“Hypnosis is the epitome of mind-body medicine. It can enable the mind to tell the body how to react, and modify the messages that the body sends to the mind”
Hypnotherapy is an ancient art which originated in India with Hinduism. There is literature that suggests that the sick were taken to the temples for ‘temple sleep’ and cured with the power of suggestion and Self-observation.
As with many of the ancient therapeutic healing arts, hypnotherapy was developed and modified in the western world by nineteenth century scientists and clinicians such as Sigmund Freud who studied the human mind and applied the theories to their modern methods of treatment.
Hypnotherapy is defined by the NHS as ‘the use of hypnosis to treat conditions or change habits.’ In the modern world it is well established in the field of alternative or complimentary medicine.
Hypnotherapy involves the induction of a ‘trance state’ in the patient with the help and guidance of a trained hypnotherapist. This can also be described as an altered state of awareness and is very similar to what we experience in the time between sleep and wakeful awareness. It is a state very close to that of REM sleep during which it is known that much of our psychological processing of events takes place.
In terms of brain waves, hypnotic states are associated with increased theta wave activity. According to research, susceptible patients also exhibit hemispheric beta wave asymmetry, but non-susceptible patients do not (Sabourin, Cutcomb, Crawford and Pribram, 1990).
Imagine that your early morning alarm has gone off and you need to get up for work. There are the children to get ready for school and there is breakfast to make, and you have only the allotted amount of time in which to get ready. You decide to give yourself five extra minutes in bed. This will be ok because you can shave a little time off some of your morning routine. You drift along in a blissful state for what feels like only a few moments. You can hear the sounds of people getting into their cars and the voices of your family and you feel awake and aware although there is a dreamlike quality to the experience. When you next look at the clock 25 minutes has passed and you have to rise quickly and make up for lost time that you had not accounted for - this is how the hypnotic trance feels.
Why does hypnosis work?
There is wide acceptance in the field of psychotherapy that the human mind is more susceptible to suggestion when we are in a trance state. This is why the advertisements are placed in the middle of an episode of your favourite program. This, coupled with expertly tailored psychotherapy can drive changes much deeper than psychotherapy alone.
The patient is thoroughly assessed prior to therapeutic intervention. This is to establish what the person wants to achieve by attending for treatment and to explore the psychological mechanisms around the difficulty that they are experiencing. This enables the therapist to tailor the intervention entirely to the individual in order to best meet their needs.
The therapist and patient then share the process of formulating a plan for treatment.
The patient is guided into a deeply relaxed state where they are fully in control of their responses to what is being said with the help of a calm and soothing voice, script and sometimes music.
The therapist may ask the patient to imagine a peaceful scene using all five senses. They may also establish signals with the patient for communication whilst deeply relaxed.
Control of the session lies with the patient at all times.
The therapist may then make positive suggestions pertaining to what has been discussed. They may be asked to remember something so as to process it in a healthy way. They may be encouraged to visualise a positive outcome. They may be given techniques to manage symptoms that can be taken away and used at home.
Most people describe hypnotherapy as a relaxing experience which leaves them feeling refreshed and calm.
Hypnotherapy is most effective when used as a complimentary therapy in combination with a number of evidence-based psychotherapeutic techniques such as counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy.
Hypnotherapy can be helpful in the treatment of the following conditions:
Breaking unhealthy habits
Recovering from trauma
Reframing negative beliefs
Irritable bowel syndrome
Inner child work
Working with children
Past life regression
If this calls to you and you would like to book in for a consultation, discuss this article or try hypnotherapy, please contact Chrissie on 07716219091 or submit an enquire on the following website:
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