When someone thinks of hypnosis, they might think of a stage magician providing entertainment for a crowd. They might also think of a movie that portrayed hypnosis only as a technique for memory retrieval. However, hypnosis has many more beneficial uses that are particularly attractive in today's society.
Hypnosis can be used as an alternative to anesthesia when other methods of pain reduction fall short. It can be used during childbirth instead of an epidural. It can also be used during surgeries and burn treatments. Many dentists use hypnosis in their treatment of patients instead of a local anesthetic.
One of the benefits of using hypnosis instead of anesthesia is that needles are never required. Many people are afraid of needles and would almost rather feel the pain than get an injection. Another benefit is that the possible reactions to hypnosis (anxiety, false memories, headaches, dizziness, etc.) are much better than the possible complications of anesthesia (infections, heart attacks, death, etc.)
Hypnosis can help individuals with weight loss, which is extremely important to individuals today. This method of hypnosis, called the virtual gastric band, causes the same effects a surgical gastric band does, in that it makes the stomach seem full after eating just a small amount of food.
A surgical or virtual gastric band does this by physically placing a band around the upper part of the stomach, which prevents the stomach from getting full while still sending the feeling of "fullness" to the brain. Hypnosis, on the other hand, convinces the brain that the stomach is smaller than it actually is, which helps the individual eat less.
The main benefit of the virtual gastric band is that no surgery is required. Any surgery poses a risk to the individual receiving it, and this particular surgery actually inserts a foreign object into the body. Recovery time is long and painful and treatment is ongoing. According to Sheila Granger, a professional in hypnotherapy, the virtual gastric band is a quick, easy, no-risk procedure that does not require further treatment. It also comes with no pain and without the normal fear and anxiety that appears before surgery.
Many people suffer from low self-esteem. They try losing weight, fixing their teeth, learning a skill, etc., but these things don't improve their confidence. Hypnosis can be used to help these individuals change their views of themselves. It is done in a series of sessions where the therapist puts the individual under hypnosis and helps them to focus on the positive. This helps them to re-frame their experiences and thoughts to become more positive.
Self-esteem is very difficult to improve without help, which is why hypnosis is so beneficial. Some people think that changing their appearance or increasing their intelligence will automatically change their view of themselves, but it's not that easy. Hypnosis actually works on their minds to change their negative thought processes to positive. It is easy, painless, and much more successful than trying to improve self-esteem without help.
Although hypnosis is commonly viewed as comical or only pertaining to memory retrieval, it is very helpful in increasing self-esteem, losing weight, and reducing pain. There are many more practical uses of hypnosis, but these are the three that are the most appealing to society today.