A small journey.

Therapeutic hypnosis history is literally lost in the beginnings of time. It is registered in different areas all over the world: references of hypnosis are found in Hebrew scrolls, in texts in India and ancient Egypt along with the ancient Greece. Especially in Greece, in the holy temples of Asclepius (Asklipeia) but also in other therapeutic temples, the pilgrims experienced the “egkoimis”: a therapeutic sleep, during which, a lucid apocalyptic dream offered information about the appropriate course of therapy.

Hypnosis travelled in the eons and it was used often under different situations and practices, until it became “famous” by S. Freud.

The contemporary method of therapeutic hypnosis is mainly transformed by M. Erikson, a psychiatrist. He used it extensively during her practice and his contribution to hypnosis scientific evolution resulted in from 1958, to be recognized by the AMA and APA as a therapeutic method. In addition, since 1955 the ANHS recommends therapeutic hypnosis as a relief method for chronic pain.

 

Myths and truths.

Nowadays, therapeutic hypnosis is often accompanied by specific myths, which either transform her into a frightening tool or they encompass it with a halo of omnipotence.

  • Myth no 1: During therapeutic hypnosis the person totally losses his or her consciousness.

     The definition of therapeutic hypnosis is “an alternative state of consciousness». This means that the person is in a situation of inner relaxation, which can be similar to this of a daydreaming:  We literally are in one place, but our mind just flies to another. Nevertheless, we keep listening and realizing what is happening around us, but we don’t pay any attention to those stimuli.

    Truth nο 1: During therapeutic hypnosis,   the consciousness is maintained.

     

  • Myth no 2: The person doesn’t control his or her actions. He/she is under the beg and call of the “hypnotist.

    The person never losses the ability to control his or her actions. Neither she obeys blindly the therapist. During therapeutic hypnosis, the person can relax up to the point that he feels safe and relaxed. The trained and certified hypnotherapist moves and harmonizes according to the person’s needs and never tries to impress or to perform miracles.

     Truth nο 2: During therapeutic hypnosis, the person keeps listening and feeling whatever is happening around him. He keeps listening the hypnotherapist’s voice, but he always has the freedom to respond in whatever way he desires. The person has the absolute control of the session.

     

  • Myth nο 3: Therapeutic hypnosis is a panacea: it is a “magical “method, which can reverse and heal any problem in a blink of the eye.

    Therapeutic hypnosis is a (powerful and effective) method, which detours the reasoning obstacles along with the psychological defences and helps the person to activate the strengths and the faculties that are incorporated in her body, mind and soul. Therapeutic hypnosis helps the person to reconnect with the therapeutic energy of the body and with the right brain hemisphere, thus activating an emotional and mental wellbeing, helping to secrete the hormones of joy, different neuropeptides and other biochemical substances, reaching the status of joy and relaxation.  Therapeutic hypnosis can function alone but also it can act as a supportive factor in relation with a medical and psychological therapy that a person follows. (It can help, for example, a patient which is going to undergo an operation, to be more relaxed beforehand and have less pain and faster recovery afterwards. Or it can be applied simultaneously with a psychotherapeutic procedure towards a definite goal: if for instance, a person follows a therapy for bulimia, therapeutic hypnosis can help so the bulimic crises be controlled better)

    Truth nο 3: Therapeutic hypnosis is a very effective and flexible method. Its effectiveness is maximized, when it is applied with the appropriate way. It can act autonomously but also supportively on medical and psychological issues.

     

  • Myth nο 4: The relationship between the hypnotherapist and the person accepting the treatment is a relationship of authority.

    This relationship is based on trust and respect. The hypnotherapist trusts first the inherent strength that each person has inside him. He/she doesn’t act as a saviour, but as a catalyst, that helps the person to discover and connect with his own therapeutic power, that exist inside him.  The hypnotherapist respects also the pace and the time that is necessary for each person to activate this therapeutic power. (in other words, the therapeutic hypnosis in some cases can have immediate results, in some others a period of time can be necessary, in order for both conscious and unconscious to start “metabolizing” and assimilating the changes and finding the appropriate way to apply them).

    Truth nο 4:  The relationship between the hypnotherapist and the person who accepts the hypnotherapy is a relationship of cooperation.

     

  • Myth no 5: Therapeutic hypnosis is for all people and for all cases.

    NO! Therapeutic hypnosis cannot be applied on some medical cases. Also a very careful evaluation is needed, if it is the appropriate method in terms of the stage of life that the person founds him or herself, the topic for which he/she asks for help, his or her current conditions of life etc.

    Truth no 5: Therapeutic hypnosis can be applied only where appropriate.

 

Where can therapeutic hypnosis be applied? Therapeutic hypnosis covers a wide spectrum of applications: pain therapy (chronic, acute or post operation), sexual dysfunctions, eating disorders and obesity, support to medical applications (operations and therapies), body image, self-confidence, panic attacks, anxiety (for tests and exams, public speaking, work interviews) but also for stopping addictions (drinking, smoking etc.) It is also a very powerful ally to the journey towards parenthood, from the conception until the end of puberty.

 

Therapeutic hypnosis, infertility, recurrent miscarriages, pregnancy, birth free of pain and post-partum period.

 

Infertility and recurrent miscarriages in most cases have a medical and biological background. However, there is a percentage of cases that cannot be explained with medical terms. In these cases, the cause seems to be clearly psychological.    Therapeutic hypnosis helps to explore, discover and heal the emotional and subconscious causes. Even though in cases where there is an underlying medical cause, therapeutic hypnosis supports the medical treatment, helping the woman and the man to relax bodily, mentally and emotionally, to be able to handle the anxiety and fears, to prepare for the next therapy on a holistic basis, to be able to cope with the pain that the mourning of the loss results in (this mourning can be the result of the frustration that follows a failed IVF therapy, or the loss of the pregnancy, regardless of the pregnancy week that it occurred).

During pregnancy:  Therapeutic hypnosis helps the woman to cope with problems that can arise during the pregnancy  and eliminate the results on soul and mind (acceptance or rejection of the pregnancy, relationship with the mother, relationship with the spouse, relationship with the doctor and the midwife, fears, anxiety issues and panic attacks) It also helps effectively towards the bonding with the baby, the preparation for the  birth (natural or caesarean) and the upcoming change in her body and life.

Preparation for a pain free birth:   therapeutic hypnosis helps training the woman to bond with her baby, her body and her uterus, so during the birth procedure the pain to be absent and live her baby’s birth as a magical journey. Even if she is going to give birth by a caesarean, therapeutic hypnosis helps for the pre operational relaxation but also for coping with the post operational pain and discomfort and faster recovery.  Also, the therapeutic hypnosis supports the father in order to be able to support emotionally and essentially the mother, both during pregnancy and during birth.

After the birth:  during the post-partum period, the woman has to cope with tremendous changes in her body, emotional status and everyday life. She often feels oppressed, helpless and unable to cope with this transitional period. Therapeutic hypnosis helps her to relax, to harmonize herself calmly and adapt to the new conditions of her life and to be able to find solutions to the problems she copes with. Therapeutic hypnosis is very helpful for coping with postpartum depression.

 

Therapeutic hypnosis is a precious ally in the journey towards parenthood. In each stage until the end of puberty, it helps both parents to be calm, relaxed, and content, in order to be able to create a relationship full of love with their baby. At the same time it can help the child to be calm, healthy, creative and full of confidence.

Bibliography: 

Bruce Burger (1998): Esoteric Anatomy. North Atlantic books

Randal Churchill (2002): Regression Hypnotherapy. Transforming press

Cyndi Dale (2009): The subtle body. Sounds True

Jane Haley (1986): Uncommon Therapy. W.W. Norton Company

Stephen Lankton and Carol Lankton (1983):  The answer within: A clinical framework to Erikcsonian Hypnotherapy. Burnel & Mazel publishers.

John Pierrakos (1987): Core Energetics. Life Rhythm publications.

Ernest L. Rossi (1986): The psychobiology of mind- body healing. W.w. Norton Company

Ernest L. Rossi & David B. Cheek (1988): Mind – Body Therapy

Ernest L. Rossi (1996): The Symptom Path to Enlightenment. Palisades Gateway publishing.

Lynne Mc Taggart ((2001): The Field. Element

Author

Psychologist