Wellness Institute Blog
Hypnosis has proven to be extremely valuable in the treatment of cancer patients. Specific applications include: establishing rapport between the patient and members of the medical health team; control of pain with self-regulation of pain perception through the use of glove anesthesia, time distortion, amnesia, transference of pain to a different body part, or dissociation of the painful part from the rest of the body; controlling symptoms, such as, nausea, anticipatory emesis, learned food aversions, etc.; psychotherapy for anxiety, depression, guilt, anger, hostility, frustration, isolation, and a diminished sense of self-esteem; visualization for health improvement; and, dealing with death anxiety and other related issues. Hypnosis has unique advantages for patients including improvement of self-esteem, involvement in self-care, return of locus of control, lack of unpleasant side effects, and continued efficacy despite continued use.
Childbirth is one of the most profound events a woman and couple will experience. Unfortunately, the experience can be fraught with anxiety, as well as fear of pain and loss of control. Often during childbirth, those fears/anxiety transfer into a fight-or-flight response. This automatic physiological response increases her perception of pain intensity and decreases internal blood flow. So in effect, the woman’s anxiety actually increases exactly what she fears. This is what we often refer to as a self-fulfilling prophesy! We can reverse this effect with hypnosis. With the ability to use self-hypnotic techniques, women and their partners can effectively enter the childbirth experience with calm and focus.
It has been highly researched and is now generally accepted that increased levels of stress greatly compromise our immune systems.
In March of 2007 my son Tommy was invited to a prom in Palm Beach, Florida. We live in Ohio so it meant he would stay with his date’s family. He asked if I could go with him as his date’s parents were long time family friends. My wife suggested I find a continuing education class in hypnosis available during the time I would be there. I got busy and looked online and found a six day Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy training in Fort Lauderdale. I had been a therapist for 20+ years and had some basic hypnotherapy skills and thought that taking the course might be of use in my private practice.
People who are affected by shock in their lives often have survived traumas of various types. Many of the traumas we refer to in our case examples in our book Overcoming Shock: Healing the Traumatized Mind and Heart (New Horizon Press, 2014) are early childhood traumas, including parental rejection, sexual or physical abuse, being unwelcome or unaccepted by the family and a multitude of situations experienced in dysfunctional families. But there are many traumas that people face and endure on a daily basis which also result in shock. In the book we examine the shock response to shootings at schools, serious accidents, victims of crime, victims of sexual assault, first responders, combat veterans, traumatic loss of a loved one and natural disasters.
I recently met two sweet sisters who sincerely wanted to stop sucking their thumbs (actually it was their fingers rather than thumb that they constantly had in their mouths). The girls were wearing braces but still could not stop the behavior.
Their single mother was also highly motivated to have the girls stop sucking their thumgs since she was the one who had to pay for their braces.
I told the single mother about Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy and how it works. I told her I could help the girls eliminate thumb suck behavior.
A good night’s sleep is important to one’s physical and mental restoration. In particular it has a positive impact on memory and the functioning of the immune system. However, many people have a difficult time getting as much restful sleep as they need. Individuals with sleep disturbances can be successfully treated with hypnotherapy because hypnosis can influence the body’s processes which are very difficult to control voluntarily. It doesn’t work to just will yourself to go to sleep when life stresses are interfering with your relaxation. In fact, willing yourself to sleep and then failing actually produces more anxiety which of course is very counterproductive to sleeping. Also, many people do not want to become dependent on drugs to get to sleep every night although millions are. In contrast to many sleep-inducing drugs, hypnosis has no adverse side effects.