Hypnotism “Legitimate” Health Care Treatment

Hypnotism is becoming a more mainstream medical treatment, particularly for pain management, according to the Mayo Clinic Health Letter. It also has a track record of being an effective headache treatment. From the Mayo Clinic:

“A trance often can be induced most quickly in people who are in severe pain. A therapist may suggest that the pain will fade or that an area of pain will become numb. In some cases, hypnosis works as well or better than pain-relieving medications.

“Hypnosis is generally considered safe, but it only works in patients who are compliant. In other words, hypnosis can’t make people act against their own wills. Psychiatrists, psychologists and other health care providers with training in hypnosis can offer medical hypnotism. It’s important to verify that the therapist has experience in treating the medical condition, too.”

In Hypnosis: An Altered State of Consciousness, another Mayo Clinic article, hypnosis and its application to health care is well-described, including what it is, who it’s for, how it works. It also debunks common myths.

The emphasis placed on finding a good provider got my attention. One article says that you should be as careful in finding a hypnotherapist as you are in choosing a doctor.

Hypnosis as a practice is not regulated in most states, so it pays to be very careful when selecting a therapist. Certified lay
hypnotherapists are individuals who have completed 200 or more hours of training in hypnosis but don’t have additional professional health care training. Licensed health care professionals who practice hypnotherapy, such as psychologists, doctors and social workers, are trained in
hypnosis in addition to their university training.

Apply the same care in choosing a hypnotherapist as you would a doctor. Ask someone you trust for recommendations. When you find a potential hypnotherapist, ask questions such as:

  • Do you have training in a field such as psychology, medicine, social work or dentistry?
  • Are you licensed in your specialty in this state?
  • Where did you go to school, and where did you do your internship, residency or both?
  • If you’re a lay hypnotist, how much training have you had and from what school?
  • What professional organizations do you belong to?
  • How long have you been in practice?
  • What are your fees?

2 thoughts on “Hypnotism “Legitimate” Health Care Treatment”

  1. I just wanted to thank you again, Kerrie, for this website. It is the first place I go for more information on migraines. And it reminds me that I’m not alone in this search for healing.

    You’re so kind. Thank you.


  2. The late William Kroger PhD. stated “One is not treated with hypnosis but rather through hypnosis” This statement needs to be resonated through the medical community. Teaching one to hypnotize can be accomplished in 20 minutes; hypnotherapy can take years to master. In the State of Indiana Hypnotherapy is regulated through certification code 25-20.5-1. Certified hypnotist are required to have at least 500 classroom hours and pass the state exam. A certified hypnotist is also deemed a licensed practitioner. Unfortunately, many in the healthcare profession are exempt from this code and practice hypnosis without adequate training in hypnotherapy. I agree with your assessment on how to fine a qualified hypnotist, and would add that rapport between therapist and patient is primary for successful treatment.
    It is also recommended to use licensed practitioners certified in Hypnotherapy.
    Richard L Erickson, LPHt.
    Chairman, Indiana state hypnotist committee

    Thanks for the information!


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