Why Use Hypnosis?
In the 1950s, the American Medical Association took notice of hypnosis after a person underwent a thyroidectomy (removal of the thyroid) while in a hypnotic trance induced by a hypnotherapist (Blakeslee, 2005). No other painkiller or anesthesia was used.
Since then, hypnotherapists have made powerful strides toward changing public perception about hypnosis. Doctors continue to use hypnosis to calm their patients, and to ease pain during procedures (Bierman, 1995).
They regularly tell patients how easy recovery will be. Additionally, doctors tell patients that a procedure is common and meets with a high degree of success. Because these phrases are delivered by an authority figure, they act in exactly the same way as hypnotic suggestions and become reality for the person being hypnotized.
More obvious hypnotic suggestions are also sometimes given to patients by doctors trained in hypnosis, and for over a century, dentists have used hypnosis to ease discomfort during dental procedures.
In addition to using hypnotic techniques themselves, doctors and dentists regularly refer patients to hypnotherapists for help with weight loss, smoking cessation and overcoming fears about dental and surgical procedures.
According to the southern Medical Journal (2004), as many as 40% of Americans use some form of complementary and alternative medicine such as chiropractic, acupuncture, herbal supplements and Chinese Medicine.