Hypnotherapy: Experts Say Hypnosis Can Be A Part Of An Effective Treatment Plan

Aug 20, 2015 11:23 PM EDT | By Maria Leonila Masculino

America's Got Talent celebrity judge Howie Mandel struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder. In one episode, "Comedy Hypnotist" Chris Jones was able to make the germophobe shake his hands with fellow judges - a demonstration proving hypnosis can be a part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

According to Stanford University psychiatry and behavioural science professor David Spiegel, hypnotherapy is "literally the oldest Western conception of a psychotherapy."

The American Psychological Association reports "patients who received hypnosis reported less post-surgical pain, nausea, fatigue and discomfort."

Hypnotherapy also reduces treatment costs for less drug use and surgeries. "Lowering those two meant an average cost of approximately $338," Spiegel added. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute released a report in 2007 saying a hospital saved $772 for every patient being treated through hypnosis.

Wesley Anderson, a practicing hypnotherapist for over 20 years tells CNN how it's done. Upon meeting patients, he starts off normally by getting to know them. "I try to establish a rapport and establish the client's intentions for hypnosis."

A hypnotherapist would then silence the patient's peripheral and conscious mind with the use of verbal and non-verbal cues. The patient will be relaxed and still, adjusting to a proper posture. "They're halfway between being completely asleep and completely awake," Anderson explained.

In a state of trance, the part of the brain in-charge of subconscious and non-logical thoughts will be open to any suggestions. "The normal adult filters and belief systems of what is and what isn't will start to fade," he continued. "Clients become almost childlike."

This therapy will help patients manage pain and think differently about their bad habits. "The pain signals might be there, but they wouldn't make it into awareness," Anderson said.

According to Anderson, people normally experience some form of hypnotic state everyday. "If you've ever been lost in a daydream or zoned out and missed your turn while driving your usual route, you've experienced a form of hypnosis."


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