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Hypnosis is an age-old healing procedure in which the patient enters a deeply relaxed and intensely focused psychological state. This natural therapeutic technique was practiced in Egypt more than 3,000 years ago. The name comes from Hypno-the Greek god of sleep. In the late eighteenth century, a German doctor, Franz Mesmer (origin of the term "mesmerize"), brought hypnosis to the West. Today, this healing technique is widely accepted as a medical therapy to treat addictions, phobias, pain and many other conditions. The main principle behind hypnosis is to put a patient in a trace-like state in which she shuts out distractions and becomes receptive to the therapist's suggestions and instructions. As the patient passes from the conscious mind, the therapist tries to foster positive thoughts and feeling in her to activate the self-healing powers of both the mind and body.

Who can be hypnotized?
The patient should have a strong belief in recovery and in the value of hypnosis. This is because only someone who wants to be hypnotized and who trusts the therapist can truly achieve a trance state. In general, creative people are more easily hypnotized than those who are mistrustful or fearful. Successful hypnosis also depended on the ability to relax. It is estimated that 70-90 percent of people are suitable subjects.

The treatment :
The therapeutic use of hypnosis, also known as hypnotherapy, should be performed only by a well trained and experienced doctor or other health-care professional. The session begins with a relaxation exercise, which helps the patient shut out everyday concerns and distractions. The patient may then be asked to focus on a particular object, to follow the therapist's fingertips or just to close her eyes and do breath induction. Once the trance state is achieved, the therapist offers suggestions designed to help heal the patient. Treatment usually requires 5-15 sessions. Some insures now partially cover cost.

The effects
Hypnosis alters both physical and mental states. During a hypnotic trance, pulse, breathing and movements slow considerably as the patient enters a state of profound relaxation. The logical faculties that people normally use to filter and censer incoming information are suspended, and the patient becomes deeply receptive to the therapist's suggestions. During the session, the therapist conveys positive feelings and ideas to the patient in order to effect healing. Hypnosis is a particularly traumas that may underlie a psychosomatic illness or an addition.

The latest research findings
Studies show that hypnosis produces changes in the brain's electrical activity. As a result, many patients who undergo hypnosis to relieve pain can reduce their use of pain relievers. Research also confirms that the technique can help people quit smoking. Hypnosis should always be used in conjunction with other forms of medical treatment. Beware of hypnotists
Who promise success in a short period of time.

Extra tip : Ask your therapist about self-care exercises that you can perform at home. The hypnotic healing process is often fostered by such actions as repeating formulaic sentences on a daily basis. Typical statements might include, "My symptoms are improving all the time" or "I will soon be healthy."

Used to alleviate chronic pain and psychosomatic illnesses; and to moderate depression, asthma, addictions, allergies, sleep disturbances and anxiety

Successful hypnosis

  • Before starting therapy, the patient should discuss her prior medical history, important events that have affected her personality development and her overall physical and mental health with the hypnotist.
  • The hypnotist mobilizes a patient's innate healing powers in the fight against illness. For example, the therapist may get a patient with arthritis to concentrate on a painful joint in order to promote the flow of inflammation-fighting white blood cells to tea area. Or, to treat an addiction, the therapist will strengthen the patient's resolve to live free of the harmful substance. Suggestions not to smoke, for example, may be voiced as: "I can breathe freely. My lungs are healthy." The patient should also repeat such statements regularly at home.
  • The therapist gently brings the patient out of the trance. At times this feels abrupt and may cause fear, dizziness and a dozed feeling.


  • In general, patients suffering from psychosis, delusions or severe anxiety should not undergo hypnosis because the trance state can induce unpredictable or uncontrollable reactions in those with such severe psychological disturbances.
  • Children younger than 5 should never undergo hypnosis; it can be too disorienting.
  • Hypnosis may provoke potentially harmful reactions, such as severe low blood pressure or a dangerous slowing of the heart. If either occurs, therapy may have to be stopped.
  • Some patients become overly dependent on or almost "addicted" to hypnosis. When this happens, therapy must be discontinued.