1. Health
Elizabeth Scott, M.S.

Hypnosis for Stress Relief and Health

By January 7, 2013

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Hypnosis is a powerful tool that can be used for many important purposes to support wellness and quality of life. Physicians are increasingly turning to hypnosis as a complementary therapy to support their patient's health and wellness for a few reasons. One important reason is that hypnosis can be an effective stress management tool, and stress management can alleviate a host of health issues that are stress-related.

Another reason is that hypnosis can be a powerful tool for behavior change, and many health conditions can be improved with changes in behavior and lifestyle; enabling clients to enact and maintain these changes can greatly support wellness.

Hypnosis is a research-backed complementary therapy, and can be used for a variety of purposes. It involves helping clients attain a trance-like state, and implanting "suggestions," or beliefs that the client would like to strength and encode into their subconscious minds, before bringing them out of the trance. Self-hypnosis can also be beneficial--you can read about those benefits below. The following are among the more popular results we see (in addition to stress management) with hypnosis:

  • Effective pain management: research shows that hypnosis can help with pain management, particularly in those who are highly hypnotizable. Benefits have been demonstrated for burn patients, breast cancer patients, those experiencing dental and surgical pain, injured children , and can be used successfully with many other populations as well.
  • Hypnosis can also help alleviate the symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders, such as ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, pregnancy-related nausea, chemotherapy-related nausea, and more.
  • Hypnosis has been successful in helping those with asthma breathe more easily, reducing the symptoms of wheezing and the need for cronchodilators and drugs,
  • Hypnosis can be helpful for psychological and behavioral issues including PTSD, phobias, anxiety, and smoking.
  • I write about hypnosis because it can be a very effective tool to help readers with a wide range of issues and goals. Additionally, it gets results with a relatively low level of effort required. Some people are better suited for hypnosis than others, however, because we all have our own unique level of "hypnotizability"--some of us get into a trance more easily, and some struggle with it. Because of this and other factors, some may prefer clinical hypnosis--where you work with a hypnotherapist--while many people can find great results with self-hypnosis. Either way, it's a great strategy to try!

    More Hypnosis Resources:

    Askay, Shelly W.; Patterson, David R.; Jensen, Mark P.; and Sharar, Samual R. (August 2007). A randomized controlled trial of hypnosis for burn wound care. Rehabilitation Psychology. Vol 52(3).
    Butler, Lisa et. al. (Sept. 2009). Effects of supportive-expressive group therapy on pain in women with metastatic breast cancer. Health Psychology. Vol 28(5), pp. 579- 587.
    Freeman, L. W. (2009). Mosby's complementary and alternative medicine. (3 ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.
    Liossi, Christina; White, Paul; & Hatira, Popi. (May, 2006). Randomized clinical trial of local anesthetic versus a combination of local anesthetic with self-hypnosis in the management of pediatric procedure-related pain. Health Psychology. Vol 25(3), pp. 307-315.

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