Are you ready to take the plunge and stop smoking, drinking or bingeing on junk food? Quitting habits, particularly when they have crossed the line into an addiction, may seem like a daunting task. Yet there are a number of treatment options out there to help you. One of these is hypnosis, which has been shown in some studies to help with addiction.
How Hypnosis Works
Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness which is used in hypnotherapy to help a patient make subconscious changes to their behaviour. It can be used simply as a relaxation technique, or as a form of therapy for weight issues, psychological problems, or addiction. In this altered state of awareness, a patient may seem to be placed into a trance. Yet the patient’s not actually unconscious during this time, and remains aware of his or her surroundings. Brain tests have been performed that show hypnotherapy patients still have a high level of neurological activity during a session, even if they seem to be asleep at the time.
After falling into this hypnotic state, a patient is then offered suggestions by the hypnotherapist. For example, in the case of a patient who wishes to quit smoking, the therapist would focus on suggestions that the patient finds smoking unpleasant. The smoker would be taught affirmations that could then also be used during sessions of self-hypnosis, to continue therapy at home. You could also potentially perform this type of therapy or learn more about it by training for a diploma of counselling via Training AU or other resources.
Whether it’s a placebo effect or through the power of suggestion, hypnosis has been shown to have positive effects in some cases. It can be used to quit abusing substances, as well as for losing weight, taming anxiety, or even with the symptoms of disorders like IBS. This form of complementary therapy carries the benefit of being safe for most people. A hypnotherapist can’t make you do anything that you don’t want to do, and a patient who is resistant to the therapy simply won’t be lulled into the hypnotic state.
There are very few risks associated with hypnosis. However, to minimize any risks and avoid wasting your money on treatment that’s not going to work you want to be sure that you choose a therapist who is properly trained. Be sure that you find a healthcare professional licensed in medicine, psychiatry, or psychology and shop around to find someone you feel comfortable with.
The Bottom Line
Hypnosis is a potential avenue of treatment to explore for those trying to stop a bad habit, whether it’s addiction to substances or an unhealthy lifestyle. Many patients have anecdotally found success using hypnotherapy, particularly when combined with other forms of more traditional therapies. However, at the same time it’s important to realize that this type of treatment doesn’t work for everyone. Approximately 1 out of 4 people cannot be hypnotized at all, and those who can may experience varying levels of intensity. Yet for those who are interested in taking control of their addictions, it may be worth a try.