Entries

Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine Gale Encyclopedia of Mental DisordersGale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed.The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English Further reading

NON JS

Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy

Definition

Hypnotherapy is the treatment of a variety of health conditions by hypnotism or by inducing prolonged sleep.

Origins

Hypnotherapy is thought to date back to the healing practices of ancient Greece and Egypt. Many religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and others have attributed trance-like behavior to spiritual or divine possession.

An Austrian physician, Franz Mesmer (17341815), is credited with being the first person to scientifically investigate the idea of hypnotherapy in 1779 to treat a variety of health conditions. Mesmer studied medicine at the University of Vienna and received his medical degree in 1766. Mesmer is believed to have been the first doctor to understand the relationship of psychological trauma to illness. He induced a trance-like state, which became known as mesmerization, in his patients to successfully treat nervous disorders. These techniques became the foundation for modern-day hypnotherapy.

Mesmer's original interest was in the effect of celestial bodies on human lives. He later became interested in the effects of magnetism and found that magnets could have tremendous healing effects on the human body. Mesmer believed that the human body contained a magnetic fluid that promoted health and well being. It was thought that any blockage to the normal flow of this magnetic fluid would result in illness, and that the use of the Mesmerism technique could restore the normal flow.

Mesmer performed his technique by passing his hands up and down the patient's body. The technique

was supposed to transmit magnetic fluid from his hands to the bodies of his patients. During this time period, there was no clear delineation between health conditions that were physical or psychological in nature. Although Mesmer did not realize it at that time, his treatments were most effective for those conditions that are now known to be primarily psychosomatic.

Mesmer's technique appeared to be quite successful in the treatment of his patients, but he was the subject of scorn and ridicule from the medical profession. Because of all the controversy surrounding mesmerism, and because Mesmer's personality was quite eccentric, a commission was convened to investigate his techniques and procedures. The very distinguished panel of investigators included Benjamin Franklin, the French chemist Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, and the physician Jacques Guillotin. The commission acknowledged that patients did seem to obtain noticeable relief from their conditions, but the whole idea was dismissed as being medical quackery.

Other pioneers in this field, such as James Braid and James Esdaile, discovered that hypnosis could be used to successfully anesthetize patients for surgeries. James Braid accidentally discovered that one of his patients began to enter a hypnotic state while staring at a fixed light as he waited for his eye examination to begin. Since mesmerism had fallen out of favor, Braid coined the term hypnotism, which is derived from the Greek word for sleep. Braid also used the techniques of monotony, rhythm, and imitation to assist in inducing a hypnotic state. These techniques are generally still in use.

Around 1900, there were very few preoperative anesthetic drugs available. Patients were naturally apprehensive when facing surgery. One out of 400 patients would die, not from the surgical procedure, but from the anesthesia. Dr. Henry Munro was one of the first physicians to use hypnotherapy to alleviate patient fears about having surgery. He would get his patients into a hypnotic state and discuss their fears with them, telling them they would feel a lot better following surgery. Ether was the most common anesthetic at that time, and Dr. Munro found that he was able to perform surgery using only about 10% of the usual amount of ether.

It took more than 200 years for hypnotherapy to become incorporated into mainstream medical treatment. In 1955, the British Medical Association approved the use of hypnotherapy as a valid medical treatment, with the American Medical Association (AMA) giving its approval in 1958.

Benefits

Hypnotherapy is used in a number of fields including psychotherapy , surgery, dentistry, research, and medicine. Hypnotherapy is commonly used as an alternative treatment for a wide range of health conditions, including weight control, pain management, and smoking cessation. It is also used to control pain in a variety of such conditions as headache , facial neuralgia , arthritis, burns , musculoskeletal disorders, childbirth , and many more. Hypnotherapy is being used in place of anesthesia, particularly in patients who prove to be allergic to anesthetic drugs, for such surgeries as hysterectomies, cesarean sections, certain cardiovascular procedures, thyroidectomy, and others. Dentists use hypnotherapy with success on patients who are allergic to all types of dental anesthetics. Hypnotherapy is also useful in helping patients overcome phobias .

Hypnotherapy is used for nonmedical patients as well as those who wish to overcome bad habits. Hypnotherapy has been shown to help those who suffer from performance anxiety in such activities as sports and speaking in public. In academic applications, it has also been shown to help with learning, participating in the classroom, concentrating, studying, extending attention span, improving memory, and helping remove mental blocks about particular subjects.

In more general areas, hypnotherapy has been found to be beneficial for such problems as motivation, procrastination, decision-making, personal achievement and development, job performance, buried or repressed memories, relaxation , and stress management.

DR. FRANZ MESMER 17341815


Franz Mesmer was born on May 23, 1734, in the village of Itznang, Switzerland. At age 15 he entered the Jesuit College at Dillingen in Bavaria, and from there he went in 1752 to the University of Ingolstadt, where he studied philosophy, theology, music, and mathematics. Eventually he decided on a medical career. In 1759 he entered the University of Vienna, receiving a medical degree in 1766.

Mesmer settled in Vienna and began to develop his concept of an invisible fluid in the body that affected health. At first he used magnets to manipulate this fluid but gradually came to believe these were unnecessary; that, in fact, anything he touched became magnetized and that a health-giving fluid emanated from his own body. Mesmer believed a rapport with his patients was essential for cure and achieved it with diverse trappings. His treatment rooms were heavily draped, music was played, and Mesmer appeared in long violet robes.

Mesmer's methods were frowned upon by the medical establishment in Vienna, so in 1778 he moved to Paris, hoping for a better reception for his ideas. In France he achieved overwhelming popularity except among the physicians. On the basis of medical opinion, repeated efforts were made by the French government to discredit Mesmer. Mesmer retired to Switzerland at the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789, where he spent the remaining years of his life.

Critics focused attention of Mesmer's methods and insisted that cures existed only in the patient's mind. The nineteenth-century studies of Mesmer's work by James Braid and others in England demonstrated that the important aspect of Mesmer's treatment was the patient's reaction. Braid introduced the term "hypnotism" and insisted that hypnotic phenomena were essentially physiological and not associated with a fluid. Still later studies in France by A. A. Liebeault and Hippolyte Bernheim attributed hypnotic phenomena to psychological forces, particularly suggestion. While undergoing this scientific transformation in the nineteenth century, mesmerism in other quarters became more closely associated with occultism, spiritualism, and faith healing, providing in the last instance the basis for Christian Science.

Description

Hypnotherapy involves achieving a psychological state of awareness that is different from the ordinary state of consciousness. While in a hypnotic state, a variety of phenomena can occur. These phenomena include alterations in memory, heightened susceptibility to suggestion, paralysis, sweating, and blushing. All of these changes can be produced or removed in the hypnotic state. Many studies have shown that roughly 90% of the population is capable of being hypnotized.

This state of awareness can be achieved by relaxing the body, focusing on one's breathing, and shifting attention away from the external environment. In this state, the patient has a heightened receptivity to suggestion. The usual procedure for inducing a hypnotic trance in another person is by a direct command repeated in a soothing, monotonous tone of voice.

Preparations

Ideally, the following conditions should be present to successfully achieve a state of hypnosis:

  • willingness to be hypnotized
  • rapport between the patient or client and the hypnotherapist
  • a comfortable environment conducive to relaxation

Precautions

Hypnotherapy can have negative outcomes. When used as entertainment, people have been hypnotized to say or do things that would normally embarrass them. There have been instances where people already dangerously close to psychological breakdown have been pushed into an emotional crisis during what was supposed to be a harmless demonstration of hypnosis. A statement from the World Hypnosis Organization (WHO) warns against performing hypnosis on patients suffering from psychosis, organic psychiatric conditions, or antisocial personality disorders. Because there are no standard licensing requirements, there is a risk that the hypnotist will have difficulty in controlling or ending a hypnotic state that has been induced in the patient.

There is a commonly held belief that a person cannot be coerced into doing things that he or she would not normally do while under hypnosis. The hynotherapist should take care, however, not to give suggestions during hypnosis that are contrary to the patient's moral code.

Many religions do not condone the practice of hypnotherapy. Leaders of the Jehovah's Witnesses and Christian Science religions oppose the use of hypnotherapy and advise their members to avoid it completely, whether for entertainment or therapy. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints approves it for medical purposes, but cautions members against allowing themselves to be hypnotized for entertainment or demonstration purposes.

In 1985, the AMA convened a commission that warned against using hypnotherapy to aid in recollection of events. The commission cited studies that showed the possibility of hypnotic recall resulting in confabulation or an artificial sense of certainty about the course of events. As a result, many states limit or prohibit testimony of hypnotized witnesses or victims.

Side effects

Experiments have been conducted to determine any side effects of hypnotherapy. Some subjects have reported side effects such as headache, stiff neck, drowsiness, cognitive distortion or confusion, dizziness , and anxiety. However, most of these effects cleared up within several hours of the hypnotherapy session.

Research & general acceptance

Research on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy on a variety of medical conditions is extensive. In one study, the use of hypnotherapy did not seem to alter the core symptoms in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); however, it did seem useful in managing the associated symptoms, including sleep disturbances and tics.

Hypnotherapy is being studied in children who have common chronic problems and to aid in relieving pain. Children are particularly good candidates for hypnotherapy because their lack of worldly experience enables them to move easily between the rational world and their imagination. Studies with children have shown responses to hypnotherapy ranging from diminished pain and anxiety during a number of medical procedures; a 50% range in reduction of symptoms or a complete resolution of a medical condition; and a reduction in use of antinausea medication and vomiting during chemotherapy for childhood cancers.

In 2002, a report compiled several study results on hypnosis. One recent study evaluated how self-hypnosis relieved pain and anxiety in patients undergoing angioplasty with local anesthesia. Those patients needed less sedation and less procedure time. Another study found that pregnant adolescents counseled in hypnosis needed less anesthesia during delivery and less pain medication afterward. They also left the hospital sooner.

The use of hypnotherapy with cancer patients is another area being investigated. A meta-analysis of 116 studies showed positive results of using hypnotherapy with cancer patients. Ninety-two percent showed a positive effect on depression ; 93% showed a positive effect on physical well-being; 81% showed a positive effect on vomiting; and 92% showed a positive effect on pain. In 2002, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Association reported that it recognizes hypnosis therapy as one effective tool to help terminally ill patients deal with their fears, feelings, and emotions; and to promote relaxation.

Training & certification

In the early twenty-first century, anyone could be a hypnotherapist. It is very easy to learn how to hypnotize someone, and the fact that hypnotism dates back to ancient times proves the ease with which a trance can be induced. There are no licensing procedures in place that limit the practice of hypnotherapy to medical professionals. Hypnotherapists are not regulated in any way; there are no uniform education or certification requirements to perform hypnotherapy.

The National Board for Hypnotherapy and Hypnotic Anaesthesiology (NBHA) has specific membership requirements and also offers varying levels of professional recognition. Certification as a Clinical Hypnotherapist (C.Ht.) requires a minimum of 200 hours of classroom instruction and, independent study and life learning experience in the medical, dental, psychological, or peer counseling professions. Certification as a Medical Hypnotherapist (C.M.H.) requires meeting the standards for the Clinical Hypnotherapist level plus attending a residential training course or home study training course that requires a clinical practicum/internship approved by the NBHA. Certification as a Hypno-Anesthesia Therapist (Ct.H.A.) requires the successful completion of an NBHA-approved course in Visualization and Guided Imagery for Pain Management, and a passing score on the examination. Certification as a Registered Hypnotic Anaesthesiologist (R.H.A.) requires two years of continuous membership in the NBHA at the Ct.H.A. level, and completion of advanced training seminars. The highest level of certification that can be obtained in this organization is Fellow (F.B.H.A.). Requirements for achieving this level of certification include membership at the R.H.A. level and a graduate degree from an accredited university, plus submitting a comprehensive thesis.

There is an ongoing debate regarding the issue of clinically trained versus lay hypnotists. The position of the American Society of Clinical Hypnotists (ASCH) is that the training of lay hypnotists is unethical. This organization supports only the training of those persons who are pursuing an advanced degree in the health sciences. ASCH further believes that hypnotherapy is a treatment modality to be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment, not a treatment that stands alone. Medical professionals believe that lay hypnotists keep the view of hypnotherapy in low esteem by the general public. They also believe that their practices are impacted economically by the lay hypnotists.

ASCH and the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (SCEH) are two organizations that are trying to set up formal screening, training, and accrediting standards. Both of these organizations offer formal training to medical professionals at their annual meetings.

Resources

BOOKS

Elman, Dave. Hypnotherapy. Glendale, CA: Westwood Publishing Co., 1964.

Kappas, John G. Professional Hypnotism Manual: Introducing Physical and Emotional Suggestibility and Sexuality. Tarzana, CA: Panorama Publishing Company, 1987.

Murphy, Michael. The Future of the Body: Explorations Into the Further Evolution of Human Nature. Los Angeles, CA:: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., 1992.

Shrader, Wesley. The Amazing Power of Hypnosis: What It Can Do for You. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1976.

Targ, Russell and Jane Katra. Miracles of Mind: Exploring Nonlocal Consciousness and Spiritual Healing. Novato, CA: New World Library, 1998.

PERIODICALS

Baumgaertel, Anna. "Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Alternative and Controversial Treatments for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder." Pediatric Clinics of North America (October 1999).

Devine, E.C., and S.K. Westlake. "The Effects of Psychoeducational Care Provided to Adults with Cancer: Meta-Analysis of 116 Studies." Oncology Nursing Forum (1995).

"Hypnosis: Theory and Application Part II." Harvard Mental Health Letter (June 2002). "Hypnotherapy is no Longer Just a Party Trick: Hospices Can Use It to Relieve Pain and Grief." Hospice Management Advisor (April 2002): 4244.

Margolis, Clorinda G. "Hypnotic Trance: The Old and the New." Primary Care Clinics in Office Practice.

Newell, Sallie and Rob W. Sanson-Fisher. "Australian Oncologists' Self-Reported Knowledge and Attitudes about Nontraditional Therapies used by Cancer Patients." Medical Journal of Australia (February 7, 2000).

ORGANIZATIONS

American Board of Hypnotherapy. 16842 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 476, Irvine, CA 92714. http://www.hypnosis.com/.

American Psychotherapy & Medical Hypnosis Association. 210 S. Sierra, Reno, NV 89501. http://members.xoom.com/Hypnosis/.

American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. 200 E. Devon Avenue, Des Plaines, IL 60018.

International Council for Medical and Clinical Therapists. 7361 McWhorter Place, Suite 300, Annandale, VA 22003-5469. http://www.ultradepth.com/ICMCT.htm.

International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association. 4110 Edgeland, Suite 800, Royal Oak, MI 48073-2285. http://www.infinityinst.com.

The National Board for Hypnotherapy and Hypnotic Anaesthesiology. 7841 West Ludlow Drive, Suite A, Peoria, AZ 85381. http://www.nbha-medicine.com/index.html.

National Guild of Hypnotists. PO Box 308, Merrimack, NH. http://www.ngh.net

Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. 6728 Old McLean Village Drive, McLean, VA 22101.

World Hypnosis Organization, Inc. 2521 W. Montrose Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618. http://www.worldhypnosis.org/about.html.

Kim Sharp

Teresa G. Odle

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

Sharp, Kim; Odle, Teresa. "Hypnotherapy." Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. 2005. Encyclopedia.com. 29 Sep. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

Sharp, Kim; Odle, Teresa. "Hypnotherapy." Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. 2005. Encyclopedia.com. (September 29, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3435100411.html

Sharp, Kim; Odle, Teresa. "Hypnotherapy." Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. 2005. Retrieved September 29, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3435100411.html

Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy

Definition

Hypnotherapy is a combination of hypnosis and therapeutic intervention . The therapist leads the patient to positive change while the patient is deeply relaxed in a state of heightened suggestibility called trance.

Purpose

Hypnosis, when using proven therapeutic procedures, can be a highly effective form of treatment for many mental, psychosomatic, and physical disorders. For example, through the use of regressive techniques, an adult patient may mentally voyage back to a point in youth that was particularly troublesome, allowing the healing of old emotional wounds. Another patient can be led to understand that emotional pain has been converted to physical pain, and that the pain can be eliminated once the source has been addressed. Or, a person suffering from chronic pain can be taught to control the pain without use of medications. There are a number of techniques for correcting dysfunctional behaviors such as self-destructive habits, anxiety disorders, and even managing side effects of various medical treatments and procedures.

Hypnotherapy has been used to stop self-destructive and addictive habits like smoking. It has also been used to curb the urge to eat for overeaters, to stem the disruptive actions of tics, cure insomnia , stop bed-wetting, and minimize anxiety. Excessive stress can be generated from any number of sources and can be the springboard for anxiety. Some of the more prominent sources of anxiety and stress for which people seek hypnotherapy are: public speaking, test taking, and job stress. Hypnotherapy also works well for other anxiety disorders such as phobias and has proven to be an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression. In one study, hypnotherapy was used in conjunction with traditional cognitive therapy, to assist persons who had severe aversion to needles. The treatment was necessary, because it was essential that each participant receive periodic medical injections. However, the participants would have become non-compliant without the adjunct intervention of hypnotherapy. In another case, involving care for terminally ill cancer patients, it was concluded that hypnotherapy was more effective at enhancing quality of life and relieving anxiety and depressive symptoms, when compared to others who received traditional care.

Precautions

Confusion can occur when one seeks a hypnotherapist, as a result of the various titles, certifications, and licenses in the field. Many states do not regulate the title "hypnotist" or "hypnotherapist," so care must be exercised when selecting someone to see. As a rule, it is best to consult a professional in the field of mental health or medicine, although alternative sources for hypnosis are available. Care must be taken also by the therapist to ensure adequate training and sufficient experience for rendering this specialized service. The therapist must be well grounded in a psychotherapeutic approach before undertaking the use of hypnotherapy. Professionals should not attempt hypnotherapy with any disorder for which they would not use traditional therapeutic approaches. The patient seeking hypnotherapy is reminded that unskilled or amateur hypnotists can cause harm and should not be consulted for the purpose of implementing positive change in an individual's life. The detrimental effects of being subjected to amateur or inadequately trained persons can be severe and long lasting. (See abnormal results below.)

Description

In order to understand hypnotherapy, it is necessary to understand the underlying concepts of hypnosis.

History of hypnosis

It appears that hypnosis, under other names, has been used since the beginning of time. In fact, it has been insinuated that the earliest description of hypnosis may be portrayed in the Old Testament and in the Talmud. There is also evidence of hypnosis in ancient Egypt, some 3,000 years ago. However, the man credited with the development of what has become modern hypnosis is Friedrich Anton Mesmer, an Austrian physician. One day, Mesmer watched a magician on a street in Paris demonstrate that he could have spectators do his bidding by touching them with magnets. Fascinated by the demonstration, Mesmer believed the magnets had power of their own and from this belief developed his theory of "animal magnetism." He also believed that good health depended on having correct magnetic flow and that the direction of one's magnetic flow could be reversed easily. He further believed that he could direct this magnetic flow into inanimate objects, that could then be used for the good health of others. The term "mesmerism" came to be applied to his mystical workings. He experienced much success in helping the people of Paris as well as visitors who came from other countries, upon hearing of his powers. Later he was completely discredited by a special commission of the French Academy appointed by the King of France, causing him to leave the country. Two of the more famous members of the French Academy at the time were chairman of the commission Benjamin Franklin, American ambassador to France, and Dr. Guillotine, the inventor of the execution device.

Later, around 1840, a patient in the office of Scottish physician James Braid, accidentally entered a state of trance while waiting for an eye examination. Braid, aware of the disfavor of mesmerism and animal magnetism coined the term "hypnosis," and thus began the serious study of this altered state of awareness.

What is hypnosis?

It is far easier to describe what hypnosis is not rather than to describe what it is. For example, it is not one person controlling the mind of another. The patient is not unconscious and does not lose control of his or her faculties. People will not do things under hypnosis that they would be unwilling to do otherwise. The person being hypnotized is always in control. The hypnotized person decides how deep the trance will be, what suggestions will be accepted, and when to awaken. Therefore, a hypnotyized person cannot be forever "lost" if the therapist should fall dead during an induction or while the patient is deep in trance.

Hypnosis is first and foremost a self-accepted journey away from the reality of the moment. Although the trance state is often referred to as if the patient is asleep, nothing could be further from the truth. The patient is fully awake at all times. The hypnotic subject is simply in a heightened, more receptive state of mind. This fact is proven with inductions called open-eye techniques, where the patient keeps his/her eyes open during the hypnotherapy. Full and deep trance is still achievable.

Trance is commonplace. People fall into traces many times without even being aware that it happened. Examples of this are: reaching the destination of a morning commute, but not recalling the passing of familiar landmarks; daydreaming while sitting in a college classroom; or that anxiety-free state achieved just before going to sleep. The difference between these altered states and clinically used hypnotherapy is that a professionally trained person is involved in helping the patient achieve the trance, which can be done in many ways.

A typical hypnotherapy session has the patient seated comfortably with their feet on the floor and palms on their lap. Of course, the patient could choose to lie down if that option is available and if that will meet the patient's expectation of hypnosis. The therapist can even set the stage for a favorable outcome by asking questions like, "Would you prefer to undergo hypnosis in this chair or on the sofa?" Once patients make the choice, they are in effect agreeing to undergo hypnosis. Depending on the approach used by the therapist, the next events can vary, but generally will involve some form of relaxing the patient. Suggestions will lead the patient to an increasingly relaxed state. The therapist may wish to confirm the depth of trance by performing tests with the patient. For example, the therapist may suggest that when the eyes close that they will become locked and cannot be opened. The therapist then checks for this by having patients try to open their eyes. Following a successful trial showing the patient's inability to open the eyes, the therapist might then further relax them by using deepening techniques. Deepening techniques will vary for each patient and depend largely on whether the patient represents information through auditory, visual, or kinesthetic means. If the patient is more affected by auditory suggestions, the therapist would use comments such as "You hear the gentle patter of rain on the roof;" or, "The sound of the ocean waves allow you to relax more and more." For the visual person, the therapist might use statements such as, "You see the beautiful placid lake, with trees bending slightly with the breeze." Finally, with the kinesthetic person phrases such as, "You feel the warm sun and gentle breeze on your skin," could be used. It is important for the therapist to know if the patient has difficulty with the idea of floating or descending because these are sometimes used to enhance the experience for the patient. However, if the patient has a fear of heights or develops a feeling of oppression with the thought of traveling downward and going deeper and deeper, suggestions implying the unwanted or feared phenomenon will not be taken and can thwart the attempt.

Modern techniques

In order for a hypnotherapist to convey positive suggestions for change, the patient must be in a receptive state. The state is called trance and the method of achieving a trance is through induction. Induction techniques are many and varied and involve the therapist offering suggestions that the patient follows. The formerly common "your eyes are getting heavy" suggestion may still exist, but other more reliable and acceptable (by the patient) forms of induction have come to the forefront. The artful hypnotherapist is always aware of the present condition of the patient and uses this information to lead him/her down the path of induction. In its lighter stages, trance can be noted by the relaxation of muscles. At this point, hands can levitate when given the suggestion, and paresthesia, a feeling of numbness, can be induced. In a medium trance, a patient can be led to experience partial or complete amnesia , or failure to recall events of the induction after the fact. A deep trance opens the patient to powerful auditory, visual, or kinesthetic experiences. The phenomenon of time distortion is experienced most profoundly at this level. Patients may believe they have been away briefly, and may react with disbelief when told they were away much longer. Although some work can be done in lighter states of trance, the best circumstance for implementing change is when the patient reaches a deep trance state. At this level, the patient is focused inwardly and is more receptive to positive suggestions for change. This is also the point at which the therapist can invoke posthypnotic suggestions, or instructions given to the patient so he/she will perform some act or experience some particular sensation following awakening from the trance. For example, these suggestions, if accepted by the patient, can be formed to make foods taste bad, cigarettes taste bad, delay impulses, curb hunger, or eliminate pain. However, it should be noted that posthypnotic suggestions given to a person, which run counter to the person's value system or are not something they are likely to do under ordinary circumstances, will not be accepted and therefore not implemented.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is the name given to a series of models and techniques used to enhance the therapist's ability to do hypnotherapy. NLP consists of a number of models, with a series of techniques based on those models. Sensory acuity and physiology is one model whose premise is that a person's thought processes change their physiological state. People recognize such a physiological change when startled. The body receives a great dose of adrenaline, the heart beats faster, the scare may be verbalized by shouting, and the startled person may sweat. Sensory acuity, (i.e., being attuned to changes occurring in another person) will strengthen communication to a person in ways over and above simple verbal cues, therefore making the therapist more effective. A second model of NLP deals with representational systems. The idea behind this model is that different people represent knowledge in different sensory styles. In other words, an individual's language reveals that person's mode of representation. There are three basic modes of representation. These are: Auditory, Visual, and Kinesthetic. The same information will be expressed differently by each. For example, the auditory person might say, "That sounds good to me;" the visual person might convey, "I see it the same way;" and the kinesthetic person would offer, "I'm comfortable with it too."

Preparation

Before people subject themselves to hypnotherapy they are advised to learn as much about the process and about the chosen therapist as is necessary to feel comfortable. Rapport and trust are two key ingredients in making a potential hypnotherapy patient comfortable. Therapists should be open and willing to answer all questions regarding qualifications, expertise, and methods used. A well-qualified professional will not undertake the use of hypnosis without interviewing the patient to ascertain their level of understanding of the process. This is very important for two reasons. First, it allows the patient the opportunity to have questions answered and to develop some rapport with the therapist. Second, it is important for the therapist to know the patient's expectations since meeting these expectations will enhance the likelihood of success.

Aftercare

Depending on the purpose of the hypnotherapy (i.e., smoking cessation, weight loss, improvement in public speaking, or addressing some deep emotional turmoil), follow-up may be advisable. When trying to eradicate unwanted habits, it is good practice to revisit the therapist, based upon a date prearranged between the therapist and the patient, to report progress and, if necessary, to obtain secondary hypnotherapy to reinforce progress made.

Risks

One obvious risk to patients is the insufficiently trained therapist. The inadequately trained therapist can cause harm and distort the normally pleasant experience of hypnotherapy. A second risk for patients is the unscrupulous practitioner who may be both inadequately trained and may have some hidden agenda. These rare individuals are capable of causing great harm to the patient and to the profession. As mentioned above, the patient should carefully scrutinize their chosen therapist before submitting themselves to this dynamic form of therapy.

Normal results

The result of hypnotherapy is overwhelmingly positive and effective. Countless success stories exist attesting to the benefits of this technique. Many people have stopped smoking, lost weight, managed pain, remembered forgotten information, stopped other addictions, or improved their health and well-being through its use.

Abnormal results

Abnormal results can occur in instances where amateurs, who know the fundamentals of hypnosis, entice friends to become their experimental subjects. Their lack of full understanding can lead to immediate consequences, which can linger for some time after the event. If, for example, the amateur plants the suggestion that the subject is being bitten by mosquitoes, the subject would naturally scratch where the bites were perceived. When awakened from the trance, if the amateur forgets to remove the suggestion, the subject will continue the behavior. Left unchecked, the behavior could land the subject in a physician's office in an attempt to stop the itching and scratching cycle. If the physician is astute enough to question the genesis of the behavior and hypnosis is used to remove the suggestion, the subject may experience long-term negative emotional distress and anger upon understanding exactly what happened. The lack of full understanding, complete training, and supervised experience on the part of the amateur places the subject at risk.

Resources

BOOKS

Flemons, Douglas. Of one mind: The logic of hypnosis, the practice of therapy. New York, NY: W. W. Norton and Co, Inc. 2002.

Kaplan, Harold and Benjamin Sadock. Synopsis of Psychiatry. 8th edition. New York, NY: Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, 1997.

Zarren, Jordan I. and Bruce N. Eimer. Brief cognitive hypnosis: Facilitating the change of dysfunctional behavior. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Co., 2002.

PERIODICALS

Bady, Susan L. "The best of both worlds: Combining traditional and Ericksonian hypnosis." Australian Journal of Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis 29 (2001): 6877.

Boyer, Michel F. M. "Matching hypnotic interventions to pathology types: A working model for expressive psychotherapies." International Journal of Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis 49 (2001): 352360.

King, Brenda J, Michael Nash, David Spiegel, and Kenneth Jobson. "Hypnosis as an intervention in pain management: A brief review." International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice 5 (2001): 97101.

Liossi, Christina and Paul White. "Efficacy of clinical hypnosis in the enhancement of quality of life of terminally ill cancer patients." Contemporary Hypnosis 18 (2001): 145160.

Medd, David Y. "Fear of injections: The value of hypnosis in facilitating clinical treatment." Contemporary Hypnosis 18 (2001): 100106.

Morgan, Steve. "Hypnosis and simple phobia." Australian Journal of Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis 29 (2001): 1725.

Roberts, Thomas B. "Somatosensory-hypnotherapy: Integrating mind-body and hypnotherapeutic approaches to facilitate symptom release." Australian Journal of Clinical Hypnotherapy & Hypnosis 21 (2000): 8695.

Segal, Robert. "Hypnosis in the treatment of an eating disorder." Australian Journal of Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis 29 (2001): 2636.

Yapko, Michael. "Hypnosis in treating symptoms and risk factors of major depression." American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 44 (2001): 97108.

ORGANIZATIONS

American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. 2250 East Devon Avenue, Suite 336, Des Plaines, IL 60018.

Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. 129-A Kings Park Drive, Liverpool, NY 13088.

Jack H. Booth, Psy.D.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

Booth, Jack H.. "Hypnotherapy." Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders. 2003. Encyclopedia.com. 29 Sep. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

Booth, Jack H.. "Hypnotherapy." Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders. 2003. Encyclopedia.com. (September 29, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3405700195.html

Booth, Jack H.. "Hypnotherapy." Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders. 2003. Retrieved September 29, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3405700195.html

Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy

Definition

Hypnotherapy is the treatment of a variety of health conditions by hypnotism or by inducing prolonged sleep.

Pioneers in this field, such as James Braid and James Esdaile discovered that hypnosis could be used to successfully anesthetize patients for surgeries. James Braid accidentally discovered that one of his patients began to enter a hypnotic state while staring at a fixed light as he waited for his eye examination to begin. Since mesmerism had fallen out of favor, Braid coined the term hypnotism, which is derived from the Greek word for sleep. Braid also used the techniques of monotony, rhythm, and imitation to assist in inducing a hypnotic state. As of 2000, these techniques are still in use.

Around 1900, there were very few preoperative anesthetic drugs available. Patients were naturally apprehensive when facing surgery. One out of four hundred patients would die, not from the surgical procedure, but from the anesthesia. Dr. Henry Munro was one of the first physicians to use hypnotherapy to alleviate patient fears about having surgery. He would get his patients into a hypnotic state and discuss their fears with them, telling them they would feel a lot better following surgery. Ether was the most common anesthetic at that time, and Dr. Munro found that he was able to perform surgery using only about 10% of the usual amount of ether.

Purpose

Hypnotherapy is used in a number of fields including psychotherapy, surgery, dentistry, research, and medicine. Hypnotherapy is commonly used as an alternative treatment for a wide range of health conditions, including weight control, pain management, and smoking cessation. It is also used to control pain in a variety of conditions such as headache, facial neuralgia, arthritis, burns, musculoskeletal disorders, childbirth, and many more. Hypnotherapy is being used in place of anesthesia, particularly in patients who prove to be allergic to anesthetic drugs, for surgeries such as hysterectomies, cesarean sections, certain cardiovascular procedures, thyroidectomy, and others. Dentistry is using hypnotherapy with success on patients who are allergic to all types of novocaine drugs. Hypnotherapy is also useful in helping patients overcome phobias.

Hypnotherapy is used for nonmedical patients as well as those who wish to overcome bad habits. Hypnotherapy has been shown to help those who suffer from performance anxiety, such as in sports, and speaking in public. In academic applications, it has also been shown to help with learning, participating in the classroom, concentrating, studying, focusing attention span, improving memory, and helping remove mental blocks about particular subjects.

In more general areas, hypnotherapy has been found to be beneficial for problems such as motivation, procrastination, decision making, personal achievement and development, job performance, buried or repressed memories, relaxation, and stress management.

Description

Origins

Hypnotherapy is thought to date back to the healing practices of ancient Greece and Egypt. Many religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and others have attributed trance-like behavior to spiritual or divine possession.

Austrian physician, Franz Mesmer (17341815), is credited with being the first person to scientifically investigate the idea of hypnotherapy, in 1779, to treat a variety of health conditions. Mesmer studied medicine at the University of Vienna and received his medical degree in 1766. Mesmer is believed to have been the first doctor to understand the relationship of psychological trauma to illness. He induced a trance-like state, which became known as mesmerism, in his patients to successfully treat nervous disorders. These techniques became the foundation for modern-day hypnotherapy.

Mesmer's original interest was in the effect of celestial bodies on human lives. He later became interested in the effects of magnetism, and found that magnets could have tremendous healing effects on the human body. Mesmer believed that the human body contained a magnetic fluid that promoted health and well being. It was thought that any blockage to the normal flow of this magnetic fluid would result in illness, and that the use of the mesmerism technique could restore the normal flow.

Mesmer performed his technique by passing his hands up and down the patient's body. The technique was supposed to transmit magnetic fluid from his hands to the bodies of his patients. During this time period, there was no clear delineation between health conditions that were physical or psychological in nature. Although Mesmer did not realize it at that time, his treatments were most effective for those conditions that were primarily psychosomatic.

Mesmer's technique appeared to be quite successful in the treatment of his patients, but he was the subject of scorn and ridicule from the medical profession. Because of all the controversy surrounding mesmerism, and because Mesmer's personality was quite eccentric, a commission was convened to investigate his techniques and procedures. A very distinguished panel of investigators included Benjamin Franklin, the French chemist Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, and physician Jacques Guillotin. The commission acknowledged that patients did seem to obtain noticeable relief from their conditions, but the whole idea was dismissed as being medical quackery.

It took more than two hundred years for hypnotherapy to become incorporated into medical treatment. In 1955, the British Medical Association approved the use of hypnotherapy as a valid medical treatment, with the American Medical Association (AMA) giving its approval in 1958.

Hypnotherapy involves achieving a psychological state of awareness that is different from the ordinary state of consciousness. While in a hypnotic state, a variety of phenomena can occur. These phenomena include alterations in memory, heightened susceptibility to suggestion, paralysis, sweating, and blushing. All of these changes can be produced or removed in the hypnotic state. Many studies have shown that roughly 90% of the population is capable of being hypnotized.

This state of awareness can be achieved by relaxing the body, focusing on breathing, and shifting attention away from the external environment. In this state, the patient has a heightened receptivity to suggestion. The usual procedure for inducing a hypnotic trance in another person is by direct command repeated in a soothing, monotonous tone of voice.

Preparations

Ideally, the following conditions should be present to successfully achieve a state of hypnosis:

  • willingness to be hypnotized
  • rapport between the patient or client and the hypnotherapist
  • a comfortable environment that is conducive to relaxation

Precautions

Hypnotherapy can have negative outcomes. When used as entertainment, people have been hypnotized to say or do things that would normally embarrass them. There have been instances where people already dangerously close to psychological breakdown have been pushed into an emotional crisis during what was supposed to be a harmless demonstration of hypnosis. A statement from the World Hypnosis Organization (WHO) warns against performing hypnosis on patients suffering from psychosis, organic psychiatric conditions, or antisocial personality disorders. Because there are no standard licensing requirements, in the wrong hands, there is a risk that the hypnotist will have difficulty in controlling or ending a hypnotic state that has been induced in the patient.

There is a commonly held belief that a person cannot be coerced into doing things that they would not normally do while under hypnosis. The hynotherapist should take care however, not to give suggestions during hypnosis that are contrary to the patient's moral code.

Many religions do not condone the practice of hypnotherapy. Leaders of the Jehovah's Witnesses and Christian Science religions oppose the use of hypnotherapy and advise their members to avoid it completely, whether for entertainment or therapy. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints approves it for medical purposes, but cautions members against allowing themselves to be hypnotized for entertainment or demonstration purposes.

In 1985, The AMA convened a commission that warned against using hypnotherapy to aid in recollection of events. The commission cited studies that showed the possibility of hypnotic recall resulting on confabulation or an artificial sense of certainty about the course of events. As a result, many states limit or prohibit testimony of hypnotized witnesses or victims.

Side effects

Experiments have been conducted to determine any side effects of hypnotherapy. Some subjects have reported side effects such as headache, stiff neck, drowsiness, cognitive distortion or confusion, dizziness, and anxiety. However, most of these effects cleared up within several hours of the hypnotherapy session.

Research and general acceptance

Research on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy on a variety of medical conditions is extensive. In one study, the use of hypnotherapy did not seem to alter the core symptoms in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); however, it did seem to be useful in managing the associated symptoms including sleep disturbances and tics.

Hypnotherapy is being studied in children who have common, chronic problems and to aid in relieving pain. Children are particularly good candidates for hypnotherapy because their lack of worldly experience enables them to move easily between the rational world and their imagination. Studies with children have shown responses to hypnotherapy ranging from diminished pain and anxiety during a number of medical procedures, a 50% range in reduction of symptoms or a complete resolution of a medical condition, and a reduction in use of anti-nausea medication and vomiting during chemotherapy for childhood cancers.

The use of hypnotherapy with cancer patients is another area being investigated. A meta-analysis of 116 studies showed very positive results of using hypnotherapy with cancer patients. Ninety-two percent showed a positive effect on depression; 93% showed a positive effect on physical well-being; 81% showed a positive effect on vomiting; and 92% showed a positive effect on pain.

Resources

PERIODICALS

Baumgaertel, Anna. "Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Alternative and Controversial Treatments for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder." Pediatric Clinics of North America October 1999.

Margolis, Clorinda G. "Hypnotic Trance: The Old and the New." Primary Care Clinics in Office Practice.

Newell, Sallie, and Rob W. Sanson-Fisher. "Australian on Bologists' self-reported knowledge and attitudes about non-traditional therapies used by cancer patients." Medical Journal of Australia February 7, 2000.

ORGANIZATIONS

American Board of Hypnotherapy. 16842 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 476, Irvine, CA 92714. http://www.hypnosis.com.

American Psychotherapy & Medical Hypnosis Association. 210 S. Sierra, Reno, NV 89501. http://members.xoom.com/Hypnosis.

American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. 200 E. Devon Avenue, Des Plaines, IL 60018.

International Council for Medical and Clinical Therapists. 7361 McWhorter Place, Suite 300, Annandale, VA 22003-5469. http://www.ultradepth.com/ICMCT.htm.

International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association. 4110 Edgeland, Suite 800, Royal Oak, MI 48073-2285. http://www.infinityinst.com.

National Board for Hypnotherapy and Hypnotic Anaesthesiology. 7841 West Ludlow Drive, Suite A, Peoria, AZ 85381. http://www.nbha-medicine.com/index.html.

National Guild of Hypnotists. PO Box 308, Merrimack, NH. http://www.ngh.net.

Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. 6728 Old McLean Village Drive, McLean, VA 22101.

World Hypnosis Organization, Inc. 2521 W. Montrose Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618. http://www.worldhypnosis.org/about.html.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

Sharp, Kim. "Hypnotherapy." Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed.. 2006. Encyclopedia.com. 29 Sep. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

Sharp, Kim. "Hypnotherapy." Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed.. 2006. Encyclopedia.com. (September 29, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3451600835.html

Sharp, Kim. "Hypnotherapy." Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed.. 2006. Retrieved September 29, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3451600835.html

hypnotherapy

hyp·no·ther·a·py / ˌhipnōˈ[unvoicedth]erəpē/ • n. the use of hypnosis as a therapeutic technique. DERIVATIVES: hyp·no·ther·a·pist / -pist/ n.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"hypnotherapy." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. 2009. Encyclopedia.com. 29 Sep. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"hypnotherapy." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. 2009. Encyclopedia.com. (September 29, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O999-hypnotherapy.html

"hypnotherapy." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. 2009. Retrieved September 29, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O999-hypnotherapy.html

hypnotherapy

hypnotherapy (hip-noh-th'e-ră-pi) n. any form of psychotherapy that utilizes hypnosis.
hypnotherapist n.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"hypnotherapy." A Dictionary of Nursing. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. 29 Sep. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"hypnotherapy." A Dictionary of Nursing. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. (September 29, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O62-hypnotherapy.html

"hypnotherapy." A Dictionary of Nursing. 2008. Retrieved September 29, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O62-hypnotherapy.html

hypnotherapy

hypnotherapycroupy, droopy, goopy, groupie, loopy, pupae, roupy, snoopy, soupy, Tupi •whoopee •duppy, guppy, puppy, yuppie •gulpy, pulpy •bumpy, clumpy, dumpy, frumpy, grumpy, humpy, jumpy, lumpy, plumpy, rumpy-pumpy, scrumpy, stumpy •hiccupy • chirrupy • calliope •pericope • syncope •colonoscopy, horoscopy, microscopy, stereoscopy •Penelope • canopy • satrapy •lycanthropy, misanthropy, philanthropy •aromatherapy, chemotherapy, hypnotherapy, physiotherapy, psychotherapy, radiotherapy, therapy •entropy • syrupy (US sirupy) • chirpy

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"hypnotherapy." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. 2007. Encyclopedia.com. 29 Sep. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"hypnotherapy." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. 2007. Encyclopedia.com. (September 29, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O233-hypnotherapy.html

"hypnotherapy." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. 2007. Retrieved September 29, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O233-hypnotherapy.html

Facts and information from other sites