Did you know?
Scientists, physicians and researchers have been using hypnosis as a component of patient care since the 1800’s. Although hypnosis is colorful and controversial, it is now routinely being used in many of the most prestigious cancer centers throughout the country, such as MD Anderson, Sloan Kettering, and Johns Hopkins.
Hypnosis has been shown to:
⦁ Relieve nausea and vomiting
⦁ Reduce or eliminate night sweats and hot flashes
⦁ Reduce stress and anxiety
⦁ Halt the progression of fatigue due to chemotherapy and radiation
⦁ Reduce or eliminate pain and discomfort
⦁ Strengthen the immune system
⦁ Decrease the need for post treatment medication
⦁ Lessen the amount of anesthesia necessary prior to and during surgery
⦁ Promote healing after surgery
⦁ Eliminate sleep issues
What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is considered a Mind-Body Therapy which uses the mind to alter and affect the body. The use of hypnosis in a medical environment empowers patients who are faced with a perceived loss of control and generally improves satisfaction with medical procedures and the treatment experience. While hypnosis sessions may vary depending on a patient’s needs, a hypnosis session typically comprises two basic phases:
Induction – During this phase, the therapist helps the patient to relax, and may ask the patient to imagine a peaceful scene that helps him or her to become more focused and concentrate on what is to be accomplished during the session.
Application – During this phase, the patient receives suggestions. Hypnotic suggestions, the key ingredient of hypnosis, are special statements that are designed to suggest relief from troubling symptoms.
How does it work?
Hypnosis produces an altered state of consciousness, awareness, or perception. The hypnotic state is a highly relaxed state in which the patient’s mind (conscious and subconscious) is focused and receptive to therapeutic suggestion. It involves using one’s mind to manage emotional distress, (e.g., anxiety, stress), unpleasant physical symptoms (e.g., pain, nausea), or to help change certain habits or behaviors (e.g., overeating, smoking).
Studies and additional resources:
⦁ A randomized clinical trial at Mount Sinai evaluating the effectiveness of pre-surgical hypnosis for breast cancer patients
⦁ A summary of a variety of clinical trials for pain, nausea, sleep issues, fatigue and hot flashes
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