An Auckland psychiatrist and pain medicine expert says hypnotherapy may have a confused reputation, but it really can help people cope with pain.
Dr Bob Large says 10 to 15 percent of the population is highly hypnotisable, and could potentially have the likes of a thyroid or gallbladder removal without being anaesthetised.
He says for others it can help with childbirth and with dealing with chronic pain following medical procedures.
Dr Large says entertainment hypnosis has given the practice a terrible name.
"People see it as something that is pretty scary and involves someone taking control of your mind and making you do things you don't want to do and so on, and that's just not the way it is at all."
Dr Large says it's nothing like the hypnosis you see on TV or in theatres.
"Clinical hypnosis is respectful and it engages people in utilising their own capacities and if anything, it makes people more in control than out of control."