“Craig Meriwether is an excellent hypnotherapist. He brings a deep well of experience to his practice, and he is caring, kind, and considerate.
I’ve seen Craig a number of times, and I’m very satisfied with the outcome, so regardless of what it is that you need to address and heal, you can’t go wrong with Arizona Integrative Hypnotherapy.”
Frank Borwell – Google Review
Hypnotherapy works so very well with anxiety and stress issues because the foundation of hypnotherapy is deep relaxation. In fact the word “hypnosis” comes from Greek mythology and the minor Greek god Hypno, who is the personification of sleep. So this deep relaxed state of mind and body known as hypnosis switches off the sympathetic nervous system (the stress response) and turns on the parasympathetic nervous system (the relaxation response).
Hypnosis is emerging as a powerful medical treatment for pain, anxiety, PTSD and a range of other conditions.
While academic experimenters tease out the details of why hypnosis works the way it does, clinicians are making use of its effects – as they have been doing for centuries.
Perhaps the best explored medical use for hypnosis is the tantalising promise of relieving pain without drugs. A number of meta-analyses (research papers that analyse the findings of a comprehensive range of studies, assessing each for their quality and design) have found consistent results. Participants who are hypnotised experience more pain relief than around 73% of control participants, found one recent meta-analysis of 45 trials on hypnosis for pain relief. Two meta-analyses from the early 2000s concluded that hypnosis was superior to standard care and urged for it to be used more widely in clinical settings. And as you might expect, these effects aren’t equal across the board – the more hypnotisable someone is, the greater the reduction in their pain, according to a review of 85 controlled experimental studies by authors including Terhune.
Some of the most exciting findings have been in the realm of chronic pain, defined as pain lasting more than three months. In the UK, between 13-50% of people experience chronic pain, while in the US, around one-third of people do. Globally, nearly two billion people experience recurrent tension headaches, the most common type of chronic pain. By its nature, chronic pain is particularly difficult to treat with drugs, as opioid analgesics are addictive, come with a burden of side-effects and contribute to the opioid epidemic.
Hypnosis has been shown to lower both pain intensity and its interference in daily life, one meta-analysis of nine randomised controlled trials found, with patients receiving eight or more sessions experiencing significant pain relief.
In 2000, Spiegel carried out a randomised trial of hypnotic analgesia in 241 patients undergoing invasive surgical procedures performed without a general anaesthetic. The patients were split into three groups: one group received standard care, one had a friendly nurse providing additional support, and one was hypnotised. All three groups had access to a button with which they could self-administer a cocktail of fentanyl, powerful opioid painkiller, and midazolam, a drug that causes drowsiness and forgetfulness. Every 15 minutes before, during and after the procedures, patients were asked to rate their pain and anxiety levels from zero (calm and pain-free) to 10 (deep fear, anxiety and pain).
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