HypnosisClinical Applications of Hypnosis
Role of hypnotherapy in medicine
Hypnosis has been used as an adjunct to medical practice (or as a stand-alone medical treatment) for centuries, but only in the last decades have medical applications of hypnosis been extensively researched.
As a result of scientific studies proving that hypnosis can be just as effective (or sometimes even superior) to many standard treatment procedures, in 1958 the American Medical Association officially approved teaching of medical hypnosis in medical schools. The American Psychological Association did the same in 1960 for the field of psychology. The National Institute of Health technology assessment panel has recognized hypnosis in the treatment of a variety of disorders and recommends its integration into medical practice.
Many hospitals and medical centers throughout the US now offer hypnosis to their patients in operating rooms, pain clinics, amputee clinics, burn units, cancer centers, GI departments, labor and delivery units, weight loss clinics, addiction treatment centers, integrative medicine and mental health clinics. Examples of hospitals offering hypnotherapy services are: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, Stanford University Hospital and Stanford Health Care clinics in California, Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York, Mercy Hospitals in Missouri and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.
Even the U.S. Veterans Administration published VHA Directive 1137 – Provision of Complementary and Integrative Health in May 2017, which stated that “Clinical Hypnosis (or Hypnotherapy) is one of the evidence-based complementary and integrative health (CIH) approaches covered by the Veterans medical benefits package when deemed clinically necessary”. “Based on literature review these approaches were found to be safe and have sufficient evidence of benefit to be recommended as appropriate components of care for the Veteran population.”
At New Body – New Mind we use hypnosis either as a stand-alone intervention or as a complement to other medical treatments and services. We provide medical hypnosis services as well as hypnosis for self-improvement and attainment of professional and personal goals.
We work both with adults, children and adolescents.
What specific medical conditions can hypnosis help to treat?
Listed below are some examples of medical conditions which respond favorably to hypnotherapy, as evidenced by medical research studies:
- Bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching)
- Headaches (including muscular / tension headaches) and migraines
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Chronic and acute pain of any origin (musculoskeletal, neurological, post-surgical, etc.)
- IBS, SIBO, peptic ulcer, esophageal reflux, colitis, Crohn’s disease, and other GI disorders
- Insomnia (inability to either fall asleep or stay asleep) and other sleep disorders (e.g., restless leg syndrome, snoring, etc.)
- Inability to manage stress and anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Fears and Phobias (e.g., fear of flying, claustrophobia, stage fright, fear of public speaking, social phobias, etc.)
- Medical anxieties (e.g., fear of needles, fear of dental treatments, fear of medical procedures)
- Preparation for surgeries and medical procedures to decrease anxiety and improve outcomes
- Preparation for childbirth and hypnobirthing to facilitate relaxation, sense of control and decrease pain
- Prenatal and postnatal interventions (e.g., coping with morning sickness, bonding with unborn baby, instilling positive beliefs and anticipations, rapid healing after childbirth)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Nausea and or regurgitation (without an obvious medical cause or as a side effect of medical treatments or medications, e.g., nausea caused by medications used in cancer treatment)
- Infertility (either to promote fertility or to support IVF treatment)
- Menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, sleep problems
- Dermatological conditions (e.g., eczema, warts, psoriasis)
- Raynaud’s disease
- Behavioral issues (e.g., impaired impulse control, affect regulation, anger management, etc.)
- OCD (obsessive thoughts, behaviors and compulsive actions)
- ADHD, ADD
- Vocal and motor tics, Tourrete’s syndrome
- Habit disorders (e.g., nail biting, picking skin, pulling hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, biting lips, thumb sucking)
- Eating disorders (including Avoidant / Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, “picky eater”)
- Excessive body weight (weight loss)
- Addiction to sugar, other food cravings, overeating
- Cigarette addiction (smoking cessation)
- Bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis) – typically in children, but also in adults
- Urinary Incontinence
- Bowel incontinence
- Erectile Dysfunction, Impotence / Premature Ejaculation, Anorgasmia and other sexual disorders
- Negative sexual self-image
Other applications of clinical hypnosis:
In addition to using hypnosis to treat medical conditions we also utilize hypnosis to help children and adult clients function better in everyday life, improve school, work or athletic performance or to facilitate self-discovery and self-growth.
Here are a few examples of personal goals our clients frequently ask us to help them achieve:
- “Increase self-confidence, self-esteem, self-respect and self-worth / develop positive self-image”.
- “Improve ability to create and maintain good relationships; to give and receive love”.
- “Increase patience, understanding and compassion in order to mend a relationship with a partner, spouse, child, friend, business partner, boss, etc.”
- “Increase tolerance and become more flexible and more forgiving”.
- “Learn how to respond appropriately to stresses of everyday life and turn stress and anxiety triggers into triggers for relaxation, confidence and calm”.
- “Develop effective study / work habits, improve focus and concentration to perform better at school or at work”.
- “Improve athletic performance, dance / theatre / music performance”.
- “Increase creativity” in order to better write / compose / make business decisions, etc.
- “Resolve performance anxiety when interviewing for a job, performing on stage, giving lectures or presentations, participating in work meetings, participating in a class, etc.”
- “Improve interpersonal skills: feel confident, relaxed and comfortable in social situations (e.g., dating, parties, etc.), become an effective and engaging communicator and develop body language signals to match verbal communication”.
- Improve specific skills necessary for job performance, “excel at my job”.
- “Improve focus, concentration and information retention” while preparing for exams (e.g., licensing exams, bar exam, school tests) and to generally improve work or school performance.
- “Reduce test anxiety / improve test scores and grades at school”.
- “Learn how to control impulses, anger and anxiety at school, work or in social or family environments” (behavior modification).
- “Find peace and closure” after a relationship breakup, divorce, loss of a loved one, etc.
- “Develop positive attitudes, beliefs and expectations”.
- “Stop smoking”, “eliminate excessive use of alcohol”, “stop food cravings”, “stop sugar cravings”.
- “Lose excess weight”.
- “Develop discipline and motivation to exercise” (or to take steps to work on any life goal).
- “Resolve internal conflict”.
- “Leave past behind and move on to a better future”.
- “Clarify in what direction to go / chose the road most aligned with my destiny and life purpose”.