Medical Hypnosis


Medical Hypnosis has gained great credibility having been used extensively in Medical treatments and surgical procedures since 1951 when a Dr. James A Mason used hypnotherapy to cure a boy of the skin disease Ichthypsis and helped gain acceptance for the medical role of hypnosis.  In 1955 The British Medical Association formally recognised the use of hypnosis as benefiting many Ailments and the relief of pain.  This lead the way for Hypnosis now being recognised as a very successful complementary therapy within the mainstream medical field which has proven its success in dealing with every type of illnesse, fear, phobia’s etc.

Hypnotherapy can be a very effective method for coping with stress and anxiety. In particular, hypnosis can reduce stress and anxiety before a medical procedure, such as a breast biopsy.

Hypnosis has been studied for other conditions, including:

  • Pain control. Hypnosis may be beneficial for pain associated with cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, temporomandibular joint problems, dental procedures and headaches.
  • Hot flushes. Hypnosis may relieve symptoms of hot flashes associated with menopause.
  • Behaviour change. Hypnosis has been used with some success in the treatment of insomnia, bed-wetting, smoking, obesity and phobias.


hypnosis pain management

What is hypnotherapy?

The term “hypnosis” comes from the Greek word hypnos, meaning “sleep.” Hypnotherapists use exercises that bring about deep relaxation and an altered state of consciousness, also known as a trance or day dream state.  A person in a deeply focused state is unusually responsive to an idea or image, but this does not mean that a hypnotist can control the person’s mind and free will. On the contrary, hypnosis can actually teach people how to master their own states of awareness. By doing so they can affect their own bodily functions and psychological responses.

What is the history of hypnosis?

Hypnosis is the oldest form of Holistic healing with trance states used extensively throughout history by ancient peoples.  Hypnosis as we know it today was first associated with the work of an Austrian physician named Franz Anton Mesmer. In the 1700s, Mesmer believed that illnesses were caused by magnetic fluids in the body getting out of balance. He used magnets and other hypnotic techniques (the word “mesmerized” comes from his name) to treat people. But the medical community was not convinced. Mesmer was accused of fraud, and his techniques were called unscientific.

Hypnotherapy regained popularity in the mid 1900’s due to Milton H. Erickson (1901 – 1980), a successful psychiatrist who used hypnosis in his practice. In 1955 The British Medical Association recognised hypnotherapy as an effective treatment for many ailments this was followed in 1958, by both the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association who also recognized hypnotherapy as a valid medical procedure. Since 1995, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has recommended hypnotherapy as a treatment for chronic pain.

Other conditions for which hypnotherapy is frequently used include anxiety and addiction.

hypnotherapy headaches

How does hypnosis work?

When something happens to us, we remember it and learn a particular behavior in response to what happened. Each time something similar happens, our physical and emotional reactions attached to the memory are repeated. In some cases these reactions are unhealthy. In some forms of hypnotherapy, a trained therapist guides you to remember the event that led to the first reaction, separate the memory from the learned behavior, and replace unhealthy behaviors with new, healthier ones.

During hypnosis, your body relaxes and your thoughts become more focused. Like other relaxation techniques, hypnosis lowers blood pressure and heart rate, and changes certain types of brain wave activity. In this relaxed state, you will feel at ease physically yet fully awake mentally and may be highly responsive to suggestion. Your conscious mind becomes less alert and your subconscious mind becomes more focused.Some people respond better to hypnotic suggestion than others.

mind body spirit

There are several stages of hypnosis:

  • Reframing the problem
  • Becoming relaxed, then absorbed (deeply engaged in the words or images presented by a hypnotherapist)
  • Dissociating (letting go of critical thoughts)
  • Responding
  • Returning to usual awareness
  • Reflecting on the experience Lisa will  help clients select relevant goals, commit to the achievement of the goals, and carry out posthypnotic suggestions. A posthypnotic suggestion is a positive life changing agreement agreed between the therapist and client before treatment to reinforce the changes necessary to making the clients life more enjoyable and is given while the client is hypnotised. After hypnosis, the client unconsciously incorporates the suggestion into everyday life to achieve a specific goal, such as stopping cigarette smoking or overcoming the fear of speaking in front of an audience.Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic tool, and Lisa will be the facilitator of positive behavioral change. For many of the desired goals, such as self-confidence and curbing unwanted habits, Lisa works with clients to provide a means of behavioral change. When necessary, she will work alongside primary care physicians (e.g., in medical conditions such as cancer) in a complimentary fashion.All hypnotherapists combine hypnosis with relaxation techniques, affirmations, guided imagery, reframing, and goal-setting techniques. For example, Lisa may help a patient who is preparing to undergo a surgical procedure by teaching the client to mentally rehearse the procedure, thereby re-framing a feared event into a relaxed and healing event.

    Hypnotherapy is based on the theory of the mind-body connection, which means that accessing the subconscious can effect change in the body. When used in hypnotherapy, hypnosis can enhance one’s own healing potential.

medical hypnosis

What happens during a visit to the hypnotherapist?

During your first visit, you will be asked about your medical history and what brought you in — what condition you would like to address. The hypnotherapist may explain to you what hypnosis is and how it works. You will then be directed through relaxation techniques, using a series of mental images and suggestions intended to change behaviors and relieve symptoms. For example, people who have panic attacks may be given the suggestion that, in the future, they will be able to relax whenever they want. The hypnotherapist will also teach you the basics of self hypnosis and give you an audiotape to use at home so you can reinforce what you learn during the session.

How many treatments will I need?

Each session lasts about an hour, and most people start to see results within 4 – 10 sessions. You and your hypnotherapist will monitor and evaluate your progress over time. Children (aged 9 – 12) are easily hypnotized and may respond after only 1 – 2 visits.

subconscious mind

What illnesses or conditions respond well to hypnosis?

Hypnosis is used in a variety of settings — from emergency rooms to dental offices to outpatient clinics. Clinical studies suggest that hypnosis may improve immune function, increase relaxation, decrease stress, and ease pain and feelings of anxiety.

Hypnotherapy can reduce the fear and anxiety that some people feel before medical or dental procedures. For example, studies show that dental patients who underwent hypnosis had a significantly higher threshold for pain than those who were not hypnotized. Hypnosis may also improve recovery time and reduce anxiety and pain following surgery. Clinical trials on burn patients suggest that hypnosis decreases pain (enough to replace pain medication) and speeds healing. Generally, clinical studies show that using hypnosis may reduce your need for medication, improve your mental and physical condition before an operation, and reduce the time it takes to recover. Dentists also use hypnotherapy to control gagging and bleeding.

A hypnotherapist can teach you self regulation skills. For instance, someone with arthritis may learn to turn down pain like the volume on a radio. Hypnotherapy can also be used to help manage chronic illness. Self hypnosis can enhance a sense of control, which is often lacking when someone has a chronic illness.

Clinical studies on children in emergency treatment centers show that hypnotherapy reduces fear, anxiety, and discomfort.

Other problems or conditions that may respond to hypnotherapy include:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Tension headaches
  • Alopecia areata
  • Asthma
  • Phobias
  • Insomnia
  • Addictions
  • Bedwetting
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Phobias
  • Labor and delivery
  • Skin disorders [such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema (atopic dermatitis)]
  • Stress
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Cancer related pain
  • Weight loss
  • Eating disorders
  • Warts
  • Indigestion (dyspepsia)

pain management

Are there any risks associated with hypnotherapy?

People who actively abuse drugs or alcohol are have serious emotional issues or depressive conditions would not good candidates for hypnosis. Similarly, people experiencing delusional or hallucinatory states would not be hypnotized. Rarely is hypnotherapy used to treat clients who have psychosis or borderline psychosis.

Can everyone be hypnotised?

Although experts estimate that at least 80% of the population can be hypnotised, hypnotherapy is not recommended for everyone. Hypnotherapists assess clients’ receptivity and suggestibility by asking questions about the clients’ personalities, and they screen out those who are likely to have negative reactions to hypnosis.

  1. A survey of psychotherapy literature by psychologist Alfred A. Barrios, Ph.D. revealed the following recovery rates:

Hypnosis has been recognized and used by many medical doctors and dentists since the mid-1950′s.  Hypnosis as used in therapy is simply another powerful tool within each person to promote health and wellbeing.  The amazing results achieved by the use of hypnotherapy defends itself completely by the results obtained.

Helping people meet their needs, solve their problems or find a feasible way to cope with them is the goal of therapy.  Hypnosis is merely one more means of helping the client reach his/her goals.  More and more medical doctors and practitioners are incorporating hypnosis into their practice to better treat their patients.  Many of them are now referring their patients to reputable hypnotherapists.  Thanks to the health promoting aspects of hypnotherapy it is now recognised as a true science in the medical field.  Hypnosis is also finding increasing usage in dentistry and other areas where pain control is important

Successful Issues

Listed below are some of the issues successfully treated with Hypnosis in my clinic:

  • Depression:  Lisa has had great success in her clinic with clients suffering depression with several clients being sent on the referral of their consultants.  One client who had been hospitalised over a 30 year period undergoing many sessions of electrical shock treatment and the strongest mood altering drugs commented following treatment that no drug in this time had given her the natural high that the treatment had left her with.   A year later she commented she still felt the same!
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, IBS, is estimated to affect up to 1 in 5 of the Irish population. The symptoms of IBS have shown to respond favorably to hypnosis techniques. Stabilizing a person’s emotional state, such as stress, anger, and worry, is a large part of the process.

  • Memory

Hypnosis can be very helpful when you want to recover memories. Whether you want to find your lost keys or want to remember a past event. While hypnosis is great for recall, it is important to understand how the mind deals with memories. Memories are fluid and always subjective. You remember things through the perspective you had at the time of the experience. Memories are not always factual. Sometimes they are symbolic or a mixture of fact and symbolism. When working with memories, you need a hypnotist qualified and experienced in this work.

  • Behaviour Modification For Children

Children respond quickly and easily with hypnosis. They rarely have the common misconceptions and fear that adults have regarding hypnosis. Hypnosis uses that part of the mind a child is often using anyway. That creative, feeling way of thinking that a child uses while playing. Study skills, anger, stress, fear, nail biting, self-confidence, sports, anxiety, depression, and eating habits are all things that children may experience. These will be sensitively handled and can be successfully modified with hypnosis.

“Professional hypnosis is a drug-free natural alternative for many issues and is complementary to conventional medicine.

Schedule a private session with Lisa today and start moving beyond your limiting beliefs, behaviors, inner conflicts and confusion.