Hypnosis is associated most often with people who need help quitting smoking, losing weight or dealing with other kinds of mental disorders. Lesser known is the use of hypnosis as a disease therapy, aiding in the management of severe or chronic pain, stress, and other adverse health effects. Interest in guided hypnosis is growing in the field of health care, and is increasingly being integrated into alternative and complimentary cancer treatment regimens. Mesothelioma attorneys are also intrigued by this growing therapy and are hopeful that it can improve the quality of life for many cancer sufferers.
Sometimes the side effects from mesothelioma treatment are worse than the initial onset of the cancer itself. The drugs often taken to combat these side effects may also be debilitating and come with their own list of dangerous side effects. This process can be exhausting, and decrease the patient’s already-compromised quality of life. For this reason, complementary and alternative cancer treatments are rapidly growing in popularity and recognition.
Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness, induced by the hypnotherapist, where the subconscious mind is accessed. The altered state resembles sleep, but present sensations are still able to be felt, and patients are able to concentrate on memories and other cognitive devices. This state of consciousness is believed to alter brain wave patterns, during which time therapists can change the way their patients think and perceive. For example, during hypnosis, the hypnotist may offer suggestions to strengthen the patient’s ability to cope with pain or change the patient’s overall perception of pain.
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Stanford University’s Cancer Institute affirms that although there is not enough evidence to determine if hypnosis affects cancer in any way, there may be an important role for the therapy in managing cancer. Hypnotherapy has been proven useful for pain relief, reducing anxiety, managing nausea, and reducing the fears normally associated with a cancer diagnosis. Hypnosis can also be extremely beneficial to caregivers of cancer victims, who may suffer from depression and similar feelings of stress and anxiety.
It is commonly suggested that nine out of ten people are able to be hypnotized. The other 10% are unable to be put under hypnosis because they are unwilling to release that amount of control to someone else, essentially meaning that you cannot be hypnotized if you do not want to be, or are not ready to fully accept its philosophy. Fortunately, hypnosis is not known to have any side effects, which is why the therapy continues to be recommended by doctors around the world.
The success of hypnosis depends on the immense amount of trust and willingness of the patient and the developed skill of the therapist. Hypnotherapy techniques used to relieve pain include altering the neurological configuration of pain, targeting specific images and changing its associations, and controlling anticipatory anxiety. Patients who are able to withstand and recover quickly from mesothelioma treatments are often given more aggressive or frequent regimens, increasing their chances of survival and heightening the regimen’s efficacy. Other hypnotherapy techniques include stress reduction, surgical preparation, and increasing effectiveness of the immune system.
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The state brought on by hypnosis, in addition to altering brain waves, also lowers blood pressure and heart rates. During the session itself, the patient’s specific fears and ailments are restated as the therapist asks the patient to deeply focus on certain ideas or images. As the patient becomes relaxed, they are asked to remove any irrelevant thoughts, in a process called dissociation. The patient is then asked to closely follow the therapists’ suggestions pertaining to their specific ailments. The therapist then returns the patient to normal consciousness and the experience is discussed. These sessions last about an hour, and results are typically seen within 4 to 10 meetings.
Since 1958, hypnosis has been recognized as a valid medical practice by the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association. Additionally, in 1995, the National Institute of Health recommended hypnotherapy for chronic pain management. Mesothelioma attorneys suspect that hypnosis has the potential to be extremely beneficial and productive for those battling cancer and their caregivers. As with any alternative or complimentary cancer treatment, always consult your physician before beginning any new therapies.