Hypnotherapy is a type of complementary therapy that uses hypnosis, which is an altered state of consciousness. Hypnosis is widely promoted as a treatment for various long-term conditions and for breaking certain habits. You're fully in control when under hypnosis and don't have to take on the therapist's suggestions if you don't want to. If necessary, you can bring yourself out of the hypnotic state. Hypnosis doesn't work if you don't want to be hypnotised.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Losing weight and quitting smoking
Overweight or obesity
Anxiety, pregnancy and childbirth
Some studies suggest that hypnotherapy can be beneficial for childhood eczema. It may also be useful for treating other minor skin conditions, especially those made worse by stress, if used alongside medicine.
Hypnotherapy is widely promoted as a treatment for anxiety, although a systematic review of the effectiveness of hypnosis for the treatment of anxiety found there wasn't enough good evidence to support this.
Hypnotherapy is practised by some doctors, dentists, psychologists and counsellors, but it's also offered by non-professionals with little training. This is because in the UK, hypnotherapists don't have to join any organisation or have any specific training by law.
You shouldn't use hypnotherapy if you suffer from psychosis or certain types of personality disorder, as it could make these conditions worse.
If you have any type of mental health problem or serious illness, such as cancer, make sure the hypnotherapist is trained in working with your particular condition. Similarly, children should not be hypnotised by anyone who isn't trained to work with this age group
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