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Hypnotherapy

By

Denise Millstine

, MD, Mayo Clinic

Last full review/revision Oct 2021| Content last modified Nov 2021
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION

Hypnotherapy is a type of mind-body medicine Mind-Body Medicine Complementary or alternative medicine can be classified into five major categories of practice: Whole medical systems Mind-body techniques Biologically based practices Manipulative and body-based... read more . In hypnotherapy (hypnosis), people are guided into an advanced state of relaxation and heightened attention. Hypnotized people become absorbed in the images suggested by the hypnotherapist and are able to suspend disbelief. For people who can focus their attention and become more open to suggestion, hypnotherapy can be used to help people change their behavior and thus improve their health. (See also Overview of Integrative, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine Overview of Integrative, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine Integrative medicine and health (IMH) and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) include a variety of healing approaches and therapies that historically have not been included in conventional... read more .)

Some people are able to learn to hypnotize themselves.

The mechanism of hypnotherapy is poorly understood from a scientific standpoint.

Medicinal uses

Hypnotherapy may be used in treating many conditions and symptoms in which psychologic factors can influence physical symptoms:

Hypnotherapy has been used with some success to help people stop smoking and lose weight. It can reduce pain and anxiety during medical procedures in adults and children and may help reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, and asthma. Hypnotherapy may also help lessen anxiety and improve quality of life in people with cancer.

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