Anxiety Hypnotherapy- What is it and Does it Work?

It is often claimed that we are born with certain fears and logic tells us that some fears are necessary to our survival. For example a person crossing a road being wary of approaching traffic or a soldier in a war zone scanning their environment for attackers are both valid and rational forms of fear.

Anxiety is the body’s way of telling us something is wrong and can serve to protect us. However, people suffering with anxiety disorder find it hard to control their fears and worries and the constant worrying affects their everyday lives.

Experiencing constant anxiety is both physically and mentally draining and the sheer exhaustion it causes can affect their ability to function.More than 1 in 10 people will suffer with extreme anxiety at some point in their lives and it is a growing problem;The Telegraph recently reported that the number of people diagnosed with anxiety disorders and panic attacks more than quadrupled; from 754 in 2006/2007to 17,470 in 2010/2011.

Anxiety HypnotherapyAccording to the NHS Anxiety can take many forms, from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) to Panic Attacks and Phobias. A person’s vulnerability to anxiety related problems may increase with reduced levels of social support but it is determined by a number of factors which can only be understood in context of their history and current situation.With the stresses of everyday life it is easy to develop fears, phobias and anxieties and more often than not they are just temporary responses to a stressful situation, but if the difficulties persist long term a person may need help reversing the changes that have taken place in their mind.

Where Can You Turn For Help?

Some people turn to their GP and are prescribed tranquillisers for facing events that cause them anxiety, such as flying for example, but drugs are a chemical fix and they only provide temporary relief. There are alternative treatments available that are based on learning to understand your anxieties and these offer techniques on dealing with stress and anxiety triggers. In terms of your health and happiness these could offer better long term solutions.

For example, at The Therapy Lounge they use Advanced Clinical Hypnotherapy, Neuro Linguistic programming and the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, all of which work on the premise that fears are mainly learned behaviours that can be unlearned with the right guidance.A combination of these treatments is often used for anxiety and WebMD states that Hypnotherapy can improve the success of other treatments for phobias, fears and anxiety.

It may be particularly useful for anxiety sufferers as in an induced state of deep relaxation they may be more open to the suggestion of changing certain thoughts and patterns of behaviour in order to improve the way they deal with fear or worry inducing situations.Worrying can develop into a cycle of increasing anxiety if irrational beliefs are not challenged, hypnotherapy’s aim is to help seek out the root cause of anxiety and retrain the mind on a conscious and unconscious level in order to permanently change a person’s perceptions so that their particular problem can be tackled head on to ensure it doesn’t recur.

Is There Any Evidence Behind the Theory?

The charity Anxiety UK reports that it has had consistent positive feedback about hypnotherapy. Its members found it easy and straightforward and claimed that it addressed the problem from the very first session enabling them to feel more confident and motivated. Evidence in its favour is not limited to the anecdotal however.

Since the Victorian era literature has pointed towards hypnotherapy showing most promise in the treatment of anxiety and stress related conditions. More recently, a 2010 report from Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics found compelling evidence that it may help manage health problems related to anxiety, such as irritable bowel syndrome and headaches.Even Medical Doctors recognise it as a valid treatment for anxiety; Dr Miller of the Harvard Medical School reports on a study involving patients undergoing hypnosis prior to surgery.

Their anxiety levels regarding the surgery were 56% lower than pre-hypnosis whereas the patients who didn’t receive hypnosis reported an increase in anxiety of 47% once they entered the operating theatre. In his analysis of the effects of hypnotherapy on anxiety Dr. Gerard V. Sunmen notes that it can decrease anticipatory anxiety and allow the patient to regain control over the relaxation process and in doing so improve their self-esteem and motivation levels.

A recent comparison study by the American Health Magazine of therapies commonly used to treat anxiety disorders proved hypnotherapy to be the fastest and most effective form of treatment. It reported a 93% recovery rate after just 6 sessions compared with Psychoanalysis’ 38% recovery rate after a massively prolonged 600 sessions.

Could Hypnotherapy Work For You?

Such evidence based studies demonstrate that hypnotherapy has been clinically proven to work for the participants of the studies, but whether it will work for any particular person depends on a number of factors including how determined they are to be free of anxiety, how long and how severely they have suffered, and finding the right approach for their particular disorder. They also have to participate with their full attention because it can only work if they believe it can work.

A good therapist from a reputable practice should offer a complimentary consultation to evaluate your condition and see if you are a good candidate for treatment. This also gives you the opportunity to check rapport with the therapist and ask any questions you may have. Trying to be brave and change by rational thought alone often makes matters worse because when we focus on a problem we tend to amplify it in our mind, thus entering a vicious cycle of negative thoughts.

If you find it hard to remember the last time you felt relaxed and you think it’s time to replace negative emotions with a more positive attitude towards life then hypnotherapy could be the answer. If you are interested in finding out more see you can overcome anxiety using hypnotherapy please see Thetherapylounge.com for further information.


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