Many clients with a physical condition seek the support of a hypnotherapist. Hypnosis has been shown to have a positive benefit to clients with physical conditions, either by way of an improvement to symptoms or their emotional response to the condition. Physical conditions are often exacerbated by underlying stress or anxiety and a hypnotherapist may work with clients to reduce over-thinking and to teach stress management techniques.
Where the condition is a medical one the hypnotherapist will need to ensure that a diagnosis has been sought and obtained from a medical practitioner prior to starting a course of hypnotherapy. In some cases your hypnotherapist will seek your permission to write to your GP or consultant to inform them that you are planning to undertake hypnotherapy.
It is important to understand that Hypnotherapy is a complementary therapy and can be used alongside medical treatment and not as an alternative to.
- Pain management
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Weight management
Often, physical conditions are exacerbated by underlying stress or anxiety. If you suffer from any of these conditions you may have noticed a pattern in your symptoms, often related to more demanding or stressful periods in your life.
Hypnosis can help you identify these triggers and to stop them happening.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is routinely treated with hypnosis, and is recommended as a treatment by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Evidence shows that over 60% of sufferers show a significant improvement in their symptoms. Some hospitals and GP surgeries offer hypnotherapy as a treatment for IBS so please check with your doctor to see if the NHS offers this service in your area. You may also find that you are eligible for hypnotherapy for IBS under your health insurance.
Skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis may respond well to hypnosis. Like many chronic conditions skin problems can be triggered by stress. A therapist may include visualisation techniques and stress management in their sessions with you and teach you self-hypnosis for relaxation and positive imagery.
There are many reasons why an individual may be overweight, so it’s important to rule out possible medical conditions, especially if the weight gain is rapid. It is important to have realistic expectations about the amount of weight that can be lost in a short period of time. Sustainable, healthy weight loss will need to be achieved over a suitable time period. Many people gain weight through poor eating habits and emotional eating. Hypnotherapy can help an individual gain insight into their behaviours and choices and assist with changing emotional responses that could lead to overeating, binge eating or other unhelpful self-medicating behaviours. The therapist will focus on healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle that will remain with you for the rest of your life. They will also be interested in encouraging a healthy self-image regardless of your size or shape.
Poor sleep can be caused by a number of factors including stress, anxiety, menopause, unhelpful behaviours and environmental factors. A hypnotherapist will work with the client to address, where possible, any of these issues. They may also teach self-management techniques which may include meditation or relaxation techniques in addition to guided hypnosis.
Hypnotherapy is often an effective therapy for people living with chronic, diagnosed pain. It has also been used to support those who need to manage their level of discomfort during medical treatment, after surgery or other procedures. Hypnosis has been used throughout history as a form of anaesthesia and many people today undergo surgery and dental work using hypnosis as anaesthetic. Your therapist can teach you self-hypnosis techniques to manage the symptoms of a diagnosed condition, both physically and emotionally. As pain is a warning signal, therapists will not seek to remove all sensation unless for a short period of time in the case of hypnotic anaesthesia.
The causes of headaches and migraines are varied, from stress and tension to hormonal changes. Most are not an indication of a serious health condition, but occasionally there is an underlying medical condition that needs investigation. It is therefore essential that if you have persistent headaches that you consult with your GP before seeking an appointment with a hypnotherapist.
What will I expect in a session?
Your hypnotherapist may work with you to uncover any emotional triggers that precede symptoms and to manage any stress related to your condition or the treatment for it. They may teach you visualisation techniques for focusing on your desired outcome. You will usually be taught self-hypnosis and relaxation exercises too.
- Suggestions to increase your confidence and trust in your body
- Tools and visualisations to let go of any fears or anxieties
- Techniques to manage any discomfort
- To learn about the stress response and how to reduce it
How do I find a hypnotherapist?
Type your postcode into our hypnotherapist finder to find a hypnotherapist near you.
The National Council for Hypnotherapy is the largest professional association in the UK and all our members have the option to join the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council.