Hypnotherapy and psychoneuroimmunology
Psychoneuroimmunology is a specific field in health psychology, which focuses on the use of psychological interventions to improve a person's immune system. There is a large amount of evidence based research out there that examines the interactions between stress and the effect it has on the immune system. Hypnotherapy being one of them, specifically the use of positive imagery and how the brain interacts with this in combination with deep physical relaxation.
A person could see a hypnotherapist for a range of illnesses they may have and want to look for a complementary treatment that would work to enhance a person's ability to work with the current illness or recover from it. Stress is an important psychological and biological effect that occurs in the body and the overall effect of stress over a prolonged period of time can actually have a very devastating effect on a person's immune system. Having hypnotherapy and developing a personal practice of self hypnosis can have an overall positive effect on a person's immune system.
First of all there is the actual impact that physiological relaxation has on the effect of stress hormones in the body, which has the effect of reducing these stress hormones and also reducing sensitivity in a person's nervous system to stress hormones. Over a prolonged period of time and if used correctly this can have a very profound and long lasting effect if a routine is maintained by seeing a hypnotherapist and learning self hypnosis and in turn developing a good routine in a person's private life.
Hypnotherapy also has the added benefit of working on psychological resources at the same time, such as looking at a person's individual ability to cope with stress and also to look at ways to manage it better. Some examples of clients that I have worked with in the past have been those who have a diagnosis of HIV or have a diagnosis of cancer and they are in remission and recovering and with permission from their consultant they have tried hypnotherapy to learn a tool that can help supplement their current treatment plan. In no way whatsoever would I say hypnotherapy is a replacement for conventional medicine and people must be under a treatment plan prescribed by a doctor. A person would also require permission from their doctor or GP prior to seeking hypnotherapy as a supplement treatment.
This article only scratches the surface of psychoneuroimmunology and I would encourage anyone that is interested to please have a read about it and see what they think. For other hypnotherapists I would highly recommend the work of Peter Mabbutt from the London College of Clinical Hypnotherapy.
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