Hypnotherapy has long been known to have powerful effects on the body through activation of the subconscious mind and many physiological functions have been shown to be influenced by hypnosis. Hypnotherapy, in skilled hands, enables the practitioner to tap into the mind's ability to promote beneficial effects on health. Recent medical research is now providing important insights into the mechanisms by which hypnosis can produce its powerful effects with substantial scientific research now being conducted into the effects of mind on the immune system, digestive system, cardiovascular and other systems. Studies have shown characteristic neurological changes that are achieved when hypnosis is used compared to imagination or positive thinking. Hypnotherapy has applications in all areas where mind and body interact - stress management, relief from chronic pain, hypnosurgery (using hypnosis for pain relief pre-, during and post-surgery, helping recovery etc.), as well as anxiety and panic states.
Hypnosis has a long history of successful use in medical disciplines through its powerful effects on the subconscious or deeper levels of the mind. In the 19th century, Professor John Elliotson, the first professor of Medicine at Universal College London was a major figure in the introduction of hypnosis into medicine.
Hypnotherapy can be used to help the body to combat illness, to reduce effects of stress and even to help combat the effects of ageing. Overall, hypnotherapy can be used to assist maintenance of health and well-being and by beneficially influencing the functioning of the body it can help to modify various detrimental effects that the environment and genes can have on health. Hypnosis can also be used to assist the patient undergoing uncomfortable or stressful medical interventions.
In the case of physical conditions, it is important that the client has consulted a qualified physician before attempting to use hypnosis to alleviate the condition. Hypnotherapy can be used as a complement to their chosen therapy regimen after they have consulted with their physician.
Hypnosis has been used successfully in dental practice for many years yet still has not found widespread acceptance in dentistry. Among the various applications of hypnosis in dentistry (hypnodontics) are reduction/ removal of dental phobia and gagging reflex as well as the use of hypnosis for pain control.
1. Treatment for certain conditions, in particular so-called psychosomatic illnesses where psychological factors, e.g. stress, inner conflict, severe anxiety, etc have been shown to play a role in the causation or exacerbation of some conditions e.g. various dermatological conditions, some types of headaches and certain gastro-intestinal disorders. Hypnosis has been shown to be help relieve these conditions.
2. Treatment for burns, where observations have indicated a substantial reduction in degree of tissue damage and quicker healing especially if hypnotic treatment is given close to the time of injury.
3. Palliative and adjunctive treatment for cancer and other conditions, including supportive treatment for patients undergoing severe physical therapies e.g. chemotherapy and management of chronic pain.
4. Adjunctive treatment in surgical interventions, to help with pre-operative anxiety, coping with the effects of surgery including evidence for beneficial physiological effects such as reduction of blood loss, improved quality of reported patient experience, improved healing, shortened hospital stay, also the application of hypnosis for anaesthetic purposes.
5. Treatment for certain psychological conditions, e.g. anxiety, neurosis, stress, trauma, phobias.