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Originally published June 7 2009

Hypnotherapy Shown to Reverse Pain

by Alex Howard

(NaturalNews) Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes. Hypnosis has been used for medical purposes since 1840 when a young surgeon James Braid noticed the benefits of the trance state. Hypnotherapy can be used to help a whole range of problems, both emotional as well as physical. Research has shown that hypnotherapy can be hugely beneficial for those suffering with pain.

A study was carried out in 2008 with fibromyalgia patients using MRI scans to look at the activation of pain areas in patients. Simple pain reducing suggestions actually resulted in a decrease in both the pain and changes in the MRI.

Over the years, hypnosis has developed a somewhat negative reputation, mainly due to bizarre stage hypnosis shows and the misuse of the techniques in sales and television programs. Such uses have also fed certain misconceptions about hypnosis including:

*Hypnosis is an abnormal and potentially dangerous state to be in. In reality, hypnosis is the same state people go into when relaxing, reading a book, driving on a motorway etc. The difference with hypnosis is you are entering into this state deliberately and with a certain outcome in mind.
*Hypnosis is a state where the hypnotist has control over you. Although there are a few hypnotists that are using it with questionable ethics, a good therapeutic therapist will tell people exactly what is going on, and in many ways teaches them how to do it for themselves.
*Under hypnosis we can be made to do things we don`t want to do. It is true that people are made more susceptible to suggestions, which is one of the reasons why hypnosis is so powerful. Yet even when under hypnosis, people won`t do things completely outside of their usual realms of behavior. People will still hold the same values and ethics as they do in their daily life.

With a practitioner you trust, hypnotherapy is completely safe, and an extremely powerful therapy.

The real danger with hypnosis is it is not being used consciously. For example, we are all affected by suggestion, and what we are told by our doctor and specialists about our condition has a major impact. This is especially true if we are already in a state of shock and so more susceptible. If we are told, for example, that our condition is untreatable and we are unlikely to ever recover, this can be like a hypnotic command.

Therefore, apart from hypnotherapy being a potentially powerful tool to reduce pain and heal the mind and body, we also need to be very mindful of how much we listen to what others are telling us about our condition. If we have taken on the belief for example that it isn`t possible for us to recover, or that our condition is untreatable, we really need to review whether such beliefs are actually true, or just the opinions of those that told us.

Additionally, becoming aware of how we are speaking to ourselves about our condition is vital to our health and wellbeing. If our internal dialogue is one of constantly questioning and worrying about our situation, we are effectively hypnotizing ourselves to continue to feel a certain way. On the other hand, if we hold a strong belief that we will have vibrant health and optimal wellbeing, we are certainly on our road to enjoying them.

Fibromyalgia pain and its modulation by hypnotic and non-hypnotic suggestion: An fMRI analysis. Stuart W G Derbyshire, Matthew G Whalley, and David A Oakley. Eur J Pain, July 22, 2008; PMID: 18653363

About the author

Alex Howard is author of "WHY ME? My Journey from M.E. to Health and Happiness" and founder of The Optimum Health Clinic, an award winning clinic specialising in M.E./C.F.S./Fibromyalgia based in Harley Street Clinic, London, UK. The clinic has treated over 5,000 patients with M.E./Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia in over twenty-five countries around the world, and is currently running a two year clinical trial in conjunction with two top universities. A free information pack, including a 75 documentary about the clinic and its work, can be ordered from

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