Why use Hypnotherapy now?
There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic will have changed the world in many ways – our way of life, the economy, our attitudes to the environment, to our fellow human beings and to life in general. For those who have had the virus, they will be dealing with the physical effects for some weeks and months to come. For these people and for many, many of us Covid-19 will also have had a profound effect on our mental health. Perhaps in ways we may not yet realise or understand.
For some, lockdown and life at home (working, home-schooling, both or neither of those) have caused feelings of isolation, depression, anxiety and fear. Feelings which they may never have experienced before and which, even with the lifting of lockdown, may linger and be hard to overcome. Many started the lockdown living on adrenalin as we all had to adapt and to cope to a new way of life, but as people have settled into their new routines, thoughts and feelings of depression anxiety, panic and stress may only now just be coming to the fore.
For those who have tragically lost someone close to them to Covid-19, feelings of bereavement and trauma are commonplace and wholly to be expected, particularly when it has not been possible to be with their loved one in their final moments or to say a proper ‘farewell’ because they have not been permitted to attend a funeral. Even feelings of guilt may surface from the frustration of not being able to do more to help.
Those recovering from the illness itself may find they are not only dealing with a physical recovery, but are also presented with a challenging mental health struggle. PTSD is becoming more commonplace both in those who have experienced the virus and those working in the healthcare environment.
The effects of the virus are expected to be far-reaching. Specialists in infectious diseases are predicting an increase in the number of cases of ME – otherwise known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome amongst those recovering from the virus. It is already known that viral infections are one of the triggers of this debilitating condition, so it can be expected that some may have a further cruel blow and develop ME too as they recovery from Covid-19.
Whatever the effect, it is important that these conditions are recognised and people feel able to talk about them and to access the help and support they need by talking to family and friends, their GP or a mental health professional. Only then can we all emerge healthier and stronger in the wake of Covid-19.
USING HYPNOTHERAPY TO BOOST OUR MENTAL HEALTH & PHYSICAL CONDITIONS
Hypnotherapy or hypnosis can be used to treat a variety of mental health conditions including anxiety and phobias, substance dependency, habit control and pain management. I specialise in PTSD and relieving pain amongst other areas. Now is the time to think about what you need and whether you want to be helped in areas of your life that right now seem insurmountable.
But how does it work?
There are many definitions of hypnosis which can give a clue to understanding how it works, our preferred definition being “one person (the subject) is guided by another (the hypnotist) to respond to suggestions for changes in subjective experience, alterations in perception, sensation, emotion, thought or behaviour.”
Hypnosis involves taking the patient through a number of stages to achieve the desired outcome, whether that is age regression, relaxation or positive thinking.
Stage One: Preparation
This first step is important, as if unsuccessful, the hypnosis will not work. It involves the subject and hypnotherapist building a relationship. The hypnotherapist will ask for information about the problem the patient is facing and any other relevant issues. They will explain the process to ensure that the patient is completely comfortable. Some clinicians will use a test to assess the patients’ suggestibility so they can be sure of achieving the depth of trance required for the treatment planned.
Stage Two: Induction
There are a number of techniques used to induce a hypnotic trance of which the most popular is the eye-fixation technique. This involves the patient staring at a fixed point whilst the hypnotherapist suggests feelings of heavy eyes and tiredness which eventually lead to a deep, relaxed state.
Another technique is the hand levitation technique whereby the hypnotherapist focuses on sensations of the subject’s hand lifting slowly into the air and touching the face at which point the subject will close their eyes rest in the same relaxed state.
Stage Three: Deepening Procedures
Regardless of how the trance has been initiated, there follows a period of deepening of the hypnotic experience to a suitable level. Techniques include counting, periods of silence, visual imagery, hand rotation or automatic movements, confusional techniques and the use of a metronome.
Stage Four: Treatment
The hypnotherapist can then begin the process of treatment to help the patient overcome their anxiety, phobia or other condition.
Stage Five: Ego Strengthening
Ego strengthening involves removing tension, anxiety and apprehension whilst restoring the confidence that the patient has in their ability to cope with their problem.
Stage Six: Termination
Just before terminating the hypnotic trance, often with the use of a counting technique, the hypnotherapist may use post-hypnotic suggestions to counter negative thinking and introduce the idea of self-hypnosis sometimes using a tape of the session.