Hypnotherapy represents a rapid, cost-effective, non-addictive and safe alternative to medication for the treatment of anxiety-related conditions, including anxiety associated with cancer, surgery, burns and medical/dental procedures.
In terms of directly addressing your anxiety, there are four anxiety-related problems that hypnotherapy is commonly used to address.
Physical pain and tension (often having roots in emotional tension) can be addressed by hypnotherapy. Addressing and working to alter the beliefs that you have about the triggers for your anxiety can help reduce the frequency and/or intensity of the physically straining symptoms of anxiety such as a rapid heart rate, rapid breathing and shaking. In addition, it can ease feelings of discomfort and strain by implanting the suggestion that you feel more physically comfortable than you actually do.
Along with causing physical strain, constant or frequent anxiety can also put you in a strained emotional state. The bodily energy required by the physical symptoms of anxiety, in combination with the persistent feelings of discontentment and worry, can make you feel drained and/or on edge. Hypnotherapy's general purpose is to put people in a more positive frame of mind, altering unnecessary negative beliefs and implanting more helpful ones. In addressing this symptom, a hypnotherapist may focus on generating the belief that you feel happy, content, and confident in your ability to address and resolve the causes of your anxiety.
Many people with anxiety also have difficulty sleeping well. Getting to sleep in an anxious state and sleeping deeply when nightmares and muscle tension are keeping you awake can be nearly impossible. Therapeutic hypnosis can assist with sleep deprivation by implanting the suggestion that you have gotten plenty of restful sleep recently. Alternatively, or in addition, it can help you to alter your anxious thought patterns so that they do not spiral out of control and keep you awake (as well as causing the panic attacks that can result in muscle tension).
Going to a hypnotherapist for help in conquering a phobia (for example, a fear of social situations or crowded rooms) can be far preferable to regularly taking medication in order to remain calm during everyday activities. A hypnotherapist will help you to replace your unhealthy or irrational beliefs about the object of your phobia with more logically sound and useful beliefs.
Both mild cases of anxiety and clinically diagnosed disorders can result in these side effects. If you have experienced any of the above, finding out whether hypnotherapy works for you may help you to conquer these difficulties and hopefully eliminate them altogether.
Therapy vs. Hypnotherapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) is closely related to hypnosis in that it is based on the idea that some problems are not easily addressed through rational thought, and should instead be addressed through training the person to practice healthier thought patterns and to let go of harmful beliefs.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is used by most therapists who work with patients experiencing anxiety and depression. Unlike hypnosis, it does not require a "trance state", but like hypnosis, it openly addresses your emotional and mental patterns and beliefs in order to influence your behavior.
If you have been diagnosed with anxiety and feel that therapy has improved you condition, hypnotherapy is likely to work for you simply because it operates on similar (and therefore familiar) principles that your mind is already open to.