Hypnotherapy is a set of techniques which aret used to treat specific symptoms or specific health conditions. Through hypnotherapy, people can experience detached external attention while focusing on their inner experience through an induction of a hypnotic state marked by waking awareness. In 1841, James Braid, an ophthalmologist from Scotland, was the first to use the term hypnosis. After a while, hypnosis became apparent to him as a psychological phenomenon rather than a mystical one. Over the years, hypnosis has been researched and developed scientifically. These days, it is used in a wide range of health issues.
Hypnosis understands how our thoughts and feelings influence our physical health and makes use of the mind-body connection. Hypnotherapy uses techniques like relaxation and visualization to guide us into a state of deep peace. The brain lets go of all the distraction and gets very focused. When you're in a hypnotic state, your heart rate and breathing rate decrease, and your brain produces more alpha waves. Alpha brainwaves are associated with relaxation, increased creativity, and a positive mood. When we are in a deep state of relaxation (such as hypnosis), the right side of our brain is more active than our left side. Our right brain is more emotional and creative, while our left brain is more logical. A study explains that the right side of our brain responds to imagery and symbols. Therefore, when we are in a hypnotic state, using imagery helps us to really engage that side of the brain.
The effect of hypnosis on individuals is different, and the hypnotic suggestions they are open to can differ as well. The effectiveness of hypnosis also dependeds on a number of factors, which includeing our motivation to manage our pain and our personality characteristics. Hhypnosis for chronic pain is often more focused on acceptance of your chronic condition, Rather than trying to reduce the pain itself. We also aim to reduce fear and anxiety around it. In pain patients, hypervigilance is common, which means they are extremely aware of painful sensations, making pain worse. This leads to pain catastrophizing wherein patients are worrying about their pain excessively. Pain perceptions and negative emotions can reinforce the brain's need to constantly produce pain messages, thus making the cycle of chronic pain and even making the condition worse. By dealing with these negative emotions and reducing fear, a patient's quality of life can be greatly enhanced and their pain levels can be reduced.
In some cases, hypnotherapy can provide a sense of empowerment and comfort, replacing feelings of helplessness and self doubt in patients. The therapist may lead the patient through visualizing situations that they normally find difficult and painful. The patient might be able to replace the expectation of pain and the feeling that nothing can be done with a feeling of being pain free and taking control of the situation. This type of session will help you to realize that you can make a difference in your chronic pain. Sessions which usually focus on changing the pain beliefs and reduction of pain through hypnoanalgesia, have the most positive outcomes. Therapy that focuses on reducing physical pain and building a more positive perception of pain has shown significant improvements in chronic pain patients.
You will always remain in control during hypnotherapy despite common misconceptions. At any time, you can stop and open your eyes. You are completely in control, so you can say no. The experience should be relaxing rather than scary. As the session ends, the therapist will guide you in opening your eyes and becoming comfortable in your surroundings. They give you a few moments to regain alertness. After the session they will discuss how you feel about it and ask you how your experience was. Adaptations might be made for next time if you mention anything you were concerned about, or if you mention what worked particularly well for you.
Once the sessions are completed, therapists might give you exercises or recording of self-hypnosis to listen to between sessions or at home. Other therapists take a multidisciplinary approach such as combining hypnotherapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Although hypnotherapy may not be suitable for everyone, for some, it can be an effective way to reduce chronic pain.
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