Hypnotherapy, a type of mind-body medicine, is derived from western psychotherapeutic practice. Patients are put into an advanced state of relaxation and focused concentration to help them change their behavior and thus improve their health. They become absorbed in the images presented by the hypnotherapist and are relatively distracted from but not unconscious of their surroundings and the experiences they are undergoing. Some patients learn to hypnotize themselves.
Hypnotherapy is used to treat pain syndromes, phobias, and conversion disorders and has been used with some success to manage smoking cessation and weight loss. It can reduce pain and anxiety during medical procedures in adults and children. It may be useful in irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, asthma, and some skin disorders (eg, warts, psoriasis). It may help lower BP.
Hypnotherapy helps control nausea and vomiting (particularly anticipatory) related to chemotherapy and is useful in palliative cancer care. Some evidence suggests that hypnotherapy helps lessen anxiety and improve quality of life in patients with cancer.