helped hundreds of people to lose weight.
Dr Guy Clayton said: "Sheila comes highly recommended by others for providing hypnotherapy services for private patients within the East Yorkshire area.
"Clinical hypnotherapy seems a very interesting form of treatment that has the potential to benefit a wide variety of conditions.
"We are particularly interested in the potential to help patients with significant obesity, particularly now that the funding of surgical treatments is being strictly limited.
"Obesity can lead to significant unhappiness and isolation in those affected, and also acts as a considerable risk for future diabetes, high blood pressure and other health conditions."
He added: "Sheila is conducting a trial at our premises to see if she can demonstrate the high success rate that has been claimed for this novel treatment.
"We are hopeful that hypnotherapy will complement existing treatments of obesity and we wish her every success with her venture."
Ms Granger said there was no risk involved to patients – and the only thing they had to lose was weight.
She said: "It is so refreshing to meet a medical practitioner who sees the benefits of hypnotherapy as a viable alternative to surgery and medicines.
"I know that the virtual gastric band will save the NHS millions. With zero risk, it doesn't require a person to follow a liquidized diet and involves no invasive surgery.
"The benefits are greater than with the surgery as the hypnotherapy provides psychological support to stop cravings, it doesn't just apply a physical block within the stomach.
"The only thing a person has to lose with the virtual gastric band is excess fat."