Hypnotherapy in Glasgow
The healing benefits of hypnosis (hypnotherapy) is an area that receives little attention or recognition by the medical world. However, hypnosis has helped people with physical illness and pain for many years. Today we are seeing hypnotherapy, having a “knock-on” beneficial effect on often difficult to treat conditions such as high blood pressure, psoriasis and IBS.
In my experience, hospitals in particular are very stressful environments. High anxiety or stress levels make illness worse and vice versa. Hospitals and the medical profession ought to be working hand-in-hand with hypnotherapists to give patients a more ‘holistic’ care programme. Currently, counselling seems to be used as a last resort when no physical diagnosis can be given and the illness is deemed to be partially or wholly psychosomatic. This, of course, is a step in the right direction. However, the practise of hypnotherapy is evidence-based and we are working towards the same goal, with results! I feel it is time doctors took this on board, instead of viewing us with suspicion or not taking hypnotherapy as a potentially serious part of a treatment plan. We have a lot to offer sick people, and it would be beneficial to all concerned to be able to work alongside the medical profession.
Last year I spent quite some time in hospital. I noted that many patients were unnecessarily stressed and anxious about being ill and in hospital. One patient had a pain in her leg (possibly psychosomatic) that, had she been receiving a therapy such as Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy would have discovered quickly that the pain may have been linked to her husband’s death. Both occurred at the same time. Four weeks of tests revealed nothing. Despite a heavy regime of painkillers, the patient remained in agony. I simply asked if anything bad had happened in the last year. The patient told me her husband had died suddenly in September. I asked when the pain had started. The patient told me September. Unfortunately the patient was sent for more physiotherapy to a geriatric hospital soon afterwards because the bed was needed and because “the doctors could find nothing”, a phrase I hear many sick people saying. As far as I know, there was no form of counselling during her stay, or planned for the future.
Hospital and illness is a frightening experience. With such a bleak outlook for the NHS and nurse training courses, it has never been more important to stress the need for people who are totally committed to the holistic care of patients; people for whom the treating of the sick is not just a job, but a vocation; people who know the importance of giving, not just medicine, but also time, understanding and dignity to the patients under their care. Where doctors can prescribe therapeutic drugs and nurses can provide physical care and monitoring of patients, hypnotherapists can treat the psychological effects (and causes) of the illness.
I employed self-hypnosis, relaxation techniques and visualisation to help me through my own illness, a series of antibiotic-resistant infections. Of course, it was not the entire treatment. I am not pretending that medicine does not have a place. On the contrary, medicine is extremely important in treating some diseases. However, I would urge the medical profession to at least consider where hypnotherapy might fit into the equation. I eventually recovered after 3 courses of IV antibiotics. The difference in the end, I believe, was incorporating several holistic methods, including hypnotherapy.
One of my hypnotherapy peers had astounding success when his mother was to have her 8-year wart problem treated with harsh medicine normally used for cancer patients. Nothing so far had cured her. However, before she was to have treatment her son suggested he try hypnotherapy with her and had her visualise the warts disappearing one by one. In fact, and to the doctor’s amazement, the warts did begin to disappear!
One of my own clients has had less arthritic pain since beginning hypnotherapy. One morning she woke up completely pain free for the first time in over a year. She had only had two hypnotherapy sessions at that point. Neither of these sessions had been to address her physical pain, but we had used various hypnotic relaxation techniques and through Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy she was learning assertiveness and confidence. She has informed me that her pain levels have significantly lowered and her psoriasis has improved enormously.
Hypnotherapy has a vast array of benefits. It is something I conquered smoking with, and I have helped others to do the same. Many women are now having hypno-births. Some people are choosing to have medical or dental operations carried out with absolutely no pain relief, just hypnosis. This is particularly important where patients do not react well to anaesthesia. It has an amazing and profound effect on the quality of life and health of so many people, but it is a highly under-valued profession.
I would hope that soon there will be a turning point and hypnotherapy is given the recognition it most definitely deserves, without the usual mock or suspicion I and my peers have encountered in the past. I am in no doubt that hypnotherapy is that “little bit extra” patient treatment is missing. It is, of course, wonderful that some dentists, nurses and midwives have taken short courses in hypnotherapy. However, this is no substitute for a fully qualified specialist, who undertakes continuing professional development and research in hypnotic advancements throughout their career.