Complementary cancer therapies
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Hypnotherapy cancer treatment


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What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a therapy which is given while the patient is under hypnosis - a trance-like state of heightened awareness where your subconscious is most suggestable.

It's used to modify a behavior, emotional reaction, dysfunctional habit, or anxiety and can also be used to assist in the treatment of stress-related illness, in pain management, and in personal development.

What is hypnotherapy used for?

Many cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy are administered the drug through a tube, or ‘cannula’, inserted into the arm.

Hypnotherapy is often used to relieve stress and anxiety often experienced before and during invasive treatment. It can help treat depression and is also useful in pain management.

How does hypnotherapy work?

The patient is hypnotized (brought into a ‘trance’-like state of heightened awareness). The therapist then works with the patient by making suggestion to their subconscious to make positive changes to behavior or to reduce physical symptoms.

Although it is mainly a short-term solution, regular sessions can also help reduce emotional and mental problems related to a patient’s long term coping ability.

Hypnotherapy in cancer treatment

Dr Mackereth says: 'We see a lot of needle anxiety occurring among patients and we are using hypnotherapy to prevent that.

‘It can make the experience of cannulation more manageable and the patient is more comfortable with the procedure.’

Dawn O’Reilly* (diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic lymphoma) benefited from hypnotherapy in the form of imagery, which encouraged her to focus on mental images of pleasant experiences.

When coupled with foot massage and aromatherapy, she felt it improved her ability to relax.

Hypnotherapy cancer therapy resources:
Cancer Research UK - hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy Direct - cancer treatments
Just Be Well - help overcome fear of cancer through hypnotherapy


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