Wavelengths Hypnotherapy

Hypnosis for the Mind, Body and Soul 

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Fears and Phobias

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About Hypnosis

On this page you will find useful information to understand hypnosis and it's uses. Please click on the links below to take you to that section of this page.

 

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis Facts

What is hypnotherapy?

 

About Fears and Phobias (opens in new window)

 

What is hypnosis?



Hypnotic or suggestive therapy is the oldest of all healing techniques. From the Sleep Temples of Egypt through the histories of ancient Greece and Rome some form of hypnosis has always been an intimate part of all cultures.

In the Middle Ages, healing through touch and prayer became the major way of treating disease. In the 18th Century – when it was believed that illness was caused by the magnetic influence of astral bodies – Franz Anton Mesmer would induce people into a trance-like state by what he (erroneously) believed to be Animal Magnetism. Although Mesmerism was soon discredited, it continued to be used even after the death of Mesmer as it often produced 'miracle' cures. When James Braid re-examined Mesmerism in the 19th Century he discovered that simple suggestion was just as effective as Mesmerism or any other method to induce trance-like states. He it was who coined the phrase Hypnosis and for a time hypnosis became a scientific technique with scientific respectability.

In the early part of the 20th Century hypnosis was used almost exclusively by stage hypnotists, thereby projecting a hopelessly distorted view of this very powerful therapeutic tool. However, in 1955 the British Medical Association endorsed the practice of hypnosis in medical school education, since when it has become a valuable addition to conventional medical treatment.

The actual experience of being hypnotized is very difficult to describe, neither asleep nor awake. All hypnotic states are characterized by a tremendously pleasant state of relaxation, an altered state of consciousness into which individuals allow themselves to enter so that desired, beneficial suggestions may be given directly to the unconscious mind. Thus, hypnosis is a natural, effective way of making contact with the inner (unconscious) self, a source of many of our problems as well as a tremendous reservoir of unrecognized potential strength and knowledge, i.e. the forgotten assets.

Nobody can ever be hypnotized against their will and, even when hypnotized, people can still reject any of the suggestions given if they are not appropriate.

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Hypnosis Facts


 

  • Hypnosis does not involve mind control,  unconsciousness or sleep.

  • You cannot be made to enter hypnosis against your will.

  • Hypnosis is a natural experience that happens to most of us each day when we become absorbed in doing something like driving, working, reading or watching TV.

  • All your senses are awake and alert while you are in a hypnotic state.

  • You are in control at all times while in hypnosis.

  • You only say and do in hypnosis what you would normally say and do in a fully conscious state.

  • You can return to full consciousness any time you either want to or feel the need to.

  • The subconscious mind makes up about 90% of your total mind power and contains a “mental movie” of everything that has happened in your life.

  • As you enter into hypnosis, you bypass the conscious mind and can then access information in the subconscious mind.

  • The use of hypnosis gives you the opportunity to make changes quickly and permanently.
  • Hypnotherapy entails the use of trance and suggestion to adjust habits of thought, feeling and behavior.

  • Hypnotherapists use trance and suggestions to help normal people cope with every-day problems of living, such as issues related to jobs, hobbies and recreational activities.

  • Hypnotherapy can also aid in general self-improvement through strategies such as non-clinical stress management.

  • Hypnotherapists work in complementary ways with physicians and other health care providers to help optimize the care patients receive.

  • Hypnotherapeutic results can be restorative, rehabilitative, curative and, seemingly, miraculous.

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What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy means the use of hypnosis for the treatment and relief of a variety of somatic and psychological symptoms.

Hypnotherapy can be used to bring relief to existing conditions or to change areas where there are issues. The list of situations where it can aid the individual is endless and it is particularly effective for those who wish to take greater control—or perhaps regain control—of some aspect of their life.

Certain uses are well known such as for quitting smoking and for pain relief, but did you know that hypnotherapy can also be used to overcome a fear of public speaking, to improve performance on the playing field or even to prevent blushing?

Some of the many conditions that can be treated through hypnotherapy:

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Agoraphobia Anorexia
Anxiety Arthritis
Assertiveness Asthma
Bed-wetting Blushing
Bruxism Bulimia
Compulsive behavior Creativity enhancement
Dentist fears Depression
Eczema Emotional difficulties
Exam nerves Fear of flying
Headaches IBS
Impotence Interpersonal skills
Interview preparation Lack of concentration
Lack of confidence Low self-esteem
Nail-biting Nightmares
Over-eating Pain control
Panic disorders Performance anxiety
Pre-operative fears Post-operative recovery
Psoriasis Sleeping problems
Smoking Snoring
Speech impediments Tics
Weight control

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Thanks to the On-line Medical Dictionary for their descriptions of these conditions.

Agoraphobia
An unexplained fear of open spaces.

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Anorexia
The uncontrolled lack or loss of the appetite for food.

(Note that Anorexia Nervosa is described as an eating disorder characterized by a misperception of body image. Individuals with anorexia nervosa often believe they are overweight even when they are grossly underweight.)

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Anxiety
It is a word that has a wide ranging description, but technically it is the unpleasant emotional state consisting of psychophysiological responses to anticipation of unreal or imagined danger, ostensibly resulting from unrecognized intrapsychic conflict. (You asked!)

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Arthritis
An inflammatory condition that affects joints.

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Assertiveness
Assertiveness training is a form of therapy in which a client learns to feel free to make legitimate demands and refusals in situations which previously elicited inappropriate responses.

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Asthma
A disease process that is characterized by paradoxical narrowing of the bronchi (lung passageways) making breathing difficult.

Symptoms include wheezing, difficulty breathing (particularly exhaling air) and tightness in the chest.

Factors which can exacerbate asthma include rapid changes in temperature or humidity, allergies, upper respiratory infections, exercise, stress or smoke (from cigarettes).

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Bed-wetting
Technically known as 'Nocturnal Enuresis', it is the involuntary passage of urine at night-time in children. Most bed-wetting stops by the age of three and is twice as common in boys as in girls.

Causes have been attributed to delay in bladder muscle development, adjustment disorder (parents too controlling or aggressive), too early (and too coercive) to toilet training, diabetes and spinal cord lesions (rare).

A urinary tract infection should be excluded in the cases of a sudden onset of bed-wetting.

Treatment includes behavior modification (rewarding good behavior), supportive and helpful attitude by parents, limiting fluids at bedtime and alarm devices (a sleep pad that sets off an alarm when it gets wet). Vasopressin nasal spray has been used successfully to treat this condition in some children.

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Blushing
Involuntary reddening, especially of the face, associated with feelings of embarrassment, confusion or shame.

As most sufferers will tell you, it is not the blushing that is the problem, but the fear of blushing, hence the alternative name of 'Erythrophobia'. (Erythro- is used to denote reddening, associated with red blood cells)

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Bruxism
Compulsive grinding or clenching of the teeth especially at night.

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Bulimia
An eating disorder which is characterized by self-induced vomiting after eating.

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Compulsive behavior
The behavior of performing an act persistently and repetitively without it leading to reward or pleasure. The act is usually a small, circumscribed behavior, almost ritualistic, yet not pathologically disturbing.

Examples of compulsive behavior include twirling of hair, checking something constantly, not wanting pennies in change, straightening tilted pictures, etc.

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Creativity enhancement
Hypnotherapy can be beneficial in overcoming writers' or artists' blocks, along with other situations where creativity is useful, such as for problem solving.

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Dentist fears
'Dentist-phobia' leads to dental problems associated with lack of dental hygiene and dental maintenance. The phobia should be addressed before the dental situation becomes unpleasant.

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Depression
A mental state of depressed mood characterized by feelings of sadness, despair and discouragement. Depression ranges from normal feelings of the blues through dysthymia to major depression.

It in many ways resembles the grief and mourning that follow bereavement; there are often feelings of low self-esteem, guilt and self-reproach, withdrawal from interpersonal contact and somatic symptoms such as eating and sleep disturbances.

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Eczema
A pruritic papulovesicular dermatitis occurring as a reaction to many endogenous and exogenous agents. It is characterized in the acute stage by erythema, oedema associated with a serous exudate between the cells of the epidermis (spongiosis) and an inflammatory infiltrate in the dermis, oozing and vesiculation and crusting and scaling and in the more chronic stages by lichenification or thickening or both, signs of excoriations and hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation or both. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of dermatitis

Once an organic cause has been ruled out, Eczema - as with most skin conditions - responds very well to hypnotherapy.

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Emotional difficulties
Many emotional difficulties can be relieved by hypnotherapy either by enabling one to cope better with those emotions, or by finding different, more appropriate emotions to replace those that are causing difficulty.

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Exam nerves
Hypnotherapy is excellent for those who suffer with anxiety before examinations.

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Fear of flying
Many sufferers only seek help for flying phobias when they are have the prospect of a flight ahead, and they can't avoid it.

Hypnotherapy can help in the short term, to enable the sufferer to take that flight, or in the long term, to dissolve the phobia completely.

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Headaches
Headaches come in many forms, and those related to anxiety and stress are particularly amenable to hypnotherapeutic intervention.

Note that headaches can be of organic origin so it is important to have a medical check before seeking hypnotherapeutic treatment.

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IBS
A functional bowel disorder characterized by recurrent crampy abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Invasive gastrointestinal diagnostics are often unrevealing.

There is some feeling that IBS is primarily anxiety-based in origin, and it is known to respond well to hypnotherapy.

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Impotence
Impotence is the inability to achieve or sustain a penile erection, however there are many sexual conditions that can be relieved by hypnotherapy, and the umbrella term for them is 'psychogenic infertility'.

Note that this refers to the fact that there is no organic origin behind the complaints. Any new sexual dysfunction should always be investigated by your doctor first to rule out the possibility of an organic cause.

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Interpersonal skills
In business, or in one's social life, the ability to interact easily and efficiently with others is a boon. Self-confidence issues can prevent this, and hypnotherapy can help individuals to find their inner-confidence and overcome their fears of interpersonal interaction.

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Interview preparation
For those who feel they get unduly nervous before an interview, hypnotherapy can be used to great effect to bring out the confidence and strengths that are present in other situations and use them to overcome excessive fear.

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Lack of concentration
The ability to concentrate depends on the ability to focus on one thing and ignore distractions. By addressing the causes of the lack of concentration, individuals can discover the ability to focus intensely, with the advantage that this brings of greater retention and more efficient learning.

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Lack of confidence
The bread and butter of hypnotherapy - everyone goes through periods and situations where they lack confidence, but when it is sustained then hypnotherapy can help to bring it back in a positive way.

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Low self-esteem
Low self-esteem can be the result of a lifetime of events or from a single trauma. Either way, it can be debilitating. A considered hypnotherapy program can enable one to rediscover their own self-respect and start to live the life that they always knew they could.

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Nail-biting
This is a common form of habitual body manipulation which is an expression of tension. It can often be successfully treated in just one session.

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Nightmares
My search for an official definition found this: A condition in sleep usually caused by improper eating or by digestive or nervous troubles, and characterized by a sense of extreme uneasiness or discomfort (as of weight on the chest or stomach, impossibility of motion or speech, etc), or by frightful or oppressive dreams, from which one wakes after extreme anxiety, in a troubled state of mind.

Peaceful sleep can be achieved through hypnotherapeutic intervention.

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Over-eating
Whether for weight control or to stop binging, hypnotherapy is widely accepted as an excellent therapy to help control the diet and to start to eat more healthily.

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Pain control
Hypnosis has been used for pain control (and documented) - up to and including surgery - for over 100 years. It is excellent for the pain associated with arthritis, phantom limb pain and for anesthesia in many predictably painful situations (e.g. for dental work)

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Panic disorders
Symptoms of a panic attack usually begin abruptly and include rapid heartbeat, chest sensations, shortness of breath, dizziness, tingling, and anxiety.

Hypnotherapy can help identify the root cause of the anxiety and can provide tools to be used to stop a panic attack. Just knowing that you will be able to handle an attack when it happens, can greatly reduce the impact of the event.

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Performance anxiety
Many people experience acute anxiety before they have to 'perform', whether it be on a stage, a sports field, in front of an audience, or even in bed.

In all situations, the underlying causes have some similarity and some uniqueness. Investigation via hypnotherapy can lead to resolution and dissolution of the problem.

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Pre-operative fears
It is natural to become nervous before any significant event, but when this leads to avoidance, and that avoidance is harmful, then hypnotherapy can help to bring out the confidence and calmness required to deal with the situation.

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Post-operative recovery
Recovery from an operation can be hastened, scarring and bruising reduced, and pain and discomfort relieved if hypnotherapy, and - once taught - self-hypnosis are used.

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Psoriasis
A common chronic, squamous dermatosis, marked by exacerbations and remissions and having a polygenic inheritance pattern. The most distinctive histological findings in well developed psoriasis are Munro microabscesses and spongiform pustules.

It is characterized clinically by the presence of rounded, circumscribed, erythematous, dry scaling patches of various sizes, covered by grayish white or silvery white, umbilicated and lamellar scales, which have a predilection for the extensor surfaces, nails, scalp, genitalia and lumbosacral region. Central clearing and coalescence of the lesions produce a wide variety of clinical configurations, including annular or circinate, discoid or nummular, figurate and gyrate arrangements.

Like all skin conditions, if there is no organic cause, then stress-related factors are the likely culprit, and hypnotherapy can produce relief from symptoms.

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Sleeping problems
Insomnia, early waking, disturbed sleep, snoring... when you are asleep your unconscious mind is still at work looking after you, and it can take care of many of the things that bother us - if only we could access it more directly. With hypnotherapy, we can do just that.

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Smoking
Perhaps the most widely known and accepted use of hypnotherapy is to help stop smoking. It is effective, there are no negative side-effects (there are many positive ones) and it can normally be achieved in one session. All that is required is the motivation to become a non-smoker.

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Snoring
The act of respiring through the open mouth so that the currents of inspired and expired air cause a vibration of the uvula and soft palate, thus giving rise to a sound more or less harsh.

Once any suggestion of an organic condition has been ruled out by a doctor, hypnotherapy can be utilized to help the sufferer to find their own way of sleeping peacefully and quietly.

Or, if the sufferer is not the snorer, but the snorer's partner, then it is the partner who can be helped - by learning to appreciate and enjoy the deep relaxation that the snorer is demonstrating.

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Speech impediments
Stammering, stuttering, mumbling... many such conditions can be aided by behavioral training whilst in hypnosis.

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Tics
Spasmodic muscular contractions most commonly involving the face, mouth, eyes, head, neck or shoulder muscles. The movement often appears purposeful but is involuntary.

As such activity is often exacerbated by stress, great relief can be achieved when the stress can be dealt with in an appropriate fashion.

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Weight control
After 'stop smoking' treatments, this is perhaps the most well known use for hypnotherapy. You can achieve the weight that you desire - you already know how to do it.

Hypnotherapy can help you to bring out the strengths and resources within you to make it happen, and more importantly, to adjust to the new life that you will have, so that you maintain it.

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Thanks to the On-line Medical Dictionary for their descriptions of these conditions.

 

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