Hypnosis is an altered state of awareness in which you are relaxed but have focused attention.
Clinical hypnosis by qualified hypnotherapists is a medically recognised therapy used to treat emotional or physical problems.
Hypnotherapy is a form of psychotherapy used to create subconscious change in a patient in the form of new responses, thoughts, attitudes, behaviours or feelings. It is undertaken with a subject in hypnosis.
Some reports show that hypnosis can help people to reduce their blood pressure, stress, anxiety, and pain. Hypnosis can create relaxing brain wave patterns. Some clinical trials have looked at how well hypnotherapy works for people with cancer.
According to various reports, hypnosis can help to reduce anticipatory nausea and vomiting. Anticipatory nausea or vomiting happens when people have had nausea or vomiting due to cancer drugs and they then have nausea or vomiting just before their next dose.
Hypnosis as a Complementary Therapy
There is no evidence at this time that hypnosis can treat cancer itself. As with all types of psychological therapy, some people may find hypnosis helpful, while others may not.
Research has shown that hypnosis can help people with cancer cope better with anxiety and depression. Hypnosis can be helpful in easing cancer pain in some people.
People who have participated in hypnotherapy report feeling calmer and more in control. They also report having fewer problems sleeping.
In studies of children with cancer, hypnosis helped children reduce their fears of medical procedures.
Self-hypnosis may also help reduce anticipatory nausea, or nausea that starts before chemotherapy when the person expects to be ill after treatment.
As with many types of complementary therapy, one of the main reasons people with cancer use hypnotherapy is to help them relax and cope better with symptoms and treatment. Hypnotherapy can help people to feel more comfortable and in control of their situation.
People with cancer most often use hypnotherapy for sickness or pain. There is some evidence that hypnotherapy helps with these symptoms. It can also help with depression, anxiety and stress.
How is Hypnotherapy Administered?
During hypnosis, your hypnotherapist leads you into a deeply relaxed state. You feel separate from, but still aware of, what’s going on around you.
Your therapist will use suggestion to help you in different ways, such as to gain control over certain symptoms or change some behaviours that you want to change.
Your hypnotherapist may also teach you self-hypnosis so that you can use images and suggestions to help you cope when you are not with your therapist.
Some people may be more easily hypnotised than others.
Many people worry that they will lose control or do things against their will, but you cannot be hypnotised if you don’t want to be.
For hypnosis to be helpful you need to be comfortable with the idea of being hypnotized and you have to trust your hypnotherapist.
One well known example of a relaxation technique is known variously as sequential muscle relaxation (SMR), progressive relaxation, and Jacobson relaxation. The subject sits comfortably in a dark, quiet room. He or she then tenses a group of muscles, such as those in the right arm, holds the contraction for 15 seconds, and then releases it while breathing out. After a short rest, this sequence is repeated with another set of muscles. Gradually, different sets of muscle are combined.
Read more about how Hypnotherapy is administered, possible side-effects and risks etc., on our static Complementary & Alternative Therapies page, Hypnotherapy
Please note that the Little Fighters Cancer Trust shares information regarding various types of cancer treatments on this blog merely for informational use. LFCT does not endorse or promote any specific cancer treatments – we believe that the public should be informed but that the option is theirs to take as to what treatments are to be used.
Always consult your medical practitioner prior to taking any other medication, natural or otherwise.