Technical information on the use of hypnosis and psychotherapy in my practice:

What is hypnosis and is it right for me?

I am often asked will hypnosis work for me. Simply without knowing more about you and your specific issues I cannot say, no one can. But can you be hypnotised? The answer is probably ‘yes’. The depth of psychological flexibility brought about by hypnosis appears to be an inherent capability in everyone (Barabasz, 2005; Dell, 2021).

What is hypnosis?

The sole agreed definition and explanation of what hypnosis is and does has been elusive for nearly 4,000 years. In 2600BC Wong Tai wrote about techniques that involved incantations and passes of hands, and the Egyptian Ebers Payrus evidences the use of hypnosis in about 1550 BC. More recently: Khilstrom recently (2008) suggested:

“The phenomenon of hypnosis reflects alterations in conscious that take place in the context of social interaction.”

The American Psychological Association current definition is:

‘The procedure, or the state induced by that procedure, in which suggestion is used to evoke changes in sensation, perception, cognition, emotion, or control over motor behaviour; (Division 30).

The rational of my psychotherapy and use of hypnosis as part of the practice:

The use of hypnosis as a complimentary therapy is acknowledged by health professionals. Psychoneuroimmunology (more easily called PNI) is a discipline that has evolved in the last 40 years to study the relationship between immunity, the endocrine system, and the central and peripheral nervous systems. This is the relationship between nerves and the cells of the immune system, showing that they actually contact each other directly, through the HPA Axis, which are the glands that secrete hormones in your blood. Ultimately, they are all determined by one’s stress levels (Adler, 1981).

Studies in Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) investigate how stressful situations and negative feelings can cause physical change in the body, particularly in the immune system. Hypnosis can help in the modifying of the production and components of the immune system by relaxation and alleviating stress behaviour. (Adler 1975, Gruzelier 2002). As the unconscious mind interacts with both the conscious mind and the physical body seamlessly it is important to understand the psychoneuroimmunology implications are broad. For example, the proceedings of the International Conference on Psychological studies reported in 2021 on the success and effectiveness of a brief hypnotic induction in adults on blood pressure control and heart rate.

Other studies for example and areas of investigation include cancer incidence and progression (Kiecolt-Glaser et al, 1999), a biobehavioural model of cancer stress and disease course (Anderson et al, 1994), and classical conditioning of immune suppression during chemotherapy (Bovbjerg et al, 1990).

Pain and emotional distress:

Pain is difficult to treat pharmacologically, given it may be intermittent, and not related to tissue damage. The most common pharmacological treatment for pain is opioid analgesia (based on studies in the USA, China and Estonia (NICE (opiod dependence information) , 2021; Sine et al., 2021)). Hypnosis and psychotherapy are considered by virtue of clinical trials appropriate means to alleviate distress (Milling et al., 2021; Taylor & Genkov, 2020; Thompson et al., 2019).

Pain is felt and understood differently by each individual, because it is a subjective experience as no two people measure or feel pain in the same way (Akparian, 2008). Pain has three aspects, biological, psychological, and physical. Biological as in inflammation; psychological in it has sensory, behavioural and emotional aspects; and physical as in broken bones and torn ligaments. Psychologically it can be a learned behaviour (Cordier & Diers, 2018) and therefore has emotional aspects too.

Hypnosis has a good record of clinical studies evidencing its effectiveness in managing all aspects of pain.

Generally Hypnosis has a long history of use in pain management (Esdaile, 1850; Milling et al., 2021; Montgomery et al., 2017; Thompson et al., 2019). Successfully utilised clinically as a non-opioid (Santarcangelo et al., 2021), as an analgesic (Stoelb et al., 2009),  as anaesthesia (Esdaile, 1850; Montgomery et al., 2000; Stoelb et al., 2009), psychotherapeutically to aid reduction of associated emotional distress comorbidities (Battino, 2014; Erickson, 1982; Milling et al., 2019; Milling Leonard et al., 2019), anxiety (Hilgard, 1975; Valentine et al., 2019) and depression (Grégoire et al., 2018; Milling et al., 2019; Milling et al., 2021; Thompson et al., 2019; Wortzel & Spiegel, 2017).

– see for more information the examples the CNHC website for information on hypnotherapy uses; and the Hypno-Oncology practitioner group web site for use of hypnosis in the cancer journey. This is not a treatment or remedy for cancer or to be regarded as the giving of advice in the connection with cancer treatment, it is a complimentary therapy.

Service for National clients: The Spencelayh Practice provides hypnotherapy in Wellingborough, Kettering, Corby, Northampton and throughout United Kingdom.

Service for National & International clients: I offer a Teams or Zoom session when they are unable to travel to the office, and pre-recorded sessions.