What Is Hypnotherapy and How Will Oregon Hypnosis Help?
Hypnotherapy is used to manage numerous medical and psychological problems. Hypnotic techniques can help a person overcome alcohol and substance abuse, stop smoking, and reduce over eating and more. Hypnotherapy is also very effective in treating trauma, stress, sleep disorders, and mental health problems such as anxiety, fear, phobias and depression. Weight loss hypnosis is one of the better known forms of hypnotherapy along with smoking cessation hypnosis.
For thousands of years the power of suggestion has played a major role in healing in cultures as varied as ancient Greece, Persia, and India. Hypnotherapy uses both the power of suggestion and trance-like states to access the deepest levels of the mind to effect positive changes in a person’s behavior, and to treat a range of heath conditions; including migraines, ulcers, respiratory conditions, tension headaches, and even warts.
In 1995 the British Medical Association approved the use if hypnotherapy was a valid medical treatment. The American Medical Association (AMA) followed suite in 1958, and its Council on Scientific Affairs continues to encourage more research on the subject of hypnotherapy. At the same time, the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, a professional association of physicians, psychologists, and dentists, has grown from twenty members in 1957 to over 4,300, and attendance at hypnotism courses by physicians and other medical specialists is steadily increasing. Approximately fifteen thousand doctors now combine hypnotherapy with traditional treatments, and recent studies show that 94 percent of patients benefit from hypnotherapy, even if the only benefit is relaxation.
Therapeutic Applications of Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy has therapeutic applications for both psychological and physical disorders. A skilled hypnotherapist can facilitate profound changes in respiration and relaxation on the part of the client to create positive shifts in behavior and an enhanced well-being. A physiological shift can be observed in a hypnotic state, as can greater control of autonomic nervous system functions normally considered to be beyond one’s ability to control. Stress reduction is a common occurrence, as is the lowering of blood pressure rate.Recently, hypnotherapy has become more widely used is a method of treating a variety of medical conditions. “Because hypnotherapy induces a deep, multilevel relaxation, increases tolerance to adverse stimuli, eases anxiety, and enhances affirmative imagery, it can be adapted to maximize the mind’s contribution to healing, both in and out of the hospital,” says Gerard V. Sunnen, M.D., Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the New York University- Bellevue Hospital Medical Center.
Examples of Hypnosis Being Used in A Variety of Medical Scenarios
Maurice Tinterow, M.D., Ph. D., and anesthesiologist at the Center for the Improvement of Human Functioning in Wichita, Kansas, has employed hypnotherapy to control pain for conditions that include headaches, facial neuralgia, sciatica, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, whiplash, menstrual pain, and tennis elbow. Dr. Tinterow has also used hypnotherapy is place of anesthesia in a variety of surgical operations, including hysterectomies, caesarian sections, and for treatment of second and third degree burns.One of Dr. Tinterow’s earliest and most dramatic cases involved a fifteen-year-old girl who required open-heart surgery. Because the girl proved allergic to all anesthetic agents, Dr. Tinterow used hypnosis over a period of eight weeks, and by the final session before surgery the girl was able to relax quite easily. She was hypnotized before the operation and remained conscious throughout the four-hour procedure. The operation was a success, and today, thirty years later the woman is healthy and living a full life.Gary Lalonde, C. Ht., of Wales, Michigan, also uses hypnotherapy to treat a variety of health conditions. One of his clients suffered from reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a chronic condition where pain does not subside and muscle function begins to deteriorate. “This man pierced one of his feet with a three and a half inch nail after stepping on a piece of wood at a construction site, “Lalonde relates He was treated for the injury, but his pain persisted and grew so bad that he could not return to work. For two years his condition grew worse. Finally, a thermograph showed that the foot’s temperature was eleven degrees colder than the rest of his body. When his doctors told him it might have to be amputated he came to see me.”Lalonde worked with this client for seven months using hypnotherapy not only for the pain relief, but also to explore any link between the man’s condition and his unconscious beliefs. It was discovered that within his unconscious mind he doubted his ability to provide for his family and that his condition took care of that need to provide for his family and that his condition took care of that need by enabling him to collect worker’s compensation pay. Lalonde worked with the man to change his belief. As he gained confidence in himself, his pain began to diminish. At the end of twelve sessions, that man was free of all pain and the temperature of his foot returned to normal, something the doctors had told him would not be possible.Dentistry is another field where hypnotherapy has been used with excellent results. Kay Thompson D.D.S. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, regularly uses hypnosis in her practice. She describes how hypnotherapy was used to extract a molar in a patient who was allergic to all Novocain- type drugs.To prepare the patient for extraction, Dr. Thompson taught her how to go into a trance using hypnotic induction techniques. After one session with the patient, Dr. Thompson was able to perform the extraction using only hypnosis. Because the molar was so badly decayed, the operation lasted forty-five minutes, ye the patient had no swelling or discomfort afterward, and even ate dinner that night. Meanwhile, a co-worker who underwent a similar procedure, without hypnosis needed two days off from work because of a swollen jaw, according to Dr. Thompson.
Hypnosis Does it Work?
Most people can learn how to do self hypnosis. “Most people are not aware that they can control their own healing and even influence their circulation.” Says Dr. Thompson, who believes that her patient’s ability to control her circulatory system through hypnosis enhanced the healing process. Dr. Thompson and her colleagues have also used hypnotherapy to help treat hemophiliacs, and have been able to perform surgery on these patients without them having any postoperative bleeding.The long term benefits of hypnotherapy are beginning to be borne out. One comprehensive study of 178 patients suffering from chronic pain between 1981 and 1983 reported that 78 percent remained pain free after six months; 47 percent after one year; 44 percent after two years; and 36.5 percent after three years. Another study showed the efficacy of hypnotherapy as compared to psychoanalysis and behavior therapy. After 600 sessions of psychoanalysis, 38 percent of the patients reported recovery from their conditions; those receiving behavior therapy improved in 72 percent of all cases after twenty-two sessions; while hypnotherapy produced 93 percent success rate after only six sessions.
How Hypnotherapy Works
“All hypnosis is self-hypnosis,” states A.M. Krasner, Ph. D., founder and director of the American Institute of Hypnotherapy in Santa Ana, California. “The hypnotherapist is a facilitator” the fact that there can be no hypnosis unless the client is willing to participate in the process. The client always enters hypnosis in a natural way, of his or her own accord, simply by following suggestions of the hypnotherapist or by following specific self hypnosis techniques. Generally speaking, hypnosis is an artificially induced state characterized by a heightened receptivity to suggestion. The state is attained by first relaxing the body, then shifting attention away from the external environment toward a narrow range of objects or ideas as suggests by the hypnotherapist or by oneself (self-hypnosis).In the superficial hypnotic state, the patient accepts suggestions but does not necessarily carry them out. Patients who reach the deep, or somnambulistic, state benefit most from hypnotherapy. It is in this state that posthypnotic suggestions (suggestions that take effect after the patient awakens from the trance) to relieve pain are most successful. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 90 percent of the general population can be hypnotized, with 20 to 30 percent having a high enough susceptibility to enter the somnambulistic state, making them highly receptive to treatment.Research has demonstrated that a person’s body chemistry actually changes during a hypnotic trance. In one experiment, a young girl was unable to hold her hand in a bucket of ice water for more than thirty seconds. Testing showed that the blood levels of Cortisol in her body were high indicating she was undergoing severe stress. With hypnosis, she was able to keep the same hand in ice water for thirty minutes while there was no raise in blood Cortisol levels. There are many ways of inducing hypnosis. Regardless of what procedure is used, the main concern during hypnosis is to quiet the patient’s conscious mind and to make the unconscious mind more accessible. Because the unconscious mind is basically non-critical, suggestions have a better chance of being effective that they would if given during a normal waking state.
Three conditions are essential to a successful hypnotherapy session
- Rapport between hypnotist and subject
- A comfortable environment, free from distraction
- A willingness and desire by the subject to be hypnotized.
People who benefit most from hypnotherapy are those who understand that hypnosis is not a surrender of control; it is only an advanced form of relaxation. Dr. Tinterow had the fifteen-year-old girl on whom he performed open-heart surgery had her concentrate on her favorite sport of water skiing. “It was just a matter of having her take deep breaths, close her eyes, and feel herself relaxing from the top of her head to the tips of her toes,” he recalls. “You start with the feet and legs and then just have it go all the way to the top of the head.”
Eventually Dr. Tinterow distracted the girl from the surgical procedure by shifting her attention to what she liked to do best. “I told her to picture herself going to the lake and getting on the skis and water skiing. She was listening to music with her head set on, and we just kept talking to her.” Dr. Tinterow even had the girl perform simple arithmetic problems during the surgery to make sure her mind was functioning properly. Dr. Tinterow adds that after the operation the girl didn’t even take an aspirin.
What To Expect During A Hypnotherapy Session
Hypnosis how it works: During an initial visit to a hypnotherapist it’s common for the therapist to address concerns that you may have and then perhaps illustrate how suggestion works in everyday life, as well as point out what you can expect while in a trance state. Possible effects according to Dr. Krasner include physical relaxation, distraction of the conscious mind, increased sensory awareness, reduced awareness of physical surrounding, and increased awareness of internal sensations. You may be tested for suggestibility based on a variety of methods at the hypnotherapist’s disposal.
According to Diane Ulicsni C. Ht., of the Hypnosis Center for Heath, a good hypnotherapist will take the time to get to know you and do a detailed analysis of your specific condition, which provides the hypnotherapist with insights into any pattern, belief, or behavior associated with the condition, as well as an idea of what the client’s goals are in terms of wellness. A session will usually last from one hour to two hours. The number of sessions required to produce results varies according to each individual.
Is Hypnotherapy Safe For Everyone?
Although hypnosis is a very safe practice and a very powerful tool, it should be only be done with a qualified practitioner. The National Guild of Hypnotists and the American Board of Hypnotherapy are two of the largest schools in the United States. Hypnotherapy is not a cure-all and few doctors are willing to invest the time and money to master its techniques. Depending on the severity of the condition, some patients do not make good subjects and are unable to reach proper state of hypnosis to be effective.
The Future Of Hypnotherapy
Since its formal sanction by the AMA in 1958, more and more physicians have come to accept hypnotherapy’s value and are making use of its techniques. While hypnosis is still far from being fully understood, it is scientifically respected and had achieved almost unanimous professional acceptance. Breakthroughs on how hypnotherapy may be applied to medical and psychological problems are constantly being reported. In fact, it is now being reported that hypnotherapy is a treatment for post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) and anxiety.
George A. Pratt, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and hypnotherapist notes, “With its focus on the whole person, hypnosis holds the great promise of becoming a humanizing force for the field of medicine as a whole… REALIZING that even unconscious patients hear and remember information that pertains to them, physicians, surgeons, nurses will communicate more effectively with comatose, critically ill, and anesthetized patients.
For more information, or to make an appointment, click here to contact Diane