What is Hypnotherapy?
Clinical Hypnotherapy is the application of the trance state of hypnosis for a therapeutic purpose. Practitioners will often use a variety of techniques including Counselling and behavioural techniques to assist the client to overcome emotional or anxiety related problems. Often clients wish to be able to achieve something which they currently perceive as being impossible, such as overcoming a phobia or an addiction or unwanted habit such as smoking.
Increasingly Hypnotherapy is being successfully used to assist clients to study and to memorise, including increasing their reading speed. It can also help with performance and test nerves and can provide valuable assistance with almost all psychosomatic illnesses such as migraine, stress, digestive problems including irritable bowel syndrome and muscular tension. Athletes and sports people also find that Hypnotherapy can greatly assist with mental rehearsal, concentration and goal achievement.
Sometimes Hypnotherapy will be combined with physical therapies such as gentle head and shoulder or body massage to achieve a blissfully relaxed state and a perfect environment for the bodies natural healing to take place. Clients are taught how to achieve the state of hypnosis themselves so that they can continue to enjoy the effects and work on the process at home.
Clients are sometimes a little wary to begin with since they imagine that the therapy involves them losing control and possibly blurting out their innermost secrets! In fact this is far from the truth and they are fully in control and can bring themselves out of trance at any time if they so wish. Once therapy begins they are normally enjoying the relaxed state so much that all they want is for it to not to end too soon! Often at the end of a session clients feel as if they have had several hours sleep even though they have been conscious the whole time.
History of Hypnosis
Hypnotic or suggestive therapy is the oldest of all healing techniques. From the Sleep Temples of Egypt through the histories of ancient Greece and Rome some form of hypnosis has always been an intimate part of all cultures.
In the Middle Ages, healing through touch and prayer became the major way of treating disease. In the 18th Century - when it was believed that illness was caused by the magnetic influence of astral bodies - Franz Anton Mesmer would induce people into a trance like state by what he (erroneously) believed to be Animal Magnetism. Although Mesmerism was soon discredited, it continued to be used even after the death of Mesmer as it often produced 'miracle' cures. When James Braid re-examined Mesmerism in the 19th Century he discovered that simple suggestion was just as effective as Mesmerism or any other method to induce trance-like states. It was he who coined the name Œhypnosis¹ and for a time hypnosis became a scientific technique with scientific respectability.
In the early part of the 20th Century the clinical use of hypnosis fell by the way-side as technical advances in medicine swiftly took over and, unfortunately, hypnosis became used almost exclusively by stage hypnotists thereby projecting a hopelessly distorted view of this very powerful therapeutic tool. However, in 1955 the British Medical Association endorsed the practice of hypnosis in Medical School education. Today, many people are once again turning to it as it is now widely recognised as a valuable addition to conventional medical treatment.
Hypnotherapy means the use of hypnosis for the treatment and relief of a variety of somatic and psychological symptoms. Modern Hypnotherapists use Hypnosis not only for medical purposes but also as an aid for the resolution of many problems of psychological origin.
It is estimated that approximately 85% of people from all age groups will readily respond to Hypnotherapy. It is often successful when other, more conventional, methods of treatment have failed. Nobody can ever be hypnotised against their will and, even when hypnotised, people can still reject any of the suggestions given if they are not appropriate.
A session of hypnosis takes around one to two hours. The treatment involves working with your specific problem to ensure that you not only effect a remission from the symptom, but find a more appropriate way of coping for the future. It involves treating both situational and emotional triggers and includes emphasis on any concerns you might have about your problem. These are then incorporated into the treatment so you do not replace the problem with anything else. You leave feeling fine and relaxed.
Listed below are some of the conditions for which Hypnotherapy is indicated as a practical treatment:
Breaking unwanted habits (e.g. smoking, alcoholism, drug abuse, nocturnal enuresis, nail biting, stuttering).
Obtaining relief and often remission from symptoms such as: Asthma, Migraine, gastro-intestinal and neurological disorders.
Dermatological conditions such as Eczema, Psoriasis, Neuro-dermatitis, Herpes Simplex and Warts.
Gynaecological problems such as PMT, Amenorrhea, Dysmenorrhea, Psychogenic Infertility, and in Obstetrics for painless childbirth.
Pain control for minor surgery, dentistry, Arthritis and general neuromuscular aches and pains.
Hypnosis can free the individual from phobias, compulsions, emotional problems, insomnia, inhibitions, guilt feelings, jealousy, and many of the worries and anxieties of everyday life.
Sexual problems such as Impotence, Premature Ejaculation, Frigidity, Vaginismus and others.
The use of Self-Hypnosis will help prevent stress and tensions caused by modern day living, reduce high blood pressure (hypertension) and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Hypnotherapy is effectively used for weight control, enhancing work/study/sporting performance, improving concentration and memory, developing the imagination, boosting self-confidence, and achieving more of the potential which we each possess.
Hypnotherapy is completely natural and safe and there are no harmful side effects. When administered by a professionally trained and skilled Hypnotherapist the benefits are long lasting and often permanent.