The Healing Powers of Hypnosis
Hypnosis is a recognized therapy, proven in helping to overcome and resolve symptoms of many different conditions. Many people still assume that hypnosis is only beneficial for ‘mental’ problems, and don’t see its breadth of application for many of the conditions it can potentially help treat.
Simply put, there is a mental component of many or most illnesses, conditions and injuries. This guide explains how hypnosis can be effective in helping with conditions that many people struggle with daily. It just might be what you need to help you with yours.
Hypnosis for Anxiety Disorders
Hypnosis is recognized as being effective in treating people with anxiety disorders. The British Psychological Society is now acknowledging hypnosis as one of the viable therapeutic options for anxiety disorder.
It is important to note that to ensure effectiveness, a person needs to undergo “clinical hypnosis,” where professionally trained and licensed individuals conduct the hypnosis sessions.
How Hypnosis Can Help People with Anxiety Disorders
Through hypnosis, the brain can be rewired to alter negative perceptions about any stressful situation. These negative thoughts and beliefs will be replaced with more relevant and constructive thoughts that will help them become better at managing stressful triggers and events.
Hypnosis recordings may consist of statements that at first may not make much sense to the patient. However, these recordings have messages that target the subconscious mind.
These commands will initially enable a person to enter a more relaxed state. This state of feeling is similar to what you feel when you are in a daydreaming state.
Hypnosis Can Help People Beat Anxiety
If you are a person suffering from an anxiety disorder, your subconscious mind is often filled with negative messages that lead you to be anxious. However, with the help of a licensed hypnotist, you will be treated to help clear your mind, and help you become more able to diminish the effects of the negative messages in your subconscious.
Hypnosis will help determine the events that trigger a person’s automatic fight or flight (stress) response. Instead of responding unconsciously to the triggers, or automatic responses that make a situation worse, you will become more positive in your thoughts.
Instead of reacting right away, you will learn to pause and reassess the situation. This will help you realize that the situation at hand is not as stressful or dangerous as you first thought.
It will also help you realize that any upcoming or future similar event is within your ability to handle it, which will prevent you from becoming overly anxious while thinking about it.
Therefore, by regularly undergoing hypnosis sessions, you will develop better control over how you react to a specific situation. Your emotional responses will become proportionate to the circumstances, instead of to your old programmed involuntary response. As a result, those anxiety triggers will cease to elicit the same fight or flight response in you.
Hypnosis helps a person develop the ability to carefully examine their deeply ingrained beliefs in their subconscious, or the real deep-rooted cause of their anxiety.
Once their beliefs are recognized as not being as fearful as they once believed them to be, they will be better able to face people and events more neutrally, even if they evoked anxiety previously.
Why You Should Not Rely on Traditional Therapies Alone
Many traditional therapeutic techniques employed by experts have been found to work effectively in managing a person’s anxiety response. However, most of the time these traditional therapies only work to control or suppress the person’s fear or anxiety.
They do not seek to address the underlying causes, so the anxiety response will still exist and may strike at any time if triggered. This is why it is important to find and address the root cause of anxiety, which is what hypnosis aims to do.
How Hypnosis Can Help with An Eating Disorder
Eating disorders are not easy to treat. Before any treatment, the cause has to be determined, and with an eating disorder, that’s also not always easy to do.
People with an eating disorder have an unhealthy relationship with food. Depending on the type of eating disorder, they may eat too little or far too much.
Many people develop a disorder because of their poor self-image. Research reveals that more women suffer from an eating disorder than do men.
However, eating disorders have been and can be treated with the help of hypnosis. First, let’s look at the most common eating disorders that have been treated with hypnosis.
Types of Eating Disorders Treated Using Hypnosis
A person suffering from this eating disorder will ‘binge’ on large amounts of food. As a result, they gain weight. Sufferers of a binge eating disorder usually eat secretly and feel shame and guilt for this habit, a habit they feel they can’t control.
An individual with bulimia nervosa fears weight gain. However, this fear is also coupled with an uncontrollable urge to binge. After bingeing, a bulimic will then use any means to rid themselves of all the food ingested.
For example, by taking laxatives or purging - forced vomiting. This habit of purging is also done in secret. Bulimics are ashamed of their compulsive behavior but they too can’t control it.
Sufferers of this eating disorder have extreme eating rituals. They are extremely careful about counting the calories they consume or they’ll skip meals to the point of starvation. They usually know exactly how much they need to eat to stay alive or out of intensive care.
How Hypnosis Can Help
Hypnosis is known to help determine the root cause of the eating disorder.
A licensed hypnotherapist will make use of relaxation techniques to be able to access the subconscious mind and search for the event(s) that triggered the onset of the eating disorder.
The hypnotherapist will harness the power of suggestion to make changes in a person’s thought processes. Once these negative thought patterns have been improved, the patient’s bad eating habits can gradually be transformed.
The patient will begin to find themselves making subtle but healthy changes to their daily routine. They will also develop new thoughts and feelings towards food.
When a person is under hypnosis, a licensed practitioner will make use of positive suggestions to help change the way they feel about themselves. This leads to an improvement in their self-esteem, which is crucial if they are to overcome an eating disorder. These positive suggestions improve their mental health.
Hypnosis, if included in a treatment plan, will provide a lesser likelihood of relapse, as it helps reprogram the subconscious.
Overcoming a food addiction and any other bad eating habits or disorders through hypnosis may be exactly what the doctor ordered – or should.
Hypnosis for Weight Loss
If you are thinking of using hypnosis to help you lose weight, understand that there will still be effort required on your part. It’s not an instant solution, however, many have benefitted from making it part of their plan
Therapists employ different methods and procedures, depending on the goals and needs of their patients. Generally, during the initial phase of the session, the patient will be asked about their weight loss goals.
The therapist will ask questions such as potential triggers to their cravings, their current diet and fitness plans, and what they have already tried in their weight loss attempts.
All this information will be used as the basis for the suggestions that the therapist will give while the patient is under hypnosis. In other words, the hypnotic suggestions will be according to the information provided by the patient during the initial consultation with the therapist.
How Hypnosis for Weight Loss Works
Human beings have ‘inner voices’ inside their being. This inner voice is known as our “subconscious.” Others refer to this inner voice as the “gut reaction” that activates when something dangerous is imminent. It also plays a role in helping us make the right decisions.
Our subconscious mind knows what is best for us – from a very primitive survival aspect. This is not always what is best for us to exist well in our modern environment. The subconscious mind is also modified by our life’s experience, but not in a linear or logical manner.
That is, some circumstances that objectively seem trivial can have impacting and long-lasting effects on the subconscious. It is this programming that then compels us to act in seemingly irrational ways, such as eating disorders.
Hypnosis helps to reprogram your inner voice and make it speak to you in a much louder way. For example, your improved inner voice may tell you to eat those fresh fruits and vegetables that you love so much… and they make you feel so healthy and satisfied.
Hypnosis does not guarantee an end to your cravings, rather it will help you realize that not everything you feel like eating should be eaten right away. It will help take the edge off your cravings and help you pause to make rational decisions about the food you eat, instead of compulsive consumption.
Hypnosis will train your brain to focus more easily on the actions that will help you achieve your weight loss goals, and avoid those that would ruin them.
Hypnosis Leads to Positive Behavioral Shift
Through hypnosis, you will be better able to put an end to any incorrect perceptions about, or emotional links to certain foods. For instance, donuts that you may have perceived as being a delicious, nourishing, comfort food, will now be recognized as being a ‘fake-food’, and one that does more harm than good.
As this shift in perception occurs at the subconscious level, it avoids or at least greatly reduces, the need for willpower.
After a couple of hypnosis sessions, you will become more capable of changing your feelings and attitudes towards food and exercise. Negative beliefs about losing weight will now be replaced with positive beliefs. As a result, weight loss goals have a much higher expectation of achievement.
Hypnosis Improves Your Perseverance
The most difficult part of any weight loss plan is the ability to persevere. Many people have experienced success in the initial stages, only to give up down the track — however, hypnosis conditions you to persevere despite experiencing setbacks.
When you’re regularly being put into a trance-like state, your brain becomes more and more responsive to positive suggestions from your therapist. These suggestions will include suggestions to help you modify your behavior and make your weight loss goals more interesting and achievable.
Hypnosis will strengthen your perseverance so that giving up will not be an option in your mind!
Hypnosis to Help Get Motivated to Exercise
Most of the time, much of what we hear does not have a lasting impact on our lives. There is so much sensory input that our brains cannot process and store every piece of data it is subject to.
In a conscious state, the auditory pieces given the most importance (and thus remembered) are those that are aligned with a higher emotional state. This can be a positive or negative emotion, as in joy or fear.
However, there is another way to make our minds ‘remember’ what we want it to. This is by entering a hypnotic state, allowing suggestions to be relayed directly to the subconscious mind.
Hypnosis allows the mind to acutely focus ‘and hear’ while in a deep state of relaxation. This is a state when the ears hear, but they don’t have to listen actively. The information heard from the hypnotist, or the hypnosis audio will be able to penetrate the subconscious mind, free of the blocking or filtering actions of the conscious mind.
Hypnosis can be an excellent tool to help a person become motivated to exercise.
How Hypnosis Elicits Motivation
During the first phase of the hypnosis session, the therapist will help you establish a behavioral shift by leading your mind and body to achieve a relaxed state. This state of relaxation will be coupled with hearing a positive reinforcement. These positive reinforcements will depend on your specific goal or purpose for hypnosis therapy.
If motivation to exercise is your goal, you will hear words that will provide positive affirmations. The words you hear will enter your subconscious mind.
The aim of the suggestions and affirmations is to change subconscious beliefs about exercising. Whereas you may have given exercise a low priority, or thought it painful or boring, your new belief system will be that exercise is fun and important. You will find yourself prompted from within to engage in physical activity, instead of having to apply willpower.
Consequently, you will begin looking for opportunities to exercise and finding yourself looking forward to gaining a higher level of fitness through enjoyable exercise.
The positive affirmations that you hear while under hypnosis will gradually overcome your lack of enthusiasm and procrastination.
After the first few sessions, you will soon find yourself having a sense of purpose and eagerness to exercise.
For hypnosis sessions to become successful, the person under hypnosis must be prepared to invest mentally and physically. The subject will still have to do the work (exercise) but anyone who does exercise regularly knows that overcoming mental limits is much harder than physical ones.
Hypnosis Overcomes Your Tendency For Negative Self-Talk
For the positive effects of hypnosis to take place, it is important for you to completely avoid negative self-talk. Language plays a crucial part in changing perception and behavior. Suggestions by a hypnotist will lay the foundation, but you can accelerate your progress by being mindful of your self-talk.
Instead of associating negative words such as, “no pain, no gain” to an exercise program, it is better to focus on positive words. Let your mind instead focus on what you will gain from each exercise routine.
This reinforces the subconscious programming provided by hypnosis therapy, building more and more optimism about exercise generally.
Hypnosis Helps You Conquer Procrastination
Procrastination is not just laziness; it is most often caused by fear. An individual may choose to procrastinate over their exercise routine for fear of not achieving their fitness goals. The most common reason for putting off any exercise routine is the fear of failing.
In this situation, it is more palatable to the mind not to attempt, than it is to attempt and fail. Hypnosis helps you figure out what the cause of your procrastination is. Then, with the help of the positive affirmations, these blocks can be bypassed, so that exercise is looked forward to, instead of avoided.
What Can be Treated with Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is a psychotherapy that brings a person to a state of altered consciousness or a state of mind, better known as hypnosis. Through hypnosis, the person will be able to achieve a state of awareness that is referred to by hypnotherapists as ‘trance-like.’
This form of therapy makes use of guided relaxation techniques to invoke a person’s ability to concentrate and relax much more than they could in a fully conscious state.
This state of awareness can provide many benefits to people, including relief from many symptoms associated with several kinds of health problems.
The following maladies are a few of the many health issues where hypnotherapy has been proven helpful.
Reducing the Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a condition that elicits painful digestive symptoms. Some of these may include diarrhea, constipation and bloating. These symptoms can affect a person’s daily life.
Fortunately, there are studies which show the benefits of using hypnotherapy to reduce these effects. In these studies, people who did not experience relief from other forms of treatment reported significant reduction in their symptoms after undergoing hypnotherapy. It has been claimed that hypnosis works better than other forms of conventional therapy for IBS.
Experience shows that it takes four to six sessions of hypnotherapy before the IBS sufferer experiences significant relief. However, there are some who claim to experience relief from their symptoms even after their first session.
Hypnotherapy helps an individual to focus on what is necessary. This process makes it possible for one to alter how the mind responds to pain-causing stimuli. Thus, how the entire body processes and perceives pain and discomfort can also change.
An individual's stress levels can also be lowered which may help in reducing the symptoms of IBS. All these things positively impact the gut function, as well as the perception of the degree of discomfort.
Helping to Fight Addictions
Hypnotherapy is acclaimed for helping people with psychological difficulties such as addiction. While a person is in a susceptible and relaxed state of mind, it will become easier for them to alter their perspectives regarding their addictive behaviors.
Hypnotherapy makes it easier for an individual to accept suggestions that are designed to overcome compulsive and addictive behaviors. When a person is undergoing hypnotherapy, they become more compliant and passive, as their defensive conscious filters are being bypassed.
Fighting Symptoms of Depression
Depression occurs for many reasons, and in many cases, the cause may not be easy to determine. However, with the help of hypnotherapy the underlying cause(s) of depression is more likely to be found. If so, hypnosis will help the person to release it and allow for positive transformation to take place.
Even if the ‘cause’ cannot be succinctly determined, hypnosis can still provide great relief by helping to reduce the adverse response to triggers. It can also help a patient to reprogram their beliefs about their current and future life.
Hypnotherapy helps the person create new neural pathways. It also enables their brain to start weaving new experiences that are imagined vividly while in the hypnotic state. During this time, the person is aware of everything that is happening but they are viewing the events as if from an observer’s point of view.
Hypnotherapy helps a person focus their mind on positive outcomes such as seeing a brighter future. During hypnotherapy sessions, the person will be brought to a future timeline where they will see themselves doing what they want in life.
This way, the subconscious mind will be able to create new beliefs and new positive emotions. In the patient’s conscious state, this will manifest as increased hopefulness and happiness, and a reduction of anxiety and depression symptoms.
Dealing with Cancer
When a person is diagnosed with cancer, they are usually immediately affected by extreme fear.
In most cases, cancer patients feel terror and helplessness. They may also feel like they are losing control of their life. This is when hypnotherapy may prove helpful as it helps a person come up with better coping mechanisms.
This makes it easier for them to manage daily stress while also being able to regain a sense of control. From this improved mental and emotional viewpoint, it is much easier to focus on needed changes and actions, instead of imagined and frightening possibilities.
Hypnotherapy can help a cancer patient recover faster from a surgical procedure. It can also help with problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, nausea, and other symptoms common to patients undergoing radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
There has been no evidence to prove that hypnotherapy can cure cancer. However, there have been cases when regular sessions of hypnotherapy have contributed to remission.
The benefits of hypnosis are not limited to the above, and by the variation in the conditions, it can be seen that hypnosis can be effective for treating the symptoms of a wide range of mental and physical health issues.
Most people have moved on from thinking that hypnosis is either carnival entertainment or something akin to voodoo.
Even so, for many, it still doesn’t have the validity that the good old prescription-writing general practitioner has.
Thankfully these days, many doctors refer their patients to hypnotherapists to help deal with many varied conditions.
As you have just read, the range of conditions that can be improved via hypnosis is much greater than most people realize. If you are struggling with any of the areas discussed, hypnosis may be able to help you, just as it has certainly helped many others.