Also part of the UPMC family:

Medical Hypnosis

UPMC Content 3

What Is Medical Hypnosis?

  • Although there is still some speculation as to how hypnosis works, the most common understanding is that the mind's state of consciousness is altered.
  • The left hemisphere of the brain - responsible for logic, analysis, and synthesis of information - is subdued, while the right hemisphere of the brain - responsible for nonverbal, intuitive processing - is enhanced, making it more accessible to the subconscious mind. 
  • A person is still able to hear, talk, and make rational judgments. No one can force you to do anything under hypnosis that you would not do in a conscious state.
  • Under hypnosis, there is a vast opportunity to alter your behavior or emotional and physical states by recognizing, releasing, or reprogramming old thoughts and beliefs that are deep-seated in your subconscious mind.
  • Because the mind and body are not separate, your thoughts, feelings, perceptions, beliefs, and memories can directly impact the entire body, as they are connected through nerves and hormones.

What Is the Background of Medical Hypnosis?

  • Medical hypnosis is a very old technique. It's the original psychotherapy used by Sigmund Freud.
  • It meets criteria established by the American Psychological Association task force on psychological interventions.

What Are the Indications for Medical Hypnosis?

Examples of symptoms that can be positively altered by using medical hypnosis include:

  • Anxiety/phobias
  • Bad habits (overeating, tobacco dependency, etc.)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Pain management
  • Preparation for dental and medical procedures
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Stress-management

What Are the Contraindications for Medical Hypnosis?

  • Medical hypnosis should only be practiced by specially trained and certified therapists.
  • Special precautions may need to be taken in treating people who are neurologically impaired or who have severe dissociative disorders.