What exactly is hypnosis? It is an alternative therapy that allows a person to achieve a deep state of relaxation. In this state, the person under hypnosis is able to suppress their conscious state of mind and tap into their subconscious, a part of the mind that is typically unavailable to us while we are awake. In other words, hypnosis allows one to reach an enhanced state of awareness.
While in this special state of awareness, a person is presented with positive ideas, and concepts through talking, audio methods (IE. audio CD, music) or imagery, to promote psychological and/or physical healing or positive development. This particular form of hypnosis is known as hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy may be self-directed (An individual puts themselves in a state of hypnosis for self-treatment), or it may be directed by another, usually someone skilled in hypnotherapy, such as psychotherapist.
What does hypnosis achieve? During hypnosis when the body is released from the control of the conscious, breathing is slower and deeper, there is a drop in pulse rate and the metabolic rate lowers. There are also changes in the hormonal channels and nervous pathways. These changes cause the symptoms the person is feeling to fade into the background and become less acute as they naturally are during the conscious state.
Does hypnosis work? Yes. Proper hypnosis is effective for most people (approximately 80%). The reason is because once a person puts their subconscious in control, the subconscious doesn’t know the difference between what is real or imagined. Therefore, whatever is perceived by the subconscious is believed true, and the body reacts accordingly.
Of course, although most people are generally responsive to hypnosis, it usually takes a number of sessions before a person is able to experience effective results. For this reason, many people often perform self-hypnosis in the comfort of their own home.
How can hypnosis improve menopause symptoms? Hypnotherapy with the use of guided imagery can relieve just about any menopausal symptom (IE. stress, anxiety, insomnia, hot flashes, etc.) if performed correctly. If you can put mind over matter, the mind can tell the body what it should and shouldn’t feel. For instance –
Hot flashes -Estrogen plays a role in regulating the temperature in the brain. When estrogen levels drop, the brain thinks the body is overheating, and goes into emergency cool down mode which results in excessive sweating and releasing heat through the skin. Due to the fact that hot flashes are clearly a malfunction of the brain, the mind can be used to influence the body by hypnotically cooling down hot flashes.
To help a woman get her menopausal symptoms under control during hypnosis, imagery may be used. For example, in her subconscious state, a woman could be prompted to imagine a control room full of valves, switches, and dials, all of which represents balancing her hormones and controlling her menopausal symptoms. All she needs to do is find the right dial or switch, related to her symptom (IE the “cool down” dial) and adjust it to the proper setting.
Before engaging in self hypnosis as a menopause remedy, you should first seek treatment from a trained professional so you know what the treatment feels like and how to perform it. You can try finding a hypnotherapist by asking a health care provider, looking in the yellow pages, or search for a local hypnotherapy clinic or hypnotherapist online, by using your city name and “hypnotherapy” as keywords in your search.
By: Kathryn Whittaker
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