Does Hypnotherapy Work?

Does Hypnotherapy Work?

Hypnotherapy helps in the positive development of one's personality, apart from other ailments, to a great extent. But then even after it being so very effective, the question does hypnotherapy work still arises. Read on to find out more.
PsycholoGenie Staff
Hypnotherapy is being used today widely to treat a number of patients, both psychologically and medically. The therapy has proved itself to be most effective and long-lasting to cure patients. Still there isn't any scientific reasoning to explain the phenomenon.

What is Hypnotherapy?

If the history of hypnosis is to be believed, it mentions of hypnotherapy being practiced as back as 6,000 years ago. Hypnosis then was used by the ancient Sumerian people, who used it as a therapeutic tool. Since then, there has been developments in it, the way in which the patients are dealt. Modern hypnotherapy started to evolve in the early 18th century, when an Austrian doctor, Franz Anton Mesmer, worked with magnets to get the patients into trance and help them to re-balance. This was known as 'animal magnetism'. Years later, James Braid, known as the 'Father of Modern Hypnotism', started getting hypnosis in the mainstream. And then, almost a century later, American therapist, Milton H. Erickson, began to develop hypnosis for health improvements amongst patients.

The British Society of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis defines, "In therapy, hypnosis usually involves the person experiencing a sense of deep relaxation with their attention narrowed down, and focused on appropriate suggestions made by the therapist." Within the scientific sphere, there isn't any foolproof reasoning to explain exactly how does the process of hypnotherapy work. There were times when hypnotherapists were personified as people dangling watches at their patients and asking them questions. They were considered as people with mystical powers. As time changed, more and more people have started to accept it as an alternative form of medication. Hypnotherapy suggestions help people to make positive changes within themselves and discover themselves as new being altogether.

Hypnosis is a state in which the patient is in a trance-like state. It is a state of enhanced awareness and the patient concentrates entirely on the voice of the hypnotist. Since the body is not in the control of the conscious mind, the patient's metabolism rate falls, breathing becomes slower and deeper, and the pulse rate drops. Also, the person becomes less sensitive towards external pain and unpleasant symptoms.

Hypnotherapy helps in the positive development of an individual. It helps to improve the pattern of the behavior by planting it into the minds of the patient. It helps them to overcome negative thoughts, phobias, irrational fears, suppressed emotions, et al. It is a general disbelief that in a hypnotherapy session, the patient can be made to do anything. If this could have been possible, hypnotherapists would have been the richest of all by asking their patients to rob banks for them! Nothing of this sort actually happens. It in fact, helps a person to overcome the negatives of any sorts.

How does Hypnotherapy Work?

The phenomenon of hypnotherapy cannot be explained fully. It is believed that in a session, there is alteration in the state of consciousness. In this state, the conscious mind is overpowered by the subconscious mind. Here, the therapist suggests ideas and concepts to the patient, and also may try to find out the reason for a particular ailment because of which the patient is undergoing the treatment. The subconscious mind is deeper and is instinctively forceful than the conscious mind. This is why hypnotherapy is said to work with great results as it is the subconscious mind which one needs to alter positively.

To give an example of it, if a person has a phobia for flying, it is obvious that he would want to get rid of it but somehow the person seems not to overcome it. I think it happens with most of us and we want to overcome a certain fear or phobia but we just don't seem to be able to do that. The reason why we are not able to do it is because of our subconscious mind, which has planted the fear deep within itself. Hence, if the fear is removed from the subconscious itself, the person would gather all the courage to overcome it as there wouldn't be anything backing it.

The effectiveness of hypnotherapy for conditions such as excessive weight, anxiety, and smoking is still under scrutiny. It may help to a great extent, but then it also requires you to play a big part in it. With the help of hypnotherapy, a number of ailments can be cured. Some of them include:
  • Depression
  • Addictions
  • Stress, anxiety, and panic attacks
  • Fears and phobias
  • Speech impediments
  • Sexual problems
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Insomnia
  • Asthma and allergies
  • Migraine
  • Skin disorders
Ask the patients who have undergone hypnotherapy to know about the results and effectiveness of this therapy. Firstly, people must not have any misconception about hypnosis. Even for a patient, if he is uncertain about hypnosis, even the best hypnotherapist won't be able to get control over him and treat him. And that is because if his subconscious mind does not allow him to trust and react to the hypnotherapist, the person can never be controlled by the therapist. Hence, it's important to have a two-way accordance to it.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.