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Effect of Hypnotherapy on Melanoma
Hypnosis has been used for thousands of years in various forms to aid in healing. In the last 200 years, it has been studied as a science, and shown to have powerful healing effects on some people. In hypnosis, a therapist will get a patient into a very deeply relaxed state called a “trance.” There is a popular misconception that in a hypnotic trance, people will obey any command – this is not true at all. You will never do something you don’t want to do while being hypnotized. However, the value of this hypnotic state is that in it, it is easier for you, with the guidance of a trained practitioner, to recall and deal with emotional challenges from your past. In addition, you are susceptible to positive suggestion, for example, to help you lose weight or quit smoking. Many times negative experiences in our past can effect our health and contribute to a disease. So surfacing them, and resolving them, can be a powerful took in your fight against melanoma.
Hypnosis, for example, is often used to help soldiers recover from post-traumatic stress disorder. It has been used to reduce severe pain (in some studies by 50%), to improve immune function, control reactions to poison ivy, decrease nausea, and more. Hence, hypnosis may become another tool in your repertoire of weapons to help you in your fight against melanoma. Note also that imagery, when combined with a hypnotic state, can sometimes become even more powerful than imagery alone, so it may be valuable, if you decide to try hypnosis, to combine it with imagery techniques that can be helpful(1).
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In the hands of a competent practitioner, hypnotherapy should present no more risks than any other form of psychotherapy. These risks might include worsening of the original problem and temporary fluctuations in mood.
Contrary to various works of fiction, hypnosis does not give the hypnotist absolute power over his subject. However, as with all forms of psychotherapy, the hypnotherapist does gain some power over the client through the client’s trust; an unethical therapist can abuse this.
(1) Manifesto for a New Medicine, James S Gordon, 1996, Chapter: Self-care as primary care: The power of the mind.
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