Hypnotherapy Common Uses Medical

Hypnotherapy is used in various medical settings today, including dental offices, outpatient clinics and emergency rooms. Medical hypnosis has been shown to decrease stress, lessen anxiety and increase relaxation, as well as improve immune function and relieve pain.

Hypnotherapy is useful in preparing patients for medical or dental procedures by helping these individuals to relax. In addition, patients may experience less recovery time with the use of hypnosis in conjunction with medical treatment. Other benefits may include reduced need for medication and an improved mental state prior to a procedure.

Some medical conditions and problems that may respond well to hypnotherapy include:

  • Addictions
  • Alopecia areata
  • Asthma
  • Cancer-related pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Eating disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Skin conditions
  • Tension headaches.

When other medical treatments fail, hypnotherapy may be a valid alternative.

Treating Medical Conditions With Hypnotherapy

The number of sessions you attend depends on the issue at hand. Some problems take only one visit, while others may require several sessions. After you discuss your medical history and reason for seeking medical hypnosis, your hypnotherapist will give you an overview of the process.

During a session, the hypnotherapist will induce hypnosis by speaking to you in gentle tones and helping you to relax your body and mind. You may become highly suggestible to new ideas, as you relax and become more focused on your thoughts. While in a trance-like state, the hypnotherapist may suggest images to help you visualize your specific outcome or use various techniques to help you make the changes you desire. At the end of the session, you’ll either bring yourself out of the hypnotic state or your therapist will help to ease you out of it.

Don’t worry about losing control or being coerced into actions you wouldn’t otherwise perform. You’ll be aware and able to remember events that occurred during your medical hypnosis session. In most cases, you can go back to your regular activities immediately following a session.

Effectiveness of Hypnotherapy for Medical Conditions

The degree to which people can be hypnotized varies, although most people respond in some manner to the process. People who are able to tune out distractions while listening to music or reading a book are often excellent candidates for hypnotherapy. Having an open mind and a willingness to learn the techniques will also increase the likelihood of success, as well as practicing these techniques at home.

Choosing Hypnotherapy for Medical Conditions

Choosing hypnotherapy as a medical treatment is a highly personal decision. You’ll first want to get a diagnosis from your physician. If you haven’t been professionally diagnosed, particularly in the case of psychological problems, hypnosis could actually worsen your condition. Always consult your doctor prior to seeking medical hypnosis.

Resources

American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association. (n.d.). Definition of the process of hypnosis and the trance states. Retrieved August 12, 2010, from http://apmha.com/hypnosis_definition.htm

Ehrlich, S. (2009). Hypnotherapy. Retrieved August 12, 2010, from http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/hypnotherapy-000353.htm

Mayo Clinic. (2009). Hypnosis. Retrieved August 15, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypnosis/MY01020