Have you ever longed for a faster path to altering undesirable behaviors and emotions like smoking, weight gain, low self-esteem, or anxiety?
Hypnosis has proven to be a highly effective and relatively quick treatment for a wide range of emotional and behavioral challenges. It can also help you cope more effectively with a spectrum of common medical conditions.
The Mayo Clinic explains hypnosis like this:
“Hypnosis, also referred to as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion, is a trance-like state in which you have heightened focus, concentration and inner absorption. When you’re under hypnosis, you usually feel calm and relaxed, and you can concentrate intensely on a specific thought, memory, feeling or sensation while blocking out distractions.
Under hypnosis, you’re more open than usual to suggestions, and this can be used to modify your perceptions, behavior, sensations and emotions. Therapeutic hypnosis is used to improve your health and well-being and is different from so-called stage hypnosis used by entertainers. Although you’re more open to suggestion during therapeutic hypnosis, your free will remains intact and you don’t lose control over your behavior.”
Hypnosis is generally considered safe. It has been recognized as a valid medical procedure by both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Psychological Association (APA). The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also recommends hypnotherapy as a treatment for chronic pain.
Misconceptions About Hypnosis
Many of us still harbor misconceptions and hesitations about hypnosis. You may associate hypnosis with images of watch-swinging men in dark clothing that you’ve seen in movies and on T.V. Or entertaining – but sometimes embarrassing – forms of stage hypnosis where people cluck like a chicken.
Life Coach Tim Bronson dispels 10 common misconceptions about hypnosis in his article What Is Hypnosis? He reassures us that “Hypnosis is a very common state and you drift in and out of it many times per day.”
“Hypnotherapy is a really cool tool and can help a lot of people. Like NLP, it’s not a cure all and it can’t do everything, but under certain situations (smoking, weight loss, changing habits, pain control etc) it is the most sensible route for many people. And best of all, it carries zero danger and I would throughly recommend you try it out even if it’s only for the experience.” [Note: NLP = Neurolinguistic Programming]
I agree with Tim. I find hypnotherapy enjoyable, effective, and even magical.
However, the University of Maryland Medical Center warns that “Without an accurate diagnosis, hypnotherapy could make your symptoms worse.” So be sure to take this into consideration, especially if you plan to employ hypnotherapy for mental health problems.
Hypnosis Helps with a Wide Range of Challenges
Like Tim says, hypnosis may not be for everyone. Some people enter a hypnotic state more easily than others. And some are more responsive to suggestions during a hypnotic state. But if you experience any of the following challenges, given its efficacy, hypnotherapy may be worth a try.
According to the Mayo Clinic, hypnosis can be used for:
- Pain control
- Smoking cessation
- Reducing stress related to medical procedures
- Mental health conditions
- Surgical preparation
- Weight loss
- Athletic performance
- Dental procedures
- Coping with chemotherapy
- Skin conditions
- Gastrointestinal problems
Hypnosis is also used in psychotherapy, counseling, and hypnotherapy to work with the following challenges:
- General Unease
- Chronic Illnesses
- Sleeping Problems
- Unhealthy Eating Patterns
- Coping Behaviors
- Low Self-Esteem
- Poor Partner Selection
- Tension headaches
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
You don’t need to have a serious mental health diagnosis to benefit. Many people are just under the thumb of deceptive brain messages or facing situational challenges that bring about mild to moderate symptoms.
The Effectiveness of Hypnosis
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, most people start to see the results of hypnosis in 4-10 sessions.
Alfred A. Barrios reports that hypnosis is astoundingly effective and fast in comparison to psychoanalysis for addressing emotional issues. It even beats out behavior therapy, which has a pretty good track record too.
Extrapolating data in a study by Wolpe, Salter, and Reyna, (1964), Barrios reported these differing recovery rates in Psychotherapy magazine:
- Hypnosis: 93% recovery after an average of 6 sessions, approximately 1 and 1/2 months at 1 session per week;
- Behavior Therapy (Wolpian Therapy): 72% recovery after an average of 22 sessions, approximately 6 months at 1 session per week;
- Psychoanalysis: 38% recovery after 600 sessions, approximately 11 and 1/2 years at 1 session per week.
This is just one review, but it certainly gives you pause for thought. Times are changing and clearly newer modalities are proving to be highly effective.
This description from the University of Maryland Medical Center gives a good sense of how our behaviors and thoughts patterns are transformed as we meet unconscious material in the hypnotic state:
“When something happens to us, we remember it and learn a particular behavior in response to what happened. Each time something similar happens, our physical and emotional reactions attached to the memory are repeated. In some cases these reactions are unhealthy. In some forms of hypnotherapy, a trained therapist guides you to remember the event that led to the first reaction, separate the memory from the learned behavior, and replace unhealthy behaviors with new, healthier ones.”
Hypnosis won’t necessarily work for everyone, but it’s certainly worth consideration in your process of change.
Are you curious about hypnosis? Have you ever given it a try?
Images: Public Domain Pictures (dot) net