The research is to find out where the therapy originated, including the name of the person who first introduced the therapy and a brief history if possible. Provide a short summary of any clinical research or scientific evidence that supports the validity of the therapy. List of conditions the therapy is best suited to treat. A summary of how the therapy works to assist the client. Contras or dangers associated with using the therapy. A bibliography listing the resources used to find the information, including websites and publications.
The history of hypnosis is as ancient as that of sorcery, magic, and medicine; indeed, hypnosis has been used as a method in all three. Its scientific history began in the latter part of the 18th century with Franz Mesmer, a German physician who used hypnosis in the treatment of patients in Vienna and Paris. Because of his mistaken belief that hypnotism made use of an occult force (which he termed “animal magnetism”) that flowed through the hypnotist into the subject, Mesmer was soon discredited; but Mesmer’s method—named mesmerism after its creator—continued to interest medical practitioners. A number of clinicians made use of it without fully understanding its nature until the middle of the 19th century, when the English physician James Braid studied the phenomenon and coined the terms hypnotism and hypnosis, after the Greek god of sleep, Hypnos
Hypnosis attracted widespread scientific interest in the 1880s. Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault, an obscure French country physician who used mesmeric techniques, drew the support of Hippolyte Bernheim, a professor of medicine at Strasbourg. Independently they had written that hypnosis involved no physical forces and no physiological processes but was a combination of psychologically mediated responses to suggestions. During a visit to France at about the same time, Austrian physician Sigmund Freud was impressed by the therapeutic potential of hypnosis for neurotic disorders. On his return to Vienna, he used hypnosis to help neurotics recall disturbing events that they had apparently forgotten. As he began to develop his system of psychoanalysis, however, theoretical considerations—as well as the difficulty he encountered in hypnotizing some patients—led Freud to discard hypnosis in favour of free association. (Generally psychoanalysts have come to view hypnosis as merely an adjunct to the free-associative techniques used in psychoanalytic practice.)
Hypnosis or hypnotherapy uses guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness that is sometimes called a trance. The person’s attention is so focused while in this state that anything going on around the person is temporarily blocked out or ignored. In this naturally occurring state, a person may focus his or her attention with the help of a trained therapist on specific thoughts or tasks.
Spiegel’s research shows that hypnosis can act on multiple brain regions, including some linked to pain perception and regulation. A randomized trial of 286 smokers found that 20% of people who received Hypnosis managed to quit, compared to 14% who received standard behavioral counselling.
Here are some of the potential benefits of incorporating hypnotherapy into your overall wellness program:
Hypnotherapy can be used to address a number of physical and emotional issues, including fears and phobias, drinking and smoking, and overeating and weight loss.
The cost of a single hypnotherapy session can be quite low, especially if you attend a traveling seminar or work with an established hypnotherapist.
A good hypnotherapist can tailor your treatments to your specific needs and address any unique issues you may have. This customization can increase the efficacy of the treatment significantly.
Hypnotherapy sessions are usually short, about one to two hours in length. That means less time out of your day and more time to work on your specific issues.
Hypnotherapy is convenient. No matter where you live, chances are there are a number of hypnotherapists operating in your area. The convenience factor is a major advantage of hypnotherapy compared to other forms of treatment.
Hypnotherapy is not the right choice for everyone. Here are a few potential drawbacks:
Not everyone is receptive to hypnotherapy. If you are one of the small number of people who ‘can’t be hypnotized’, this type of therapy will not work for you.
You may require repeated hypnotherapy sessions to achieve long-term relief from the problems you are addressing. The need for repeat hypnotherapy sessions can drive up your costs.
Your hypnotherapy sessions will probably not be covered by your health insurance program. That could mean high out-of-pocket costs.
Hypnotherapists vary in their skills and experience. It can be challenging to find one who is effective, affordable and receptive to your specific needs.
If you are looking for a way to change your life, break your bad habits and lead a healthier lifestyle going forward, there are many reasons to incorporate alternative treatments, such as hypnotherapy, into your plan. Hypnotherapy can play a positive role in everything from stopping smoking and avoiding overeating to curing deep-seated fears and phobias, but it is important to find and choose a therapist who can tailor a treatment plan just for you.
Understanding the pros and cons of hypnotherapy, and how to make the treatment more effective, is an important first step toward improving your long-term health. If the pros of hypnotherapy outweigh the cons, now may the perfect time to explore this unique form of alternative medicine.
NOTES AND REFERENCES: