The recent opening of our Medical Hypnosis Clinic encompasses and emphasises Baddow Hospital’s aim to provide patient-focussed care.
It is impossible to separate the mind and the body. Medical Hypnosis, or Hypnotherapy, can provide the therapeutic link between the two – exploring the emotional and psychological aspects of physical conditions yet able to help physical symptoms when emotional or psychological issues are underlying their cause.
What can hypnosis be used to treat?
Medical Hypnosis can be helpful for a wide variety of problems and its use falls largely into two categories.
Firstly, as a therapy to treat conditions where stress and emotional issues may be playing a significant part in the cause of the problem. Such conditions include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Tension headaches and some cases of migraine
- Stress-related chest pain
- Chronic pain syndromes
- Insomnia and other sleep-related conditions, nightmares, sleepwalking etc
- Survivors of childhood or adult abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Eating disorders such as bulimia
Secondly, as a tool to help prepare for hospital or medical procedures such as Laparoscopies, Cystoscopies etc and specifically for problems such as:
- Needle phobias
- Pre-operative anxiety
- Phobias relating to having an MRI scan
- Post-operative pain and nausea
- Chemotherapy-related nausea
- Fertility treatment.
In all cases, Medical Hypnosis is used as an adjunct to existing treatments.
Medical Hypnosis is rather like a relaxing day-dream where the therapist guides you through various stages of therapy, helping you to explore and utilize the emotional (often subconscious) aspects of your mind whilst remaining in total control at all times and without losing consciousness.
The first session with the hypnotherapist involves taking details of the problem and providing a full explanation of hypnosis. Most problems can be helped within three or four sessions but some complex issues may require more and, to maximise the benefits, you will need to practice hypnosis techniques (self-hypnosis).
What will happen during my hypnosis session?
The first session is devoted to learning about you and also to explaining how the mind works and explaining the theories behind Medical Hypnosis so we can allay any fears you might have and dispel common myths. During subsequent sessions, we use Medical Hypnosis to focus on the problem, find ways of helping and show you how to practise self-hypnosis.
Can everybody be helped by hypnosis?
Our experience shows 70 % of our patients are helped significantly by hypnotherapy. Self-hypnosis is a skill most people have, although about 10% of the population seem to have difficulty. As in all things, some people find these things easier than others but, perhaps surprisingly, this doesn’t appear to make a difference to the outcome.
How does it feel to be under hypnosis?
There is a common myth hypnosis is something which is done to you and you are ‘under some sort of spell’. This is NOT a TV / stage show phenomena – far from it.
Medical Hypnosis is something you do yourself through the guidance of a medically-qualified hypnotherapist.
During hypnosis, your thoughts are focused on issues – ask yourself ‘How do I feel if I am having a day dream?’ At the time of the day dream, you are not aware you are having it but afterwards you get that ‘miles away’ feeling. The same sort of inner focusing occurs with Medical Hypnosis.
We will explain it all to you and answer your questions before carrying out any Hypnotherapy.
How many sessions will I need?
This depends on the complexity of the problem. At Baddow Hospital, we tend to work in blocks of four Hypnotherapy sessions (including the introductory/explanatory session) – some patients don’t need all four sessions while others might require additional sessions.