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Actually, we must emphasize that hypnosis doesn’t "cure" anything! Allergic reactions are frequently associated with stress situations, and these cases can be helped with hypnosis. Although the suppression of allergic skin reactions by hypnosis has not been confirmed, there is definite evidence that hypnotic suggestion does influence cutaneous allergic reactions. Hypnosis can be employed to alleviate asthmatic attacks in individuals susceptible to certain allergies.
Most physicians estimate that a good percentage of their practice is at least in part psychosomantic. Since hypnosis is a state of mind, it can influence those conditions which are due to this state of mind. When pain is not serving a useful purpose, it can be reduced, and often eliminated, by hypnosis. Hypnosis is being used more and more to lessen suffering in such cases as terminal cancer.
The greater usage of hypnosis for health purposes, for the largest number of people, is that a simply training people to relax and stop worrying!
Again, we remind our readers that a physician’s referral is required, in most situations, before undertaking hypnotic conditioning for self-improvement.
Dr. Lester A. Millikin, of St. Louis, presented a significant paper, complete with case histories and film, proving that many arthritic conditions have a psychosomantic origin. Such emotions as fear, jealousy, worry, love, etc.-one or all-may lead to conflict tensions. This can cause painful muscle spasms. Dr. Millikin’s theories have convinced many observers to feel that many sufferers are undergoing psychosomantic reactions which can be alleviated with hypnosis.
Dr. John LeHew, of Oklahoma, experiented with 79 patients suffering from various types of musculoskeletal disorders, such as bursitis, arthritis, etc., and almost all-including 9 patients with painful bursitis of long standing-responded well to hypnosis. Of 17 rheumatoid-arthritis patients, 12 responded well with relief of pain and improved motion of the joints involved.
A major advantage with hypnosis is that the subjects can be taught self-hypnosis which they can use whenever necessary. Hypnotic suggestion is often effective for symptom-relief and can dramatically relieve distress; for certain, hypnosis can sharply reduce need for narcotics and analgesic drugs.
Hypnosis cures nothing, since the word "cure" implies physical illness. Illnesses can be complicated (even caused, sometimes) by emotional factors, and asthma may well be included. Asthma is often attributed to an allergy, but it is certain that some psychological factors complicate it. Anxieties and fears which accompany an attach can be controlled through hypnotic conditioning and later attacks will lessen in severity. Part of the difficulty is caused by tensions in the breathing muscles and, by relaxing these muscles through hypnosis, the attack will end. Often aggravating the attacks are environmental conflicts; i.e., children vs. parents, etc.
Pain is a sensation which is dependent on the conscious mind. It is a well-known fact that distraction from attention will exclude from the conscious many sensations…including that of pain. Pain is an emotional and physical makeup of the subject. Since pain may originate through the activity of the emotional and intellectual functions of the brain, hypnosis can be used to obtain relief. In many case-and we do work with these cases quite often-even after complete investigation and through examination-the origin of the pain, or rather the cause of the pain, cannot be determined, nor can failure to obtain relief be explained.
Personality difficulties, tensions, anxieties, and other emotional disturbances may become so prominent that the cause of the pain is masked. And, because the emotional factor may be so prominent, hypnosis can often be used, rather than surgical methods and rather than subjecting someone to a life with tranquilizers, sleeping pills, etc.
We repeat, as we constantly do, as physician’s approval must be had.
Under the influence of hypnosis, the sensory end organs do continue to function; however, the subject’s attitudes are so altered that the pain is no longer experienced. Intractable pain is not responsive to conservative methods and, although drugs will give relief, continued usage will find that the severity of the pain has no relationship to the amount of narcotic necessary.
A recent case in our office dealt with a woman who suffered with headaches for four years and had to live under constant sedation. Her physician finally recommended hypnosis as an alternative to surgery, and, happy to say, she responded nicely. Her first session relieved the headache and we taught her self-hypnosis in three more sessions. This lady not was completely eliminated tranquilizers and sleeping pills, sleeps well and is completely free of her headaches.
The advantages of hypnosis are many, in cases of intractable pain. Drug requirements are lessened and may be completely removed, appetite is increased and the desire to live becomes apparent. Depression, anxiety and fear of impending death (particularly with cases of inoperable carcinoma), is removed and the patient approaches a more normal frame of mind. He is a rational thinking human, rather than a vegetating invalid, as often happens, and there is no danger of drug addiction.
Unfortunately, many doctors still have an aversion to hypnosis, probably because they are not sufficiently knowledgeable in its use, and so must resort to the use of large dosages of narcotics to make their patient comfortable. Continued education has to be undertaken before hypnosis will be a completely accepted procedure.
Hippocrates, himself, said, "Nothing should be omitted in an art which interests the whole world, one which may be beneficial to suffering humanity and which does not risk human life or comfort."
Yes. In fact, postoperatively, hypnosis can be inestimable value. For instance, when surgical patients wake up, they are often afraid to cough because of excessive pain, especially those having upper abdominal operations. The surgical patient can easily be trained to induce the "state" himself (self-hypnosis). Relaxation is enhanced, breathing can be regulated and the "cough reflex" can be eliminated. Self-hypnosis can be taught and then one can enter hypnosis quickly, eradicating the pain and accompanying fears.
Yes, it can…but…pain is often a signal of danger and serves protective purposes. It would, of course, be pleasant to have a life free of pain, but then you would have no warning of organic disorders. However, 20th century medicine recognizes that sometimes there is no physical reason for the failure of a body to function. This is known as a "psychosomantic" situation and refers to the interaction of emotions and other mental processes with physical factors to influence the body’s performance. In other words, the real root of certain difficulties might be more mental than physical. The list of such illnesses continues to grow. Hypnosis can be of definite value…if your physician approves.
Yes, and this occurs more frequently than commonly supposed. We mustn’t confuse true "split" personalities with hallucination brought about by hypnosis. In true cases, the "other" personality usually has no knowledge of the first; however, in hypnosis one may have a fragmentary knowledge of the memories of the other. Through hypnosis, the relationship of one personality to the other can be understood more readily. Readers may remember the book, "Three Faces of Eve," which dramatically described the switching personalities involved. Such cases must be handled by qualified persons such as psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, etc., and not by a hypno-technician alone.
Yes. In fact, in the hands of a properly qualified therapist, this can be a useful tool. The induced dream would be analyzed and, posthypnotic suggestion can, in many cases, be employed to have the subject interpret his own dream.
You may be familiar with the term "psychodrama," where conflict situations are dramatized with the subject playing one part and the practitioner another. This can be done under hypnosis ("hypnodrama") and the subject will actually re-enact his own inner conflicts. Of course, a psychiatrist, or clinical psychologist, would have to supervise such a technique.
Frankly, although there are various opinions and conjectures, I doubt that anyone really knows why Dr. Freud gave up hypnosis. Chances are, had he not, there would be fewer objections to its use today. Some authorities believe he gave it up due to a problem with "transference," involving a female patient; others believe it had something to do with his false teeth. Take your choice! He did believe that deep hypnosis was required, which isn't true. In those days, scientific hypnosis was in its infancy and Freud, as well as others, was naïve. Hypnosis, through the years, has been a "whipping boy" for various reasons, by misguided individuals. However, there is no truth to such allegations, any more than there would be validity in censuring physicians for using tranquilizers to control symptoms of their patients.
Usually this problem is a reaction to some unpleasant event. The condition does resemble actual blindness, except that it comes and goes. Hypnosis can be of definite help in a couple of ways. If the referring physician believes it necessary, through hypnotic procedures the unpleasant event which stirred the emotions, causing the "blindness", can be uncovered and dealt with in a rational manner. Another technique would be to merely use direct suggestion, under hypnosis and restore the vision. The latter continuing conditioning would obviate recurrence, although it would probably be better to teach the subject to content with problem situations with equanimity.
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