Tim Brunson DCH

Welcome to The International Hypnosis Research Institute Web site. Our intention is to support and promote the further worldwide integration of comprehensive evidence-based research and clinical hypnotherapy with mainstream mental health, medicine, and coaching. We do so by disseminating, supporting, and conducting research, providing professional level education, advocating increased level of practitioner competency, and supporting the viability and success of clinical practitioners. Although currently over 80% of our membership is comprised of mental health practitioners, we fully recognize the role, support, involvement, and needs of those in the medical and coaching fields. This site is not intended as a source of medical or psychological advice. Tim Brunson, PhD

Advances in the use of Hypnosis for Medicine, Dentistry and Pain Prevention/Management

Reviewed by Judith E. Pearson, PhD, LPC

Despite the fact that many medical practitioners have been trained in clinical hypnotherapy, this discipline still has a distance to go to achieve full acceptance as an adjunctive therapy in medicine. Advances in the use of Hypnosis for Medicine, Dentistry, and Pain Prevention/Management, edited by Donald C. Brown, MD, could help that effort considerably. This book is compilation of papers on hypnotherapy in medicine, all written by established practitioners who use hypnosis in their medical specialties. The book is the outgrowth of the 6th Frontiers in Hypnosis Assembly in Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2003.

Each paper presents an overview of current practice and research concerning a specific medical application of hypnosis. These applications include pre-surgery anxiety, dental gagging, sleep disorders, obstetrics, psychosomatic illnesses, and, predominantly, pain management. The contributors, combined, cite hundred of research studies; a benefit for readers who want to conduct additional investigation or analysis.

One could say that Advances... is a textbook on mind-body medicine, delving into cellular biology, placebos, neuro-psychology, and the roles of belief, meaning, suggestibility, and the non-conscious mind, all relative to health, illness, healing, and recovery. About one quarter of the book is devoted to dental hypnosis; especially useful for working with patients who exhibit dental phobias, anxiety, or dental gagging. The value of hypnosis in dentistry is often overlooked and this book is good starting point for dentists who want suggestions that put their patients at ease.

I found the section on hypnosis for pain management to be worthwhile reading, as that is an application for practitioners in many settings, including sports medicine, geriatrics, and psychotherapy. Contributor A. Max Chaumette gives an exemplary discussion of the history of hypnotic anesthesia and the use of hypnosis in surgery. The chapter by James Straub and Vicki Straub is right on target with an overview of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) in reducing pain associated with past trauma. These two authors explain how NLP patterns, such as Visual Kinesthetic Dissociation, submodalities, parts work and cognitive restructuring can reduce painful emotions, limiting beliefs, anxiety, and flashbacks.

Contributor Leonora Kuttner writes about the unique considerations of hypnosis in treating pain, anxiety, and sleep disorders with children. Additionally, Dr. Brown makes the case for hypnosis in obstetrics, for easing the discomforts of childbirth and delivery, reducing complications, preventing premature labor, decreasing the mother's anxiety, and improving post-partum outcomes.

While this book gives an excellent overview of medically-related applications of hypnosis, it is not a training manual. Medical practitioners who are inspired to add clinical hypnosis to their skill sets will do well to use this book to spark their motivation to attend certification training programs and continuing education in clinical hypnosis and NLP.

The book's author, Donald C. Brown, M.D. is a consultant in Medical Hypnosis for the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and Founding Director in the Department of Family Medicine, Dalhousie University Medical School in Nova Scotia, Canada.


Judith E. Pearson, Ph.D. is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Executive Director with the National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists. She is an NLP Master Practitioner/Trainer with a counseling practice in Springfield Virginia: Her web site is www.engagethepower.com. She has published The Weight, Hypnotherapy and You Weight Reduction Program: A Manual for NLP and Hypnotherapy Practitioners and recently released a hypnosis CD: Discover Your Learning Genius.

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