Hypnosis is a powerful tool that is beginning to be utilised in many different disciplines from helping surgeons calm their patients to the treatment of eating disorders. This article is going to endeavour to show you some of the contemporary uses for the practice of hypnotism. Hypnotherapists, psychologist and psychiatrists have been using hypnotic techniques to help people with a number of problems such as smoking cessation, phobias and sports performance. The techniques that hypnotists have been utilising are now being used in different areas for a number of different purposes.
APPLICATION 1 – Pain-free tattoos
Christopher Phoenix has teamed up with the Painted Lady Tattoo Studio to offer hypnosis for those wanting to have tattoos without the discomfort. They have found that by using hypnosis over conventional pain relief methods, they are also able to reduce the potential bleeding and swelling. Hypnotic sedation technique are not new. James Esdaile was using these techniques in the early 1800s in India to perform over 2000 different surgeries including amputations. Esdaile was also able to significantly reduce the mortality rate at the time because he was able to keep his patients in a calm and relaxed state.
APPLICATION 2 – “Awake” Surgeries
Doctors are beginning to use a new “hypno-sedation” technique for patients undergoing awake surgery for gliomas. Hypnotic sedation techniques are not new but they are increasingly being used in medical surgeries in place of anaesthetics for a variety of different reasons. For such surgeries, clients are unable to have a general anaesthetic due to the nature of the procedure. However, hypnosis can be used to relax and reduce the patient’s level of discomfort. There are other situations that hypno-sedation is used as the client is too old or has allergies to the medications.
APPLICATION 3 – Selective Eating Disorder
Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), commonly referred to as Selective Eating Disorder, is one of newer diagnostic categories for which many adolescences experience struggles digesting certain foods, avoiding specific foods based on colours or textures or even being frightened to eat due to choking or vomiting. There are many cases of anecdotal evidence that hypnotherapy can have results with eating disorders such as ARFID. There have been many news articles with cases where the person was only eating specific foods such as chicken nuggets, chips or baked beans and being able to transition back to a well rounded diet.
The applications for hypnotic techniques are limitless. There are so many uses in the medical and psychological fields that are slowly being developed. There is still so much potential for this practice to develop. Dr Pierre-Yves Rodondi, a doctor a the University Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at CHUV, put it well when he said ‘If hypnosis were a medication, it would already be in all hospitals, but it is an approach and thus it must overcome cultural barriers’. There are still a great stigma that needs to be overcome before hypnotism is truly embraced by the medical profession. If you want to hear more about the applications of hypnosis, go to PART 2.