Hypnosis for Medical Conditions and Health

Did you know… that hypnosis and hypnotherapy have been proven to effectively treat medical conditions, such as skin problems/conditions, digestive disorders, pain, headaches, migraine, medical procedures, as well as side effects of cancer, chemotherapy and radiation? Immune diseases also benefit from medical applications of hypnosis. Now, of course, we are talking about the therapeutic benefits of clinical or medical hypnosis and not referring to lay or stage hypnosis. Stage hypnosis is for entertainment, whereas clinical or medical hypnosis is used by professionals trained in medicine, psychology, social work, counseling, nursing, and dentistry. 

The medical use of hypnosis can benefit:

Asthma, back pain, brain injury, cancer, depression, erectile function, fertility, fibroid healing, headache, liver conditions, hypertension, immunity, IBS, multiple sclerosis, neck conditions, pain, pregnancy and childbirth, skin conditions, spinal cord healing, surgery and recovery, and tinnitus, and a myriad of other medical needs.

Hypnosis has historically been used in healing for a long time, and has been called by many different names such as NLP, Biofeedback, Mind Healing, Sleep-Healing, Divine Healing, and Guided Imagery. The history of hypnosis for healing and medical benefit goes back to the ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, and is referred in the Ebers Papyrus, the oldest medical document. But it was when Franz Anton Mesmer popularized it in late 1700’s France that others took note of its therapeutic value. In particular, around 1850, physicians from England and Scotland (James Braid, James Esdaile, and John Elliotson) began to use it in medical applications. Dr. Esdaile documented hundreds of major surgical operations using hypnosis as the sole anesthesia with excellent results.  Dr. Elliotson (who also brought the stethoscope to England) created the first hypnosis hospital, and founded Zoist, the first medical journal devoted to medical treatments with hypnosis.

Although misnamed “hypnosis” after the Greek god of sleep ‘Hypnos’, hypnosis is not sleep at all. We now have advanced technology in neuroimaging of the brain with PET scans, functional MRIs and EEG which show that individuals producing and experiencing hypnosis are awake (not asleep, as stage hypnotists want an audience to believe).

Since the mid to late 1800s to date thousands of studies looking at the medical value of hypnosis have led to just as many articles in professional journals dealing with gastrointestinal, neurology, dermatology, surgery, skin disorders, rehabilitation oncology, and others.  

Perhaps one of the most impressive findings from current neuroimagery studies of medical hypnosis is that, although ‘imagination’ and ‘belief’ play a major role in using hypnosis, the results of hypnosis are not imaginary, they are very real physiological responses.

There are several reputable professional societies that train doctors of medicine and psychology, social workers, counselors, nurses, and dentists. To find a qualified therapist, contact one of the professional hypnosis associations listed here:

Hypnosis may seem magical, but it is not magic. Hypnosis is a collection of methods that allow therapist and patient to find the best and safest way to use the mind-body connection to bring about the medical benefits of hypnosis. Today we now refer to hypnosis under the heading of mind-body medicine. Hypnosis is safe, inexpensive, has no negative side-effects, uses no drugs, and most importantly, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.

The greatest myth perpetuated by stage or lay hypnotists is that someone gets “hypnotized.” In my 40 years of practice I have not “hypnotized” anyone, anymore than I could have “meditated” someone. But, I have taught hypnosis to thousands of doctors and have conducted tens of thousands of successful sessions. Once you learn how to access and use your mind-body connection with hypnosis, it all belongs to you and you may apply it to any medical condition you like.

There will always be non-believers. But, “seeing is believing” when it comes to hypnosis for anesthesia, or hypnosis to effectively remove warts, or using hypnosis to remove or lessen side-effects of medical treatments, such as cancer chemotherapy and radiation, or to use hypnosis to attenuate hot flashes, and to lessen pain.

As I said, all hypnosis is really self-hypnosis because you are always in control, more than you realize you could be – As I tell my patients – “Everything you need is already within you.”

You can view the audio programs and books created by Dr. Gurgevich by clicking on the links for Hypnosis Products.

Steven Gurgevich PhD