Medical Hypnosis & Hypnotherapy

When mentioned in conversation, the topic of hypnosis can give rise to many different reactions and opinions.  From stage hypnosis to past-life regression, it is not uncommon to hear of this technique being used for entertainment purposes.  However, the applications of hypnosis in a medical setting are extensive, and as the research indicates, very effective. 

Hypnosis can be defined as an altered state of mind that bypasses the critical conscious mind and allows direct access to the subconscious. The mind is focused, calm, clear and alert and the body is in a state of deep physical relaxation.  In this state it is possible to shift long-held beliefs, conditioned behaviours, perceptions, reactions and thoughts that are no longer promoting wellbeing.  

In the clinical setting, it can be used in many different ways depending on the client’s goals. The following conditions and concerns can benefit from hypnosis:

▪                Chronic pain (headaches, neuralgia, cancer pain, rheumatic pain, fibromyalgia)

▪                Anxiety disorders including panic attacks, social anxiety, performance anxiety

▪                Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, grief

▪                Low self-esteem/confidence/motivation

▪                Stress management

▪                Fears and phobias

▪                Smoking cessation

▪                Addictions (drug/food/behaviour)

▪                Skin conditions (eczema, urticaria, psoriasis)

▪                Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

▪                Insomnia

▪                Weight loss

▪                Digestive conditions (IBS, GERD, dyspepsia, nausea, food sensitivities)

▪                Preparation for surgery or labour

▪                To lessen side effects of chemotherapy

▪                Family and relationship issues

▪                Discovering your life’s work or purpose

▪                Career Challenges


What should I expect from a session?

A deep state of physical and mental relaxation is achieved.  The word “sleep” may be used during the session, but it is simply a cue for the subconscious mind. You will not be asleep, your mind will remain aware, the body is deeply relaxed, and you will remember the entire session. You may feel that you are unaffected by what is being said, but in fact you will be deeply affected because the subconscious mind is listening and making changes at a very deep level. Many people leave a session feeling relaxed, empowered and clear.

I don’t want to say/do something I’ll regret.  Will I lose control of myself?

You are in control at all times.  The mind will only accept that which goes along with established morals and ethics.  The person in a hypnotic state will respond only to suggestions to which he/she is in agreement. In fact, any suggestions that arouse sincere moral indignation immediately cause the client to come out of hypnosis.

What if I can’t be hypnotized?

90-95% of adults can be hypnotized to some degree.  Some will respond more rapidly than others, and will go into deeper depths of trance.  The main requirements for a successful session are: ability to focus, willingness to use your imagination, and your desire to allow yourself to go into deeper states of calmness.  Keep in mind that hypnosis is a natural state that we experience as we fall asleep/wake, get engrossed in a book or movie, meditate or “zone out” during long highway driving.

How many sessions will I need?

This depends on the condition being treated and how well you respond.  Some issues, such as simple phobias, can be resolved in a few sessions, while deep-rooted conditions such as depression may take 10 or more.