Ancient healing for chronic diseases
HYPNOSIS is an ancient form of healing that dates back thousands of years.
It has come in and out of fashion in the western world, and is now gaining acceptance in modern medicine as the mind-body connection is being recognised.
As a non-invasive form of therapy, it is useful for a wide range of both physical and psychological ailments.
For example, it has been found to be beneficial in pain management, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, nausea, sleeping problems, depression and anxiety.
Professor Mark Jensen, vice chair for Research of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington Medical Center, says; "Hypnosis allows a person to use their brain's abilities to create experiences such as re-experience memories, including memories of joy, relaxation and comfort, which can make it much easier to manage pain".
It is currently developing traction in the field of palliative care, where many chronic health issues are found, such as pain, depression and anxiety.
"It's not magic. It simply takes advantage of what the brain does already which is to create our experience, it is not a miraculous cure," Jensen explains.
Hypnosis is simply a way of accessing the subconscious mind where changes can be made.
Being in trance is a normal and relaxing state of mind that we all access every day.
It occurs at times such as when we are about to fall asleep, while we are engrossed in a good book or something on TV, or even as we drive the car along a familiar road and we zone out.
While some people are nervous about bring hypnotised, fearing they will lose control, this doesn't happen.
Contrary to many portrayals in fiction, a clinical hypnotherapist has no power over the hypnotised person.
The person is typically aware of what happens both during and after the hypnosis session.
Hypnosis has its place in healthcare, but it is not a cure-all, and should be used in conjunction with mainstream medicine where appropriate.