“Hypnosis is an experience in which people receive something from themselves. ” Milton H. Erickson, M.D.
The most valuable benefit of hypnosis for me has been its capacity to relax my body and mind. Taking a break from this busy world and especially, a break from my busy thoughts is a great blessing, and as a therapist, I find that I tend to relax deeply while leading a session, allowing a greater capacity for insight regarding the client’s inner world. It also helps insure the natural process of healing in that individual to occur more gently and without my interference.
Most clients I have worked with can relax with hypnosis more than they ever imagined they would. Once we realize that hypnosis is a natural state, the same one we enter when awakening and before falling asleep, it becomes easier to find the deeper states we need for healing and inspiration.
It is no surprise that we can learn to lower our respiratory rate and blood pressure while reducing hypertension through hypnosis and hypnotherapy. Such health benefits can also be attributed to other meditative states/practices and prayer when done in a manner of acknowledging the “kingdom of heaven within”. Meditative or hypnotic states are associated with a reduced metabolic rate thus increasing longevity, regeneration and preservation of health and well-being.
An additional benefit is the preservation of cognition and the prevention of dementia. Studies show reductions in stress-induced cortisol secretion, a beneficial effect on lipid profiles and improvement in immune functioning.
Professional athletes have learned the unbeatable power of mental concentration while relaxing the body/mind. When they learn to visualize the moment of achieving their goal, their chances of winning increase significantly.
There are a myriad of medical and psychological applications to hypnotherapy, many that are truly miraculous such as the work being done with severe burn victims who are able to learn pain control. One of the most important benefits is an aid to sleep. 50% of older adults complain of difficulty sleeping. Most of the clients I have worked with experience insomnia when feeling stressed or battling depression. Disturbed or inadequate amounts of sleep can result in fatigue, headaches, irritability, impaired motor or cognitive skills, increased depression and anxiety, increased accidents and injuries, changes in immune functioning and health problems in general. Sleep disturbances also include problems with sleeping too much. Endocrine or hormonal influences affect sleep too and may require medical or nutritional help.
Hypnosis is often used to combat addictions and requires the client to substitute healthy behavior or activities instead. Depending on the depth of the addiction psychologically, there are often other issues to confront beneath the addiction. Deep-seated trauma and especially that which occurred prior to conscious memory, requires a trusting relationship with a skilled psychotherapist who may move very slowly or not at all inducing deep hypnotic states.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of hypnotherapy is its emphasis on self-empowerment. Not only are the reasons for our problems somewhere within us; the solution is as well. The solution may come in the form of a metaphor in nature or a spirit guide offering assistance. Some of my clients perceive Christian images, and others may be given advise by a relative who has passed on. Hypnotherapy allows us to learn about a whole universe of reality within.
Hypnosis gently reminds us that we have the power to comfort ourselves. We can all go to a safe place inside ourselves and find that comfort through deep breathing and relaxing our muscles. Hypnotherapy with a skilled and caring therapist can help us build a script for a creating the vision we want for our lives. Here, we have the opportunity to choose what we wish to focus on from a safe and relaxed state of mind, allowing us the objectivity to make better decisions and build the skills we need to balance and enrich our lives.