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The two sisters sat in the airport lounge, waiting for their flight to Kerala. It was delayed. They were keen to get going. Their mother had died the day before and they were going to settle her affairs. “She had a good life. She lived to 97,” explained one of the sisters. “You know what her secret was? Coconuts.”

Eubank talks his way into trouble

Boxing

Sniffing out a profit

Aromatherapy has gone cosmetic. But do the treatments do anything other than smell nice? Adele Lovell wonders

Feelgood factor: Holly Johnson

"There's an angelic lady who I have seen twice now for aromatherapy at the HIV clinic I go to, though the last time I saw her it was a bit rushed and we spent just over an hour together; the first session was about two and a half hours. She provides aromatherapy for free. This lady is particularly good with people who have HIV. She uses only original oils, which are expensive. She chatted - it's very important to talk to the person you're seeking treatment from, so they know what your lifestyle involves - and gave me information on what I could use at home.

Toxin shock syndrome

An old friend thought she was pregnant. Helen Wilkinson thought it was time to get thin and clean with a week of intense naturopathy

Exam aid

E X T R A C U R R I C U L U M

Hypnotism: the fourth emergency service

"It's possible for you to decide yourself how to perceive the world," announced Paul McKenna in the investigation of the "phenomenal powers of hypnotism", which went out under the Network First (ITV) banner last night. I decided it would be nice to perceive a world without Paul McKenna, but I don't seem to be suggestible enough. Grim reality triumphed over wishful thinking. Network First is the most wildly variable of all the documentary strands: one week it will serve as a fig leaf, properly concealing Carlton's naked commercialism, the next it is a spangled posing pouch, complete with peekaboo flap. But it has never before been quite as vulgarly skimpy as "Paul McKenna's Secret World of Hypnotism", an ugly mating of fairground bunkum booth with documentary manners.

Alternative vets try acupuncture

"IT'S great this," says Alan Robb as he eases in a three-inch needle above the Great Dane's eye. "The dog hardly feels a thing and I know that the treatment has been tested on humans for use on animals. For once, we have been the guinea pigs."

Hindley accused

MOORS murderer Ian Brady has launched a bitter attack on Myra Hindley, accusing her of killing Lesley Ann Downey with her own hands and "revelling" in the murder, writes Peter Victor.

Hindley challenges Brady: Tell truth about grave

Myra Hindley last night confirmed that she would be hypnotised to help find the body of Keith Bennett and launched a bitter attack on claims by her fellow Moors Murderer Ian Brady that she would "fake" a trance.

Hindley hypnosis may find victim

Myra Hindley has been given permission to be hypnotised to help find the last body of her victims, but she may not be fit to return to the scene of her crimes for up to a year.

Metro Choice: Paws for thought

Forget all that hackneyed pocket-watch stuff - Hugh Lennon hypnotises you with his dog. Hypno Dog (below), Lennon's pet Labrador, has a very dominant stare, and when Lennon's house-guests were constantly mesmerised by the basilisk canine, Lennon d ecidedto incorporate his best friend into his act. Volunteers are invited on stage to sit in front of the dog, and after a while they just collapse on to the floor, to be resurrected as a ballet dancer or John Travolta. Lennon has been hypnotising peopl e for20 years - he caught the bug after seeing a hypnotist on a cruise ship when he was doing a mind-reading act. He resolved to learn the technique, at first for personal reasons. "I do self-hypnosis all the time: the subconscious controls the body, so it'sgreat for stress-relief and general health. All kinds of creative people use some method of self-hypnosis." The safety of stage hypnotism is a bone of contention nowadays, but Lennon is the consummate experienced professional. "I do a lot of studen t union gigs, and interest is especially high around exam time, when everyone is stressed and suicide rates go up. I teach them how to cope," he says benignly. They recently wowed audiences on BBC1's Steve Wright's People Show; now it's your chance to se e Hugh and his Hypno Dog in person and live to tell the tail.

On the point of a breakthrough? : HEALTH

Mary Anne Fitzgerald discovers that acupuncture could make it easier fo r crack addicts to cope with the effects of withdrawal

Hypnotism does not exist, say the experts

GRAHAM WAGSTAFF is a psychologist at Liverpool University who has been studying hypnosis for 20 years. Ask him whether stage hypnotists should be banned and he answers with a clear "No".

Letter: Beware of stage hypnosis

Sir: There is a serious danger the debate between the "respectable" and more reprehensible stage hypnotists (reports, 14 November) obscures the fact that all entertainment hypnosis is potentially hazardous, and the British Society of Medical & Den tal Hypnosis welcomes any move to entirely ban stage hypnosis. Our grave disquiet regarding stage (and TV) hypnosis shows is based upon three main issues: First, stage hypnosis gives an impression of control by the hypnotist, and of subjects behaving foolishly. The spin-off from this has been that many people have become deterred from accepting the responsible use of hypnosis as a valuable aid to medical or dental treatment.

Outcry fails to stop ITV hypnosis programme

The public outcry over the dangers of hypnosis does not seem to be deflecting commercial television from a successful new format.
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