Tags: behavioral medicine, Hypnotherapy, S. Feldman, Khyber Medical College, Understanding psychology, Avenel, New Jersey, Khyber Medical College Peshawar 1999, American Medical Association, Dr Mysmer, clinical applications, Muhammad Saaiq, Ingrid Schioler, James Braid, Wing Books, allied disciplines, sexual problems, Psychological therapy, behavioral problems, psychological problems, automatic writing, Rockefeller University, Mc Graw Hill Inc, Pankaj Publications, age regression, Crime investigation, Mian Muhammad Shah
Content: How to cite this article: Muhammad Saaiq. HYPNOTHERAPY: A VALUABLE ADJUNCT TO MEDICINE. Cenna, Khyber Medical College Peshawar 1999. TITLE: HYPNOTHERAPY: A VALUABLE ADJUNCT TO MEDICINE. AUTHOR: MUHAMMAD SAAIQ SELJUKI Final Year MBBS student, Khyber Medical College, Peshawar [email protected] Hypnotherapy, a superb art and science takes its roots from the spiritual and religious meditation practiced for centuries in the eastern societies. Through the hard work of Dr Mysmer and Dr James Braid, hypnotherapy emerged as a tool of behavioral medicine. The former named it as mesmerism while the latter called it hypnotism. Going through the course of its horizon, it went into the hands of quacks and showman who badly
exploited this noble influence and used it as cunning device. 1958 was a historical year when the American Medical Association's Council on mental health recommended to include hypnotherapy in the curriculum of medical schools. Since then physicians of all calibers have been taking keen interest in the clinical applications of hypnotherapy. Higher courses in the subject are being offered in the leading universities of USA. Moreover in Russia, hypnotherapy is now routinely used preoperatively and postoperatively to prevent complications, manage pain and enhance the healing process. What makes hypnotherapy work? The subject is first brought under hypnosis by means of systematic physical relaxation, mental concentration and well-framed suggestions that put the subject at ease, make him cool down and eventually close his eyes. The subject just goes into a state of suspended animation with altered state of consciousness characterized by powerful concentration and heightened susceptibility of the subconscious mind to Page of 7 2
accept the operator's suggestions and act on them. Once the subject is under hypnosis, the operator verbalizes therapeutic suggestions that register on the subconscious mind of the subject and result in the desired behavior afterwards. The brain shows beta waves on EEG when an individual is wakeful. The suggestions of the therapist lull the subject first into alpha state which is meditation and then deeper into theta state which is hypnosis. Physiologically the subject shows deep relaxation of muscles, slight lowering of pulse rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate etc. People show wide variations in their susceptibility to hypnosis. About 15-20% of the population drifts into deep hypnosis very easily while 75% can be hypnotized to some extent initially. The remaining show little or no susceptibility. The individuals who show little susceptibility initially, usually reach reasonable depth after receiving positive information about hypnosis and training session in developing the power of Page of 7 3
concentration. Insane individuals and babies show no susceptibility to hypnotic suggestions. Based on the depth of the trance, there are six levels of hypnosis. By and large more is the depth better are the results. However as long as the results are favorable, the depth reached is immaterial. The first three levels are hypnoidal, light hypnosis and medium hypnosis which are collectively called mensic. In these depths the subject remembers whatever the hypnotherapist has suggested to him during the trance. Most of the hypnotherapy is done for behavioral modification and habit correction which can effectively be achieved during mensic. The next three levels include deep hypnosis, somnambulism and profound somnambulism. In these levels the subject doesn't remember on awakening what the therapist has suggested during trance. These deep levels are used in areas such as surgery, childbirth, dentistry, and correction of criminal behavior such as rape, sodomy etc. these deep levels are also essential for specialized techniques such Page of 7 4
as age regression, automatic writing and prolonged trance therapy. Hypnotherapy has been an effective tool not only in behavioral medicine but also in the allied disciplines. It has been used with documented success in the following areas: 1- Psychological therapy: Hypnotherapy is very successful in alleviating a variety of psychological problems such as anxieties, depression, psychoses etc. it can be used to relieve tension and heighten relaxation. It is also very effective in correction of sexual problems of psychological origin. Depending on the situation it can be used alone or in combination with pharmacological treatment. 2- Analgesia and anesthesia: Hypnotherapy has been used with documented success for painless childbirth and dental and surgical procedures. It has also been successful in relieving chronic pain, migraine etc. Page of 7 5
3- Correction of behavioral problems such as naswar addiction (oral sniff), smoking, drinking, overeating, masturbation etc. 4- Management of speech problems and Learning Disabilities. 5- Abolition of self-defeating habits and cultivation of good habits. 6- Crime investigation and law enforcement. 7- Hypnotherapy has found its application in certain other areas that need further research. For instance, one hypnotherapist has reported success in controlling glaucoma through self-hypnosis. Furthermore Dr Neal E. Miller of Rockefeller University working with a team of medical researchers, has demonstrated that maintenance of blood pressure, heart rate, and even control of blood cholesterol levels can be beneficially affected in some patients through mental persuasion. Page of 7 6
Hypnotherapy can be hoped to flourish in the coming years and play its part in helping the ailing humanity. Suggested Further Reading: 1-Rachel Copelan Ph. D. How to hypnotize yourself and others. Wing Books, New York, Avenel, New Jersey 1995. 2- Ingrid Schioler. A to Z hypnotism. Ist ed. Pankaj Publications, new Delhi, 1984. 3-Robert S. Feldman. Understanding psychology. 3rd ed. Mc Graw Hill Inc, USA 1993. 4-Dr Mian Muhammad Shah. Hypnotism for common people (Urdu) Peshawar 1995. Page of 7 7

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