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Harvard Medical School validates the use of hypnosis.

On April 9 2012 an article in The Wall Street Journal highlighted the benefits of hypnotherapy for medical conditions. It uses studies carried out in Sweden and the USA. While it doesn’t mention were in Sweden that study was carried out but the one in the USA was at Harvard Medical School and its findings were published in the Lancet in 2000. It appears from the article that only specific conditions were used for this study and seems to centre on pain relief. With Just 15 minutes of hypnosis given before surgery led to less time in surgery and less pain medication being required. This gave rise to a saving of $331 per patient. The Wall Street Journal of course is an American publication and so some aspects of this article have a decidedly American language about them. One such line is the use of the term “state License”. While it does seem to set out to promote the use of hypnosis I feel there are areas which may not have been fully, journalistically, explored. For instance it states there are no state regulations, the term Certified Hypnotherapist has little meaning and describes hypnotherapists as “lay person practitioners”. Having read many articles written by hypnotherapists in the USA and being a member of social media forum network with members across the globe, I have always had the impression that regulations were quite tight in the USA. Varying from state to state admittedly, but still stringent. As for the term “Lay Practitioner”, it is totally incorrectly used. I studied for a year to be granted my diploma. I wrote essays, 50 hours plus of practice, practical pass or fails assessments not to mention three full case studies. Medical doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists aren’t taught hypnosis and so when it comes to hypnosis they are the lay person. Just because someone has a PhD in Medicine doesn’t make them an expert in any other subject. Talk medicines or surgery I am a lay person, talk hypnosis and hypnotherapy I am the professional. Unless your doctor has completed and passed an appropriate course then your doctor is a lay person. As we are not medical people we never use the term patient: we have clients.

As for steer clear of over exaggerated claims of hypnotherapy curing alcoholism, depression and medical conditions. Hypnotherapists never use such language. We can help you identify the reasons behind alcohol abuse and depression. Once identified, hypnotherapy can help you make the changes to your life so the causes of the condition are removed and the symptoms disappear. I don’t call it a cure, I call it resolveing a problem. There is no swinging a watch and saying “you don’t want booze” or “you feel happy”. We just do what other forms of therapy do, just quicker in most cases. Medical conditions cannot be “cured” with hypnosis but it can work with modern medicine to help with recovery which to be honest is the main point of the article. One thing all hypnotherapists should agree on is it is NOT an alternative medicine but is complementary to medicine. If you want to read the article in full it is still available on the WSJ website here.

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