I once considered hypnosis to be nothing more than hocus-pocus. The word conjured up images of nightclub acts, during which random audience members were called to the stage, and the “hypnotist” revealed intimate facts about their lives. Later, it would be discovered that a close friend or family member had supplied the information prior to the act. Or that audience members were “plants” — people hired to act surprised when facts about them were revealed.
Then I read a newspaper article about a local woman who was honored with a lifetime achievement award by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. That caught my attention. Maybe there was more to hypnosis than I knew?
Subsequent research revealed an entire medical field called hypnotherapy. It is administered only by certified healthcare professionals with postgraduate degrees, and requires a prescribed number of hours of approved hypnotherapy training. This was about as far from the flimflam world of night clubs as you can get!
At the time, I was struggling with severe insomnia and was unable to tolerate any of the sleep medications I’d been prescribed. Hypnotherapy was not covered by my insurance, and the cost was way beyond my budget. But I was desperate for sleep.
Hypnotherapy was my last resort. I made an appointment with the award-winning provider I’d read about in the newspaper.
After reviewing my medical history, the doctor invited me to sit in a comfortable recliner and lean back. She asked me to record the treatment on my phone. For the next 30 minutes, her soft, soothing voice put me into a calm, receptive state. She directed my mind to turn off any wandering thoughts, to focus on the present moment, and eventually to drift off into complete slumber. At no time during the treatment was I asleep or unconscious. I just felt relaxed.
I was instructed to play the recording at bedtime each night. I was still skeptical. But from the first night, I fell asleep easily while listening to the recording. As an added bonus, I slept soundly all night.
Although the cost prevented me from receiving more treatments, that one recording was all that I needed to create an effective sleep routine. I return to the recording whenever I notice a pattern of sleep difficulty. After a few nights, my body gets back into a routine — no more insomnia!
My skepticism about hypnosis has disappeared. In addition to learning what a powerful tool hypnotherapy can be, this experience taught me another valuable lesson: Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.
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