Hypnotherapy Benefits and Risks
The benefits of hypnotherapy online and in office are numerous. When comparing a traditional type of therapy with hypnotherapy, counseling with hypnosis stands head and shoulders above the traditional. The reason many traditional therapists try to incorporate hypnosis into their clinical practice is because of the many benefits available to clients, such as, a much faster, longer lasting success rate. Hypnotism allows for much quicker and longer lasting results than traditional counseling may afford.
Hypnosis therapy has both benefits and risks and is often a very misunderstood technique. It’s true that there are ways that hypnosis can be used that are still controversial. What many people don’t know, however, is that hypnotherapy has a lot of science behind it, and that many of its uses are proven and well established. Like any type of therapy, it’s not appropriate for all patients or in all circumstances, but hypnotherapy is a very valuable tool that makes many peoples’ lives better. Although we don’t understand much of why it works, the fact that it helps people who very often have few other medical alternatives, should make us all very happy.
Some of the most documented science behind hypnotherapy is in pain management, especially chronic pain. Most people who experience chronic pain have very little control over their pain, and very few resources available to try and mitigate it. Chronic pain is caused by a very large spectrum of problems and it is an extremely common problem. Around one third of adults in the United States experience chronic back pain, for example. Although this is often one of the less severe forms of chronic pain that hypnosis is used for, it illustrates how prevalent the condition is and how many people could benefit from hypnotherapy. Although hypnosis cannot completely eliminate pain, it does reduce it, and sometimes to a surprisingly significant degree.
Below are a few of the chronic conditions in which hypnotherapy has been scientifically proven to reduce pain:
Lower back pain
Although pain management techniques must originally be taught by a trained professional, additional treatments with hypnosis can be self-administered. This is part of what makes it such a valuable tool. Some people use the technique to reduce or eliminate their use of pain killing drugs. For those with more extreme pain, however, they find that hypnosis is an effective additional tool at reducing their constant pain.
Another area where hypnotherapy is often extremely effective is in reducing anxiety. It’s commonly used to treat two separate issues: people with constant stress or anxiety difficulties, and also to aid in situational anxiety and stress reduction before an upcoming event, such as surgery, public speaking, job interviews or even student test taking.
People with serious medical problems often experience high stress. Unfortunately this high stress often exacerbates other conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep disorders, these aforementioned complications are often reduced when stress is alleviated. In this way hypnotherapy that lowers anxiety can be the cause of many benefits at once.
An additional area that has seen significant impact is in mitigating sleep disorders. A recent study in Switzerland reported some surprisingly significant results. The study had participants with known sleep disorders listen to a hypnotic suggestion tape before sleeping and monitored the participants’ brain activity. It’s important to note that hypnosis has a different degree of impact on different people, as people can be more or less susceptible to it. The group of participants that were deemed most susceptible to the effects found an improvement of 80% more time in deep sleep! The potential here is quite significant, especially when you consider that many people with sleep disorders take medications with significant complications and side effects.
Hypnotherapy is not appropriate in all circumstances, and it’s sometimes used incorrectly by semi-professionals and less than well trained traditional counselors who’ve only had limited learning sessions. As well, there are currently few to no standards in how it’s performed. With a well trained person, one who specializes in hypnotherapy, the results can be quite dramatic and lasting and hypnosis stands to provide effective help to the many who need it. As the scientific evidence grows both in quantity and quality, hypnotherapy’s benefits will become more well known so care can be extended to those who really need it and can benefit from it most.