As early as the 1950’s, The American Medical Association recognized hypnosis and hypnotherapy as a viable alternative to traditional medicine for various health conditions. Today, with Alzheimer’s fast becoming one of the worlds biggest health problems, more and more people are turning to hypnosis for help. From the laboratory to the living room, it is being proven that hypnosis can slow down the impacts of Alzheimer’s and improve the quality of life for those living with the condition.
Dr Simon Duff, a forensic psychologist, investigated the effects of hypnosis on people living with dementia and compared the treatment to mainstream health-care methods. He found that people living with dementia who had received hypnosis therapy showed an improvement in concentration, memory and socialisation. Relaxation, motivation and daily activities also improved with the use of hypnosis. It also stands to reason that people who notice the onset of dementia may become depressed and anxious. Hypnosis, which is also a tool for relaxation, can really help the mind concentrate on something positive while relieving stress. Dr Dan Nightingale, co-author of the research and a leading dementia consultant, adds that “evidence to date has shown that we can enhance the quality of life for people living with dementia through the correct use of hypnosis. We have now developed a course for clinicians who wish to incorporate hypnosis into health care plans.”
Hypnosis and hypnotherapy can help change both the physiological effects of aging and well as the psychological ones. Hypnosis is commonly used to regulate the heartbeat and slow down bleeding in an emergency. By fully engaging your emotions in positive suggestions you are allowing your unconscious mind to heal your body. But your conscious mind has to allow it to. You have to allow it to. When people get older it’s natural to think about times when their body and mind were in a better place. With a simple induction, hypnosis patients can go there and concentrate on that place. With a good hypnotherapist they can stay in that place or return there when they want to. From there they give “permission” for the subconscious to operate. They just have to get their conscious mind out of the way. Simple, but not so easy. A certified hypnotherapist is trained to see the signs of this happening then taking the patient deeper.
Hypnotherapy sessions for seniors with Alzheimer’s is working to help with short term memory retention, memory of significant life events, keeping active and motivation to avoid depressive states. Relaxation techniques as part of an initial induction session taught at The Northwest Hypnosis Institute Hypnosis Certification School is a good start to all of the above. Sessions are also working for Alzheimer’s care givers, which can be a very stressful situation on it’s own. When you’re up against the wall, willingness is not so hard to muster. And willingness is key to progress. Hypnotherapy is again giving us access to the physician within. From there, we have to allow our internal doctor to operate.