More and more scientific evidence exists to suggest that hypnosis is beneficial in the treatment of various medical conditions. The link between hypnosis and IBS is well-documented, for instance, but there is also evidence to suggest it helps alleviate chronic pain, that it can reduce stress and that it helps in bringing anxiety down. Besides this, it is now known that offering hypnosis to people helps bring down the overall cost of health care, due to less frequent medical treatment and shorter hospital stays.
It is important to recognize, however, that hypnosis cannot actually “cure” any condition. All it can do is help stop certain psychological associations with diseases and addictions in particular, in effect reprogramming the brain. This is why it is also so successful as a stop smoking therapy.
Why Isn’t it Used More?
It is believed that the reason why hypnosis isn’t used more is due to certain stigmas and myths associated with the treatment. Some of the most commonly seen myths include:
• That you have to look at a pendulum.
• That a hypnotist can make you do anything he or she wants to do.
How Does Hypnosis Work?
So what is hypnosis, then? Basically, it is about putting someone into a state of relaxation that is incredibly enhanced. Because of this, the brain is more receptive to suggestions. This, in turn, can help them become more aware of the psychological attachment they have to certain conditions, in particular pain.
For instance, someone with chronic pain will live every waking moment searching for the pain, expecting it and preparing for it. Through hypnosis, they can learn no longer to have this association. It is also possible for a hypnotist to alter the way they experience pain, reducing its intensity. It is even possible for someone to be hypnotized into feeling sensations for what they aren’t. A burning sensation, for instance, can change into the feeling of flowing water.
Does it Really Work?
Hypnosis isn’t a magic trick, but it does really work. It does not, however, cure any disease. In fact, it isn’t possible to eliminate pain completely. However, it is possible to reduce sensations of pain, thereby giving those with chronic symptoms a better quality of life. Often, if the patients are open to it, they will be taught how to hypnotize themselves, thereby allowing them to change how they experience pain whenever they feel any. Hypnotherapy has also proved itself to be efficient at relieving irritable bowel syndrome, as we related a few years ago right here.
It is important to recognize hypnosis for what it is: a form of therapy. It is also important to be aware that it is incredibly beneficial and that the only reason it isn’t used more is because people have the wrong perception. They believe that only quacks hypnotize, or that only the weak are able to be hypnotized. Neither is true, although any hypnotist that says they can cure an illness is a quack, and anybody who actively resists hypnotism will indeed not be “put under”. If the stigma can be overlooked, however, it is certainly incredibly beneficial.