Medical hypnosis is the most commonly quoted form of nondrug treatment for cancer pain. The NIH endorses the use of medical hypnosis for the relief of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (Kanitz, Camus, & Seifert, 2013). However, hypnosis is not just used in health care. Hypnosis is also used in business, sports and entertainment for peak performance.
What Qualifications Should Practitioners Have?
A general recommendation by the major hypnosis societies such as the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (SCEH) and the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) is that hypnotists should hold advanced degrees. Such degrees could be in medicine, psychology, dentistry, or other health care professions. The societies encourage consumers to use due diligence when seeking a hypnotherapist to work with.
Werner’s Qualifications in Medical Hypnosis?
Werner is a member of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (SCEH), for which he edits the FOCUS newsletter as well.
Werner received the 2013 Crasilneck Award, for the best first paper presented by a graduate student or young scientist at an SCEH meeting. The paper presented was “What are the Effects of Clinical Hypnosis on the Modulation of Cytokines: A Systematic Review.”
Werner also received the Dr. Herbert Spiegel Award in 2012 for best poster “Hypnosis as a Non-Pharmaceutical Intervention to Keep the Tumorigenic Switch in the OFF Position?” For Werner’s full bio click here.
Recently Werner completed a research project that involved 25 breast cancer survivors. The project is titled “Medical Hypnosis and the Cytokine Milieu in Breast Cancer Patients.” Data analysis is ongoing, and results will be available by the end of April 2015. The aim of the research project is to investigate potential immunomodulatory effects of medical hypnosis via the expression of interleukin 1-beta (IL-1β), a proinflammatory cytokine,
What Can You Expect From Your Hypnosis Appointment
Please consider the following “definition and description” offered by the APA’s Division 30:
Hypnosis typically involves an introduction to the procedure during which the subject is told that suggestions for imaginative experiences will be presented. The hypnotic induction is an extended initial suggestion for using one’s imagination, and may contain further elaborations of the introduction. A hypnotic procedure is used to encourage and evaluate responses to suggestions. When using hypnosis, one person (the subject) is guided by another (the hypnotist) to respond to suggestions for changes in subjective experience, alterations in perception, sensation, emotion, thought or behavior. Persons can also learn self-hypnosis, which is the act of administering hypnotic procedures on one’s own. If the subject responds to hypnotic suggestions, it is generally inferred that hypnosis has been induced. Many believe that hypnotic responses and experiences are characteristic of a hypnotic state. While some think that it is not necessary to use the word “hypnosis” as part of the hypnotic induction, others view it as essential (Green, Barabasz, Barrett, & Montgomery, 2005, p. 89).
Dr. Herbert Spiegel of Columbia University and Dr. Marcia Greenleaf of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine propose a slightly different approach. This approach reflects well on Werner’s understanding of the hypnotic phenomenon and the “heightened, intense focus on one particular thing” taking place in hypnosis. It is worthwhile to mention it here as well:
“We offer a definition of hypnosis (or trance) as an animated, altered, integrated state of focused consciousness, that is, controlled imagination. It is an attentive, receptive state of concentration that can be activated readily and measured” (Spiegel & Greenleaf, 2005, p. 113).
Whatever definition you might find appealing, the most important point is to do your homework to see whether you could benefit from hypnosis.
What is the Next Step?
If you want an answer to the question “When is Hypnosis Used?” and to find out if you could benefit from hypnosis, please fill out the form below or contact us at (616) 607-7360. We will get in touch with you to schedule a FREE 30 minutes first consultation session, in person or on the phone. The first hypnosis consultation is necessary for you to choose whether Werner is a practitioner you want to work with. The first consultation session will give you the opportunity to ask questions, meet Werner (or talk on the phone with him), and learn more about hypnosis and if hypnosis even is indicated in your particular situation.
Kanitz, J. L., Camus, M. E. M., & Seifert, G. (2013). Keeping the balance – an overview of mind–body therapies in pediatric oncology. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 21, S20–S25. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2012.02.001
Spiegel, H., & Greenleaf, M. (2005). Commentary: Defining hypnosis. The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 48(2-3), 111–116.