Hypnotherapy (also called hypnosis) come from the Greek word, hypnos, meaning sleep, and has been used for many centruies for mental and physical energising, healing and cultural and religious rituals. The earliest documented use of hypnotherapy dates back 3000 years to ancient Egypt, with hieroglyphics on the walls of Egyptians tombs depicting what many scholars believe to be hypnosis.
Modern Western Hypnotherapy can be traced to the Austrian physician and astrologist Franz Anton Mesmer – the word ‘mesmerise’ is derived from his name.
In the mid 20th century, the British and American Medical Association and the American psycholgical association endorsed hypnotherapy as a medical procedure.
There are three main phasese of hypnotherapy:
Presuggestion- this phases involves focusing one’s attention using distraction, imagery, relaxation, or a combination of these techniques. The aim is to reach an altered state of consciousness in which the mind is relaxed and susceptible to suggestion.
Suggestion – this phase introduces specific goals, questions or memories to be explored.
Post suggestion – this phase occurs after the return to a normal state of consciousness, when new behaviours introduced in the suggestion phase may be practised.
The mechanism by which health beneftis can occur is thought to be the state of deep relaxation that quieten’s the conscious mind, leading to the unconscious mind being open to suggestions that can help improve health. There is evidence that hypnosis can:
treat chronic pain
reduce fear and anxiety
help people to overcome phobias
reduce pain and bleeding in patients undergoing dental treatments
help people to stop smoking or overeating
treat alcohol and /or drug dependence
help reduce the pain of childbirth and reduce the duration of labour.
Hypnostherapy is a combination of hypnosis and therapeutic intervention. During a hypnotherapy session, the theapist leads the depressed patient to positive change through a series of relaxation stages combined with imagery. As the patient moves into deeps, trance-like states of relaxation, the hypnotherapist is able to access the emotions and memories of the depressed individual that may have been repressed or forgotton. After uncovering these memories, they are separated from learned behaviours, with the hypnotherapist revealing coping strategies and healthier, more productive thought processes direcetly to the subconscious mind of the depressed individual. While in this hypnotic state, the individual tends to accept the suggestions of the therapist.
Hypnotherapists explain the at hypnosis helps patients identify the intrinsic causes of their depression and allows them to modigy and refute negative memories, feelings, and thoughts that contribute to the illness. According to hypnotherapy, the subconscious is a non-ordinary state of consciousness and the human psyche is far more amenable to positive change, healing or beneficial reprogramming when we are in a hypnotic state compared to when we are in our usual beta state of consciousness (our thinking mode). While evidence supports the effectiveness of hypnotherapy or hypnosis in treating depression, most of the published reports consist of case studies that detail treatment of a single individual.
In 2007, a study reported that hypnotherapy provides effective treatment compared to other psychotherapy techniques for depression. Eighty-four patients with depression were randomly assigned to 16 weeks of treatment with either cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or both hypnosis and CBT. At the end of treatment, both groups, scores were significantly improved from baseline on the Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Hoplessness Scale and the Beck Anxiety Inventory. However, scores on all three inventories were changed by significantly greater amounts in the combined therapy group.
In a trial of 60 patients with breast cancer, hypnosis reduced hot flushes, anxiety and depression and improved sleep.
The results of the study discussed above are mostly favourable for hypnosis in the treatment of depression.
Please phone Spa 4 Me today to make an appointment for a hypnosis session with our skilled practitioner! 0408 054 538.