Hypnosis is derived from the Greek word “hypnos”, meaning “sleep”. Hypnotherapy is the practice of bringing a patient to a relaxed state near sleep wherein the mind is more subjective to new ideas or images. Rather than trying to control the patient’s mind in thought and free will, hypnotherapy is a process which can help the patient recondition their own thought patterns and become more in control of their states of awareness. This can be very helpful as part of a chiropractic care plan for pain management and general well being.
Is Hypnotherapy About Controlling My Mind?
The main barriers to hypnotherapy are peoples’ misconceptions about the practice which have been brought about by the hypnotists that use hypnotism as parlour tricks. Seeing people doing embarrassing things because they’ve been put into a “trance” by the hypnotist can be unsettling, but one has to remember the subject has to be willing to enter such a state of mind in order for that to happen. Hypnotherapy is not designed to be a trick or to control your mind, it’s meant to make you more aware of thought patterns that can be detrimental to your recovery or overall good health.
How Does Hypnotherapy Work?
Hypnotherapy focuses on changing negative thought patterns associated with injury or pain. There are two methods that can be used in pain management: hypnoanalgesia which is to decrease sensitivity to pain, and hypnoanesthesia which is to numb the sensitivity to pain. Essentially, hypnotherapy is a treatment that uses the subconscious state of mind to suggest new thought patterns to replace old and unhealthy ones. One example of the result of hypnotherapy is a circumstance in which a patient associates lessening their pain symptoms with the volume control on a radio, in effect, “turning down” the intensity of the pain. The post-hypnotic suggestion to identify the pain level with a volume dial gave the patient the ability to focus and control their own pain. In order for hypnotherapy to be that successful the patient has to be open to the treatment, and willing to participate in their own recovery. These are the typical stages in a hypnotherapy treatment:
- Reframing the issue in a healthier manner.
- Relaxation and engagement in the hypnotherapist’s suggestions.
- Disassociation from the critical thoughts surrounding the issue.
- Response to the suggestions made to the hypnotherapist regarding healthier thought patterns about the issue.
- Return to fully conscious thought.
- Discussion and reflection on how the session went.
How Long Does Treatment Continue?
The course and length of the treatment phase will vary according to your condition and your hypnotherapist’s diagnosis. Generally a session lasts about an hour, and depending how susceptible you are to hypnotherapy may require anywhere from 4-10 sessions. The goal in the course of treatment is for you to be able to control your condition with the skills imparted through the healthier thought patterns instilled during your sessions.
What Types of Ailments Can Hypnotherapy Treat?
Because hypnotherapy encourages the ability to use self-regulated thought patterns, the treatment possibilities are virtually limitless. In chiropractic hypnotherapy chronic pain, headache, back pain, injury and sciatica are just a few examples of ailments that may respond very well to treatment.