Hypnosis is a technique we have all seen and heard of from pop fiction, including movies and books. Setting all of that aside, the technique is actually a legitimate and well-studied form of therapy that treats various disorders.
Hypnotherapy, which is a psychotherapy technique using hypnosis, has been around since the 18th century. Recently, it has picked up pace and has become widely popular as an alternative medicine treatment for physical and mental health problems, such as anxiety, obesity, and phobias. The treatment provides a multitude of benefits without even using any modern medication or tools.
If you have been considering alternative treatments, perhaps hypnotherapy may be the right one for you. This comprehensive guide will walk you through each of the techniques used in this form of treatment, as well as detail hypnotherapy benefits and possible side effects.
What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is an alternative medicine, adjunctive, and non-standard therapy that utilizes various techniques, mainly hypnosis, to induce a heightened state of awareness, also known as a hypnotic trance, in individuals. They become so focused in that state that they forget about everything happening around them since it is all temporarily blocked.
When individuals are in such a state of awareness, the hypnotherapist can use guided mediation to allow them to focus on one task, problem, or thought. This, in turn, helps to treat a host of behavioral, mental, emotional, and physical problems. Some of the common problems hypnosis is used for include:
- Sleep problems
- Anxiety disorders
- Cessation of smoking
- Weight loss
- PTSD or grief after a major loss
- Psychotic problems, such as hallucinations and delusions
Hypnotherapy also allows individuals to access the subconscious part of their mind where there are hidden memories, painful thoughts, and feelings they were not aware of. Bringing them into awareness and resolving them helps treat certain health issues and problems. This is why it is considered as part of psychotherapy.
How Does Hypnotherapy Work?
Hypnotherapy uses guided meditation, relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to help individuals achieve a state of trance. This not only helps them become deeply relaxed, but they also respond more easily and readily to suggestions. For this reason, they can also easily explore painful thoughts, memories, and feelings and try to resolve them.
Hypnosis utilizes the following techniques:
The hypnotherapist uses meditation and relaxation techniques to help an individual enter a state of relaxation and peacefulness. This technique is also used during hypnotherapy when confronting a painful thought or memory and a problem.
Since a hypnotic state or trance allows individuals to reach a heightened state of suggestibility, this technique can be greatly beneficial. This is because it can help them change their behaviors, such as stopping becoming fearful, eating too much, or smoking. Additionally, it can also help them change their perception of different things, including phobias and triggers.
During the course of hypnotherapy, you will also be taught certain skills that can help you cope with difficult problems, fears, and anxieties or confront challenging thoughts. Some of these can include stop techniques and guided imagery.
4.Exploration of Past Experiences
Hypnotherapy normally includes more than just hypnosis; it can also include confronting the root of the problems, your triggers, and phobias. As a result, it involves a holistic approach to dealing with a disorder or problem. For example, it can include the first time you experienced the behavior or problem and how you felt during that time.
Similarly, this technique uses the individual’s relaxed state to explore the possible root cause of the problem, disorder, or issue. More often than not, most psychological and behavioral problems arise from a traumatic experience. Such experiences can be buried or hidden into the unconscious part of an individual’s mind. Bringing it into consciousness and addressing it can help treat the problem and illness.
Hypnotherapy and inducing a state of trance in individuals can help them become more open to discussion and accepting suggestions. This helps treat disorders’ pain conditions and lets them go of negative habits that might impact their health.
As a result, some people might experience significant results in their hypnotherapy treatment. Some of the main hypnotherapy benefits include:
1.Help Improve or Treat Addiction
Hypnotherapy can be an excellent drug-free alternative to the treatment of addiction to drugs, alcohol, food, sex, and other issues. In this form of treatment, you are more open to exploring the root cause of the problem and what contributed to or started the addiction. This will significantly aid in treating it.
Additionally, hypnotherapy can also help encourage individuals to treat their addiction and have the confidence that they can overcome it. When you have a positive outlook and confidence, you are more likely to break free from addiction.
2.Treat Sleeping Problems
Hypnosis and hypnotherapy can be greatly beneficial if you have trouble staying awake, falling asleep, or having other sleeping problems. It can also help prevent sleepwalking because it can train you to wake up when your feet hit the floor.
Your hypnotherapist can also provide you with self-hypnosis techniques that you can use to achieve better sleep, deep sleep, and more.
3.Eases Anxiety and Symptoms of Depressions
Another significant hypnotherapy benefit is that it can help you relax, feel less stressed, and eventually ease anxiety. It also provides you with emotional control and coping skills that can help you treat your anxiety and depression symptoms. Additionally, hypnotherapy lets you enter a state of relaxation that you can utilize whenever you feel anxious, upset, or stressed.
4.Helps With Chronic and Acute Pain Management
Chronic and acute pain can lead to significant distress and discomfort, which can also disrupt an individual’s life. However, clinical hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis can help with pain management and provide relief. This is especially true if the pain stems from arthritis, migraines, physical disability, or cancer.
5.Management of Phobias
One of the most popular hypnotherapy benefits is the fact that it can help manage fears and reduce phobias. Since individuals are more open to suggestions during hypnosis, the root cause of their triggers and fears can be explored. Moreover, they can also be taught guided imagery and relaxation to feel less stressed or fearful when confronted with their phobic object.
6.Help Change Negative Habits
Hypnotherapy can help you address your negative thoughts and emotions, help improve your self-esteem and confidence and help remove unwanted blocks in your brain. As a result, you are provided with the right tools to remove negative habits from your lifestyle that may be harmful, such as weight gain, unhealthy eating habits, addiction, and drug or alcohol abuse.
7.It Can Support Fertility Treatment
In some cases, it can also aid infertility treatment because it induces relaxation, eases stress, and removes the mental blocks that may be hindering your ability to conceive. Hypnotherapy aims to do all of this and help with getting pregnant.
8.Helps You Focus
Above all, hypnotherapy helps you focus on yourself and the problems at hand. Most of the time, our conscious minds are cluttered with numerous distractions. Even our life is full of distractions that prevent us from focusing on ourselves. Still, a hypnotherapy session allows you to let go of all of that focus on treating a problem or issue you are experiencing.
Hypnotherapy Risks and Possible Side Effects
While hypnotherapy is a safe form of treatment, it can pose a few risks and side effects for certain people. This is why it might not be suitable for every type of individual. Here are some hypnotherapy risks and possible side effects you should be mindful of:
- It may lead to adverse side effects of drowsiness, headaches, dizziness, and distress
- It will not work if you don’t want to do hypnotherapy
- Hypnotherapy does not lead to overnight results; in fact, it might take up to five sessions to see any improvement
- It can create false or distorted memories in your mind
- Individuals who are quite suggestible may experience a decreased or lack of personal control when they are under hypnosis
- It might not be suitable for individuals suffering from psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, because it can make them worse
Hypnotherapy has been around for hundreds of years, but it is not part of mainstream psychotherapy today because it is not helpful for psychotic disorders and poses a few risks. However, it can be greatly beneficial for certain problems, such as sleeping and addiction problems. Not to mention, hypnotherapy can elicit enhanced relaxation and focus.
For all of these reasons, one should certainly give hypnotherapy a try if they feel too stressed, agitated, or have negative lifestyle habits. Considering it does not involve any medication or drugs, it can be particularly helpful for many people