How hypnosis and self-hypnosis can help with Tourette's Syndrome
Tourette's Syndrome was named after George Gilles de la Tourette who first classified it in the 19th Century. Tourette's is mostly defined by involuntary vocal tics and jerking body movements that are out of the control of the sufferer.
These involuntary movements, and also verbal outbursts seem to be prompted by a build-up of energy in the body that almost “explodes” through a shout or sudden movement, often of the head.
Tourette's typically starts in childhood and can run in families. Like OCD which is often associated with Tourette's, it can be notoriously difficult to treat. But, like OCD, hypnotherapy has been found to get very good results in helping calm the symptoms and give people with Tourette's a real feeling that they have some control over the problem.
People with Tourette's rarely display the symptoms while asleep and in my experience not in hypnosis either. Interestingly one client also had no symptoms at all whilst cradling and gently “rocking” his sister's baby to sleep!
Using hypnosis with Tourette's can take the form of helping the client recognise and develop their relaxation response which will help calm down the seeming “short-circuiting” in the brain and also help clients develop more awareness immediately before an involuntary movement is about to happen.
In a state of hypnosis, one can help programme an extra awareness so that the unconscious can alert the conscious to take some evasive reaction that will help kick in the relaxation process before the build-up of energy becomes completely overpowering. Also in hypnosis, one can help reprogramme one's awareness of body movements just as an athlete will do in hypnosis whilst internally visualising their training and performance programme.
These techniques and more can help develop fresh neural pathways, calming the nervous system and also helping the client feel that they at least have some control over their motor actions in their everyday life. It will also be important and extremely valuable to rebuild the client's confidence and belief in themselves since they will most likely have been subject to a lot of ridicule and lack of understanding around their situation.
As well as the work done in the therapy room the client can also use self-hypnosis on a daily basis as a 2010 study in Science Daily reports to great effect. This gave an almost 80% satisfaction rate with the 33 participants finding the technique of measurable value in helping them improve their control.
If the idea of hypnotherapy interests you but you're not sure what to expect, our article and video explaining what really happens in a hypnotherapy session may be a helpful starting point.
When you feel ready to reach out to a hypnotherapist, you could contact Roger (the author of this article) directly or use our search tool to find a hypnotherapist. Hypnotherapists may work in-person or online and most will offer a consultation call so you can learn more about their way of working and ensure they are the right fit for you.
When you're happy they can help you can arrange your first session and experience the power of hypnotherapy for yourself.
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