Hypnotherapy (sometimes called hypnotic suggestion) is a therapeutic practice that uses guided hypnosis to help a client reach a trance-like state of focus, concentration, diminished peripheral awareness, and heightened suggestibility. This state is similar to being completely absorbed in a book, movie, music, or even one’s own thoughts or meditations. In it, a person is unusually responsive to an idea or image, but they are not under anyone’s “control.”
A trained clinical hypnotherapist can help clients in this state relax and turn their attention inward to discover and utilize resources within themselves that can help them achieve desired behavioral changes or better manage pain or other physical concerns. Eventually, a client learns how to address their states of awareness on their own and in doing so, gain greater control of their physical and psychological responses.
When It’s Used
Hypnotherapy can aid in pain management and help to resolve medical concerns such as digestive disorders, skin conditions, symptoms of autoimmune disorders, and the gastrointestinal side effects of pregnancy or chemotherapy.
Research has found that surgical patients and burn victims can achieve reduced recovery time, anxiety, and pain through hypnotherapy. It can also be used by dentists to help patients control their fears before procedures or to treat teeth grinding and other oral conditions.
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