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Hypnosis may be used for:
Pain control
Smoking cessation
Reducing stress related to medical
Mental health conditions
Surgical preparation
Weight loss
Athletic performance
Dental procedures
Coping with chemotherapy
Skin conditions
Gastrointestinal problems
Hypnosis that’s conducted under the
care of a trained therapist or health
care professional is considered a
safe complementary and alternative
medicine treatment.
Adverse reactions are rare
but may include:
Anxiety or panic
Creation of false memories
Use special caution before using
hypnosis for age regression to help you
relive earlier events in your life. This
practice remains controversial and has
limited scientifc evidence to support
its use. It may cause strong emotions
and can alter your memories or lead to
creation of false memories.
You don’t need any special preparation
to have hypnosis. But it’s a good idea to
wear comfortable, loose ftting clothing
to help with relaxation. Also, make sure
that you’re well rested before having
hypnosis so that you’re not inclined to
fall asleep during the session.
Be sure you carefully choose a therapist
or health care professional to perform
hypnosis. Get a recommendation from
someone you trust.
Don’t buy
into promises of cures. And
when you do fnd a potential
hypnotherapist, ask lots of
questions, such as:
Do you have training in a feld such as
psychology, medicine, social work or
Are you licensed in your specialty in
this state?
Where did you go to school, and
where did you do your internship,
residency or both?
How much training have you had in
hypnotherapy and from what schools?
What professional organizations do
you belong to?
How long have you been in practice?
What are your fees?
Does insurance cover your services?
There are a variety of techniques
for hypnosis. The approach you
choose depends on what you want
to accomplish and your personal
preferences. Your hypnotherapist may
make a recommendation about the best
technique for your situation.
In general, a hypnotherapist explains
the process of hypnosis and reviews
what you both hope to accomplish. The
hypnotherapist typically induces you
into hypnosis by talking in a gentle,
soothing tone and describing images
that create a sense of relaxation, security
and well-being.
When you’re in a deep trance-like state,
the hypnotherapist suggests ways for
you to achieve specifc goals, such as
reducing pain or eliminating cravings
to smoke. The hypnotherapist also may
help you visualize vivid, meaningful
mental images in which you picture
yourself accomplishing your goals, such
as shooting baskets accurately. When
the session is over, either you are able
to bring yourself out of hypnosis or your
hypnotherapist helps you end your
trance-like state.
A typical hypnosis session lasts about
30 to 60 minutes. You may beneft from
just one session or several sessions
of hypnosis. You can usually resume
normal activities immediately.
Contrary to how hypnosis is sometimes
portrayed in movies, on television or
on stage, you don’t lose control over
your behavior while under hypnosis.
Although hypnosis makes you more
open to suggestions, you can’t be forced
to engage in behavior involuntarily. Also,
you generally remain aware of who you
are and where you are, and you typically
remember what happened when you
were under hypnosis.
You may eventually be able to practice
self-hypnosis, in which you induce a
state of hypnosis in yourself. You can
use this skill as needed - for instance,
after a chemotherapy session.
Hypnosis may help you
cope better with certain
medical conditions, stop
unwanted habits or reduce
stress related to medical
procedures. The effects
of hypnosis can be long
lasting and can improve
your overall quality of life.
Hypnosis isn’t right for everyone,
though. You may not be able to enter a
state of hypnosis fully enough to make it
effective, for instance. Certain qualities
that may mean you’re more likely to
have success with hypnosis include:
The ability to be so engrossed in
music, a book or a movie that you
aren’t aware of what’s happening
around you
Smells trigger vivid memories for you
Memories trigger physical sensations
of past events
Hypnosis is
intended to
help you gain
more control
over undesired
behaviors or
emotions or to
help you cope
better with a wide
range of medical
Hypnosis isn’t
a treatment
or a type of
Rather, it’s
a procedure
typically used
along with certain
treatments and
therapies to help
a wide variety of
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