On this page, you can read about some of the illnesses,medical conditions and situations where hypnotherapy has been used successfully. I am indebted to The UK Guild of Hypnotist Examiners for their kind permission to reproduce this information. I am proud to have been a member of this highly respected organisation for over 22 years.
Hypnosis for Anxiety
is a totally natural, complementary therapy. It can help you learn to
relax, leading to a reduction of stress and anxiety in the body.
can be caused by such things as work, family or relationships.
Sometimes it appears to be free-floating, occurring for no apparent
reason. It may become exacerbated so that feelings of panic take over
If you suffer from anxiety, you probably feel
that you are unable to control it or stop it coming. You may feel that
you are unable to cope with the perceived demands or expectations of
your environment or people within it. What happens when we experience a
level of stress that is unwanted or that we feel incapable of
responding to, is that our mind senses a threat. Automatically the body
switches to 'red alert'; we feel fear, adrenaline floods into the
bloodstream, and the body prepares for action i.e. 'fight or flight'.
anxiety often occurs when to fight or to run away would be unnecessary
or inappropriate, so we 'freeze' and our symptoms become worse. We
cannot release them due to the fact that the situation we are in does
not require action, leading to a further increase of anxiety.
Typical symptoms of anxiety are:-
-a dry mouth
-increased heart rate and blood pressure
-a knot, or butterflies, in the stomach
good news is that although anxiety is very unpleasant, you are not in
physical danger. Also, you can learn to manage, and in many cases
overcome, anxiety through the use of hypnotherapy. Anxiety can be a
learned response, and hypnotherapy can help to uncover the roots of
this learning; old information which may have come from childhood can
be updated to a more adult understanding and perspective.
can be used to give you effective coping strategies to manage such
symptoms so that you can regain your life and no longer be controlled
Confidence and Self-Esteem
Feeling confident about ourselves and having good self-esteem is fundamental to our well being.
reasons for lack of confidence and low self esteem are diverse, ranging
from deep rooted frequent criticism from adults as a child, a traumatic
experience, being humiliated in a public arena, as well as your own
inner critic, habitually beating yourself up. However the good news is
that whatever the reason, it is possible to cultivate confidence and
good self esteem in the here and now, ourselves.
impossible to feel confident if you are constantly giving yourself a
hard time by criticising yourself. You alone are in control of what you
think and choose to believe. You do not need to buy into negative
comments from your inner critic, or negative comments from others. You
can reject any negative self talk and render it powerless by changing
it to something positive about yourself and your abilities.
and NLP are extremely powerful tools for eliminating negative thought
patterns and beliefs about yourself, resulting in strong self
confidence and a healthy self esteem.
It has been said many times, confidence breeds success and that applies to all aspects of your life.
Get Free From Trauma
any one time there are many people whose lives feel ruined or destroyed
following past events that just won't go away. Often they live in
silence and no matter how hard they try to push them away, bad
thoughts, feelings and images keep returning to haunt and depress them.
causes are many and widespread and can range from being in a car
accident, being violently attacked, raped or to being abused in
The good news is that nowadays there is much that can
be done to help. It doesn't require having to talk about it - often the
therapist can be unaware of the detail - and it is so quick and
immediate that most people will experience considerable benefit from a
single session from an experienced therapist.
driving along a busy road but although she managed to stop when traffic
suddenly halted ahead, the car behind ran into her, resulting in
whiplash. When after recovering from her injuries but still in pain,
Jean tried to drive again, she felt anxious and panicky. She would
'flashback' to those brake lights ahead. Her sleep was badly disturbed.
She felt in constant pain and depressed. Seeing a hypnotherapist she
was quickly de-traumatised, helped to re-build her driving confidence
and this reduced her pain.
Steven was on his way home one
night when he was beaten up by thugs. They were never caught but this
left him with panic attacks whenever he went outside alone. He had
flashbacks during the day and nightmares at night. He lost his job and
slipped into debt. On at least one occasion, he considered ending his
life. After one hypnotherapy session, flashbacks and nightmares
stopped. He was given a relaxation tape to listen to. When he returned
3 weeks later, he felt back in control and able to get on with his life.
was 45 years old when she sought help from a hypnotist to overcome her
fear of the dark and of confined spaces. Assessment revealed that she
had been sexually abused by an uncle, who threatened to lock her in a
cupboard. Though he was prosecuted, her trauma stayed. She had seen
various therapists but hadn't been able to talk about it or deal with
the flashbacks. The first session involved helping Sarah to feel more
relaxed and into a better sleep pattern. After the second session, the
results were quite dramatic. That evening she went home and, for the
first time, felt comfortable to talk to her partner about the things
she had bottled-up.
Hypnosis - what it is
Hypnosis is a profound state in which we have access to the unconscious mind.
But why would you want to have access to your unconscious mind?
Why would it be of value?
you were consciously in control to let go of an issue you would,
wouldn't you? Of course you would, if you could, you would let go of it
in a heartbeat.
But there are some things which may be
beyond our control, such as overwhelming negative emotions, limiting
beliefs such as 'I'm not good enough' or unwanted behaviors which, no
matter how hard we try, seem to be unmovable. That is because they are
being run at the unconscious level.
Why would our own body run things that seem negative, limiting and in some cases are downright stupid?
matter how horrible an issue is, there is always a positive intent. For
example, a phobia is trying to protect someone, but it is just doing it
in an overwhelming way. Some issues may have been imprinted on us since
our childhood, such as beliefs about ourselves. If we go through
negative childhood experiences, maybe feeling we weren't good enough,
or if we were continually told that that we were stupid, our
unconscious mind may just take those beliefs on as the truth. So,
although issues or behaviours you have may not be very nice, they will
always, always have a positive intent.
What if there was a
key to unlock your true potential and take back the control of your
issues so that you could live the life you wish, being free of
limitations? And not only that, keep the positive intentions but
generate new positive beliefs, feelings and behaviours which are in
alignment with you consciously.
With that key what would you change?
is the key as it bypasses our conscious mind to work directly with our
unconscious mind, the area of the brain which runs these issues. Think
what we could evolve, grow or enhance too - maybe our learning
abilities, our hobbies, confidence, even our communication - to levels
that are beyond excellence.
Hypnosis helps you come to decisions
the years hypnosis has gained a dubious reputation for mind control,
usually based upon impressions gained from stage hypnotism and from odd
(often, very odd) scandalous tales in the media. 'Don't make me do the
funky chicken' I'm sometimes told when I explain that I am a
practitioner of hypnosis.
The reality of hypnotic trance is far
from this. The way hypnosis works is arguably the opposite of its
image: rather than lose control, it helps people to take control of
Hypnosis is a powerful way to help individuals
understand what they really think deep down. Armed with knowledge from
their unconscious, issues that have been troubling them become clearer.
Decisions that were difficult are now easier to make.
all much cleverer than we think we are. This is because most of our
thinking (latest neuro-scientific estimates put the amount at 95%)
happens in our unconscious. We are only consciously aware of just the
tip of the iceberg that makes up our thought processes. Hypnosis
enables us to go into the body of this iceberg: to tap into and benefit
from the power of the wisdom that lies beneath.
Hypnosis in Pregnancy and Childbirth
and childbirth are such beautiful times. Let go of the myths of
discomfort and 'hard' labour. Using hypnosis you can help your body
ease through pregnancy, and enjoy a beautiful, relaxed and magical time
as you bring your new baby's life into this world. Hypnosis is an
excellent tool for relieving the symptoms of pregnancy that most people
accept as part of the process. There really is no need for sickness and
Hypnosis can be used to help maintain a
good blood pressure level and encourages a good breathing style,
allowing your body to relax and nurture the little miracle inside you.
it comes to childbirth, one of the most natural things in the world,
our bodies know exactly what to do. A lot of problems in childbirth
occur when we fight against our natural instinct. Using relaxation,
breathing and visualisation you allow the natural flow of muscle
contractions to enable a faster, smoother delivery. Hypnosis gives you
the ability to produce your own pain relief, yet allows you to be fully
aware of the sensations and splendour of the moment. After your
little bundle arrives, you can use hypnosis to aid recovery and well
being. It is also a great skill to learn for breastfeeding mums.
All in all, what a great start to life!
Regression by Sue Stewart
Regression is a magical process to get to the root cause of any problem or issue.
unbelievably all that is required is to revisit, in hypnosis, those
situations that bubble into your conscious mind when so very deeply
Hypnosis is used to help the individual to achieve
a very deep level of relaxation where the brain-wave patterns change
from beta through to alpha and theta states. In other words, a level
just before sleep is achieved whereby the conscious mind takes a
backseat and thoughts, feelings and pictures come from the unconscious
where they may have been buried for many years.
experience an upsetting, demoralising or traumatic situation, usually
in childhood, our unconscious mind thinks it is protecting us by
'putting the lid' on it. This is the main reason why no amount of
analysis or conscious thought will release the actual situation. The
memory may well be conscious but, because the lid was put on the
feelings, the cause never becomes apparent; in fact it may well be
consciously dismissed. In other words whatever we consciously think the
cause is, it's guaranteed to be something different.
the relevant situations are accessed and the feelings re-experienced,
there are subtle changes until it is noticed that the problem or issue
has just disappeared. It is replaced by confidence, strength, self
esteem, etc. allowing positive choices in life to be made, instead of
being ruled by dysfunctional needs, phobias, fears etc.
process is completely safe when guided and protected by a reputable
therapist. Any trauma or upset released during the session no longer
has any hold. When a client returns to full awareness after a session
of regression, a huge relief is usually experienced together with
powerful positive feelings.
is known to be a serious health risk not only for the smoker himself
but also to those who passively inhale the fumes. Smoking is today seen
to be a dangerous and anti-social habit, and hypnosis has been used for
many years to help smokers quit. Most smokers consciously wish to stop
smoking but find it difficult. Nicotine is highly addictive but can be
overcome in a fairly short time. However, the psychological dependence
is often harder to deal with.
If stopping smoking only required a
conscious decision, then most smokers would stop, but there are often
strong subconscious reasons for continuing. Again hypnosis can be most
useful, dealing with whatever the underlying cause. People often start
smoking in adolescence when there can be a great deal of anxiety and
stress in their lives and pressure to conform with their peer group. It
is easy to see how a habit is formed.
Trancework helps clients to
free themselves and to find more acceptable and satisfying ways of
obtaining any "Benefits" from the addiction. People are often concerned
their weight will increase if they stop smoking. This need not happen.
Excess weight gain occurs when the smoker "swaps" his smoking habit for
an overeating habit, both oral addictions. The hypnotherapist works to
ensure this does not happen. Freeing yourself from nicotine with
hypnosis can be easy, allowing ex-smokers a longer healthier and
happier life; spending the money more happily and wisely.
is a normal part of life, it is a common reaction to important events.
We have all experienced it when waiting for the result of a test or
some important news or taking part in some physical activity that we
have not experienced before. Anxiety is a natural and healthy response,
preparing us to be alert in the face of a possible action.
all tolerate it to varying degrees, some seem able to cope with almost
anything but others have a lower threshold. The psychiatrist, Dr. Carl
Gustav Jung described anxiety "as fear spread thinly". Fritz Perls, the
founder of Gestalt Therapy, said "anxiety is the difference between now
and later". Some have acute short-lived attacks of anxiety triggered by
specific events, others experience it constantly. Chronic anxiety can
cause numerous physical health problems including: headaches,
psoriasis, high blood pressure, colitis and more. Sedative and
tranquillising drugs used for treating anxiety can have undesirable
side effects. Physical and psychological dependence may result.
Hypnosis can help find the cause of the anxiety and seek out new ways
of managing and dealing with it. Patterns of behaviour prior to onset
can be calibrated and the client taught how to avoid or minimize the
affect almost any organ in the body. Asthma restricts breathing, hay
fever causes sneezing and runny eyes, eczema produces sore and scaly
skin, and gastrointestinal allergies can cause diarrhoea and colitis.
These are just a few of the more common disturbances. Stress increases
allergic responses and hypnosis can relieve the stress and symptoms by
removing any psychological components. N.L.P. is particularly effective
Nervosa is an eating disorder; it usually affects young women, mostly
teenagers, but older women and men also are sometimes its victim. The
anorexic usually has a distorted body image believing herself to be
grossly overweight, and that by starving, using laxatives and vomiting
she can become slender, although she is already thin. The illness is
life-threatening, some even starving themselves to death.
may involve hospitalisation and forced feeding, but once released from
the hospital anorexics will often return to their former behaviour.
Some experts think that anorexics may be compensating for the lack in
some areas of their life, by over control of their bodies, frequently
try to master their families by the illness, although without conscious
Hypnotherapy can help the anorexic to develop a more
realistic body image, provide insight into the problems that have led
to the disease, and help increase their feelings of self-esteem.
Bulimia nervosa is a related condition, which can also respond to
hypnosis. Some recover from anorexia only to develop bulimia. It is
characterised by binge eating and vomiting or taking large doses of
laxatives to remove the food, the bulimic is often very secretive about
her condition, and is often too ashamed to seek help. Compulsive eating
and obsessional needs for certain foods are becoming more widespread.
Compulsive eating of chocolate has led to the use of the term
"choco-holic" It may be possible to become dependant on the caffeine in
the chocolate, but in most cases the compulsion is of a psychological
nature and responds to hypnotherapy.
anaesthesia can be achieved through hypnosis. It was used by Esdaille
in the days before chemical anaesthetics were available. Today, it is
used for surgery where frailness is a problem, or heart conditions make
the use of medication unwise or unsuitable.
according to experienced anaesthetists, can be combined with chemical
anaesthesia to reduce the amount of drugs needed. Surgeons have found
it can speed recovery, lessening post-operative shock and nausea.
Hypnosis is used in dentistry for pain control and also to prevent
excessive bleeding and gagging. It helps the anxious patient relax,
making the dentist's work easier and the patient's visit more pleasant.
hypnosis is used in childbirth it ensures that there is no risk to the
baby from chemical anaesthesia, whilst providing the mother with
effective relief and comfort. The obstetrician, Dr. William Kroger
found the following advantages with hypnosis: reduction or removal of
fear in the mother, less drugs, if any are needed, control of the
womb's contractions, shorter labour, with less shock, faster recovery,
fewer complications afterwards, less fatigue and exhaustion.
Cancer & other serious illnesses
with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses can be helped with
pain management. Visualisation techniques can help reduce the size of
tumours and stimulate the immune system. At the University of
California Medical Centre, Psychologist Charles Garfield studied cancer
survivors and found that most could enter altered states and this
increased their body's ability to heal itself. The Simonton's, at their
Cancer Counselling and Research Centre in Dallas, Texas, discovered
that cancers are likely to develop as a response to stressful events.
They also found that the way people responded to the diagnosis of
cancer determined the quality of the rest of their lives and from this
they were able to show a scientific basis for "the will to live".
1971 they have successfully used visualisation to help people with
cancer, detailing much of the experience in their best-selling book
"Getting Well Again". Dr. Bernie S. Siegel, a surgeon from New Haven,
Connecticut formed Exceptional Cancer Patients (ECaP) groups to help
cancer patient's develop their own healing potential.
groups use hypnosis, visualisation and other methods complementing
conventional medicine. By adopting a holistic approach to the treatment
of life-threatening illnesses and using hypnosis, quality of life can
be improved and the progress of the disease can be slowed, stopped and
even cleared. From this work came his book "Love, Medicine and
Miracles" now translated into 20 different languages, a wonderful
inspiring, illuminating read for laymen and professionals alike. Relief
from the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments is
possible. Bernie Siegel, M.D., believes that 75% of these side effects
are caused by the patient's negative expectations. Trance work is
useful in changing the way people feel about their medication. The
emphasis placed on the adverse effects is one reason why a fourth of
all chemotherapy patients start to vomit before receiving medication!
ECaP group members are encouraged to see their treatment in a positive
way, imagining radiotherapy as a healing golden beam.
of the most common reasons people have for visiting a hypnotist is for
help in losing weight, his does not mean that obesity is an especially
simple problem. Many people find it possible to diet and shed weight
only to ind that within a short time it has crept back up. It is the
inner reasons for over-eating that need addressing. Food serves many
purposes in our society beyond the satisfaction of hunger and the need
to maintain life. The act of eating can be comforting and food can be
used as a tranquilliser. Eating habits learnt as children can carry on
into adult life. Parents may offer their children sweets and biscuits
as a reward for good behaviour or as a comforter after a fall or a
Some overweight adults continue to console or
reward themselves with excessive food throughout life, many eat more
when worried or unhappy. Festivals around the world are accompanied by
feasts! The business lunch, dinner, even breakfast in the U.S.A., is a
commonplace event. Western culture is fascinated by food, hence all the
coloured cookbooks for every kind of cuisine imaginable, supported by
T.V. cookery programmes. "Eating out" is increasingly fashionable and
if we think about it we may realise we don't just do it to eat; it's
really a form of show-biz and social occasion. From childhood we are
trained to eat at fixed meal-times rather than only when our bodies
tell us that we need food. Children are urged, pushed to finish
everything on their plate rather than stopping when they are full.
"Clean your plate, that's a good boy!", All sorts of social traditions
make it difficult to rely on appetite to tell us when we've had enough.
Successful long-term treatment of weight and obesity depends on
individual work with the client to uncover their particular reason for
is a widely-used drug, still illegal in some countries. Like any drug,
care needs to be taken in the amount consumed. Probably more crimes,
accidents, ill health and unhappiness are caused by over-indulgence
than with any other drug. Easily available and socially acceptable in
our society, it is not surprising, many people become dependent on it.
Alcohol becomes a real problem when you feel unable to cope without a
drink or when it prevents you from having a normal life. The
stereotyped image of a drunk is not the only face of alcohol abuse,
many apparently ordinary and respectable folk succumb and like other
addictions it can be difficult to break the habit without help. There
is a role for hypnosis in the treatment of addictions. The addict is
primarily abusing himself, trancework improves self-esteem and helps
find better coping strategies.
Hypnotherapy and women
is useful in areas of specific interest to women. Problems associated
with menstruation such as cramps, pain, pre-menstrual syndrome, etc.
have all responded to hypnotherapy. The obstetrician/gynaecologist, Dr.
David Cheek has developed the use of hypnosis in many obstetric and
gynaecological areas including infertility and habitual miscarriage. It
also alleviates some of the problems associated with menopause. Many
women experience dissatisfaction in the shape of their body and have
found hypnosis useful in changing their weight or shape.
can be of great benefit for children; they can become very skillful in
its use, and many common childhood problems are helped with trancework.
It is often used to help stop bed-wetting, nail-biting and also to
assist learning and developing self-confidence. At a hospital in
Sheffield, children are taught to use auto-hypnosis to relieve the
discomfort of eczema and even vanish it. Childhood asthma also responds
to hypnosis, posing no threat or danger. It can help provide the skills
necessary to cope with growing up.