What is Medical Hypnotherapy?
The term 'Medical Hypnotherapy' describes the clinical use of hypnosis for the therapeutic treatment of medical conditions.
The term ‘Medical Hypnotherapist’ ideally should be reserved for a qualified clinical hypnotherapist who is also dual trained as a qualified medical doctor, such as myself, although this convention is not always followed, and you will need to check carefully a practitioner’s qualification and training.
Dual trained full-time medical hypnotherapists are rare, both in the UK and globally. Not many medical doctors are such passionate advocates of hypnotherapy and alternative holistic health care that they are willing to leave established medical careers, with all the security and perks that go with that, to embark upon full-time therapeutic private practice. I made that decision for myself in 2005 and have never looked back. I now get to actually help people heal and resolve the real root causes of their difficulites, rather than simply compounding the problems with medications and side effects. I beleive so much in an individualised, person-centred, truly holistic health care model, that after 11 years as a NHS doctor, I could no longer with integrity operate within the establishment of the conventional western medical model; I had to go it alone. Such is my passion and conviction in the healing that the therapeutic process I offer brings to peoples lives.
What health problems can benefit from medical hypnotherapy?
Many health issues can be resolved, or significantly improved, with professional experienced medical hypnotherapy and hypnosis.
Some examples of health issues I help women resolve using hypnotherapy and mind-body psychotherapy are listed below. This list is not exhaustive, so please contact me to discuss your particular needs.
- Chronic painful issues, such as headaches, migraine, joint pain, IBS, facial pain, pelvic pain, medically unexplained pain. You can read more about hypnotherapy for chronic pain here.
- Digestive and gastrointestinal Issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), unexplained nausea etc. You can read more about hypnotherapy for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) here.
- Fibromyalgia and Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Insomnia and Sleep Problems. You can read more about hypnotherapy for insomnia and sleep problems here.
- Symptoms and health issues that your doctor cannot explain.
- Promoting healing and recovery following illness or injury, such as stroke, spinal injury, cancer
- Bladder problems, such as irritable or overactive bladder
- Neurological problems, such as FND (functional neurological disorder), MS, nerve pain, migraine, spinal injury
- Depression. You can read more about depression and hypnotherapy here.
- Anxiety, health anxiety, OCD, fears, and phobias. You can read more about hypnotherapy for anxiety and health anxiety hypnosis here.
- Psychosexual problems (women)
- Asthma, allergies, intolerances, multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS)
- Autoimmune disorders
"I cannot thank Dr Rhead enough for her excellent and professional services and her dedication to me as her client. She listened to me with such care. Her medical training and skills were invaluable to me in understanding my problem and treatment. She helped me to feel that there was much that I could do to help myself recover and feel confident about my body and my health again." I.R
What are the benefits of consulting a Medical Hypnotherapist instead of a lay Hypnotherapist?
A Medical Hypnotherapist is able to :
- Assess your problems broadly, both from a conventional medical perspective and from the position of a psychological therapist.
- Understand and explain your symptoms, condition and drug treatment in a way that a therapist without medical training can not do.
- Spot worrying symptoms and signs and refer you for further opinion and investigations, if required.
- Tailor your therapeutic treatment alongside any existing conventional medical treatment.
- Tailor hypnosis treatment specifically to address the underlying pathological process causing your symptoms.
- Give you advice and information on all possible support services that you can access that may be of help to you.
How will a Medical Hypnotherapists view of your medical condition be different from a conventional Doctors?
Generally, a conventional medical doctor will focus predominantly on body or biologically-based factors as the cause of disturbance in the body, with only limited consideration of the impact of psychological, emotional or social factors on a person’s health. Conventional medical treatments consist of standardised treatment protocols using drug treatment or physical interventions such as surgery. Such treatment is not personalised to you the individual.
As a Medical Hypnotherapist I will have a much broader and holistic focus and treatment is highly personalised;
- I consider psychological factors, social factors, emotional and spiritual factors as often playing as great a part in dis-ease within the body as the physical factors.
- I will consider an individual as a whole greater than the sum of their parts, in which the mind and the body are so inextricably linked, such that disturbance in the mind or emotions can have a dramatic effect on the physical body health and vice versa.
- I will consider an individual as unique filled with their own innate healing resources and body wisdom that can be tapped into using hypnotherapy.
- I treat the whole person rather than the symptoms or the medical 'labels'.
Using this holistic perspective, hypnotherapy can be used to address effectively but naturally, disturbance or imbalance in any of the factors – physical, psychological, emotional, social, spiritual - that are contributing to or maintaining a person’s current ill health.
In many cases, using Medical Hypnotherapy, real and lasting resolution of the underlying causes of dis-ease can be achieved, other clients find significant improvement in quality of life. Clients motivated to do so leave the therapeutic process empowered with valuable skills that allow them to manage their health, condition (in the case of chronic conditions that cannot be resolved) and their life with greater mastery, such that the quality of their life for the future is greatly improved.
Is Medical Hypnotherapy an alternative or complementary to conventional treatment?
It can be either, depending on the particular condition and the circumstances.
For example, I work with many individuals who have exhausted the medical treatment options, seen numerous hospital specialists and tried many medications without success, and for them medical hypnotherapy has been able to provide them with an effective approach to healing that has been life-changing, where conventional medicine has failed.
For others, hypnotherapy can be a very credible complementary treatment, allowing them to manage conditions, keep drug side effects to a minimum and gain self-mastery alongside conventional medical treatments.
Is Medical Hypnosis considered a valid treatment by conventional medicine?
Absolutely, the British Medical Association validated Hypnosis as an approved treatment as far back as 1950s. Since then it has been endorsed by the British Psychological Society, National Institute of Clinical Excellence, American Medical Association, the National Institutes of Health.
In 2001, the British Psychological Society issued a report, entitled 'The Nature of Hypnosis' which stated:
"Enough studies have now accumulated to suggest that the inclusion of hypnotic procedures may be beneficial in the management and treatment of a wide range of conditions and problems encountered in the practice of medicine, psychiatry and psychotherapy."
The working party then provided an overview of some of the most important contemporary research on the efficacy of clinical hypnotherapy, which is summarized as follows:
"There is convincing evidence that hypnotic procedures are effective in the management and relief of both acute and chronic pain and in assisting in the alleviation of pain, discomfort and distress due to medical and dental procedures and childbirth."
"Hypnosis and the practice of self-hypnosis may significantly reduce general anxiety, tension and stress..."
"There is encouraging evidence demonstrating the beneficial effects of hypnotherapeutic procedures in alleviating the symptoms of a range of complaints that fall under the heading 'psychosomatic illness." These include tension headaches and migraine; asthma; gastro-intestinal complaints such as irritable bowel syndrome; warts; and possibly other skin complaints such as eczema, psoriasis and urticaria [hives].
Who should you consult for the treatment of medical conditions with hypnosis?
When seeking hypnotherapy for the treatment of a medical condition, it is vital to seek a hypnotherapist who has specialised training to treat you and your problem safely and effectively. As an experienced GMC-Registered Medical Doctor, as well as a Senior Hypnotherapist specialising in Medical Hypnosis, I am well placed to help you.
Leading professional bodies in both the UK, US and Europe, all recommend that hypnotherapy and clinical hypnosis for medical issues should only be sought from qualified health professionals, such as myself as a medical doctor, who are highly trained in hypnosis, have the medical training to understand your health issues, and can provide you with safe, professional and effective treatment. With over 30 years experience, in both conventional and holistic medicine, and one of only a handful of medically- trained hypnotherapists in the world, I am uniquely placed to help you achieve your results.
Wondering if Medical Hypnotherapy can help you?
Contact me here today to discuss your particular needs in confidence and discover how medical hypnotherapy can help you live a healthier, happier, more peaceful life.
Dr Emma Rae Rhead Hypnotherapy, Medical Hypnotherapy and Medical Hypnosis
Medical Hypnotherapist, Mind-Body Medicine Specialist and Medical Doctor
TMS and PPD Specialist UK, Health Anxiety Hypnosis Specialist, Pain Hypnosis Specialist
Online Hypnosis, Online Hypnotherapy, Online Hypnotherapist, Hypnotherapy Doctor
Chester Hypnotherapist, Cheshire Hypnosis
Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine
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