NIH Trials in USA show 80% fewer pain symptoms than those who received no hypnosis treatment. Other benefits of hypnosis include decreased muscle pain, decreased morning fatigue, fewer sleep difficulties, increased relaxation.
History of Hypnosis
Though it is often disregarded as a proven therapy, hypnosis has long been used to treat both psychological and medical disorders. The Ancient Egyptians and Chinese used hypnosis to relieve symptoms of pain over two thousand years ago. Hypnosis was also used in the 1800s by medical doctors for anesthetic purposes. Recently, hypnosis has received more attention from the medical field; in fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has now recommended that hypnosis be used as part of a treatment regime for chronic pain, like that caused by fibromyalgia.
What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a non-invasive technique that encourages you to achieve heightened levels of focus and sensation. People who practice hypnosis believe that there are two main components to the mind: the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. Through relaxation and suggestion, you are able to access your subconscious mind and stop behaviors or thoughts that may be contributing to pain or other unpleasant symptoms.
Contrary to popular belief, though, people who are in a state of hypnosis are not unaware of their actions and will not do anything that they have a serious moral or ethical objection to. In fact, you do have control over your actions as well as what you say while you are hypnotized. Moreover, you have the ability to remember what transpired while you were hypnotized. However, in some cases, your subconscious mind may choose to “forget” just what happened.
Types of Hypnosis
There are two main types of hypnosis techniques:
1) Hypnosis Performed by a Clinical Hypnotist: This type of hypnosis is performed in-office by a licensed professional. The hypnotist will explain what hypnosis is and how it works to reduce pain. He or she will then lead you into hypnosis through a series of relaxation exercises. Once you are in a hypnotic state, the hypnotherapist will make suggestions as to how you can change your thoughts or behavior in order to minimize your symptoms.
2) Self Hypnosis: Self hypnosis is a type of hypnosis that you can do yourself in the privacy of your own home. Self-hypnosis techniques can be indispensable for fibromyalgia sufferers. You can learn self-hypnosis at The Penarth Practice.
How Does Hypnosis Work?
Researchers are not completely sure how hypnosis therapy works or why it works so well in fibromyalgia patients. A recent study performed at the University of Iowa looked to explain what actually happens to the brain during hypnosis. Brain scans were taken of chronic pain sufferers in hypnotic trances and analyzed for activity changes. Researchers found that people under hypnosis had reduced activity in pain network areas of the brain. In particular, the area of the brain responsible for “feeling” pain had significantly reduced activity levels. This suggests that hypnosis treatment works because it actually has a physical effect on the brain.
Effects of Hypnosis on Fibromyalgia Sufferers
Many fibromyalgia sufferers attribute a reduction in their symptoms to the power of hypnosis. Fibromyalgia sufferers often use hypnosis as a way to limit their pain symptoms and increase their energy and comfort level. A study conducted by the NIH in the US showed that fibromyalgia sufferers undergoing hypnosis reported 80% fewer pain symptoms than those who received no hypnosis treatment. Other benefits of hypnosis include:
* decreased muscle pain
* decreased morning fatigue
* fewer sleep difficulties
* increased relaxation
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