Could Clinical Hypnotherapy help to improve your health?

Have you ever considered using clinical hypnotherapy to address a problem you have? Clinical hypnotherapy is a technique that is now becoming widely recognised by many health professionals.

Clinical Hypnotherapy stimulates the innate healing capacity our bodies possess and as such, the list of problems which may be responsive to Clinical Hypnotherapy is long and varied.

Clinical hypnotherapy has been successful in helping people to stop smoking, managing pain, stress, anxiety, habits and phobias and also helping people to reduce weight.

Medical research has found Clinical Hypnotherapy to be a beneficial tool to manage the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) stated in their 2008 Guidelines that “Hypnotherapy and/or Psychological Therapy should be considered for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, who do not respond to pharmacological treatments after 12 months and who develop a continuing symptom profile.

Dr Peter Whorwell, a gastroenterologist working in Manchester, became interested in the potential of hypnotherapy for IBS patients over 20 years ago. He kept his new interest under wraps from sceptical colleagues until research proved it was effective. The therapy has proved highly effective, with a recent study showing it had helped 71% of patients for up to five years after their course of treatment. Dr Whorwell told the BBC "People are suspicious because they have seen stage hypnotists, but you cannot be hypnotised against your will, and you won't act out of character while you're hypnotised." Dr Whorwell is trying to spread the word to other doctors around the country. But he says many are still reluctant to use the technique.

Some people are concerned that they will ‘lose control’ in hypnosis. However, regardless of how deeply people may go in to hypnosis and however passive they may appear to be, they actually remain in full control of the situation. They are able to talk if they wish to (or not, as the case may be) and can terminate the session, stand up, or leave the room at any time. A hypnotised person cannot be made to do anything that contravenes their usual ethical, moral or religious beliefs. It is likely that the fear of loss of control originates from most people’s misconception of stage hypnosis, where participants are apparently persuaded to perform all types of (usually foolish) acts. However, it is worth remembering that participation in a stage act is an entirely voluntary process (therefore ‘permission’ is already given to the hypnotist) and that any person who volunteers in such a situation is fully aware of exactly what they are letting themselves in for.

During hypnotherapy you will be gently guided into a deeply relaxed state where you will be encouraged to address negative thoughts, which have led to unwanted behaviours, addictions or phobias. This works by placing positive suggestions into your subconscious mind and provides you with tools to help overcome unwanted thoughts and behaviours. The aim is then to replace these with positive thought processes and healthy behaviours.

If you are interested in receiving help from a Clinical Hypnotherapist ensure that they are qualified and are registered with a regulating bodies such as The General Hypnotherapy Register and The Complementary and Healthcare Council (CNHC). The CHNC is the UK regulator for complementary healthcare practitioners and was set up with government support to protect the public by providing a UK register of complementary therapists. Only qualified and approved Clinical Hypnotherapists can register with these bodies and they ensure all registrants meet essential criteria for safe and professional practice.


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