Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hypnosis as the New OTC?

Although it is vital to follow the treatment advice of one's physician, it never ceases to amaze me as to the degree to which American mindset seems indoctrinated by the notion that one must generally take a prescription or OTC pill, in order to feel better. Recent news headlines even reaffirmed this notion, by suggesting that during these financially challenging times, some people are even beginning to favor less expensive OTC herbal alternatives to their prescription medications for sleep.

Nonetheless, I believe that effective non-pill alternatives are often not given the respect that they deserve. Even if one's doctor concurs with its safety and efficacy, I doubt that non-pill remedies are typically considered. I am primarily referring to the well-researched intervention of clinical hypnosis. Unfortunately, its misconceptions and stigmas tend to relegate hypnosis to an often overlooked option.

As a psychologist, I do understand that clinical hypnosis is actually considered one of the most effective ways to address a wide variety of concerns, including stress management, many forms of pain management, sleeplessness, and smoking cessation. Hypnosis is a phenomenon that is basically an exercise in deep meditation. Once in a deeply relaxed state, one's mind develops a natural, heightened focus. It is this fixed concentration that affords one the unique ability to benefit from "post-hypnotic suggestions." These suggestions are analogous to a seed being planted within one's subconscious mind. Assuming the suggestions are consistent with desired treatment goals, the hypnotized person is likely to experience a positive benefit from the intervention.

Nowadays, instead of "Over-The-Counter," when indicated, many could likely benefit from professional self-hypnosis downloaded for free, "Over-The-Internet." Beforehand, it is important to ensure that one's physician approves the switch and has determined that the treated symptoms are not signs of more serious medical conditions.

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