Understanding The Many Facets Of Hypnotherapy

By: John T Dell

Most of us have learned behaviors and reactions that we would like to control or change. From anxiety that is precipitated by a mid-term examination or a visit to the dentist's office, to overeating when you feel stressed, most behavior can be changed. Sometimes you may find that it is difficult to control your impulses and reaction to a situation or stimuli. In such circumstances you may like to consider hypnotherapy.

The word hypnosis comes from the Greek word 'hypnos', which means 'sleep'. It is a state in which the person appears to be in a sleep-like relaxed state, but is also conscious and aware in a way that is unlike the normal state of consciousness. Under hypnosis he or she is able to focus on a specific memory or idea without any diversions or distractions. They are also more likely to respond to an idea.

What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis can be used for therapeutic purposes, and is referred to as hypnotherapy. A hypnotherapist uses relaxation exercises, suggestion and instructions to help a person reach this state. It is important that you understand that the practitioner cannot control you or make you do things that you don't want to. This seems to be a common worry that people have when they wish to consider hypnosis as a way to control bodily functions and emotional and psychological response.

A session would involve usually involve the following steps:

Identification of a problem
Relaxation exercises
Elimination of critical thoughts regarding the problem
Response to the hypnotherapist's suggestions
Return to a state of conscious awareness
Reflection on the session

How effective is the therapy?

Therapists find that this technique is particularly effective for alleviating anxiety, pain and to improve the patient's mental and physical state. It may be used specifically in a hypnotherapist's office; and is also useful in the emergency room, dentist's office and for out-patients at clinics.

Hypnosis is effective with most patients; and four to ten sessions are usually required for optimal results. Children are more responsive to this technique than adults and experts report excellent results with them.

Hypnosis can be used for various conditions that are caused by anxiety and fear. It can make a person more responsive to the doctor's instructions and medication. Panic and anxiety attacks can be avoided and handled better with this form of treatment.

Some patients report a higher threshold for pain after they have undergone hypnotherapy. Pregnant women are known to use it to deal with labor and delivery. It is also useful for people who suffer from conditions such as arthritis and chronic diseases.

It can be used to help an individual self regulate. This makes the treatment effective for people who wish to control eating disorders and give up smoking or drinking. Hypnotherapy helps people separate unhealthy behavior from their memories and replace them with healthier behavior. At the end of each session the patient is empowered with an attitude to make a positive change in their life.

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