Mind Body Connection Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy Image

Some people may be suspicious of hypnosis, fearing that in the trance state they will be manipulated into acting against their own will. Others may simply wonder, “what is hypnotherapy?”

Hypnotherapy, a treatment in which a person undergoes hypnosis with the help of a skilled practitioner, can be an effective alternative therapy for many. Rather than be manipulated in the trance state, the hypnotherapy patient’s experience is more like daydreaming: the mind is fully conscious and engaged but may be more relaxed and fluid than usual.

A skilled hypnotherapist can help a patient achieve a state of mind in which he or she becomes especially responsive to methods of making positive change. In turn, the patient can help in his or her own healing process by unlocking pathways to pain management and recovery.

How Hypnotherapy Can Help

A number of conditions can be effectively treated with hypnotherapy. Physicians often use it as a pain-suppression and healing tool during surgery and post-op recovery. Other uses for hypnosis include:

  • addiction
  • anxiety
  • chronic conditions like fibromyalgia, Crohn’s Disease and colitis
  • depression
  • phobias
  • weight loss.

For children, hypnotherapy can be effective in treating problems like:

  • bedwetting
  • sleepwalking
  • thumb-sucking.

In all age groups, patients respond well to hypnosis.

Some studies on hypnotherapy have even reported that this practice can help patients teach their bodies to lower the amount of pain caused by conditions ranging from migraines to asthma. In fact, a recent German study determined that hypnotherapy had as much as a 74 percent success rate for those seeking treatment.

Cost and Time Involved in Hypnotherapy

Those interested in the practice of hypnotherapy may still be wondering, “How much does hypnotherapy treatment cost?”

The average cost of a hypnotherapy session is estimated at about $75 an hour. Children, with their high rate of suggestibility, require fewer sessions, perhaps as little as one or two. Adults often see progress after about four to ten sessions.

How Hypnotherapy Works

During your first session, a hypnotherapist will likely take your medical history and ask you to address what problems led you to seek help. He may then review some relaxation techniques with you. Future sessions will likely follow a pattern of entering the relaxed state, in which you will be most receptive to the healing process.

Among the possible techniques used during a hypnotherapy session are:

  • anchoring: This method can be especially effective in treating addictions. Anchoring reverses the normal tendency to associate something in one’s life with an addiction, such as the need for a drink after a stressful meeting or for a cigarette with coffee.

    During this method of hypnosis, the patient begins to acquire negative feelings associated with giving in to the addiction. By rewiring the patient’s response to addictive substances, the patient can handle stressful, addiction-related situations without automatically needing to pair them with the destructive habit.

  • incrementalism: Obstacles can often feel so monumental that the thought of making even small changes discourages people. But hypnotherapy can help a patient feel that any progress represents real progress. By employing this technique, a therapist helps people suffering from irrational dreads or phobias to imagine a weight being lifted from them or an obstacle breaking down (at first slowly but then more rapidly).
  • metaphor: The therapist tells the patient a story in which the issues are put in the form of a simple metaphor that parallels the patient’s problem. This helps the patient see the issue from a new perspective.
  • reconnection: This helps people get back to a more positive element of something in their past and to the parts of themselves that they feel good about. A skillful therapist can retrieve any number of accomplishments and happy experiences that will help the patient feel more optimistic about his life.
  • reframing: This gives the patient a chance to begin to view a problem in a different way. In a regular state of consciousness, the patient may express that a situation is hopeless. By leading the patient through the trance state, a hypnotherapist may be able to help him or her see that changing a habit or coming at it in a different way may make all the difference.
  • regression: By entering into an especially deep kind of trance known as somnambulism, the patient can experience a traumatic event as if it were actually happening. But this time, the guidance of the therapist, combined with the patient’s own wisdom gleaned through experience, can help achieve a different outcome.
  • visualization: Many people may be familiar with visualization as a non-hypnotic technique from athletic or business training. In hypnotherapy, imagining oneself successfully overcoming an obstacle becomes even more real. The mind begins to believe that it has already experienced a good outcome, inspiring confidence for future attempts.

Keep in mind that going to a hypnotherapist isn’t the only way to experience the benefits of hypnotherapy: hypnotherapy books and CDs can help you achieve a trance-like state and explore the effects of hypnotherapy on your own.

There’s no guarantee that hypnotherapy can bring about that singular “miracle cure.” But because it can be used in conjunction with traditional medicine and poses no health risks, those interested in its healing powers may benefit from trying out this intriguing alternative therapy.

Resources

Mason, Dave (n.d). Hypnotherapy Techniques. Retrieved April 5, 2008, from the Hypknowsis Web site: http://www.hypknowsis.com/index.html.

University of Maryland Medical Center (2008). Hypnotherapy: Overview. Retrieved April 5, 2008, from the UMMC Web site: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/hypnotherapy-000353.html.