Frequently Asked Questions
Hypnotherapy uses the power of suggestions to help bring about positive and effective changes to our thoughts feelings and behaviour.
The process uses hypnosis to deeply relax the conscious part of the mind while stimulating and focussing the subconscious part. This heightened state of awareness allows the hypnotherapist to then make appropriate suggestions to help you to achieve positive changes within yourself.
Hypnotherapy has been used for hundreds of years to help provide treatment for many different conditions. Typing “hypnosis” into Google Scholar gives over 262,000 results for articles relating to hypnosis that include scientific studies and clinical applications.
The technique has been clinically proven to provide medical and therapeutic benefits, most notably in the reduction of pain and anxiety.
The experience of hypnosis can vary from one person to another. It can be best described as being in a state of deep relaxation or feeling a sense of detachment. You will feel physically and mentally relaxed almost like in a daydream state.
During the session you are always in control and you will definitely not be made to do anything you don’t want to.
Once the hypnotherapy session is over, clients have expressed feelings of being relaxed and refreshed.
During the hypnotherapy session your conscious mind (the critical, analytical part) takes a little rest. The therapist can then tap into the storehouse of resources and information that you have in your subconscious mind and this is used to make positive changes to your thought patterns that may be having a negative impact in your life.
It is in essence a rewiring of your thought patterns by establishing positive habits. Hypnosis can break a negative pattern by repairing a negative response from the past.
No. You will not say or do anything when you are in hypnosis that you would not normally say or do if you were not in hypnosis.
Life in Harmony WA does not conduct any kind of stage or entertainment hypnosis that you see on the TV shows. The hypnotherapy we offer is to help clients achieve their goals. The outcome we want is for you to regain control of your life. Your success is our success.
Most people can be hypnotised and part of the hypnotherapist’s job is to identify the best approach to suit you. It is important to feel comfortable with the hypnotherapist and have a level of trust with them. You also require a desire to change and a willingness to allow the hypnosis to happen.
There are exceptions though. People who have medical conditions where their mind functions are impaired such as epilepsy or psychotic illnesses must consult with their doctor prior to hypnosis.
Most clients I see will generally need 1 to 4 sessions.
A referral is usually not necessary. If you suspect that there is a physical cause for a problem, a medical check with your doctor is advisable before therapy to ensure proper diagnosis and deal with any underlying medical issues.
Absolutely. The following are a few examples of the research that can be found online using Google Scholar. The professional journals these abstracts come from have a peer review process for all articles submitted for publishing. This means that before the article is accepted to be published it is evaluated and scrutinised by a group of experts in the related field. This process helps to maintain the quality standards in the scientific field.
Long-Term Success of GUT-Directed Group Hypnosis for Patients With Refractory Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial
In this study it was found that gut-directed hypnotherapy (GHT) improved IBS-related quality of life (QOL) and is superior to supportive talks with medical treatment (SMT) alone, and shows a long-term effect even in refractory IBS.
Moser, G., Trägner, S., Gajowniczek, E. E., Mikulits, A., Michalski, M., Kazemi-Shirazi, L., … & Miehsler, W. (2013). Long-term success of GUT-directed group hypnosis for patients with refractory irritable bowel syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. The American journal of gastroenterology, 108(4), 602.
Long term benefits of hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome
204 patients prospectively completed questionnaires scoring symptoms, quality of life, anxiety, and depression before, immediately after, and up to six years following hypnotherapy. All subjects also subjectively assessed the effects of hypnotherapy retrospectively in order to define their “responder status”.
Results: 71% of patients initially responded to therapy. Of these, 81% maintained their improvement over time while the majority of the remaining 19% claimed that deterioration of symptoms had only been slight. This study demonstrates that the beneficial effects of hypnotherapy appear to last at least five years. Thus it is a viable therapeutic option for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.
Gonsalkorale, W. M., Miller, V., Afzal, A., & Whorwell, P. J. (2003). Long term benefits of hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome. Gut, 52(11), 1623-1629.
Hypnotherapy in irritable bowel syndrome: a large-scale audit of a clinical service with examination of factors influencing responsiveness
This study demonstrates that hypnotherapy remains an extremely effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome and should prove more cost-effective as new, more expensive drugs come on to the market. It may be less useful in males with diarrhoea-predominant bowel habit, a finding that may have pathophysiological implications.
Gonsalkorale, W. M., Houghton, L. A., & Whorwell, P. J. (2002). Hypnotherapy in irritable bowel syndrome: a large-scale audit of a clinical service with examination of factors influencing responsiveness. The American journal of gastroenterology, 97(4), 954-961.
Hypnotherapy for Children With Functional Abdominal Pain or Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Functional abdominal pain (FAP) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are highly prevalent in childhood. A substantial proportion of patients continue to experience long-lasting symptoms. Gut-directed hypnotherapy (HT) has been shown to be highly effective in the treatment of adult IBS patients and this study concluded that Gut-directed HT is also highly effective in the treatment of children with longstanding FAP or IBS.
Vlieger, A. M., Menko–Frankenhuis, C., Wolfkamp, S. C., Tromp, E., & Benninga, M. A. (2007). Hypnotherapy for children with functional abdominal pain or irritable bowel syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Gastroenterology, 133(5), 1430-1436.
Randomised clinical trial: the efficacy of gut-directed hypnotherapy is similar to that of the low FODMAP diet for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome
IBS patients (75 in total) were randomized (computer-generated list), to receive hypnotherapy, diet, or a combination. Durable effects of gut-directed hypnotherapy are similar to those of the low FODMAP diet for relief of gastrointestinal symptoms. Hypnotherapy has superior efficacy to the diet on psychological indices.
Peters, S. L., Yao, C. K., Philpott, H., Yelland, G. W., Muir, J. G., & Gibson, P. R. (2016). Randomised clinical trial: the efficacy of gut‐directed hypnotherapy is similar to that of the low Fodmap diet for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics, 44(5), 447-459.
Hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome: an audit of one thousand adult patients
Gut-focused hypnotherapy improves the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with benefits being sustained for many years. Despite this, the technique has not been widely adopted by healthcare systems, possibly due to relatively small numbers in published studies and uncertainty about how it should be provided.
In this study one thousand IBS patients received 12 sessions of hypnotherapy over 3 months. The results from the study showed a decrease in anxiety and a reduction in abdominal pain of the patients. The study concluded hypnotherapy relieves a wide range of symptoms in patients with IBS as well as improving quality of life and mood. Consequently, more patients deserve to be offered the benefits of this form of treatment, which is completely safe and free from side effects.
Miller, V., Carruthers, H. R., Morris, J., Hasan, S. S., Archbold, S., & Whorwell, P. J. (2015). Hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome: an audit of one thousand adult patients. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics, 41(9), 844-855.