Hypnosis is used in a variety of settings — from emergency rooms to dental offices to outpatient clinics. Clinical studies suggest that hypnosis may improve immune function, increase relaxation, decrease stress, and ease pain and feelings of anxiety.
Hypnotherapy can reduce the fear and anxiety that some people feel before medical or dental procedures. For example, studies show that dental patients who underwent hypnosis had a significantly higher threshold for pain than those who were not hypnotized. Hypnosis may also improve recovery time and reduce anxiety and pain following surgery. Clinical trials on burn patients suggest that hypnosis decreases pain (enough to replace pain medication) and speeds healing. Generally, clinical studies show that using hypnosis may reduce your need for medication, improve your mental and physical condition before an operation, and reduce the time it takes to recover. Dentists also use hypnotherapy to control gagging and bleeding.
A hypnotherapist can teach you self regulation skills. For instance, someone with arthritis may learn to turn down pain like the volume on a radio. Hypnotherapy can also be used to help manage chronic illness. Self hypnosis can enhance a sense of control, which is often lacking when someone has a chronic illness.
Clinical studies on children in emergency treatment centers show that hypnotherapy reduces fear, anxiety, and discomfort.
Other problems or conditions that may respond to hypnotherapy include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Tension headaches
- Alopecia areata
- Labor and delivery
- Skin disorders [such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema (atopic dermatitis)]
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Cancer related pain
- Weight loss
- Eating disorders
- Indigestion (dyspepsia)
Are there any risks associated with hypnotherapy?
Before considering hypnotherapy, you need a diagnosis from your doctor to know what needs to be treated. This is especially true if your condition is psychological (for example, a phobia or anxiety), and you should be evaluated by a psychiatrist. Without an accurate diagnosis, hypnotherapy could make your symptoms worse. Very rarely, hypnotherapy leads to the development of “false memories” made up by the unconscious mind; these are called confabulations.
How can I find a hypnotherapist?
Most hypnotherapists are licensed medical doctors, registered nurses, social workers, or family counselors who have received additional training in hypnotherapy. For example, members of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) must hold a doctorate in medicine, dentistry, podiatry or psychology, or a master’s level degree in nursing, social work, psychology or marital/family therapy with at least 20 hours of ASCH approved training in hypnotherapy. The American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association provide certificates for licensed medical and mental health professionals who complete a 6 – 8 week course.
Source: Hypnotherapy | University of Maryland Medical Center http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/treatment/hypnotherapy#ixzz3EdFGJf95
University of Maryland Medical Center
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