Hypnosis was once relegated to the realms of entertainment, with stage hypnotists performing to a drunken audience in night-clubs and pubs. Later it developed into a massive money-spinner for TV celebrities such as Paul McKenna. Hypnotherapy made many people wealthy with self improvement hypnosis tapes and videos. Now, however, hypnosis is regarded as a powerful medical tool by the medical establishment!
Clinical Hypnosis techniques are being increasingly and successfully employed by medical practitioners to treat a diverse amount of symptoms. They target the symptoms of diseases and illnesses such as eczema, asthma, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, cystic fibrosis, warts, snoring, migraines and even chest pain. It has been used to relieve pain and eliminate the need for medication in dental work and to create an optimum pain-free state during childbirth. It has also been used prior to, and after, medical procedures that require surgery and to alleviate anxiety and stress.
In France hypnotherapists have successfully used hypnosis to lower blood pressure. In America it was found that 50% of smokers who used hypnotherapy to quit did not return to the habit. As far as smoking goes, this is a huge statistic!
Although hypnosis is a mind altering technique that spans thousands of years and has been used throughout that time to treat many diverse illness and conditions it disappeared from public consciousness until relatively recently. As was already mentioned its return was in the form of entertainment. Hollywood certainly had a role to play in this within this and the last century. Unfortunately, Hollywood hasn’t portrayed hypnotists as being that ethical or helpful. Most have a criminal mind-set and hypnosis itself, in the film industry, tends to be used for selfish, governmental or even evil purposes.
Real hypnosis is a far cry from anything Hollywood has offered us. However, exactly how it works no-one knows. At its simplest explanation hypnosis can be called a form of mental and physical relaxation but anyone who has experienced a hypnotic state or practised hypnosis on another knows there is a lot more to it than that!
Old memories, long forgotten, can be evoked from the mind. Emotional upsets can be released. Physical pain can be controlled and eliminated. Some physical symptoms can be completely eradicated and some can be induced. In addition to these astonishing uses, post hypnotic suggestions can also be given that can cause life-altering behavioural changes (but only when the subject is willing!).
In order to gain the full benefits of using hypnosis you must move past the Hollywood myths, stereotypes and common misconceptions about all forms of hypnosis and what you think it can and can‘t do.
Hypnotherapy has a reported 50-60% success rate for quitting smoking. It would probably be much higher if the subjects took a 6 week course. Hypnotherapy is now being used in a number of ways in dentistry. It is used instead of a local or general anaesthetic during filings and teeth extractions.
It is estimated that 1 in 4 people suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) as it is probably the most common of the sever gastrointestinal disorders. The main symptoms of this disorder include severe abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation. The colon of the sufferer stops working but the reason for this is not known. Current medical treatment for IBS has an extremely limited effectiveness for most people and just doesn’t work at all for many. This is perhaps why so many sufferers turn to alternative therapies for treatment and why hypnotherapists have developed such effective treatments. Hypnosis has a very high success rate at eliminating the symptoms of IBS.
In Manchester, England, NHS (National Health Service) studies have been conducted into reducing chest pain in patients who had angina with an 80% success rate. In the USA Harvard medical research teams discovered that surgical wounds healed at a much faster rate when hypnotherapy was employed. They found that people with broken bones healed up to three weeks faster than those who received no hypnosis. In the case of surgical wounds they found that hypnosis not only increased recovery time but also reduced pain, inflammation and scarring!
To list all the uses and successes of clinical hypnosis would take a book. I therefore leave with food for thought. If hypnosis can help heal bones quicker and reduce scarring what else can it do?