Hypnotherapy—What Is It About and How It Can Help You

Hypnotherapy is a form of psychotherapy utilized to produce change within a patient while in a state of sleep, or unconsciousness, known as hypnosis.

What hypnosis IS

Hypnosis derives from the Greek word “hypnos” which simply means, “sleep.” The therapy is facilitated by a trained hypnotherapist who uses relaxation techniques to invoke feelings of deep relaxation and concentration to attain an intensified state of awareness or trance-like state. Within this realm, patients can then explore hurtful thoughts, feelings, and memories which could have been veiled from their conscious minds. According to a study conducted by the Stanford School of Medicine in July 2016, researchers were able to see neural changes associated with hypnosis, revealing the connection between the body and mind. With hypnotherapy a negative mindset can be influenced to be more positive, improving mental and physical health.

What hypnosis is NOT

The dramatization of Hollywood has damaged the public perception of hypnosis, portraying the method as a stage trick or a parlor game. One common myth is the idea that a person under hypnosis gives complete rule or forfeits control to the therapist. Hypnotherapists are there to guide the patient through prompts and suggestions and can’t take over their mind and control their actions. When a person is in a trance state, they still can dominate all of their actions, can hear everything around them, and cannot be forced to do anything that is against their will. Again, patients have complete awareness of their faculties and can break the trance if desired. 

What is the purpose for hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is implemented to help calm and relax the patient, through guided suggestions, accessing the mind-body link in order to free them from painful experiences and harmful behaviors. This method can help with injurious thought patterns—to release negative feelings and help to encourage a more positive mindset. Hypnotherapy is utilized to treat those who are struggling with:

  • Sleep disorders
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Post-trauma anxiety
  • Grief and loss
  • PTSD
  • Addiction

Other benefits of hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy can be an effective method for coping with anxiety and stress related to a forthcoming medical procedure. This technique of relaxation has also been proven to ease the pain after surgery. A recent study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, relayed that patients who received hypnosis reported less post-surgical pain, nausea, fatigue and discomfort. Hypnotherapy has been effective in helping people quit smoking or reduce overeating by focusing their minds and suggesting healthier lifestyles.

Hypnotherapy is an instrumental method to delve deep into the subconscious to uncover the root source of mental disorders or unhealthy behaviors. The American Psychological Association states, “Although hypnosis has been controversial, most clinicians now agree it can be a powerful, effective therapeutic technique for a wide range of conditions, including pain, anxiety and mood disorders.”

It’s important to recognize the falsehoods concerning hypnosis in order to appreciate its value concerning psychotherapy. Through this method, the connection between the mind and body can be brought to new levels of awareness, resulting in a healthier you.

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Distress or Chronic Stress

Distress or chronic stress is uncontrollable, prolonged, or overwhelming stress. Once stress becomes distress, the body manages to survive though not always to thrive. For example, when faced with periods of chronic stress, the body’s immune system function is lowered, and the digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems no longer function the way they should. In a state of distress, the cells of the immune system (and other body systems) are unable to respond normally and produce levels of inflammation which increase the risk of further health issues.

Homeostasis

Homeostasis refers to your body’s ability to regulate itself and maintain a comparatively stable internal environment despite external and internal conditions and events.

Your body is designed to be in a state of homeostasis, where all the systems within are functioning optimally.

Stressor

Stressor is anything that is perceived by the body as challenging, threatening or demanding.

Health Story

In the context of My Wellbeing Compass, your “Health Story” represents the combination of your dis-eases, conditions, symptoms and the history that binds them together. It is multi-layered and multi-dimensional. Unearthing and resolving the root causes at the core of your Health Story is the only way to truly rewrite this Story.

Natural Self-repair Mechanisms

The body is made up of intelligent, living cells that are dynamically connected. They communicate and just know what to do and when to do it in any given situation. They grow, replicate, repair, and age. Every 90 days, the body has a new bloodstream; every year, it manufactures billions of new cells; colon cells refresh every 4 days; the skin is entirely regenerated every 2-3 weeks; white blood cells regenerate in about 1 year; the liver renews itself at least once every 2 years; and the skeleton replaces its cells entirely every 10 years.

You are an incredibly complex, interactive, and dynamic living organism that is well-equipped with self-repair mechanisms that can fight infections, eliminate toxins, fix damaged DNA, destroy cancer cells, and even slow down aging.

This natural self-healing ability (also referred to as cellular intelligence or body’s innate intelligence) explains spontaneous remissions from seemingly “incurable” diseases.

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