Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hypnosis for Swine Flu?

I don't know whether to be angry or just sad about the marketing of it - Victoria Gallagher, the hypnotist at, has released a hypnosis recording to boost the immune system with hypnosis to help the listener not get swine flu.

Google has a lovely tool which I use called Google Alerts. It provides me with an email listing recently indexed sites and blogs relating to terms I specify. Linked in that email last week was a press release that made me quite angry.

You can read it yourself here, but I'll tell you the wording that made me contemplate the laws regarding these types of claims. I'll preface this by saying that the file probably just makes you relax and not worry so much about sickness, which could help your immune system; but some of these claims are just ridiculous.

The first line: "Spend 30 minutes a day in Hypnosis, and you will greatly improve your chances of staying healthy this year (and every year)." Iffy, but okay. It's a bit of marketing exaggeration for most, but true in the cases of some people who always think they're sick.

Later: "For those who might be scared of the risks involved with the Swine Flu Vaccine, Hypnosis provides a risk-free alternative." Wow. Claiming that hypnosis is risk free compared to the vaccine...what the risk of really getting swine flu? And what about the risk of then passing it on to someone you love? I mean, swine flu isn't that bad, but I wouldn't want to give my family a bad present for Christmas; why would I want to risk giving them an illness?

"So, you could find yourself staying healthy from all colds and viruses." The word could is a good qualifier, but 'all colds and viruses' includes meningitis, HPV, HIV, and all sorts of other things that aren't so much affected by stress levels. And being sick is about more than just experiencing symptoms.

The release starts to redeem itself in the second half, encouraging people to wash their hands, rest, and drink fluids, as well as hinting at the fact that what the file is doing is getting you to not think about getting sick, but by that point it's made some pretty fantastical claims.

She is/They are giving a way a file for free right now, but most of her files apparently sell for $39, which makes it no surprise that she's pushing this, even buying a special domain name, I assume the hope is that when someone listens and doesn't get swine flu, they'll line right up to buy the $99 packages for good luck so they can win the lotto.

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