Medical Hypnosis


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Medical Hypnosis

  1. 1. Medical Hypnosis is the medical application of hypnotherapy using hypnosis as a complimentary tool to conventional medical treatments.<br />Preface<br />This booklet has been written by ICHP to help you to understand more about hypnosis and hypnotherapy and the medical application of hypnosis. <br />We give the medical application of hypnosis the term Medical Hypnosis, the term used in this booklet.<br />Medical Hypnosis is hypnosis used to treat a medical condition, or in conjunction with medical treatment to support the healing process.<br />If you are a medical patient you will want to consult with your doctor on the appropriate use of hypnotherapy to better facilitate your medical treatment and the healing process.<br />Hypnosis is effective as a complimentary adjunct to conventional health care treatment and should not supplant medical therapy. <br />There are, however, a wide range of clinical applications hypnosis can support in the healing process, some of which will be dealt with in this booklet.<br />The ICHP - The Institute for Clinical Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy is a nationwide body dedicated to the employment and training of ethical hypnosis. <br />This booklet has been published by ICHP to inform the public of how hypnosis works and to promote education and understanding of hypnotherapy. <br />Author Paul Desmond MICHP, ADCHP <br /> MPowerTherapy 30 Oliver Plunkett St, Cork 087 6645411<br />Supervising : Dr Joe Keeney<br />Contact : Therapy House<br />Tuckey Street <br />Cork <br />0214 27 35 75<br />E-mail ;<br />Website :<br />Contents<br />Brief History Timeline of the Development of Hypnosis<br />Medical Hypnosis -Introduction<br />What is medical hypnosis?<br />What is hypnosis?<br />What Medical Hypnosis can Help with<br />What happens in a Hypnotherapy Session?<br />How safe is Hypnosis.<br />So How Does Hypnotherapy Help? Our Conscious and Subconscious Mind<br />Cognitive Behavior<br />Hypno Psychoanalysis<br />ICHP<br />Medical Hypnosis –Introduction <br /> The medical application of hypnosis is seen to be effective in many cases, most notably <br /><ul><li>belief from symptoms of asthma, irritable Bowel Syndrome, cardiovascular, cancer treatment …</li></ul>for non drug related pain relief in surgical operations, dental procedures and during pregnancy (hypnobirthing).<br />For you, the patient, especially when used together with traditional medical and surgical techniques, treatment is maximized toward healing and recovery. Side effects from disease states, medications, treatments, or surgical procedures are frequently addressed through hypnotherapy.<br />What is medical hypnosis? <br /> Medical hypnosis is hypnosis used under medical consultation to treat a medical condition, or in conjunction with medical treatment to support the healing process. <br />What is hypnosis? <br /> Hypnosis is simply an altered state of consciousness; a state of intense focused concentration, with partial or complete exclusion of attentiveness to outside activity. This hyper focused state occurs spontaneously and frequently as part of normal brain activity.   <br />In simple terms hypnosis is best described as being so absorbed in something (daydreaming, concentrating intently on a project, watching a movie, reading a book you can’t put down) that awareness of things going on around you fades into the background of awareness.  And when the activity ends, it is common to wonder where you are or how much time you have spent ‘away’. This is also the case with hypnosis.<br />Hypnosis can (after assessment and consultation with your doctor) be the primary treatment of choice for some disorders and conditions, or an adjunct to other kinds of treatment, such as medical or surgical.<br />Medical Hypnosis treats a variety of medical conditions, including but not limited to…<br />Medical /Physical*In conjunction with medical consultationPersonality/PsychologicalAfter assessment for appropriateness of HypnotherapyHypno-anesthesia, preparation for surgery, and promoting post surgical healing.Addictions & Habit Disorders like smoking, teeth grinding.Sexual dysfunctionsNeurological and opthalmological problems.Enhance concentration, academic and athletic performanceAcute and chronic pain managementStress management and relaxation.Irritable Bowel SyndromeInterruption of intense emotional states.Skin disorders. Sleep disordersAutoimmune disorders.Anxiety, phobia, panic and dental disorders.AsthmaRelationship problems.Obesity, eating and body image disordersPregnancy and conditions accompanying pregnancy such as nausea, anxiety, preparation for childbirth and promoting post partum healing..Behavioral problems Strengthening self esteem, self efficacy and confidence.<br />What happens in a Hypnotherapy Session?<br />Hypnosis induces a state of relaxed yet focused concentration, neither sleep nor wakefulness, during which a willing patient is responsive to suggestions. A professional hypnotist guides the patient through the steps of bypassing the conscious mind, by allowing the eyes to close, visualizing or imagining scenes, counting backwards and breathing slowly and deeply, the patient is lulled into a relaxing dreamlike state. In this hypnotized state the mind is at peace and has clarity. Thus relaxed, healing can commence by altering underlying subconscious ways of thinking, and focusing change according to the patient's goals. <br />A patient's goal may be improving a health problem, accelerating healing, decreasing pain, easing childbirth, letting go of emotional issues, or improving behaviors.  The patient’s experience is relaxing, enjoyable and safe, with full awareness of one's surroundings. Despite how stage and Hollywood portrays hypnosis, the patient is not "under the control" of the hypnotist, and will not do or say anything which is against that patient's values. <br />How safe is Hypnosis? <br />Scientific research has now proven that a client’s ability to go into hypnosis is within the client and not the ability of the hypnotist. Stage hypnotists have generated a myth of mind control by creating an illusion for entertainment purposes. But just as a magician’s magic is an elaborate illusion, (Newsflash! he doesn’t really saw the woman in half!) so also is the stage hypnotist’s mind control an illusion. <br />A renowned hypnotherapist once stated that the most important attribute a hypnotherapist needs is a voice that’s so monotonous it sends the patient into trance.<br />The ability of the client and depth to which he/she will go into trance is entirely dependent on the client’s willingness and expectancy of going into trance. The benefits of hypnosis is dependent on the power of the clients imagination and his openness to suggestions. An ethical hypnotherapist is primarily a guide.<br />Above all, it is important to find a hypnotherapist who is professional, ethical and experienced.<br />The hypnotherapist’s primary duty is to the care of the client and to the clients’ safety and well being.<br />The ICHP (Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy) maintains a register of trained hypno/psychotherapists that have attained the necessary qualifications to practice, who are bound by a strict code of ethics and are accountable to the ICHP for ethical practice and procedures.<br />Some Proven Benefits of Medical Hypnosis<br />When a patient’s mind is at peace, when his outlook is positive and confident he creates the optimum conditions for his healing. This is most easily achieved through hypnosis. The following examples illustrate some medical benefits;<br />Pre-Surgical clients are able to reduce anxiety and stress. Hypnotherapy reduces bleeding, promotes rapid healing with an improved immune response. It helps manage post-op pain and nausea requiring less medication and the side effects that go with it. It can also distort time so the process of pre and post surgery goes quickly by reducing pre -op nerves and reducing anxiety. It can give the surgical client control during a time of vulnerability.<br />Obstetric / Gynaecology patients can benefit in the areas of increased fertility, minimizing blood loss, relieving heartburn related to pregnancy, lessening back pain and supporting a comfortable natural child birth.<br />Oncology /Cancer Care patients; hypnotherapy helps clients to reduce stress and anxiety, altering sensory perception to minimize pain, relieves nausea, vomiting, respiratory distress. In addition it can offer increased confidence, self-image and to more easily accept the restrictions of a chronic condition, or to help manage end of life transition.<br />Clients in an Intensive Care setting can benefit with deeper, quality rest their recovery process. Cardiac clients are better able to balance their blood pressure, regulate their breathing and heart rate. speeding Secretions, bleeding and tolerating procedures can be managed more effectively with hypnotherapy.<br />Paediatrics – Children have amazing imaginations. What better gift to offer a frightened child than improved control during a time of crises. Wahat a tremendous advantage it is to be able to melt awat fear and explain procedures and treatments in identifiable terms when the child is relaxed, comfortable and able to learn and succeed.<br />Hypnotherapy helps Internal Medicine clients by improving immune response, diminishing inflammation, relieving tension and migraine headaches. It is also helpful for weight loss, arthritis, raynards disease, anorexia nervosa, gastrointestinal disorders and related issues.<br /> <br />So How Does Hypnotherapy Help? Our Conscious and Subconscious Mind<br />Mind activity operates primarily on two levels, the Conscious Mind and The Subconscious Mind. The conscious mind is our reasoning and intellect. It processes information and makes decisions. It formulates ideas and makes judgments. These are the thoughts we are conscious of. It is generally accepted that the conscious mind makes up 5% of mind activity.<br />The Subconscious mind controls and regulates the involuntary functions of the body, e.g. heartbeat, breathing, metabolism etc all of which continue while we are asleep. <br />The subconscious mind houses our imagination and our emotions. <br />Repetitive conscious thoughts and actions are taken over by the subconscious – e.g. reading .writing, adding or subtracting, driving etc.<br />The subconscious takes conscious thought and acts on it forming habits, good or bad. The subconscious mind accounts for 95% mind activity. <br />Generally speaking if our conscious thoughts are positive and we have happy outlook on life, we will be happy, healthy and successful. However if we are negative in our thinking our health tends to suffer in direct proportion to our negative thoughts. Negative thoughts lead to negative emotions which can lead to ill health.<br />It is clear therefore, that the mind though much misunderstood can be a powerful influence on our health and well being. Negative emotions can cause or contribute to illness, stress can contribute to back ache and heart problems, worry and anxiety can contribute to Irritable Bowel Syndrome or ulcers, fear and guilt has been associated with cancer, the list goes on.<br />However, there are two sides to this coin and the mind can equally be used to promote positive thinking, conscious and subconscious, to promote health and well being. For example if a placeabo, (a drug of little or no medicinal value), is administered to a patient as if it were a powerful drug, that patient in many cases is cured. How? The power of the mind! The subconscious mind acts on the suggestion of the drug as powerful as if it was real and affects a cure. If a patient is on a proscribed course of medicine or drugs, he will benefit twofold; from the medicinal value of the drugs and from the positive suggestions the hypnotherapist can impart.<br />In hypnosis the subconscious mind is accessed. While in trance positive suggestions for the well being of the client are communicated to the client’s subconscious and the subconscious mind then acts on those suggestions for the benefit of the client.<br />While the client is in a relaxed and peaceful state, any negative emotion can be released allowing the client to replace negativity with feelings of freedom, self confidence and wellbeing.<br />Cognitive Behavior Therapy<br />Often a patient will have very negative view point on his illness and his prognosis. He may be convinced of one outcome or another with no basis in reality for this thinking. Nevertheless his anxiety and suffering will be real and must be addressed in order to facilitate his own self healing abilities. <br />Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a flexible approach in changing maladaptive or rigid ways of thinking and feeling. It is the meaning the client gives to incidents or events which creates the negative thinking. Negative / anxious thought patterns that build over time become a belief system and fail to shift. By identifying these negative or distorted perceptions, the client can learn to accept and adapt new cognitive skills. Hypnosis facilitates this process as a client in trance is less likely to create resistance to beneficial ideas and can leave go of self limiting beliefs while embracing new possibilities.<br />Hypnoanalysis<br />In many incidents where the symptoms of a disease are present but there seems to be no medical explanation we must look for the cause. This may be evident as in the case of a remembered traumatic event or an emotional upheaval which coincided with the onset of the symptoms or illness. <br />In some cases the traumatic memories are hidden from the client or are repressed and the resultant negative emotions get trapped in the clients psyche. It is often these unvented emotions which lead to disease, much like an air lock in the plumbing! In these cases psychoanalysis or hypnoanalysis can be employed. All past memories are stored in the subconscious. As hypnosis readily accesses the subconscious we access those traumatic memories. Because by its nature hypnosis promotes peace and calm, the patient can view these memories from a safe and calm place. By allowing the repressed memories to come to the surface, the blocked emotions can be released thus relieving and eliminating the symptoms they produced. <br />It is worth mentioning again that it is the ability of the clients that determines the quality of the hypnosis session. The therapist’s main job is to provide reassurance to the client, to offer support and ensure at all times the client’s safety and wellbeing.<br />ICHP<br />The Institute of was founded by Dr Joe Keeney in 1990 to establish a National Membership organization for independent Hypnotherapy/ Psychotherapy practitioners.<br />Members of the institute are bound by a Code of Practice and Ethics of the highest order, they have satisfied an Examination Board of their knowledge and level of competence and have undertaken to abide by the rules of the Institute.<br />Members agree to discharge each and every client from treatment at the earliest possible moment consistent with that client’s good care. Every member undertakes to respect a client’s confidentiality at all times. <br />The Institute is affiliated and its trainings accredited to the National Council of Hypnotherapy N.C.H.(UK) and the United Kingdom Confederation of Hypnotherapy Organisations (UKCHO).<br />Other affiliations include; <br />Irish Hypnotherapy Examiners Board <br />ICHP Post-Graduate Association <br />National Hypnotherapy / Psychotherapy Register <br />National Guild of Hypnotists <br />Corporation of Advanced Hypnotherapy <br />American Council of Hypnotist Examiners <br />International Society for Professional Hypnosis <br />Association to Advance Ethical Hypnosis <br />American Institute of Hypnotherapy<br />American Board of Hypnotherapy <br />European Therapy Studies Institute <br />The ICHP is committed to the following;<br />Raising the standards of Hypnotherapy/Psychotherapy in Ireland i<br />Maintain a Common Code of Ethics<br />Establish a Complaints Procedure to deal with complaints from any source.<br />To maintain a National Register of suitably qualified practitioners<br />To provide a point of contact for members of the public, government and medical authorities, the media to provide information <br />