Pain, primarily chronic pain, can be significantly reduced by hypnosis. A study by the University of Göttingen proves that thanks to the learnable self-hypnosis, up to 75 percent of medicines can be saved. Even a chronic irritable bowel can be treated with hypnosis. Hypnosis has a long tradition as a therapeutic procedure. For millennia, suggestions and trance rituals have been important components of healing processes. Its importance in modern psychotherapy, medicine and dentistry is increasingly being recognized.
Less medication thanks to self-hypnosis
A state of deep relaxation, accompanied by pleasant pictures, warmth, well-being, while forgetting the pain of years of back pain, migraine attacks or rheumatism: this is possible with hypnosis and self-hypnosis.
Dr. Stefan Jacobs from the Georg Elias Müller Institute for Psychology at the University of Göttingen has studied this with 28 pain patients. The patients learn to put themselves in a state of deep relaxation when pain attacks occur and thereby reduce the pain.
As a result, they can permanently waive 60 to 75 percent of their medication. According to the scientist, the dose for painkillers was reduced by 60 percent, in the case of antidepressants by 63 percent and in the case of opiates by as much as 75 percent. The improvements remain stable for several weeks, as a follow-up at 3 months showed.
Overall, the subjects were much better, they were able to work and went back to people. Also in psychotherapy, there are successes with hypnosis such as anxiety, which are otherwise treated with medication.
Hypnosis in irritable bowel syndrome
Hypnosis has been shown to be very successful against irritable bowel syndrome, a study of more than 200 patients has shown. Manchester scientists treated patients with twelve one-hour hypnosis sessions. 71 percent then spoke of a sustainable improvement. The effect lasted up to six years.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a widespread disease whose cause is unclear. The sufferers mainly suffer from pain in the gastrointestinal tract, irregular bowel movements and flatulence.
Hypnosis for everyone?
Ten sessions with a trained therapist are needed to learn self-hypnosis. An individually audiocassette helps them to relax deeply.
Very few patients actually have experience with hypnosis, many wonder if they are even hypnotizable. And surprisingly high is the number of those who can achieve such a trance state:
- ten percent of people are very hypnotizable
- at 80 percent, it works well to satisfactory
- only the remaining ten percent are not
A rather bad image, which brought her close to the hocus-pocus, got the hypnosis through the show hypnosis on television, which makes the patients seemingly willless beings. But what happens? In a trance well-researched physiological changes occur: Muscle tension, heart rate and blood pressure are lower, breathing evenly and slowly, the stress hormone levels lowers.
Hypnosis - the individual phases
The hypnosis state is characterized by three phases:
- In the introductory phase, the therapist directs the patient's attention from outside to inside, suggesting a state of deep relaxation. This lasts five to ten minutes, for particularly deep trance states, it can take more time.
- In the treatment phase, the settings, experiences and behavior of the patient are redirected with the help of targeted suggestions and trance sceneries and symbols. Here are their own, mostly hidden forces awakened. Depending on the therapy goal, the treatment phase can last a few minutes (rapid hypnosis) to several hours (eg during surgical interventions).
- Carefully, in the reorientation phase, the trance is thoroughly withdrawn by directing the patient's perception from inside to outside. This also takes a few minutes.
Costs for hypnotherapy
According to information of the German Society for Hypnosis, hypnotherapy is taken over by the statutory health insurance funds only in exceptional cases on application. For private funds, the cost transfer arrangements are very different. The patient should be sure before starting therapy at his health insurance to find out about the possibilities of reimbursement.