Hypnosis for health

Hypnosis is a state of focused concentration during which you become less aware of your surroundings. Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis to treat physical or psychological conditions. It is thought that during a hypnotic state, or trance, people are better able to accept suggestions that can help change their behavior.

Hypnosis is, by no means a new healing tool. The first uses of hypnosis by health professionals occurred more than two hundred years ago. In its early days, clinical hypnosis was used to treat hysterical conditions, and was also very useful for the induction of anesthesia in surgery in the days before anesthetic drugs. For example, James Esdaile, a Scottish physician working in India in the early part of 19th century performed over three hundred and forty major operations, including amputations and removal of large tumors, with hypnosis as the only anesthetic. Around the turn of the 20th century, Sigmund Freud used hypnosis extensively in the first years of his psychicatric practice, but abandoned it in favor of psychoanalysis, a slower but more meticulous method of mental healing. In the first half of the 20th century, hypnosis was often viewed as an exotic or fringe method in medicine and psychology, but slowly gained respect as a potent clinical tool. It finally earned formal recognition as a valuable tool in health care in 1958, when the Council on Mental Health of the American Medical Association recommended that instruction in hypnosis be included in medical school curricula. Hypnosis was similarily embraced several years later by the American Psychological Association.

Studies show that techniques such as relaxation, hypnosis, and guided imagery can improve quality of life, and also can ease the nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.

Even health can be influenced by self-hypnosis. Read this inspirational letter from a man who overcame a serious health problem with self-hypnosis.

Many people prefer self-hypnosis, because they are alone throughout the exercise and are in control of all suggestions made during the hypnotic trance.

WARNING-Stress is highly addictive! People will give you stress for free. Usually, you'll get paid more money for taking on more stress, too. Stress can make us feel important, respected, needed, and more alive. But stress is truly the "silent killer". Silent, because operating in high stress mode is like flying in a jet airplane; even though your body is hurdling through space at almost 400 miles an hour, once you get used to it, you feel like you are standing still. High stress mode then becomes the status quo for your body and your lifestyle. And you usually don't realize this until your body revolts with a stress-related symptom.

"I was literally shocked at how easy it was to lose weight and control it once I stopped beating myself up about failed willpower and started using self-hypnosis"

To more effectively deal with stress your subconscious needs to literally be shown with guided imagery what you wish to accomplish; you'll need to vividly imagine yourself in a relaxing place. The more you can really imagine yourself there, the more your body's biochemistry will respond in kind. By applying relaxation techniques at the sub-conscious level, eventually you condition your body to respond to the same stress with a relaxation response instead, and can free yourself from your nervous habits, too. You can gain control of your biology!

What does being in hypnosis feel like? How will I know if I am in hypnosis?

Hypnosis is just a deep feeling of mental and physical relaxation. Take it from an over-analytical person like me who spent the first five months of her hypnosis experience trying to analyze what I was feeling and if I was any different. It's like being in love! You are not different but you are not the same either. It is a pleasant state but the more you force it the less you get it (just like love again!). Imagine that you are trying to catch a feather falling from the sky. If you force it and move your hand vigorously, you will only have the effect of pushing away the feather. If you relax and open your hand, the feather will land right in your hand effortlessly! Hypnosis is the same, you just have to allow it and it happens.

What if I do not wake up again? Not to worry. Only in movies and bad novels do people get stuck in the hypnotic state. In the real world, it happens only very rarely that people cannot be immediately brought back into the ordinary waking state at the end of a hypnosis session. When that happens, it may simply takes a little longer to come to, or they slip into ordinary sleep and have a nap, and then wake up. In either case, there is no reason for concern.

Can hypnosis be dangerous to my mental health? The state of hypnosis is generally very safe and free from complications - probably no more disturbing to your mind than ordinary sleep. However, in rare cases, people who suffer from mental problems to such degree that they are struggling with their grip on reality may get worse due to the disorientation which is a part of hypnotic experience. Also, hypnosis involves enhanced contact with unconscious material. Individuals hiding something very uncomfortable or traumatic from themselves may therefore occasionally feel agitated after hypnosis as a result of coming too close to their secrets under hypnosis. For most people, however, the experience of hypnosis is pleasantly relaxing and refreshing. The only aftereffects you are likely to experience are possible drowsiness and disorientation for the first few minutes afterwards, and possibly stiff neck or (rarely) a minor headache. All these side effects are transient and harmless.

More Scientific Proof of the Power of Suggestion

Self Hypnosis is effective in treating a range of disorders, including:

Chronic pain
Fears and phobias
Giving up smoking
High blood pressure
Panic attacks

In dermatology, suggestions given during trance have been found to help decrease psoriasis and intervene in psychosomatic aspects of the skin diseases. Studies show a very high recovery rate with hypnosis treatment of psoriasis; facts that prove that hypnosis can cure psoriasis:

Psychoanalysis: 38% recovery after 600 sessions
Behavior Therapy: 72% recovery after 22 sessions
Hypnotherapy: 93% recovery after 6 sessions

Self-hypnosis is considered safe, even when done by inexperienced people. But it should not be performed while you are driving a vehicle or in any situation where you need to be alert or be able to respond quickly.