For thousands of years, the power of suggestion has played a major role in healing in cultures as ancient as India, Persia, and Greece. Hypnotherapy uses both the power of suggestion and trance-like states to access the deepest levels of the mind to affect positive life changes and to complement the treatment of a range of health conditions. In 1958, the American Medical Association (AMA) approved the use of hypnotherapy as a valid medical treatment.
Hypnosis is a tool for making positive changes in one’s life. Even though encountering problems is a part of living, we carry within ourselves the resources to resolve problems and to lead a fulfilling life. Hypnosis is not magic, nor occult. It is a natural, normal state of mind. Therapeutic research and psychological experiments have brought hypnosis out of the realm of magic. The hypnotic experience is one striking and illuminating effect of a common human capacity to experience changes in consciousness. Hypnosis produces a highly relaxed state during which a client’s subconscious mind is focused and receptive to therapeutic hypnotic suggestions. It facilitates change on many different levels (mind/body/spirit). Hypnosis utilizes the powers of the subconscious mind, the part where all information of past events and experiences are stored, while bypassing the conscious mind, the critical thinking part that sensors all information coming in. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis; the hypnotherapist is merely a facilitator in that process.
Hypnosis is a safe procedure when practiced by a trained professional. It produces a very pleasant and refreshing experience. Modern hypnosis is utilized for a variety of difficulties. Typical applications are, but are not limited to, stress management, weight management, smoking cessation, pain management, memory and concentration improvement, and self enhancement, as well as assistance with issues related to food, sadness, fears, insomnia, addictions, sexual problems, and self esteem. In the field of medicine, hypnosis is frequently used pre- and post-operatively to lessen the amount of anesthesia needed, to lessen blood loss, to relieve pain, and to hasten the healing process. Dentistry utilizes hypnosis to aid patients who experience a fear of dental work, TMJ and bruxism, tongue biting, overproduction of saliva, or gagging and to control bleeding during oral surgery.
The professional hypnotherapist makes an initial assessment as to whether hypnotic treatment is advisable. The hypnotherapist does not practice medicine or psychotherapy. When a client is under the care of a medical doctor or mental health practitioner, a referral from that practitioner is required. In those cases, the client will be asked to discuss the appropriateness of hypnosis with his or her physician or mental health practitioner. If approved, hypnosis will become an adjunct to the primary care of the client. Treatment will vary depending on the severity of the problem and may take from one to several sessions. Characteristically, treatment with hypnosis is short term.
Because of the misuse of hypnosis by stage hypnotists, there are several misconceptions about hypnosis. One is that the client loses consciousness. You will be aware of everything at all times. Loss of control is another misconception. The client is always in control throughout the session. If the client wishes to terminate the trance state, he or she may do so by simply opening the eyes. No one can be made to do anything against his or her will. Stage hypnotists like their audiences to believe that the hypnotist has total control over the subjects. However, professional hypnotherapists will make it clear that the client is in control.
Overall, hypnosis is a safe, relaxing, refreshing, and enjoyable experience aimed at enhancing a person’s life.
"The natural force within each of us is the greatest healer of disease.”