Hypnosis became popular as a treatment for medical conditions in the late 1700s when effective pharmaceutical and surgical treatment options were limited. In 1958 hypnosis was recognized by the American Medical Association as a legitimate, safe approach to medical and psychological problems. The American Psychiatric Association (APA), and the British Medical Association (BMA), has recognized hypnosis as a viable therapeutic tool as well.
Hypnosis has been shown to be effective in the relief of many different medical conditions. Some known uses of hypnosis are in the field of chronic pain, stress, hypertension, headaches, asthma, skin conditions, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel, insomnia, weight loss, smoking cessation, surgery preparation and recovery, phobias and anxiety. More and more the medical community is recognizing the power of our minds. Stress, fear and anxiety play an important role in the processes of the body.
The predominant school of thought on hypnosis is that it is a way to access a person's subconscious mind. Hypnosis side steps the intellectual, critical, conscious mind and targets the subconscious mind. When speaking directly to the subconscious mind, new ideas and new ways of behaving and thinking are accepted and absorbed in a highly effective way.
Normally, people are only aware of the thought processes in their conscious minds. The subconscious takes care of all the stuff people do automatically. They don't actively think about breathing — the subconscious mind does that. The subconscious also processes physical information the body receives.
Psychiatrists theorize that the deep relaxation and focusing exercises of hypnotism work to calm the conscious mind so that it takes a less active role in the thinking process. In this state, the subconscious mind becomes dominant over the conscious mind. This allows the patient and the hypnotist to work directly with the subconscious
Almost 80% of physical and psychological problems are stress related. And, since relaxation forms the core of all hypnotic procedures, it enables us to exclude anxiety and tension from our normal thought cycles. consciousness range from being fully alert to being deeply asleep. They are mainly distinguished from each other by their brain wave frequency. Hypnosis utilizes brain wave changes. http://hypnotichealth.blogspot.com/2006/03/hypnosis-brain-waves-and-change.html
"Hypnosis can be used very effectively for pain reduction. it can also be very useful in treating anxiety in people who are anxious. Hypnosis has been shown to be effective in helping people to stop smoking and in controlling overeating" - David Speigel, M.D. Associate Chairman of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University
I use many different techniques for my hypnotic sessions depending on the individual and their individual situations. It is like having a tool box filled with many different tools to use depending on the need
Here is a short description of some of the techniques used:
- Time Line Therapy -- A technique created by Tad James
- Transformational Healing Method -- A healing method created by Marilyn Gordon where she speaks to the "Wise Mind"
- Parts Therapy -- The are sometimes parts of us that are in conflict with the rest of us or in conflict with our conscious minds.
- EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)-- When you tap on certain acupressure points and say out loud a selected Key Phrase, this dissolves the blockage. It's like pressing the "Delete" key on your computer
- Guided Imagery -- The natural language of the unconscious mind, imagery, help peoples connect with deeper resources available to them at the cognitive, affective and somatic levels. By prompting pictures that symbolize their problems and exploring what the images mean, clients/patients can experience profound psychological and physiological changes and feel empowered to conquer their own pain and suffering. The solutions are there, in their minds, and the guide is there to help find them.
In my clinical practice I provide services regarding the following issues:
Cancer treatment support
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Interstitial Cystitis (IC)
Fears and Phobias
Preparing for surgery / dental visits
Motivating Life Style Changes
Diabetes Management Support
And Much, Much More!
The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis lists the following uses of hypnosis:
Treatment of gastrointestinal and skin disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis, eczema, herpes, psoriasis, warts.
I follow the protocol of the Chapel Hill study by Olafor Palsson. You need to be a licensed professional in order to have his protocol.
Palsson OS, Turner MJ, Johnson DA, Burnett CK, Whitehead WE. Hypnosis treatment for severe irritable bowel syndrome: investigation of mechanism and effects on symptoms. Dig Dis Sci 2002 Nov;47(11):2605-14.
Possible physiological and psychological mechanisms of hypnosis treatment for IBS were investigated in two studies. Patients with severe IBS received seven biweekly hypnosis sessions and used hypnosis audiotapes at home. Rectal pain thresholds and smooth muscle tone were measured with a barostat before and after treatment in 18 patients (study I), and treatment changes in heart rate, blood pressure, skin conductance, finger temperature, and forehead electromyographic activity were assessed in 24 patients (study II). Somatization, anxiety, and depression were also measured. All central IBS symptoms improved substantially from treatment in both studies. Rectal pain thresholds, rectal smooth muscle tone, and autonomic functioning (except sweat gland reactivity) were unaffected by hypnosis treatment. However, somatization and psychological distress showed large decreases. In conclusion, hypnosis improves IBS symptoms through reductions in psychological distress and somatization. Improvements were unrelated to changes in the physiological parameters measured. 17 of 18 patients in study 1 and 21 of 24 patients in study 2 were judged substantially improved Improvement was well-maintained at 10-12 month follow up in study 2.
To relax patients before surgery . (In very rare cases -- such as allergy or chemical sensitivity to anesthetics, or if a patient must remain conscious and responsive during surgery -- hypnosis is used as the sole anesthetic.)
Pain relief from back problems, cancer, headaches and arthritis.
For burn patients, to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
To control nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy and pregnancy.
During childbirth for relaxation and occasionally as the sole analgesic for labor.
To assist in therapy with victims of crimes such as incest, rape and physical abuse.
Other areas of application include: allergies; anxiety and stress management; asthma; bed-wetting; depression; sports and athletic performance; smoking cessation; obesity and weight control; sleep disorders; Raynaud's disease; high blood pressure; sexual dysfunctions; concentration, test anxiety and learning disorders.The Society lists the following uses for hypnosis in medicine and psychotherapy.
The American Pain Foundation article regarding hypnosis in the use of pain:
Mt Sinia Hospital in New York City integrative medicine sight regarding hypnosis in the use of pain:
Seth-Deborah teaches individuals and classes in the many uses of hypnosis in our everday life. She teaches health care providers in the use of hypnosis in emergencies and medical procedures. She teaches corporate workshops in dealing with stress in the workplace.
General Research on Benefits of Hypnosis:
According to William Ray, Penn State psychology professor and hypnosis-researcher,more than 6,000 articles on the benefits of hypnosis have been published in medical and psychological journals since the 1950s. "We have done a variety of EEG studies," says Ray, "one of which suggests that hypnosis removes the emotional experience of pain while allowing the sensory sensation to remain. Thus, you notice you were touched but not that it hurt."
-- Research Penn State
Hypnosis for Medical and Surgical Procedures:
Clinical trials are measuring how the use of hypnosis before surgery leads to less trauma to the body, less blood loss, and faster recovery times. Some studies look at how hypnosis may even shorten the length of the procedure and lower the cost.
At teaching hospitals such as those at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and Harvard Medical School, hypnotists work with some surgical patients to help speed recovery.
“Hypnosis for acute distress management during medical procedures: In recent years, several randomized-controlled trials with sufficient participant numbers have demonstrated the efficacy of hypnosis in the perioperative domain.”
--Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center - Harvard Medical School
Studies of patients undergoing surgery who were taught self-hypnosis by the team of Dr. Mehmet Oz, cardiothoracic surgeon and frequent Oprah Winfrey guest, revealed the patients were significantly less tense as well as less depressed, less fatigued, and required less medication. They felt empowered and left the hospital sooner than those who did not receive the training.
--Chip Brown, “The Experiments of Dr. Oz”
“Contemporary clinical investigators claim that the combination of analgesia and hypnosis is superior to conventional pharmacologic anesthesia for minor surgical cases, with patients and surgeons responding favorably.”
--University of Florida College of Medicine
“A new study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston found that women who were guided into a state of hypnotic relaxation during biopsy experienced less pain and anxiety during the procedure.”
--Artemis/Hopkins Breast Center
“Hypnosis Reduces Preoperative Anxiety in Adult Patients: patients in the hypnosis group were significantly less anxious postintervention as compared with patients in the attention-control group and the control group. Moreover, on entrance to the operating rooms, the hypnosis group reported a significant decrease of 56% in their anxiety level whereas the attention-control group reported an increase of 10% in anxiety and the control group reported an increase of 47% in their anxiety.”
-–Anesthesia & Analgesia
“Doctors at Yale University's medical school reported the news at the American Society of Anesthesiologists' annual meeting. They tested hypnosis on a small group of adults right before outpatient surgery. Their finding: Hypnosis worked. After one hypnosis session, patients were less anxious about their operation than they had been just half an hour before.”
-–WebMD Medical News
Hypnosis for Childbirth:
“When learning about how the mind controls the body, the expectant couple is taught to surround themselves with only positive people and messages, to create a positive view of childbirth and the expectation that their birthing with be the beautiful, peaceful experience that they want. Fear Clearing Sessions are integral to this process, as they allow each person to address fears they have, work through possible solutions and then release them. Fear in labor can create tension, which creates pain, then more fear, and the cycle continues. Fear and anxiety can also create adrenaline production in the body, causing the labor to become dysfunctional, a common reason for Cesarean Section surgery. Freedom from fear can make a huge difference in the birthing experience.
“Hypnosis for childbirth teaches a woman how to enter into self-hypnosis instantly, and create her own natural anesthesia whenever and wherever she needs it. This is important as any drugs taken by a laboring woman can be dangerous for her, and especially her baby. She has total control over her body, and is an active participant in her birth process. As labor progresses, she relaxes even more, goes deeper inside herself, trusting in her body's natural ability to give birth with ease and comfort. Her mind is programmed to give her exactly what she needs.”
--Kerry Tuschhoff . “Hypnosis for Childbirth: What Is It and Does It Work?”
Hypnosis for Children:
“Studies have shown clinical hypnosis and self-hypnosis to be effective as adjunct treatments for children in pain. Examples include painful medical procedures, such as bone marrow aspiration and lumbar puncture in pediatric cancer patients, postoperative pain and anxiety in children undergoing surgery, and chronic headache.”
-–Canadian Family Physician
“The faculty of Health and Social Work at the University of Plymouth in the UK systematically reviewed the research evidence on the effectiveness of hypnosis for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) in cancer patients… Meta-analysis revealed a large effect size of hypnotic treatment when compared with treatment as usual, and the effect was at least as large as that of cognitive-behavioral therapy, thus demonstrating that hypnosis could be a clinically valuable intervention for anticipatory and CINV in children with cancer.”
--European Journal of Cancer Care
“Patients ages 8–18 years with either FAP (n=31) or IBS (n=22) were randomized to either hypnotherapy or standard medical care. Hypnotherapy was conducted at a site distant from the academic center by a registered nurse with years of training and experience in hypnotherapy. The hypnotherapy intervention consisted of six age-appropriate 50-minute sessions over a three-month period.
“The goal of the hypnotherapy was to provide suggestions for general relaxation, sleep improvement, and "ego-strengthening." Standard medical care consisted of physician-directed education, dietary advice, extra dietary fiber, and pain medication in addition to six half-hour sessions of "supportive therapy" conducted over a three-month period.
“Patients in both groups maintained a pain diary card on which they recorded the daily frequency and intensity of abdominal pain and other somatic symptoms such as headache. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, one, four, eight, and 12 weeks after randomization and again six and 12 months post-therapy. Gastrointestinal pain scores decreased significantly.”
--American Academy of Pediatrics
Hypnosis for Dental Procedures:
“During a 1-year-trial period, 209 [dental] operations under combined local anaesthesia/medical hypnosis were carried out on 174 non-preselected patients between the ages of 13 and 87 years. The surgical range covered oral, plastic and reconstructive, oncological, septic and trauma operations. RESULTS: Medical hypnosis turned out to be a reliable and standardizable method with high patient compliance. Remarkable improvements in treatment conditions for both patient and surgeons were achieved in 93% of cases.”
-–Journal of Cranio-maxillo-facial Surgery
Hypnosis for Weight Management:
“In this meta-analytical examination of clinical weight-loss studies, Allison and Faith examined the effectiveness of hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy. The studies consistently found that hypnotherapy enhanced cognitive-behavioral approaches to weight reduction.”
--Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Hypnosis for Sports Performance:
“What do Tiger Woods, Sylvester Stallone, and hundreds of successful Olympic athletes, performing artists, salesmen, and business executives have in common? All have used hypnosis and guided imagery to vastly increase their performance in their chosen field…. In this relaxed but fully conscious state we can help our clients to achieve all of the following objectives in the arena of peak performance:
We help them to visualize and experience in every muscle of their bodies achieving their goal through a mental rehearsal of every step of their performance.”
--David Quigley, “Achieving Peak Performance in Sports and in Life”
Hypnosis for Depression:
“Hypnosis offers a way to conceptualise how human beings construct their individual realities, and how to interact more effectively with others; in clinical hypnosis hypnotic processes are employed as agents of effective communication and change. "
--Dr. Michael Yapko, who was chosen to write the sections on Treating Depression and Brief Therapy for the Encyclopaedia Britannica Medical and Health Annuals