For many years hypnosis and hypnotherapy have been rooted in science with a growing body of anecdotal and evidence based results being reported in a wide variety of publications. While the American Medical Association (AMA) currently has no official position on the effectiveness of hypnosis and hypnotherapy, in 1958, the AMA reported hypnotherapy has a recognized place in the medical arsenal and that it’s a useful technique in the treatment of certain illnesses and emotional conditions. In short, they were acknowledging that hypnotherapy works. Additionally, the American Psychology Association (APA) website has declared that most clinicians now agree hypnotherapy can be a powerful, effective therapeutic technique for a wide variety of conditions. Even the Mayo Clinic agrees that hypnotherapy works.
Hypnotherapy is considered an effective adjunct in psychotherapy for many issues, and more are being studied. On its own, hypnotherapy is reported to be beneficial: In 2001, the British Psychological Society commissioned a group of respected psychologists and published a report that declared hypnosis to be a proven therapeutic medium and valid for study.
The report went on to say that hypnotherapy is beneficial for a wide range of issues encountered in medicine, psychology and psychiatry particularly in regard to stress, anxiety, pain, and psychosomatic illnesses. Some illnesses described are insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches and migraines, asthma and a variety of skin maladies. Weight reduction and smoking cessation was also cited as benefiting from hypnotherapy.
A comparison study reported in 2007 by American Health Magazine indicates some psychological issues benefit more from hypnotherapy than psychoanalysis and behavior therapy. A German university meta-analysis of 444 studies supported this claim, concluding a 64 percent success rate with hypnotherapy for stress, anxiety and chronic pain…. still more proof that hypnotherapy works.
Psychology Today reports “Hypnosis seems helpful in treating addictions and the depression and anxiety associated with them.”
Hypnosis can best be described as a heightened sense of suggestibility for accessing the unconscious mind which is responsible for most of our emotions, thoughts and behaviors. One commonly held belief, however is completely false. No one can be made to do anything they do not wish to do under hypnosis. This misconception comes from TV, movies and entertainment hypnotists who gain the cooperation of people who are actually willing to perform the things they do on stage. Unlike the more traditional talk therapy, hypnotherapy and neuro-linguistic programming, a technology developed in the late 1970’s that also helps reprogram and realign the unconscious mind, positive changes can be accomplished in as few as 3 to 5 sessions with many clients experiencing profound improvement after their very first session.
Since our self image as well as our perception of the world around us is maintained by the unconscious portion of our mind it’s also altered based upon our beliefs about ourselves and the world. As a result, getting rid of old, limiting or negative beliefs and perceptions can create positive and lasting change in virtually every aspect of our life.
The hypnotic trance is the state one achieves in order to be receptive to the positive suggestions given by the hypnotherapist. A hypnotic trance is a state very similar to the phase one enters directly before falling asleep or immediately upon awakening. This is a state where the ununconscious can readily accept and act on new information and suggestions for healing, change, growth and attainment of individual goals. Most hypnotherapy clients describe the experience as very relaxing, enjoyable and refreshing.
Today, hypnotherapy continues gaining ground as a respected form of therapy within the corridors of the scientific and medical communities.
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