Many people suffer from anxiety disorders in their daily lives. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association estimates that over 25 million Americans have suffered from one anxiety disorder or the other, whether PTSD, panic anxiety, sleep disorders or depression. As a problem that affects numerous people every day, there has been a need for scientists to find ways of dealing with it. Among one of the most promising methods that they have come with is hypnosis. But can hypnotherapy help patients in dealing with the anxiety-related conditions suffered by people in the US? And if so, how effective is hypnosis in reducing anxiety? Studies shows that hypnosis reduces anxiety.
Hypnosis or hypnotherapy is a technique that professionals use to get patients into a highly self-aware state. During hypnotherapy, a person undertakes deep breathing exercises among other relaxation techniques to calm himself, then concentrates on a scenario as a means of achieving a trance state. According to science, putting oneself in this state could help patients relieve some of the symptoms of anxiety.
Montgomery et al reported in a 2007 study that hypnosis could reduce the fear that many patients suffer from before a major surgery. Montgomery and his team conducted the study on 200 breast cancer patients. According to the report, putting the patients into a deeply focused state enabled them to view the results of the surgery more positively thereby reducing their distress with relation to the procedure. Montgomery’s studies showed that it was possible to use hypnosis for situational anxiety reduction, especially if the anxiety is associated with a major life change.
Most anxiety disorders present themselves just before a test or a major surgical procedure. Many people suffer from migraines, irritable bowel syndrome and tension headaches, all of which are anxiety-related symptoms. However, not everyone can afford to see a specialist for hypnotherapy. During such periods, individuals suffering these symptoms of state anxiety can alleviate them with self-hypnosis.
A 2014 study by Hammond et al demonstrated that hypnosis reduces anxiety. It is possible to induce anxiety reduction in oneself by guiding yourself through relaxation and concentration exercises. These exercises take a person’s mind off his problems, procedural anxiety or stress by making him focus on his breathing or less threatening experiences. Going through self-hypnosis could therefore help an individual overcome his fears of impending circumstances if only momentarily.
In 2011, Smith wrote that hypnotherapy, when used in combination with other treatment methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy, could be used to not only manage anxiety disorders but also eliminate them. Jensen et al. supports this hypothesis, bolstering its likelihood. More research is being done in this area but if the postulation proves correct, hundreds of lives that would have been lost to anxiety-related disorders could be saved. People with PTSD, OCD, depression and other anxiety-related mental health conditions could be a step closer to living healthier and more normal lives. They would probably need further treatment in the form of medication, but their life expectancy would be significantly higher. Research has been pointing out to compelling arguments to include hypnosis for depression treatment.
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