About this event

  • Date and time Mon 10 Oct 2022 from 6:00pm to 8:30pm
  • Location Online
  • Organised by Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Medicine, British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis (BSCAH)

During this webinar, delegates will learn about Dr James Braid’s life including his early theories about hypnosis, derived from research and clinical practice, as well as their relevance today. 

Delegates will also learn about Dr John Elliotson, one of Victorian Britain's most reputable doctors, and his early work to incorporate hypnotic techniques in the medical profession, which were first welcomed and then debunked in the early 19th century. Details of his work from both clinical and theoretical perspectives will also be discussed.

During this session, delegates will gain insight into:

  • Dr James Braid’s life including the events and circumstances that led to his theories on hypnotism.
  • The significant impact that Dr Braid had on our current understanding of hypnosis.
  • How Dr John Elliotson first charted the therapeutic effects of hypnosis when it was trialled in Britain in the 1830s.
  • How and why Elliotson’s discoveries were first acclaimed and then traduced by the medical establishment, creating the breach between hypnosis and mainstream medicine which still persists to this day.

This meeting is being held in association with the British Society of Clinical & Academic Hypnosis (BSCAH). 

This webinar is available for on-demand viewing. The webinar recording will be available for registered delegates up to 60 days after the live webinar broadcast via Zoom. The link will be sent 24 hours after the webinar takes place.  

Follow us on: 


Key speakers

Wendy Moore

Ms Wendy Moore

Journalist and Author

Speaker's biography

Best-selling author Ms Wendy Moore will talk about her book, The Mesmerist: The Society Doctor Who Held Victorian London Spellbound, which tells the story of John Elliotson, the esteemed Victorian physician and former president of the Royal Society of Medicine, who introduced hypnotism to Victorian Britain. Elliotson’s battle against an entrenched medical profession helps to explain why today's hypnotherapy remains on the fringes of mainstream medicine.  


Ms Moore is a freelance journalist and the author of five books on medical and social history. Her latest book, Endell Street: The Women Who Ran Britain’s Trailblazing Military Hospital, was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. 

Michael Alan Gow

Dr Michael Alan Gow

General Dental Practitioner, Clinical Director, Dental Anxiety Management Unit, Berkley Clinic, Glasgow 

Speaker's biography

Dr Michael Alan Gow is a general dental practitioner and is the Clinical Director of Dental Anxiety Management at The Berkeley Clinic in Glasgow. Dr Gow has had a passion for helping people who have dental anxiety and phobia for many years and has become well known in this field among the dental profession. He has helped hundreds of very anxious patients, and lectures to dentists all over the world to teach them new ways to help their anxious patients as well. Dr Michael Alan Gow graduated from Glasgow University’s Dental School in 1999 and undertook formal hypnosis training with The British Society of Medical and Dental Hypnosis soon after. In 2003 he trained in the conscious sedation techniques of intravenous and inhalation sedation with The Society for the Advancement of Anesthesiology in Dentistry.  By 2005, he had graduated with a Masters in Hypnosis Applied to Dentistry from University College London having been awarded a ‘distinction’ for the Diploma and then completed a Postgraduate Certificate in the Management of Dental Anxiety from the University of Edinburgh.  


Dr Michael Alan Gow is a Past President (2008-10, 2014-16) of The British Society of Medical and Dental Hypnosis in Scotland, and has gained the European Society of Hypnosis Certificate. He has published many articles, case studies and book chapters on hypnosis and dental anxiety management and has appeared on TV several times (including BBC’s Horizon) demonstrating the use of hypnosis in dental pain control. He has also appeared on ‘The History of Britain’ with Tony Robinson to talk about the history of dentistry. He is Chairman of ‘The Henry Noble History of Dentistry Research Group’. 


Dr Gow is currently preparing a documentary about the life of Dr James Braid- follow @drjamesbraid on social media channels to keep up to date with developments! 


Dr Michael Alan Gow has four young children who all keep him very busy. He enjoys travelling overseas with his wife, going to the football, family tree research, history of dentistry research, history of hypnosis research, collecting antique hypnosis books, fly-fishing and Scotch whisky (he even has an SVQ Diploma in Single Malt Whisky!


View the programme

Welcome and introduction

Dr David Kraft, President, Section of Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Medicine, Royal Society of Medicine

The mesmerist: How John Elliotson, Victorian society doctor and Royal Society of Medicine President, held London spellbound

Ms Wendy Moore, Freelance Journalist and Author 

Questions and answers

Chaired by: Dr David Kraft

James Braid: The father of hypnosis 

Dr Mike Gow, Dental Surgeon and Clinical Director, Dental Anxiety Management Unit, Berkley Clinic, Glasgow 

Questions and answers

Chaired by: Dr David Kraft

Closing remarks 

Dr David Kraft

Close of meeting



Disclaimer:All views expressed in this webinar are of the speakers themselves and not of the RSM. 

Registration for this webinar will close 1 hour prior to the start time. You will receive the webinar link 1 hour before the meeting. Late registrations will not be accepted.

Free webinars - promo

Watch your next webinar for free as an RSM member

RSM members have free access to over 100 hours of educational webinars each year. 

Become a member