The Hypnotic Way To Health

Hypnosis was once relegated to the realms of entertainment, with stage hypnotists performing to a drunken audience in night-clubs and pubs. Later it developed into a massive money-spinner for TV celebrities such as Paul McKenna. Hypnotherapy made many people wealthy with self improvement hypnosis tapes and videos. Now, however, hypnosis is regarded as a powerful medical tool by the medical establishment!

Clinical Hypnosis techniques are being increasingly and successfully employed by medical practitioners to treat a diverse amount of symptoms. They target the symptoms of diseases and illnesses such as eczema, asthma, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, cystic fibrosis, warts, snoring, migraines and even chest pain. It has been used to relieve pain and eliminate the need for medication in dental work and to create an optimum pain-free state during childbirth. It has also been used prior to, and after, medical procedures that require surgery and to alleviate anxiety and stress.

In France hypnotherapists have successfully used hypnosis to lower blood pressure. In America it was found that 50% of smokers who used hypnotherapy to quit did not return to the habit. As far as smoking goes, this is a huge statistic!

Although hypnosis is a mind altering technique that spans thousands of years and has been used throughout that time to treat many diverse illness and conditions it disappeared from public consciousness until relatively recently. As was already mentioned its return was in the form of entertainment. Hollywood certainly had a role to play in this within this and the last century. Unfortunately, Hollywood hasn’t portrayed hypnotists as being that ethical or helpful. Most have a criminal mind-set and hypnosis itself, in the film industry, tends to be used for selfish, governmental or even evil purposes.

Real hypnosis is a far cry from anything Hollywood has offered us. However, exactly how it works no-one knows. At its simplest explanation hypnosis can be called a form of mental and physical relaxation but anyone who has experienced a hypnotic state or practised hypnosis on another knows there is a lot more to it than that!

Old memories, long forgotten, can be evoked from the mind. Emotional upsets can be released. Physical pain can be controlled and eliminated. Some physical symptoms can be completely eradicated and some can be induced. In addition to these astonishing uses, post hypnotic suggestions can also be given that can cause life-altering behavioural changes (but only when the subject is willing!).

In order to gain the full benefits of using hypnosis you must move past the Hollywood myths, stereotypes and common misconceptions about all forms of hypnosis and what you think it can and can’t do.

Hypnotherapy has a reported 50-60% success rate for quitting smoking. It would probably be much higher if the subjects took a 6 week course. Hypnotherapy is now being used in a number of ways in dentistry. It is used instead of a local or general anaesthetic during filings and teeth extractions.

It is estimated that 1 in 4 people suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) as it is probably the most common of the sever gastrointestinal disorders. The main symptoms of this disorder include severe abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation. The colon of the sufferer stops working but the reason for this is not known. Current medical treatment for IBS has an extremely limited effectiveness for most people and just doesn’t work at all for many. This is perhaps why so many sufferers turn to alternative therapies for treatment and why hypnotherapists have developed such effective treatments. Hypnosis has a very high success rate at eliminating the symptoms of IBS.

In Manchester, England, NHS (National Health Service) studies have been conducted into reducing chest pain in patients who had angina with an 80% success rate. In the USA Harvard medical research teams discovered that surgical wounds healed at a much faster rate when hypnotherapy was employed. They found that people with broken bones healed up to three weeks faster than those who received no hypnosis. In the case of surgical wounds they found that hypnosis not only increased recovery time but also reduced pain, inflammation and scarring!

To list all the uses and successes of clinical hypnosis would take a book. I therefore leave with food for thought. If hypnosis can help heal bones quicker and reduce scarring what else can it do?

So Why Hypnosis?

So how can hypnotherapy help you with your problem?

People can find themselves looking for hypnosis therapy for a number of reasons. Perhaps you have a bad habit such as smoking that you are trying to break. Or maybe you want to loose weight, tried all the diets and nothing has helped.

Another reason may be because of a relationship breakdown, or jealousy in a relationship.

All these are common reasons as to why someone may be looking for a hypnotherapist to help them with their everyday issues.

Hypnotherapy is not a new concept, infact; it has been around since the beginning of time. Some animals put themselves in a trance like state when they go into hibernation and are able to go without nourishment for long periods of time. Continue reading So Why Hypnosis?

What is Hypnosis?

The use of hypnosis as a therapeutic tool is as old as man himself. As far as can be traced back through time, we can find records of hypnosis being used to heal and to make change. Hypnosis has been used under many different names down through the centuries and the use of hypnosis for healing can be traced back to around 3000 BC in Egypt. Both the new and old testaments of the Bible speak of what could be deemed to be hypnosis, and the ancient Greeks and Romans had sleep temples where those seeking healing would be put into a trance like sleep. Their dreams, would be interpreted by the priests. By rhythmic drumming and monotonous chanting together with eye fixation, the Shaman of today can still produce catalepsy of the body and this helps to give the shaman the appearance of having magical powers just as they have done for centuries. Much of what has been done in the past by the village witchdoctor, shaman or wise woman, can be attributed to the fostering of a strong belief, conviction, expectation and imagination in the one being healed, and the chanting and singing often takes the form of what we would term as suggestion. After all, if the most powerful and magic person you know tells you will become well, you are very likely to do just that. Of course in many cases where such an individual administered to a sick person they would have recovered eventually anyway and this intervention just speeded up the healing process.

It has long been believed by many healers that body, thoughts and emotions can influence one another. Therefore it is possible to influence a physical sickness by working on and realizing particular emotions and by changing thoughts and behavioural patterns.

The Romans said ‘MENS SANA IN CORPORE SANO’, healthy mind in healthy body.

This saying seems to confirm that for many centuries it has been believed that physical and emotional well-being have an effect on one another. To put this in perspective, only has to consider how our health declines after periods of stress or as a consequence of radical events.

The division between body and mind in medicine is something that only took place around 1750, with the scientific developments from Newton. Since then the mind and spirit have been considered to be under the jurisdiction of the church and the body under the jurisdiction of science. This is also the reason why all other kinds of medicine see the human being as a whole consisting of body, mind and soul.

Traumatic experiences are not only stored on an emotional level but also on the physical level. The emotional charge of the different traumas can influence our immune system and health conditions.

Through processing old traumas and the emotional charges that are connected to a certain sickness it is possible to find resources inside of us that could help us start the healing process.

Modern hypnosis began with Anton Mesmer (1734 – 1815) in the 18th Century. Mesmer was a medical graduate from the famed medical school of Vienna and after studying as a Jesuit priest, he became interested in magnetism. Mesmer became Europe’s foremost expert at magnetic healing, where magnets where passed over the body to effect a healing. His results where fabulous and so he became very famous. Mesmer believed all living things contained a kind of magnetic ‘fluid’ and if a person had enough of this fluid, they would be healthy. This is where the term ‘Animal Magnetism’ comes from.

Mesmer forgot his magnets one day and so just made passes over the patient with his hands and was surprised to find that they got better. From there on, he thought he had sufficient magnetic fluid in himself top effect the cures.

James Braid (1795-1860) coined the terms ‘hypnotism’ and ‘hypnosis, in 1843. He was a Scottish surgeon working in Manchester. He found that some people could go into a trance if there eyes where fixated on a bright object like a pocket watch for instance. He believed that a neurological process was involved and that the process could be very useful when no organic origin could be found for a persons disorder.

James Esdaile (1808-1859) another Scottish surgeon working in India would use ey fixation to prepare a patient for surgery and slow sweeping motions, putting them into a deep hypnotic sleep, causing full amnesia throughout the body.

James Braid and James Esdaile where among the first who could be called ‘scientific’ in their research and use of hypnosis. These pioneers removed hypnosis from the realms of ‘mysticism’, and started experimenting with what could really be done with it to help people with their disorders. Other scientific pioneers include, Liebeault, Bernheim, Brewer and Freud. Unfortunately the great man himself, Freud, was responsible for hypnotherapy being shelved by many for some time when he abandoned it’s use.

Amongst those individuals who have been fundamental to the current view of hypnosis are: Milton Erikson, Ormond McGill, Charles Tebbetts and Dave Elman.

Ormond McGill was, it is true a stage hypnotist, but he preserved the public interest in hypnosis, but then the great Charles Tebbetts was involved in stage hypnosis in the early part of his career, but these where different times to those we live in today and the stage hypnosis would prove to engender a desire to know more about this curious art and therefore bring many of the people who moved the therapeutic use of hypnotherapy forward through the last (20th) century.

Dave Elman brought some measure of acceptance to hypnosis from the medical profession in the USA when the Council on Medical health of the American Medical Association accepted the use of hypnotherapy in 1958.

Probably the most important contributor to the acceptance of hypnotherapy as both an art and a science, was the grandfather of hypnotherapy – Dr Milton Erikson. Dr Erikson was a psychiatrist and hypnotherapist with outstanding professional credentials and because of his solid medical background he had credibility within the medical profession. Other people worthy of note for their contribution to the advancement of hypnotherapy as a healing art and as a science in the 20th century are: Rosen, Abramson, Menninger, Shenek, Magonet, Wolberg, LeCron, Bordeaux, Wetzenhoffer, Erwin and Simonton, who continues to do amazing things with cancer patients using mental imagery and focusing on beliefs and belief systems amongst other things.

What is Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy is the application of therapy during hypnosis, to change or modify behaviour patterns that we wish to change, such as the compulsion to smoke, gamble, drink etc. It can help in the cure of phobias such as the fear of spiders/insects, fear of flying, fear of thunder and lightning, fear of injections etc. It can help with motivation, confidence building, reducing stress and can be very effective in pain control.

Hypnotherapy deals with Psychosomatic problems – that is, problems of the mind that are rooted in and controlled by the subconscious mind. We always do what our subconscious mind tells us even if it goes against reason and logic. Hypnotherapy therefore, bypasses the conscious mind to allow the positive life-affirming suggestions for change, of our own choosing, to be fed to our subconscious mind directly, for us to act upon.

Hypnotherapy, and more precisely, hypnotic suggestions, have a cumulative effect, so over time there is a build up of suggestions being reinforced in the subconscious mind that it will act upon, and will do so more rapidly than if you were feeding the suggestions to your conscious mind.

For problems where a causal event or events may exist in the past, hypnoanalysis is used initially in order to find the sensitising event or events and release the emotion and motor actions associated with them, thus freeing the individual from the grasp of an outdated and obsolete (possibly never really needed at all) thought pattern and/or conditioning. Following this, healing suggestions and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) are used to build on the individuals desire for change to strengthen and support forward movement into a positive future.

Hypnotherapists do not control your mind!

Hypnotherapy empowers you to take control of your mental resources to bring about the changes you want. You are always in control during hypnosis and hypnotherapy, and the therapist cannot make you do anything against your will, or that is not within you as an individual to do. With a little work a good therapist and a good client who wishes to make changes and is motivated to, will be able to achieve success in about 95% of cases.

Who can be hypnotised? I would say that virtually everyone can be hypnotised if they have a good therapist and wish to cooperate with them in order to work on the problem with which they are presenting.

What does hypnosis feel like? I know how it feels to me, but it feels different to some people than to others. I would explain it as a relaxed easy feeling and a heightened state of awareness.

Sometimes you may be prone to drift away for a while just like day-dreaming, and you might just as easily be concentrating on your therapist’s voice. Your good therapist will ensure you get the very best from your hypnotherapy session and will guide you in everything you need to know.

Hypnotherapy can help to address many problems including:

Fear of FlyingFear of Crowds

Lack of ConfidenceStress Issues

Low Self EsteemFear of Heights

Panic AttacksExam Nerves

Driving Test NervesSmoking

Weight LossNail Biting

Relationship & SexualTinnitus

Stop Smoking IBS

Hypnotherapy is not magic but it sometimes seems magical!