LivingHypnosis, an effective ally against pain

Hypnosis, an effective ally against pain

A few weeks ago, the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews echoed an extensive review of studies that concluded that hypnosis has no side effects and is a viable, safe and cost-effective option to combat pain or be used as a complementary therapy in other treatments.

For several decades, the scientific community has been thoroughly exploring the effects and clinical applications of hypnosis with promising results. However, in the collective imagination, this process is still visualized as being carried out by a kind of seer that moves a pendulum and causes the hypnotized person to completely lose control of their actions. “Could not be farther from the truth. Actually, the one who has control of the process is the hypnotized person himself, who has voluntarily given himself to experience a focus of attention that entails the temporary suppression of his logical and rational analysis, and that makes him continue in the same voluntary way the hypnotist’s suggestions ”, explains Jorge Cuadros, biologist and member of the Scientific Hypnological Society. “It is a unique experience, and that is why we share the opinion of the experts who defend the existence of the hypnotic state as a state of consciousness different from wakefulness and sleep. Even with proper training, the person can easily learn to do self-hypnosis ”.

What is the scientific basis for hypnosis?

To reach this state of consciousness, the subject voluntarily focuses his attention on an object or on the voice of the hypnotist, decreasing his peripheral attention. “What happens is a different processing of information at the brain level,” Cuadros explains. ” There is scientific evidence of changes in brain activity in specific areas of the cortex, especially in highly hypnotizable people .” It should be noted that people have different degrees of hypnotizability; some people are more sensitive to this process than others. This factor has also greatly complicated research on the effects of hypnosis.


Hypnosis Applications

As we have already commented, pain management is one of the best-known utilities of hypnosis, but it is also being applied with good results in the treatment of other conditions, always as an adjunct to the therapies used in each case : “the The same psychological or medical procedure could be carried out with the patient in hypnosis, if the health professional considered it appropriate, with which the therapy would work better and the result would be achieved faster ”, the expert clarifies.

“Clinical hypnosis is used in allergies, irritable bowel, dermatology and large burns, reducing the inflammatory process if hypnosis is applied during the first two hours after the accident occurred. In psychology and psychiatry it is used as an adjunct in various psychotherapies ”.

Another of the diseases in which hypnosis is obtaining good results is fibromyalgia, a condition that today is chronic, incurable, and has no treatment, although various drugs are used that have proven to be of little use to help remit the symptoms . The researcher published in 2009 a work in the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis in which the results of a case study with four women diagnosed with fibromyalgia were shown, one of them the woman from Cuadros himself, who is also a co-author of the job.

“The positive response of the four women to this intervention was spectacular, and it was maintained in a follow-up that we did at two years ; and my wife, who had been disabled for years from pain, has been symptom-free ever since. Currently, it is accepted that fibromyalgia treatment should be multidisciplinary, and significant improvements in symptoms have been reported using cognitive-behavioral therapy with hypnosis ”, the researcher explains.

A growing practice

More and more specialists are becoming interested in including hypnosis as an adjunct to other therapies. “In our scientific society, which we founded in 2010, there are psychologists and medical experts in clinical hypnosis spread throughout the national territory. Some of them are also abroad, like in Switzerland, Australia, Mexico or Brazil ”, indicates Cuadros.

“These professionals, with excellent scientific training, have been using clinical hypnosis for many years with frankly impressive results. It is a consolidated practice among expert hypnosis professionals; the pity is that it is not studied in depth in the syllabi of the faculties of medicine and psychology ”, laments the expert.


Mind-body unity, pillar of health

As we mentioned at the beginning, a certain stigma still persists, caused by ignorance, about the world of hypnosis but, as the expert reminds us, “the advance of neuroscience in the first two decades of this century has been impressive, and that has also allowed a parallel advance in the knowledge of hypnosis. Health professionals, psychologists, doctors, should approach without fear the science of hypnosis, and they will undoubtedly discover that it is a powerful tool that could help them in the application of the therapies they are already using. And to those interested in undergoing hypnosis, I have to say that they can shorten the healing times by resorting to therapists who master the technique, but always in the hands of expert health professionals “.

The cultivation of the relationship between the body and the mind can be, as Cuadros explains, a fundamental pillar for the improvement of health and quality of life: “It is no longer just clinical hypnosis as a tool for health professionals to address the various problems of their patients. It is a knowledge that all people should have about their hypnotic capacity, which would facilitate learning and daily practice of self-hypnosis, as many people do with meditation or yoga, which would not only allow the maintenance of the health of the people, but at the same time it would serve to alleviate primary care consultations, with the consequent savings for the public coffers ”.

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