In the current climate of enthusiasm for drug-free, holistic therapies, which complement conventional medicine, hypnotherapy is being used more than ever, both privately, and within the NHS.
Hypnosis has been used in various forms as a therapeutic tool for thousands of years. However, the formal term, ‘hypnosis’ was coined as recently as the 18th century. Traditionally, hypnotherapy has been used within the medical field and its use has been approved by the British Medical Association (BMA) and the American Medical Association (AMA). Hypnotherapy has become an established, evidence-based treatment for a number of common conditions and a recent report by the British Psychological Society (BPS) states “Hypnosis is a valid subject for scientific study and research and a proven therapeutic medium” (BPS, 2001, p 2).
So, does hypnotherapy work?
Hypnosis is one of the most commonly used therapies, with an estimated 353,000 patients visiting a hypnotherapist, resulting in nearly one-and-a-half million private and NHS appointments every year in England. To meet this demand, more and more sole practitioners and health professionals are being trained in its use.
Advanced Hypnotherapy techniques are being used successfully, to treat a wide range of psychological, emotional and physical problems. This goes far beyond the usual view of hypnosis for smoking, weight loss, or phobia.
Hypnotherapy in general, and Advanced Hypnotherapy in particular, is being called on, more and more, to deal with chronic problems such as Anxiety, Depression and Stress.
In addition, advanced hypnotherapy techniques are proving highly successful in sports, the performing arts, and the corporate world.
The terms Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy tend to be used interchangeably. There’s much more to it than that.
Psychologists have asked me whether hypnosis is social compliance, or an altered state of consciousness. I say, “Yes”. They ask again and I reply, “Absolutely!” They end up looking puzzled – they just don’t get it.
It is only in the last decade that scientists have ‘proved’ that hypnosis exists, by being able to measure it. That leaves me wondering what we’ve been doing for the last 5,000 years.
Instead of it being some weird and wonderful thing, what if absolutely everything was hypnosis?
Would that alter the way you think about things? Well, it is.
Have you ever read a good novel… a real page turner? You may have felt compelled to keep reading and been saddened that you had come to the end.
Your eyes were merely seeing black dots, upside down, on white paper. Your brain inverted them, converted them to words. Your conscious mind converted them to pictures, and your subconscious mind responded with feelings. In a word, hypnosis.
So, does hypnosis work?
Every time you are doing something without thinking, you are using hypnosis:
◦ Driving (when you don’t remember part of the journey)
◦ Putting on a pair of trousers (which leg goes in first?)
◦ Watching Television
Although much more information is available regarding hypnosis, many myths still prevent people benefiting from this highly effective therapy.