Hypnotherapy DOES work for pain control

Hypnotherapy, or hypnosis, and its effect on the brain has been proven, and this is why hypnotherapy has a good track record in dealing with matters ranging from weight loss and smoking cessation to hypnobirthing and phobias. hypnotherapy (1)

Leading American psychiatrist Dr David Spiegel, from Stanford University, recently addressed the American Association for the Advancement of Science on studies he had done using hypnosis.

He said he had scanned the brains of volunteers who were told – through hypnosis – they were looking at coloured objects when, in fact, they were black and white. A scan showing areas of the brain used to register colour highlighted increased blood flow, indicating that the volunteers genuinely ‘saw’ colours, as they had been told they would.

“This is scientific evidence that something happens in the brain when people are hypnotised that doesn’t happen ordinarily,” Spiegel said, adding that there were ‘tremendous medical implications’ and envisaged people being able to manage their own pain and anxiety.

According to the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH), hypnotherapy is the application of hypnotic techniques in such a way as to bring about therapeutic changes.

This is achieved through an external influence – the therapist – who assists in activating the inner resources of the client in order to achieve realistic goals.

When it comes to pain control, hypnotherapy’s worth has been proven in birthing, with hypnosis used as a technique to deal with pain and support birthing labour for many years.

Over the past 15 years, more and more people have realised the link between body and mind during labour may have a bearing on the outcome of the birth.

Hypnobirthing can help the mother overcome fear and anxiety around conception, parenting or birth itself. It can also help the mother deal with pain more effectively.

A New York Times report quoted the case of a woman who had undergone several surgical procedures for brain tumours. Determined to make her latest operation less traumatic, she attended hypnosis sessions at the Cleveland Clinic’s Centre for Integrative Medicine in the month before her procedure, during which she addressed her fear of the coming surgery.

When doctors removed a plum-sized tumour from her brain, there was no similarity to her previous experience. The woman awoke afterwards feeling ‘alert and awesome’. She ate a full dinner that night and went home after two days.

“My neurosurgeon was stunned at how little medication I required before and after surgery, and how quickly I bounced back,” she said, attributing her speedy recovery and calm state to her hypnosis sessions.

Hypnosis is now available to patients at some of the most respected medical institutions in the United States, including Stanford Hospital, the Cleveland Clinic, Mount Sinai Medical Center and the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York.

“It is an effective and inexpensive way to manage medical care,” said Stanford University’s Dr Spiegel.

If you are pregnant and nervous about the impending birth or generally have pain issues, contact a hypnotherapist near you by using the NCH directory. It will be worth your while.

As hypnotherapy is largely hands-off and non-invasive, it is one of the most relaxing, enjoyable and safe therapies to use during pregnancy and birth. Many mothers who have used it during pregnancy and birth say they sleep much better and are much calmer during pregnancy.