How Hypnosis Can Help With Anxiety And Panic Disorders
Many people are familiar with hypnosis and hypnotherapy but are unfamiliar with how it works and what benefits it has. In pop culture, hypnosis is often portrayed as mind control or mind alterations while you lay on a couch and listen to a monotone voice tell you something they want you to do. However, outside of Hollywood, hypnosis and hypnotherapy can be beneficial for treating medical issues, psychological issues, and even promoting positive life changes such as weight loss or smoking cessation. Hypnotherapy is one of the many complementary or alternative medicine treatments (CAMs) that trained specialists can provide to patients and clients in their plan of care. Hypnotherapy utilizes a process that helps you relax and focus on your inner, deeper thoughts. This process allows you to focus on your subconscious and can be used to explore past memories, instill the desire to positively change one's life, and relax individuals who suffer from anxiety. Hypnotherapy can be used in combination with or in place of other therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, and medication to treat anxiety and panic disorders.
Benefits of Hypnotherapy
When performed by a trained professional, hypnotherapy can provide individuals with medical or psychological ailments several benefits. Hypnotherapy can be beneficial for several health issues, weight loss, addiction, smoking cessation, grief, coping, and stress or anxiety disorders. During a hypnotherapy session, clients will be guided through several stages that allow them to relax and focus on the subconscious. In this stage, the hypnotherapists can help clients identify an issue or trigger, recognize how they are feeling, and positively reaffirm them that they are safe and in control of their own body. In the case of anxiety and panic disorders, hypnotherapy improves the client's physical and emotional control, improves their self-esteem, and can help avoid and prevent escalations during the session and after.
Risks of Hypnotherapy
When performed by a trained professional, hypnotherapy is a relatively safe treatment for anxiety and panic disorders. In comparison other therapies such as medications which can cause harmful or uncomfortable side effects for the client, hypnotherapy used complementary or alternatively is almost completely side effect free. Results and risks vary depending on the individual; however, the only rare side effects that have been reported with the use of hypnotherapy are headache, drowsiness, dizziness, or anxiety.
Hypnotherapy for Anxiety
Hypnotherapy can be used as a treatment for anxiety to relax the mind and help it reprogram itself in a positive fashion. At its core, hypnotherapy allows the mind and body to relax and recharge. Individuals who suffer from anxiety benefit from this mental relaxation break because the treatment guides them through acknowledging their anxiety or triggers, recognizing their physical and mental symptoms, and retraining their subconscious in a way that remains them they are safe and in control. Like meditation, hypnotherapy can be used to treat anxiety and phobias this way because it allows the body and mind of clients to communicate with one another. During the session, the hypnotherapist reaffirms that the client is safe and in control and can instruct them on positive coping mechanisms that can be 'programmed’ into the subconscious for anxiety attacks outside of the session. After hypnotherapy exposure, individuals can feel more confident in their self-control and avoid escalations and symptoms such as a sense of impending doom or shortness of breath because they can recall what it felt like to be safe and in control during the guided session.
Hypnotherapy for Panic Disorders
Much like how hypnotherapy can be utilized as a treatment option for anxiety, it can also be used to improve the lives of individuals who suffer from panic attacks and panic disorders. When used for panic attacks and panic disorders, hypnotherapy can help relieve stress, reduce fear, and even prevent psychiatric emergencies. During hypnotherapy sessions, clients will be taught how to recognize triggers that can cause panic attacks such as public spaces for agoraphobia and how to cope with the symptoms. After being exposed to hypnotherapy and positive affirmation, clients who have panic disorders will be more effective at coping with symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and a sense of impending doom because subconsciously they can refer back to their training. During a hypnotherapy session, the therapist may have the client acknowledge how they feel and by positively reminding them that they are in control and safe they can teach them ways to cope with these symptoms during a real attack. For individuals who suffer from chest pain and shortness of breath, the therapist may teach them breathing exercises so that they will refer to that in the future. During a real panic attack, individuals who have undergone hypnotherapy for the issue will have more physical and emotional control because hypnotherapy taught them how to be in control.
What to Consider Regarding Hypnotherapy
It is important to remember that everyone responds differently to all therapies and treatments. If you are considering using hypnotherapy as a complementary or alternative treatment for anxiety or a panic disorder, spend some time researching more about what hypnotherapy is and what to expect during a session. Talk with your doctor or psychiatrist about hypnotherapy and if it is right for you. Once you decide you want to move forward with hypnotherapy, you should talk with your doctor or look online for a clinically certified hypnotherapist in your area. The National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapy or NBCCH trains therapists on how to provide safe and effective hypnotherapy for countless health issues. Individuals who have been properly trained in hypnotherapy will be able to help you determine if it is appropriate for you and if you will benefit from the treatment. Hypnotherapy has very rare negative side effects such as headache, dizziness, or drowsiness however these should not deter you from considering it because it can help improve your health and wellness in addition to helping you learn to recognize and control anxiety and stress.