True, hypnosis, an altered state of consciousness identified with deep relaxation, focused attention, and high suggestibility, has been proven to be a safe medical procedure by the American Medical Association back in 1958.
Yes, thanks to its ability to heighten responsiveness, hypnosis is often used successfully to positively change behaviors and get rid of habits and thoughts that usually results to health issues.
“But hypnosis helping cancer patients, are you serious!?”
For sure that’s what you are thinking.
Well, let’s take a look at what a deeper look at hypnosis and the studies about its effects to cancer patients have to say.
How Does It Work As A Part Of A Treatment
Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis in the treatment of different health conditions like addiction to nicotine, unhealthy weight gain, stress, social anxiety, and those are just to name a few.
Contrary to popular belief, hypnotherapists are NOT the ones in control during a hypnotherapy session.
Matter of fact, one of the main goals of hypnotherapy is to help you, the subject or patient, gain GREATER control over your behavior, your emotions, as well as bodily functions.
Pretty sure you’d agree that no matter what condition you are being treated for – may be it be as serious as cancer or recovering from stress and anxiety, giving you greater control of your behaviors and steering it towards a positive goal is something that will greatly benefit you!
What Studies Revealed
Now, the scientific evidence to support the claim that hypnosis can help fight cancer is very minimal.
However, hypnotherapy has been revealed to offer a host of benefits to cancer patients as well as survivors. Let’s see what the studies have to say about it:
Cancer Surgery And Hypnotherapy
Back in 2007, a study involving 200 women who underwent breast cancer surgery showed that using hypnosis before surgery significantly reduced the amount of anesthesia needed during the operation.
Along with that, the level of pain reported afterwards along with the time and overall cost of the procedure also dropped by a sizeable amount.
Matter of fact, compared to those who consulted a psychologist before their surgery, women who underwent 15 minutes of hypnosis experienced less nausea, fatigue as well as emotional upset after the procedure.
Reducing The Setbacks Of Chemotherapy
Another research published in 2007 shows that hypnotherapy could significantly reduce the negative effects of chemotherapy, which includes nausea and vomiting.
This research involved 6 randomized and controlled trials, and five of these trials involved pediatric cancer patients.
Helping Breast Cancer Survivors With Hypnotherapy
Hot flashes – these are one of the pains that a breast cancer survivor needs to put up with.
But here’s some good news: According to a study in 2008 involving 60 women with a primary history of breast cancer, hypnotherapy can significantly reduce the number and intensity of these hot flashes.
The 5-week study showed that patients who underwent hypnosis – involving 50-minute sessions with a hypnotherapist as well as instructions for self-hypnosis at home, experienced a 68% reduction in the frequency and severity of hot flashes.
On average, these patients who underwent hypnotherapy an average of 4.39 fewer hot flashes everyday… not to mention they also showed significant improvements in anxiety, depression, and sleep.