In its simplest sense, hypnosis is simply a state of mind in which the subject is relaxed and focused on a particular activity or task. It is often compared with meditation, because they share some similar characteristics. However, as in meditation, hypnosis can also be used to induce behaviors and change reactions to experiences. Hypnosis is a normal human phenomenon involving decreased peripheral awareness, focused attention, increased self-awareness, and an improved ability to respond to external suggestion.
What are the benefits of self-hypnosis? Among other things, it can help treat many chronic illnesses such as cancer, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD). The process of hypnosis can also facilitate the treatment and recovery of milder cases of depression, anxiety disorders, phobias, addictions, and other psychological problems. If you or someone you know has one of these conditions, there are many benefits to trying self-hypnosis therapy. Self-hypnosis can provide relief from anxiety, pain, depression, and other physical and mental ailments. Here are just a few of the ways in which this therapy can help those who are suffering:
Pain Management: During the past several years, the use of hypnosis for pain control has grown tremendously in scientific and medical circles. Medical doctors have reported great success in treating chronic pain with the use of hypnosis. This therapy can reduce chronic pain from a variety of conditions, including cancer, migraines, back pain, shingles, neck pain, and phantom limb pain. Self-hypnosis can be very effective in removing unpleasant memories from the subconscious, allowing the subject to focus on relieving current pain. The effect of this type of therapy can be surprisingly powerful. For instance, in a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, pain reduction was observed in patients with breast cancer that were successfully treated using “placebo” treatments.
Improved Health: Self-hypnosis can improve a number of health issues, such as insomnia, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and even physical ailments. A trained therapist can use various techniques, such as imagery and targeted suggestions, to improve the quality of a patient’s life. Many health professionals recommend that a patient who is experiencing health problems undergo hypnosis. A health professional may suggest that a person consider using hypnosis to help them deal with stress and treat certain conditions.
Stress Reduction: During the past several years, the use of hypnosis for stress management has grown tremendously. Studies have suggested that hypnosis can significantly reduce the symptoms of chronic stress by reducing physiological arousal, which can be caused by pain or a traumatic experience. During a hypnosis session, the therapist can suggest that painful memories are forgotten, which may eliminate the need to relive the stressor through imagery and direct suggestion. Hypnosis has also been shown to significantly reduce symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Pain Control: While most pain sufferers would prefer not to be put under hypnosis, there are those who benefit from the soothing affects it can bring. Because some pains can be treated naturally using heat, massages, or exercise, hypnosis may help people who experience chronic pain control. It may also be helpful during sports injuries or other strenuous physical activities. Before starting any type of hypnosis treatment, it’s important to speak with your doctor to ensure that you won’t experience negative side effects.
False Memories: While most of us have had experiences where we were led to feel that something is wrong or missing when in reality there is no problem, hypnosis can introduce false memories or feelings that can lead to anxiety or depression. This is especially true for young children who are often very impressionable. During a hypnotherapy session, the therapist will often encourage a child or patient to imagine themselves grow older, having more friends, or having a better job. While these recollections are certainly true, the suggestion is that these events will occur if the hypnosis session is continued. While this may not always be the case, hypnosis can introduce the wrong ideas to a person, resulting in false memories being formed.
Relaxation and Pain Management: Hypnosis can also be used to relax a patient or even take control of a painful situation. During a hypnosis session, the hypnotherapist will make use of suggestions such as relaxation and deep breathing techniques to bring a patient into a relaxed state. Once in this relaxed state, the therapist can begin to apply suggestions aimed at relieving pain or eliminating emotional problems. While the hypnotherapist may not be able to stop the spasms of a muscle spasm or remove the cramp from a major ache, he or she can bring a calm feeling to the affected area. If the hypnotherapist is unable to locate the exact cause of a patient’s pain, he or she can provide suggestions for possible treatments. When the patient fully recovers from the hypnosis session, these suggestions will have paid off.