Hypnosis is a centuries-old technique. A simple and safe intervention for addressing and treating a wide variety of psychological and physiological issues.
Coined by James Braid, an English physician who studied the practice during the 19th century. Hypnosis gets its name from the Greek God of sleep – Hypnos.
Hypnotherapy uses guided relaxation and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness, sometimes referred to as a trance and it is during this stage that we are more open to discussion and are better able to respond to positive suggestion making it possible to help with habits and conditions such as IBS, insomnia, overeating, smoking cessation or even the perception of pain. The critical faculty of the brain is turned off and the subconscious mind is listening—that’s where their habits lie.
(1) Smoking cessation
Pills and patches are often prescribed to those who wish to give up smoking however, this does little break a long established habit. If science were ever to discover an anti-habit pill, Big Pharma would have a field day.
Hypnotherapy aims to change the thought process concerning cigarettes and smoking and takes away the emotional connection to help change the habit into a positive one.
(2) Overeating / Eating disorders
Making healthier food choices and exercising are key components to maintain a healthy weight, but in some cases we need to establish and remove the emotional and unconscious factors that prevent us from losing weight or enjoying a healthy relationship with food.
Sleep is primarily managed by the subconscious and not getting enough sleep (Insomnia) can impair decision-making and memory, and can lead to health problems such as heart disease, obesity, and depression. Stress, family life, work life and even just worrying about sleep are the main reasons that you can’t fall asleep at night and so by removing the anxiety and/or fears and replacing them with calm relaxing thoughts, you will experience better quality sleep.
(4) Dental phobia
According to the British Dental Health Foundation dental anxiety affects about 10 to 20 percent of the world’s population. The high-pitched whir of the drill, the stab of the needle, or simply embarrassment of having someone look inside your mouth are just a few of the reasons that people avoid going to the dentist. The fear can come from a negative experience at the dentist or hearing about someone who has had a negative experience but whatever the underlying cause of the anxiety, it can be debilitating and once it’s programmed, the mind can run in default mode.
Hypnotherapy can help “re-wire” or “re-boot” the brain with certain thought processes and get past loops of automatic thinking. Techniques such as “pattern interruption” works extremely well for dental phobia.
(5) Chronic pain
Pain is a warning signal letting us know something may be out of sorts, but in the case of chronic pain, the nervous system may still be relaying the pain signal even after the body has healed. In hypnosis we can turn the pain down, like an imaginary dial.
Whether it’s dealing with a national tragedy or the loss of a loved one, the feeling of loss or bereavement can be debilitating, causing anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Hypnotherapy can help by providing positive suggestions to help cope with the symptoms of grieving and help with finding ways of dealing with loss as time passes.
There are things only someone living with anxiety can understand, like how incapacitating and desperate the condition can be. Anxiety is usually treated with medication or therapy or a combination of both, many people today are turning to hypnosis. Hypnotherapy works to identify the root of stress or anxiety, whether it is situational, physical, or based on an issue from the past. The subconscious mind is what makes you feel anxious and drives bad habits.
Ringing, buzzing, hissing, whooshing, or whistling sounds that nobody but you can hear are signs of tinnitus. Tinnitus can be temporary or ongoing, there is no cure for most types of the condition. In an article by TE Cope, ‘Clinical Hypnosis for the Alleviation of Tinnitus’ in the journal, it is stated that a success rate of 70 per cent is ‘commonly quoted’ by hypnotherapy practitioners.
Hypnosis can help make Chemotherapy more bearable and also promote recovery. One of the earliest documented uses of hypnosis with a cancer patient occurred in 1829, when M. le Docteur Chapelain used hypnosis to relieve the suffering of a patient with breast cancer. The doctor used hypnosis as an anaesthetic during a mastectomy and during the operation, the patient was said to be “calm and evidenced good pain control.” While today anaesthesia is the preferred means for surgery, hypnosis still plays a role in the treatment of cancer and is often used to reduce stress and anxiety as well as minimize the side effects of chemotherapy such as nausea and vomiting.
(10) Sport and athletic performance
Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Mike Tyson are just a few well-known professional athletes who have turned to hypnosis to help with their athletic performance. Athletes have long used hypnosis to eliminate negative thoughts, de-stress and relax the mind and body, and help with focus and concentration so they can “be in the zone.”
(11) Recovery from surgery
In order to promote quicker healing after medical procedures, hypnotherapy will be used to interrupt the brains pain signals while encouraging the body’s immune system and natural healing processes.
(12) IBS and Gastrointestinal disorders
While the exact cause of IBS is not known, the impact from the disease can range from mild to debilitating. Stress, although not the cause of IBS, can worsen the symptoms. While treatments range from probiotics to following a diet that minimizes trigger foods, antidepressants and cognitive behavioural therapy, hypnosis has also been shown in studies to be an effective treatment for IBS. Hypnotherapy uses relaxation techniques followed by hypnotic suggestions to help patients learn to control their symptoms. The results of the studies showed that patients experienced improvement in their quality of life and in the common symptoms of abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhoea, and bloating.
If you would like to know more about hypnotherapy and how it can help change your life, please visit our website or contact us as below.
Gail Marra D.Hyp MNCH (Acc) LAPHP is a GHR registered Clinical Hypnotherapist accredited by the National Council for Hypnotherapy, Association for Professional Hypnosis and Psychotherapy, National Register of Psychotherapists and Counsellors and the Complimentary and Natural Healthcare Council
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