Answer: Hypnosis is a subject of fascination for a great many people, and it seems that as soon as someone discovers I’m a hypnotist, often in a casual conversation on a plane, they immediately ask “Can you help me quit smoking?” It’s ironic, that the thing hypnosis is most known for is actually one of the things it’s least effective for! Now don’t get me wrong. There are thousands of people who’ve successfully used hypnosis to quit smoking. I suspect though, that there are also thousands upon thousands of people who’ll testify that they were hypnotized to quit smoking but it didn’t work. In my own practice, I found that many people were not ready to quit at all and weren’t motivated. They seemed to think that I could put them in a trance and command them to never smoke again, and that would be the end of it. Naturally, hypnosis wasn’t successful in those cases. When someone is really motivated to quit, and have reached what’s known as threshold, hypnosis can be a real help, so it can work for smoking cessation. It’s just that most people don’t realize that there are other areas where hypnosis really shines, the most noteworthy being pain management. In fact, when I’m asked what hypnosis is good for, I’ll answer, lots of things. But it’s GREAT for pain control.
When you’re in a relaxing hypnotic trance, the brush endings of your nerves move further apart, making it more difficult for pain impulses to cross. Also, hypnosis causes dissociation, or a sense of disconnectedness, which is a great way to minimize pain. A hypnotized person can gain access to the unconscious mind’s Control Room, and simply turn the pain down lower, or change the quality of the pain, so it becomes discomfort or pressure, either of which will cause a shift in how the pain is perceived.
There are a lot of ways hypnosis can help you, but pain control is an area with a long and successful history. If you suffer from chronic pain, I highly recommend you find a skilled hypnotherapist who can work with your doctor and make your life a lot more manageable and fulfilling.