Hypnosis is a natural state that has been around in various guises since ancient times. In it's modern form it has been used by doctors, dentists and psychotherapists since the 1800s and taught and researched in universities and medical schools the world over, accruing a vast body of knowledge.
Today, hypnotherapy is an increasingly well known therapy for overcoming smoking, anxiety, panic attacks and various fears and phobias. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) lists hypnotherapy as a treatment for IBS.
Despite this hypnosis has still, for many people connotations of stage and tv entertainers displaying seemingly magic powers of mind control and manipulation. This is unfortunate as it presents a false and trivialising image of what is a serious and valuable psychological tool that has brought relief from suffering for countless millions throughout recent history and deters many people from seeking it's help.
In reality, hypnosis is a natural state during which you remain awake and alert throughout. You cannot be made to do anything against your will or nature nor do you lose control in anyway. You cannot get stuck in the hypnotic state nor can I make you walk down the road clucking like a chicken... unless you want to that is.
Hypnosis has traditionally been used in conjunction with suggestion therapy for the treatment of smoking, stress control, nailbiting, fear of flying or driving etc. and these relatively straightforward problems can be dealt with in one to three, one hour sessions.
For deeper conditions such as anxiety, IBS, phobias, sexual problems, hypnosis can be combined with analytical techniques to provide a course of therapy that is often described as having no equal. You can find out more about hypnoanalysis here.
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All medical conditions should have been examined by a doctor. In cases of IBS, a specific diagnosis must have been obtained from your doctor. Prescribed medication should not be discontinued without referring to your doctor.
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“Following an extensive review of the existing literature on hypnotherapy, the British Medical Association concluded that hypnotherapy was not only effective but may be ‘the treatment of choice’ in dealing with anxiety (‘psychoneurosis’) and stress-related (‘psycho-somatic’) disorders: ‘The Subcommittee is satisfied after consideration of the available evidence that hypnotism is of value and may be the treatment of choice in some cases of so-called psycho-somatic disorder and psychoneurosis. It may also be of value for revealing unrecognised motives and conflicts in such conditions. As a treatment, in the opinion of the Subcommittee it has proved its ability to remove symptoms and to alter morbid habits of thought and behaviour. […]’ (BMA, ‘Medical use of hypnotism’, BMJ, 1955, vol. I, 190-193)”
The Efficacy of Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Psychosomatic Disorders
Using Hypnotherapy to Overcome Examination Anxiety
Hypnotherapy for Dental Phobia