For instance, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, (IBS) is routinely treated with hypnosis, and hypnotherapy is a treatment that is recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).
Some hospitals and GPs surgeries offer hypnotherapy as a treatment and people can be eligible for such treatment under their health plans.
Skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis have also responded well to hypnosis, says the NCH. Treatment for skin conditions will often be focused on visualisations of the problem behind the problem – like stress.
The therapist can teach a client self-hypnosis and other techniques for reducing this stress in their lives.
Hypnotherapy is often highly effective in dealing with pain management and people often undergo surgery and dental work using hypnosis as an anaesthetic while hypnosis has been used as a technique to support labour for many years, with the written records dating back to the mid 1800s.
Over the past 15 years, says the NCH, people have realised the link between body and mind during labour may have a bearing on the outcome of the birth.
Hypnosis techniques can be taught to clients by an NCH therapist to help them manage chronic pain as well as pain post-surgery. It has also been shown to reduce the post-operative recovery time on some surgical procedures.
Research also shows that hypnotherapy works well in particular with children who are undergoing chemotherapy. By using certain visualisations and stories children can be helped to manage their treatment in a gentle, empowering way.
So what is hypnotherapy and how does it work? According to the Encyclopaedia of Mental Disorders hypnotherapy is a combination of hypnosis and therapeutic intervention in which the therapist leads a person to positive change while that person is deeply relaxed in a state of heightened suggestibility.
It is not one person controlling the mind of another. The client is not unconscious and does not lose control of his or her faculties. People will not do things under hypnosis that they would be unwilling to do otherwise. The person being hypnotised is always in control and decides how deep the trance will be, what suggestions will be accepted, and when to awaken.
Hypnosis, when using proven therapeutic procedures, can be a highly effective form of treatment for many mental, psychosomatic, and physical disorders, says the NCH. It is an evidence based therapy, with over 70,000 research references worldwide.