When you hear the word “hypnosis,” your brain might conjure up the image of a magician at a carnival sideshow swinging a pocket watch in front of someone’s face and saying, “you’re getting very, very sleepy.”
Unlike magic show hypnosis, medical hypnosis is a holistic treatment that focuses on supporting and restoring the mind.
What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is hypnosis that is guided by a clinical hypnotherapist. Hypnotherapy is a widely accepted tool in psychology. It is characterized by a heightened state of calmness that helps an individual quiet their emotional mind while increasing their focus.
By inducing a trance-like state, a therapist can help a patient begin the recovery process. With professional guidance, individuals can focus on their pains and struggles, which allows them to implement changes or regain control of their life in targeted areas.
What Does Hypnotherapy Treat?
Hypnotherapy has been used as a treatment for a variety of conditions, such as:
• Chronic stress
• Pain management
• PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder)
• Sleep management
• Weight loss
Additionally, hypnosis can help reduce phobias, improve digestive issues, and manage negative thoughts and behaviors. Hypnosis is a powerful tool to help you gain mastery over your own mind. Just as negative thoughts can make a body sick, promoting positive and nurturing thoughts (via hypnosis) can help heal your mind.
Preparing for Hypnotherapy
Before starting your hypnosis sessions, your healthcare professional may recommend that you eliminate certain unhealthy routines or behaviors that might interfere with the treatment process. These harmful habits may include: lack of quality sleep, alcohol or drug abuse, excessive caffeine intake, and living a sedentary existence. A practitioner might also give some simple tips, like unplugging electronics before bed to allow for more restful and brain rejuvenating sleep.
What Happens During a Session?
A hypnosis session is typically conducted in a quiet, relaxed environment. A clinician will make sure the patient is comfortable and then begin the session.
The therapist will ask the patient to reflect on troubling events from the past or current challenges. By changing a negative thought or experience to a positive one, a practitioner can help guide the patient along a path of recovery.
Unlike the frequently inaccurate ways hypnotherapy is portrayed in movies and TV, a patient is never unwillingly forced into unconsciousness or some abstract dream state. A patient is awake and in control of their thought process the entire session. The patient can hear the therapist’s direction and can choose whether or not to implement those suggestions.
Hypnosis Case Study
Dr. Daniel Amen has used hypnosis with his patients for decades, and the results have been remarkable. He shares one fascinating case study from when he was an intern at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center:
Many of my patients wanted sleeping pills. As you can imagine, it’s hard to sleep in a busy, noisy hospital. Before I gave them the pills, however, I asked if I could hypnotize them first. Almost everyone agreed, and it was very helpful.
One of my patients, a decorated World War II hero, had Parkinson’s disease and when he was in hypnotic trance for sleep, his intensive tremors went away. When I told the attending neurologist about it the next morning, he thought I was crazy. So, I repeated the exercise in front of the doctor, and the astounding results became my first clinical paper.
Find the Right Help
Since many practitioners offer hypnosis services, it’s important to identify a hypnotherapist that is properly trained in the therapy. Aside from qualifications, it’s important that you find a hypnotherapist that you’re comfortable with to ensure the effectiveness of the therapy. It might be a good idea to schedule an initial consultation to see how well you “click” with the therapist to make sure it’s a good match.
Hypnosis is a tool to help you (and other professionals) understand what’s going on inside your mind. It helps identify different therapies that might be helpful for you. Hypnosis is often accompanied by talk therapy, lab tests, and doctor’s visits.
If you’d like to learn more about how hypnosis can help promote better quality sleep, manage food cravings, break bad habits or just help you understand personal struggles with deeper clarity, ask your healthcare professional if hypnotherapy is right for you.
At Amen Clinics, we’re committed to treating our patients with the least toxic, most effective regimen possible, which may include treatments like hypnotherapy. Not all services are offered at each Amen Clinics location. Call us today at 888-288-9834 for availability at a clinic near you, or visit us online to schedule a visit.