Medical and Dental Hypnosis can help you "help yourself", once you know how!
Therapeutic Hypnosis in Medicine and Dentistry is entirely different to the theatrical Stage Hypnosis sillyness seen on TV.
In TV entertainment-type Stage Hypnosis one observes extroverts get permission to be, well, extrovert. Remember they have chosen to go up onto a stage publically and then act silly along with the other extroverts who are there too!
Medical and Dental Hypnosis is entirely different and puts you MORE in control, as much as you need to be to overcome a fear or a barrier that is stopping you do what you want to do - I suppose it should really be called "Self-Hypnosis" because it is about teaching you the techniques to use whenever you need or want to.
Hypnosis is all about using your mental skills to improve some aspect of your life. Sportsmen and Women are using Hypnosis more and more now to improve their performance. It is also good at helping them focus on their goals and to be relaxed enough so that the emotions of the day do not spoil their months/years of preparation. Remember Lyndford Christie's false starts costing him the race?
Medical and Dental Professionals have patient care as a central part of their approach anyway, so providing Hypnosis in this caring environment provides the expertise and confidence that your needs are being cared for Professionally. Hypnosis is just ONE of their many skills. Clearly you have to be alert to use Hypnosis in sports. You have to be aware of all that is around you, but be focused on your goal (eg: the finishing line). Hypnosis requires the ability to concentrate and understand some simple relaxation exercises, by a skilled hypnotherapist , that's it, it's got nothing to do with sleep ,indeed you need to be mentally alert to get the most out of it, though some people find it very relaxing to be more in control of course.
So Hypnosis is no big mystery. Anyone can benefit and anyone who can concentrate can do it for themselves.
The hypnotherapist is simply the "coach", maximising the skills you already have (eg: willpower, relaxation, determination, motivation etc.) but you may not be using to their full potential yet. Then you are shown how to control these at will, just when you need them most.
Hypnosis is about putting you MORE in control, not less!
Most members of the public do not realise this basic truth. If ever there was a subject about which so much rubbish is written, Hypnosis would come top. Hypnosis is NOT sleep, you do NOT lose control, you know EXACTLY what you are doing, totally.
So why is there so much misunderstanding about Hypnosis generally?
Mainly because most people don't know the truth about the science behind hypnosis, but perhaps they have seen stage hypnosis acts or read about certain unscrupulous, unqualified hypnotherapists in the papers. The "unscrupulous" part has everything to do with the person, NOT the hypnosis.
Just like an unscrupulous businessperson in the papers, it would be wrong to reject all "business" because of that particular person concerned.
I am often asked, is stage hypnosis real? Some bits are real, but much is deception of the audience. For example, volunteers are often asked to come forward, so this subtly extracts the extroverts out from the audience (why would an introvert go up on stage?). Some suggestibility exercises are done with this group to see who is most up for a laugh. The rest are sent away. Why is that then? Simply because most ordinary people don't want to be silly, though it is sometimes suprising to see someone you know to be "usually" quite, volunteer for the show! It's a bit like a "Britain's got Talent" rejects show at times.
These "super-extroverts" soon start to compete as the suggestions get more outrageous and the Audience responses get more encouraging. Those that don't, get sent away quietly, leaving the most outragous people to play their version of "Simon says...." with the stage Hypnotist. It's all a "show", but not "real" hypnosis!
You might wonder WHY would anyone be so silly on a stage, but again look what people who can't sing or dance do on some Talent Contest shows and what about yourself, have ever sung in the shower, or dreamed of being a pop-star or imagined yourself being famous? For some people then stage hypnosis allows you to act out your fantasies, with the GREAT excuse of the event being responsible for the "extrovert" behaviour they may have displayed (remember, real introverts don't usually volunteer to go up in front of an audience, but some people wish to be extrovert but have supressed it!) and if surrounded by people being more silly or competitive, you may get sucked in to trying to out do the others too. But that's a normal range of human behaviour in groups and you may have observed this in other places such as at weddings, parties or even negative group behaviour at football matches etc.
Where else do people act silly on stage without involving Hypnosis?
If you want to see people who don't look much like Elvis, don't sound much like Elvis, but are giving it their 100% hip swinging Elvis extravaganza and all that, go to any Kareoke bar!!! Many look and sound ridiculous, carrying on even though those watching are laughing at them!
No hypnosis involved there, just an extrovert with an attentive audience. It's free too, so you won't be financing any "dubious" stage hypnotists either.
Again Stage Hypnosis just exagerates the "Kareoke" behaviour effect, letting extroverts be even more extrovert - sometimes they embarress themselves so much, they claim not to remember (or wish not to remember!) afterwards. No mystery here either, the same is true of any embarrassing behaviour, after the event, where denial or minimising what happened in the cold light of day, is a normal reaction too.
Sadly Stage Hypnosis shows simply "mis-represents" what proper Medical Hypnosis is really all about, which is more self-control, not less!
I would also think that they confuse both the audience and their "victims" on stage, without "proper" information or consent.
Certainly with stage Hypnotists, they don't seem to take medical histories, follow up their "volunteers" after that day or care "professionally" for their mental and physical well-being. Most seem to "abuse" their participants care, by ridiculing them publically, for "entertainment" purposes only!
Not very ethical by anyone's standards, but until someone changes the laws to protect the public from such abuse, Stage Hypnosis is not illegal either.
How do I find a reputable Hypnotherapist?
This is probably the most difficult one to answer, because there are a lot of "useless" qualifications out there, with Hypnosis (and Psychology, by the way) being totally unregulated. Any fool can put up a sign and call themselves a "Psychologist" or "Hypnotherapist". Isn't that crazy?
There are also many Degrees or Qualifications that don't mean anything but sound very grand, which were essentially just bought after a short course.
Here are my recommendations, for what they are worth:
1. Ask your Dentist, Doctor, Health Board or PCT for their recommendations.
2. Go to someone who is already Medically or Dentally Qualified and has also had further training in Hypnosis.
3. Contact The British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis (BSCAH), which was formed in 2007 by the merger of these two professional societies BSMDH and BSECH, where BSMDH was for mainly Doctors and Dentists and BSECH was for mainly Psychologists. Try this link www.bscah.com to search for a practitioner who is also a regulated healthcare Professional, for your assurance.
4. Go on the British Dental Association web-site www.bda.org and look under find-a-dentist, using hypnosis as a search. Do the same on the BMA web-site too.
5. If all those methods fail, go by reputation and recommendation to a Hypnotherapist who has other qualifications additional to hypnosis.
Hypnosis has been (and continually is) validated by the scientific community. Many published papers in refereed scientific journals show hypnosis to be quick, effective and safe, when applied by skilled Practitioners.
My personal qualifications include a University diploma in Clinical Hypnosis, and I am happy to see Dental Patients directly or Medical patients on referral from their Doctor or Psychologist for medical problems too. Patients also have the re-assurance that my professionalism is controlled, checked and indeed receives awards for the quality of our patient care in an area outside of my hypnosis training and skills too.
We have many examples of patients who have got back in control of something they felt out of control of. If you weren't born with a condition, then Hypnosis can be an effective way to help YOU help yourself improve, in any way you choose.