What are the side effects of hypnosis?

Hypnosis Overview

Hypnosis, is a trance like state (eg. Daydreaming) when used as a therapy is called “hypnotherapy”. A person will typically experience relaxation and also a heightened singular focus.

During hypnosis a person is able to accept more readily hypnotic suggestions for change. The suggestions can be aimed at unwanted behaviours such as stopping smoking and weight issues.

Whilst a person is more open to suggestions they do not lose control and can open their eyes anytime they want.


What are the benefits of hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy can be an effective method for releasing anxiety and stress. Hypnosis can be particularly effective with anxiety prior to surgery for biopsies and also as part of the post-op recovery

Hypnosis has been researched for other conditions, such as:

·         Pain control. Hypnosis may help with pain due to dental procedure, labour pains, cancer, injury, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis and headaches.

·         Women’s issues. Suggestive hypnosis may especially effective for symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes

·         Men’s issues. Hypnosis can help ease anxiety around prostate problems, impotence and erectile disorder

·         Addictions. Hypnosis can help with alcohol, recreational drugs (marijuana, cannabis, cocaine) use

·         Behaviour and Habit changes. Hypnosis has been used with good outcomes for quitting smoking, alcohol issues, insomnia, bed-wetting, nail-biting and unhealthy lifestyles.

·         Cancer treatment side effects. Hypnosis has been used to reduce the side effects through undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

·         Mental health issues. Hypnotherapy may help treat symptoms of worry, anxiety, stress, phobias and PTSD – post-traumatic stress


Side Effects

Hypnosis when offered by a qualified and trained hypnotherapist therapist or health care professional is deemed to be a safe, complementary and alternative medical treatment. However, Hypnosis might not be the most appropriate therapy or treatment for all conditions such as people who have clinical or manic depression or have a psychosis.

Negative responses to hypnosis are few, but may include:

·         Sleepiness

·         Headache

·         Light-headedness

·         Emotional distress

·         False memory syndrome

A skilled hypnotherapist will use non-leading questions during any exploration of earlier life events in order to avoid suggestions that may lead to false memories.


There is nothing you really need to do to prepare yourself for a hypnotherapy session. In order to be as relaxed as possible it would be best to wear comfortable clothing. Also, make sure that you have not indulged in alcoholic drinks or used drugs as this can affect the session.

It is best to opt for a hypnotherapist whose website or communication seems to have a rapport with you. You can check a hypnotherapist’s experience and credentials via their website and also the memberships. They should belong to at least one national hypnotherapy association. Hypnotherapy associations provide a code of ethics that all therapists must abide by. A personal recommendation is the best way to find a hypnotherapist and some websites due provide hypnotherapist reviews

Questions that can help you choose a therapist are :-

·         What training have you had?

·         Are you a member of a hypnotherapy association?

·         How long have you been in practice?

·         What experience do you have of helping my condition?

·         How many hypnosis sessions will I need?

·         What are your fees, and terms of service?


What you can expect at your Hypnosis Session

Your hypnotherapist will describe the process of hypnosis and take note of your treatment goals. The therapist will generally guide you through a series of words that encourage your imagination and focus around relaxation.

When the therapist judges that you have reached a ready state, they will offer suggestions for you to achieve your stated goals. This might be to let go of anxiety and replace it with calmness. It might to let go of anger and replace it with acceptance. Suggestions may be aimed at behaviours such as smoking or at pain reduction. The therapist may encourage your mind to imagine how you want to be such as giving that speech with confidence.

When the session is nearing completion the hypnotherapist will usually count from 1 up to 10 and ask you to open your eyes. They will give you a little time to be fully back consciously.


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