The Benefits of Using Hypnosis in a Pediatric Setting

(NaturalNews) Hypnotherapy is a natural and safe form of relaxation. The person receiving hypnosis is always in control whether the hypnosis is being administered by a licensed hypnotherapist or through self-hypnosis. Hypnosis is particularly effective in children, because it often requires creative visualization. This imagery easily allows children to be in a relaxed state. Being in a state of hypnosis allows children to work on a various number of things such as pain and anxiety, in a productive and natural way. O'Grady and Hoffmann (1986) evaluated the use of hypnosis in a pediatric setting. Hypnosis was found to be highly successful when children have high expectations from hypnotherapy, a good relationship with their hypnotherapist, and the ability to be hypnotized. They also found that success was more prominent when the children and parents had a positive relationship with the pediatrician.

These researchers looked at cases in which children used hypnosis. Looking at one particular pediatric hospital, they found that 5% of the children were using hypnosis to improve their symptoms. The study found three particular areas that have shown to improve symptoms in children when using hypnosis. One symptom includes pain. Hypnosis enables children to control pain, reducing the severity and reducing the frequency of painful episodes. Another symptom that hypnosis can improve is anxiety in children. Hypnosis allows children to relax and cognitively reduce anxiety and stress. The third area that hypnosis can help children with is undesirable habits. Hypnotherapy allows children to replace negative behaviors and habits with positive ones through the power of suggestibility.

Goldberg (1987) studied the benefits of psychoanalysis in changing behavior. He found that psychoanalysis was more effective when combined with hypnosis in changing behaviors. Hypnosis works by reprogramming negative behaviors using positive suggestions. These negative behaviors, in time become positive behaviors. This has many potential benefits in helping children change their negative behavior patterns into positive behavior patterns.

Another method of hypnosis that has been found to have many potential benefits in children is the use of self-hypnosis (Gardner, 1981). Self-hypnosis allows children to perform hypnosis on themselves at any time they choose. It allows them to be in control of their symptoms when and where they want. Self-hypnosis works best when both children and parents are open to the idea of learning and practicing hypnosis.

Hypnosis has many potential benefits when used with children. Whether a child is suffering from pain from cancer or they are showing hyperactivity behavior with ADHD, hypnosis can help improve their symptoms in a natural and safe way. Hypnotherapy uses the power of positive suggestions to help children reprogram their subconscious minds so that they are in control of their symptoms.


Gardner, G.G. (1981). Teaching self-hypnosis to children. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 29(3), 300-312.

Goldberg, B. (1987). Hypnotherapy: A combined approach using psychotherapy and behavior modification. Psychology: A Quarterly Journal of Human Behavior, 24(3), 37-40.

O'Grady, D.J. & Hoffmann, C. (1986). Use of hypnosis by psychologists in a pediatric setting: Establishing and maintaining credibility. Retrieved from ERIC database. ERIC ID: ED272813.

Use Hypnosis to Achieve New Year Resolutions

Friday, January 30, 2009 by: Cindie Leonard, citizen journalist

(NaturalNews) "What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve," Napolean Hill. It is almost February. How are you doing with your New Year's resolutions? If you've been successful, congratulations! If not, why not try hypnosis, an effective, scientifically proven tool to help you reach your goals?

Hypnotherapy works. Quite simply, hypnosis is a deep state of relaxation where your subconscious mind is more receptive to ideas and suggestions. It has been described as 'half-awake, half-asleep'. It is very similar to that 'miles away' feeling you probably find yourself in from time-to-time when you let your mind wander. Hypnotic states are characterized by a tremendously pleasant state of relaxation.

Everyone experiences the state of hypnosis many times during the day, including that time just before falling asleep at night. Meditation, daydreaming, being absorbed in a book or music or television, driving and arriving at your destination without recalling all the usual landmarks, ... these are a few examples of the state of hypnosis.

Hypnosis is a natural and effective technique for accessing the subconscious mind - the key to unleashing our potential, changing our unwanted habits and behaviors, and finding solutions to our problems and concerns.

You may associate hypnosis with people on stage quacking like a duck or disco dancing while thinking they are wearing fins. Stage hypnosis is real and fun. It is important to note that the participants are all more than willing to be silly. Trained stage hypnotists choose their subjects carefully. The subjects desire the attention, are open to suggestion, and are prescreened to be easily hypnotized. In other words, they choose to quack like a duck in front of an audience.

As with stage hypnosis, it is crucial that you understand that ALL HYPNOSIS IS SELF HYPNOSIS. You can feel perfectly safe under hypnosis. You will never do anything that is not in line with your wishes. Your conscious and subconscious mind will reject any suggestion for which you do not fully agree.

Let's use weight loss as an example. Hypnosis is a powerful tool for people genuinely motivated to lose weight. In a study of 60 women separated into hypnosis versus non-hypnosis groups, the group using hypnosis lost an average of 17 pounds, while the non-hypnosis group lost an average of only a half pound.

In another study, two dieting groups (one using hypnosis, another not using hypnosis) were followed over the course of two years. The hypnosis group continued to get results, the non-hypnosis group did not.

In a meta-analysis study, results demonstrated that adding hypnosis to weight loss treatment increased weight loss by an average of 97% during treatment, and even more importantly, increased the effectiveness of post treatment by over 146%.

Hypnosis can produce life-long positive changes in the manner in which you approach dining. A typical session might include the following:

Induction- (counting backwards, staring at an object, and/or progressive relaxation). Progressive relaxation is a process of relaxing all of your muscles, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. This will allow your conscious mind to relax, making way for your subconscious mind to receive the suggestions you desire.

Deepening technique- (usually counting backwards). This, somehow, signals the brain to go deeper into relaxation.

Imagery- Visualization works because certain areas of the mind cannot distinguish between what you see with your eyes and what you see in your mind. You can manipulate your mind and body to believe that what you are visualizing is real. You can insert any visualization that brings you a sense of beauty and peace. The purpose of this section is to tap the pleasure centers of your brain, putting you in a more conducive frame of mind to make positive changes in your perception of yourself, and it also serves to relax you even further. Examples are a tropical beach, a mountain cabin, a spring meadow, or any place that brings you a sense of tranquility. It is very important that the imagery is congruent with your likes and dislikes. For example, if you are not fond of birds, the phrase, "imagine the sound of the seagulls flying overhead..." might snap you right out of your relaxed trance.

Suggestions- Once deeply relaxed, with your subconscious mind receptive to change, you will be given a number of suggestions. One of the most powerful tools of the suggestion process is in "seeing" the outcome. You will "see" yourself at your desired weight. Other highly successful visualizations include seeing yourself dining in a healthful fashion, eating slowly, savoring each bite. Other examples of positive suggestions include: "You crave healthy food. You love fresh, crispy salads full of colorful, dark, rich greens, red, orange, and purple vegetables...You love these antioxidant rich foods. They make you look good; they make you feel good. You eat only lean meats, and you eat only until you are full. You dine sitting down, and you eat slowly..." As with the visualization, the suggestions must be congruent with your dining goals. If you are focused on dining in a low-carb fashion, if your hypnosis session offers a suggestion such as "you crave whole-grain foods," you will sense a contradiction and the session may falter in effectiveness. You should agree 100% with all of the suggestions.

Some people respond to negative suggestions, some do not. Negative suggestions would be something like, "and you have lost your appetite for fatty foods. In fact, fatty foods disgust you, and you can barely stand to look at them. You don't like the way they taste; you don't like the way they look; you don't like the way they make you feel. You are free from temptation." This author, admittedly, had a "thing" for french fries. No longer. Positive suggestions did not work. Only after the suggestion that the vats of fat in which fries are fried are filled with all sorts of unsavory things ... was I able to finally find french fries distasteful. (Seriously, have you ever seen the debris in the french fry vat?)

Affirmations may be a part of this phase. These are similar to the suggestions, but more concise. For example, "I love to dine on healthy foods," "I drink two full glasses of water before beginning any meal," "I exercise at least twenty minutes every day."

Return to consciousness- This last part is simply to bring you back into consciousness, usually by counting up, from 1 to 5. (One, ... you are beginning to become aware of the room right now. Two ... you might want to wiggle your fingers and toes. Move around a little bit. Three ... take a deep breath and as you exhale, smile ... with a happy sense of anticipation that something wonderful is about to happen. Four...slowly, gently, open your eyes. are awake, relaxed, refreshed, and rejuvenated. You feel a sense a quiet confidence you have not felt before.)

Hypnosis is also helpful for smoking cessation, anxiety, pain, and to help you develop positive habits such as exercise.

Keep in mind that hypnosis is not a magical cure. It is simply a tool. An effective tool, if you are in the right frame of mind.

Cochrane, Gordon; Friesen, J. (1986). Hypnotherapy in weight loss treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54, 489-492.

Kirsch, Irving (1996). Hypnotic enhancement of cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments--Another meta-reanalysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64 (3), 517-519.

Allison, David B.; Faith, Myles S. Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy for obesity: A meta-analytic reappraisal. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 1996 Jun Vol 64(3) 513-516