Sunday, 22 July 2018

Could Hypnotherapy Reduce Your Nerve Pain?

Today's post from (see link below) addresses a therapy that many people with chronic pain are attracted by probably because they don't have to make too much personal effort and can leave it in the hands of the hypnotherapist. That's not laziness, that's reconciling to the fact that standard treatments just don't work efficiently enough, so if someone offers what seems to be an easy option, of course you take it. However, hypnotherapy has had a bad rap over the years and is often linked to TV shows where people are ritually humiliated through hypnosis; or to unqualified fakers who are just after your money. So what's the truth behind hypnotherapy? Can it reduce chronic pain problems or not and is it not just another form of mindfulness, where you can fool your own brain into feeling less pain? This article doesn't provide definitive answers but does get you thinking and after all, if all else fails...what have you got to lose? Apart from your hard earned cash, you may end up losing faith through disappointment but is that any different than many of the standard therapies that are currently prescribed?

Is Hypnotherapy a Placebo or the Real Deal?
By: Angela Horn July 13, 2018
About Angela

Whenever I hear the word ‘hypnotize’ I immediately think of AndrĂ© the Hilarious Hypnotist. I’ve never been to one of his shows, but I hear he gets people to do wild stuff. Riding an imaginary racehorse and not knowing about it? I’ll pass, thanks.

Entertainment is one thing, but what about using hypnotherapy as a way to heal past traumas or rid yourself of bad habits? Some say it works, while others are convinced it’s snake oil. Having never been hypnotized myself, I decided to do a little digging to find out how effective, if at all, it actually is.

Hypnotherapy vs. Hypnosis

But first, let’s clear up a common misconception. While both hypnotherapy and hypnosis achieve the same goal (guiding someone into a deep state of relaxation where they’re highly responsive to suggestion), the difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy is significant.

Hypnotherapy is practiced by a licensed therapist with a goal to improve overall wellness, whereas hypnosis is used as a comedic tool to get you to speak ‘moon language.’ I’m being flip, but the modality does have an admittedly poor reputation.

The point here is that you shouldn’t dismiss hypnotherapy out of hand. Put your judgements and preconceptions aside and make your decision to try it (or not) with an informed and open mind.

What is hypnotherapy, exactly?

According to Psychology Today, “hypnotherapy is a trance-like state of focus and concentration achieved with the help of a clinical hypnotherapist.” They liken it to that feeling of being completely absorbed, whether by a book, a movie or simply your own thoughts.

Positive psychology cofounder Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi refers to this as a state of ‘flow’ and claims it’s an important contributor to creativity and well-being. For the purposes of hypnotherapy, being in this deep meditative state allows you to turn your focus inward.

Oftentimes, we’re so caught up in whatever is wrong that we fail to comprehend our inherent ability to right the situation. Hypnotherapy allows you to go within and discover the tools you need to make the necessary changes and take control of your life.

Does hypnotherapy actually work?

The mere fact that scientists are so closely studying hypnosis must mean something. They wouldn’t willingly chase their tails when they could be using their time on more important things, like helping people in chronic pain or with chronic fatigue.

In his TED talk The amazing story of the man who gave us modern pain relief, Latif Nasser tells the story of John J. Bonica. Dubbed pain relief’s founding father by Time Magazine, Bonica claimed that pain is the most complex human experience. One that involves your past life, your current life, your interactions, even your family.

If that’s the case, then there’s no reason to believe it can’t be managed by something like hypnotherapy. According to David R. Patterson and Mark P. Jensen, professors at the University of Washington in Seattle and two of the nation’s leading experts on hypnosis, it can.

Patterson proved the claim during a talk he presented on hypnotism and pain control at a burn unit at Vanderbilt University. The doctors were skeptical, so he offered to demonstrate his technique.

Although initially reluctant to be hypnotized, the patient eventually agreed and quickly slipped into a deep, peaceful trance, allowing the nurses to remove his bandages and clean his wounds without so much as a whimper.

This is far from an isolated case. More than 75 percent of arthritis sufferers who’ve used hypnosis for pain relief have experienced significant improvement. In fact, research suggests that hypnosis may be more effective in the treatment of acute and chronic pain than conventional methods.

What can hypnotherapy be used for?

Hypnotherapy can be applied in two different ways. The first is suggestion therapy, where the trance-like state makes one better able to respond to suggestions. This approach is useful for changing behaviors like smoking as well as for dealing with pain.

The second is analysis. This approach enables therapist and patient to take advantage of the relaxed state to explore psychological issues, such as figuring out the root cause of a disorder or unlocking the memory of a traumatic past event.

You can also use hypnotherapy to treat insomnia, reduce anxiety, be better at business and to improve self-confidence. It’s even seen impressive results in stroke rehabilitation.

This woman used hypnotherapy to cure her digestive problems, while mom of two, Julie Evans, lost 140 pounds after undergoing hypnosis gastric bypass.

The downside? Hypnotherapy doesn’t work for everyone. Some are susceptible to it and others just aren’t. The only way you’ll know is to try. Just make sure you find a reputable therapist to work with.

Photo Credits: Thinkstock

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