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21
Press articles / Hypnosis hailed as IBS 'cure'
« Last post by Sally on 21 October, 2008, 10:51:10 PM »
Hypnotherapy may be a cure for irritable bowel syndrome after trials showed it has a 70 per cent success rate.

Doctors claim the mind relaxing technique combats the condition, which causes constipation, diarrhoea, cramps and nausea.

There is currently no cure for IBS, which affects 15 per cent of people.


But tests on more than 60 sufferers showed seven out of 10 benefited from hypnosis sessions.
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Press articles / Hypnosis planned for exam nerves - The Times
« Last post by Sally on 21 October, 2008, 10:41:23 PM »
CHILDREN as young as ten are to be offered hypnosis by an education authority to calm their nerves before exams.
Pupils in the Kirklees area, West Yorkshire, will be taught breathing and meditation exercises to use before national curriculum tests, GCSEs and A levels. If the experiment is successful, psychologists plan to use the techniques to help raise standards in its schools throughout the year.

Dr Phil Jones, the Kirkless Education Authorityís senior educational psychologist and a trained hypnotist, will supervise the trials. He urged parents to forget negative images of stage hypnotists and claimed that he could begin to achieve results within two sessions with volunteer pupils.

Dr Jones said the children, who will work in groups, would not be put in a trance. However, they would experience an ìaltered stateî, which would aid their concentration.

The Kirklees psychologists have used hypnosis with children previously on an individual basis, like other education authorities, Dr Jones said, adding: ìWe have had good results, and parents have been delighted with it.î

Two schools have already expressed interest in the hypnosis scheme.
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NLP / Anchoring with NLP
« Last post by Sally on 21 October, 2008, 10:38:08 PM »
There was some sunshine this weekend while I was writing this! At least here on the sunny south coast of England there was. I went out walking along the sea front with my partner Sara on Saturday morning and it was wonderful; the feeling of sunshine on my face, the smell of the air, the sites of other people out and about and happy, the local land train was shuttling people and their excited children back and forth from Bournemouth pier to Boscombe Pier and my senses were filled � a major event for human neurophysiology (mine anyway!)

The funny thing is, later on that evening when my friends were joking about my pink coloured forehead, I told them that I was really looking forward to summer and as I spoke, I felt the sun on me, imagined the fun I was going to have on the beach, remembered the smell, the amazing feeling of joy that I get from being there, just by anticipating it all.

A natural phenomenon we can replicate with NLP techniques. NLP stands for neuro-linguistic programming, which is just a methodology for helping make changes. We shorten it to NLP for easy understanding.

Without realising it, the time I had spent on the sea front earlier that day had acted as an anchor for the wonderful experience which immediately followed it. The next time I saw & heard the experience, albeit in my mind, my neurology went "I know what happens now" and started to produce the intense physical responses that it 'knew' were coming next.

In the field of NLP, an anchor is any representation in the human nervous system that triggers any other representation. For instance, the word 'sex' will immediately trigger images, sounds etc associated with that word. The word 'chocolate' will trigger different associations. I am not too sure which of those will create the most intense feelings though! These words are anchors. Anchors do not have to be words, they can be a wide range of things.

With NLP, we identify that anchors can operate in any representational system (ie. sight, sound, feeling, smell, taste.) Let me give you some examples;

Tonal: By that, I mean for example, the special way a certain person has of saying your name, like when a friend or family member says it. My mother shouting my name from the depths of my home when I was a child often signalled the fact that she had discovered something that I had done that meant trouble for me! "Adam!" often made me feel what I was in store for.

Tactile: The effect of a certain type of handshake for example, or the sensation of a reassuring hug compared to a loving cuddle. Rekindles all kinds of wonderful feelings.

Visual: The way people respond to certain items of clothing. I recently had lunch with a group of my friends from the town where I grew up and several of them commented on the jacket I was wearing. Now, whenever they see it, it reminds them of those comments and makes them smile.

Olfactory: Like when you smell a certain kind of food being cooked can suddenly have you remembering a time when you were in the school cafeteria.

Gustatory: The taste of your favourite food or the way certain foods can make you remember how you felt when you had it before. Maybe like when you were given soup and a big helping of love and sympathy when you were young and off school because you were poorly. I know every time I eat Heinz Tomato soup it reminds me of just that.


Once again, in the field of NLP, an anchor is any representation in the human nervous system that triggers any other representation. It is conceptually similar to Pavlovian conditioning (ie. bells and salivating dogs; some of Pavlovs findings feature in the field of NLP.

While the anchor I created for the sea front was unintentional, it is possible for you to use this NLP tecnique to anchor yourself intentionally. Have a go at this and learn this NLP technique for yourself��

Fistly, think of an occasion when you had a highly pleasurable, positive or enjoyable experience. See what you saw then (looking out through your own eyes), hear what you heard and feel what you felt. As you feel the sensations increase in intensity, squeeze the thumb & forefinger of your left hand gently together for a few moments, then release them. Now 'break your state' (Eg. by remembering what you had for lunch yesterday.) Squeeze your thumb & forefinger together again, gently pulsing them. The state will return.

To make the most of anchoring with NLP, it is important to really engage in the experience and make it wonderfully vivid in your mind and to then also put effort into recalling it when you first activate your NLP anchor for a few times. Imagine how powerful this can be when you want to feel wonderful if you are home, feeling gloomy. Instead of reaching for the chocolate, you can start to activate your "feel good" anchor.

Every time you want to get motivated to exercise, just activate your enthusiasm anchor. It is a really simple technique of NLP.

This is a simple but powerful NLP technique that can enable you to have access to the states and resources you want, when you want them. The use of thumb & forefinger is an example of a tactile anchor, but you can use any representation to anchor something for yourself or someone else.

Guidelines for setting anchors with NLP;

In order to get a 'strong' anchor for an experience, it is important to

a) Ensure that you have a powerful example of the experience to work with.

b) Anchor in as many representational systems as possible (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, etc).

c) Set the anchor just before the experience peaks.

d) When you activate the anchor, do it accurately. Be precise!

e) With tactile (kinaesthetic) anchors, pulsing the anchor can help to maintain the experience

One of the people who came on one of my NLP training courses was particularly taken with the idea of anchoring. Shortly after the NLP training, one morning his wife offered to make him a cup of tea, and as she did so, he gently tapped the side of his cup with his ring. He repeated this the next few times she made him a cup of tea. After a while, all he had to do was tap the side of his cup subtly with his ring & she would spontaneously offer to get him a cup of tea!! Very Naughty use of NLP, Eh?! Just by creating a sensory representation (tapping the cup) that coincided with her making tea, he was soon able to use that representation as a trigger for what he wanted. He did eventually share his NLP anchoring experience with his wife and you can be sure he makes a lot more tea than she does now!

Now I know that by now some of you may be thinking "But isn't that manipulative?!?" One answer is "Yes, so use it for doing good stuff!"
Another answer is "no." It is no more manipulative than making yourself look good and smell nice when you go out. In those situations you are trying to get people to think the best of you and have a good response to you, a response that you are attempting to anchor through your choice of clothing, grooming and smelly perfume.

Here are some of the sorts of things that I go out of my way to use NLP to anchor whenever I see them or experience them:

- Smiles.

- Laughter.

- Excitement

- Confidence

- Good feelings

- Good performance (especially by waiters & waitresses!)

- Anything that looks good, useful or fun; Achievement and success are especially useful for stopping smoking, reducing weight or growing in confidence.

It's happening all the time anyway:

As I said at the beginning, anchoring with NLP is a naturally occurring phenomenon anyway. You are exposed to it all the time in everything you do. Everyone is doing this stuff all the time, often without really knowing it. All I am inviting you to do is to become conscious of the anchors that you and others are setting (maybe using NLP), and to start using them purposefully to get good results, rather than randomly to get whatever you get. Use NLP with mindfulness.

Taking this a step further;

Recently, I was working with a team of related staff members with regards to doing some NLP consulting with them. I asked them how they would know that the two days had been a great success. One of them said it would have a 'feel good factor' and simultaneously made a gesture with both hands towards his tummy. When I repeated the words 'feel good factor' to him, he nodded in confirmation. Later on, I referred to the feel good factor, and simultaneously used his gesture. Instead of a nod of confirmation, I got a full physiological response, including skin colour changes, posture and energy changes�the full works. His words had been a good anchor, but the words plus the gesture were far more complete. When I used both, I got a full response. I continued to use the anchor throughout the consultation. At no time was he aware that I was using NLP & his anchors � he just had the experience of being really well understood.

You can use NLP anchors to capture and re-use positive experiences for yourself & others. Now have a go at doing this NLP exercise too�

1) Think of an occasion when you had a highly pleasurable, positive or enjoyable experience. See what you saw then (looking out through your own eyes), hear what you heard and feel what you felt. As you feel the sensations increase in intensity, squeeze the thumb & forefinger of your left hand gently together for a few moments, then release them. Now 'break your state' (Eg. by remembering what shoe you put on first today.) Squeeze your thumb & forefinger together again, gently pulsing them. The state will return.

2) Identify something that someone you know already does, and create a subtle anchor. Set the anchor while they are doing the activity. Later, fire your NLP anchor and see what happens. If they do the thing you anchored, then it worked!

3) When you (or someone you are with) are experiencing something you want to have more of, anchor it.

As usual, remember that this stuff is powerful so use your NLP skills wisely. As well, allow yourself to start becoming aware of when it is being used on you. Advertisers, politicians and stand-up comedians all know the power of NLP anchors and use them with great cunning (and to great effect.) Awareness with NLP is the key � have fun.
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Hypnotherapy / Alternative Self Confidence Techniques
« Last post by Graham on 21 October, 2008, 10:34:51 PM »
By Lyta Humpfris

What exactly is self confidence, and can you actually improve it? The dictionary definition is quite simple: "a feeling of trust in one's abilities, qualities, and judgment." A positive sense of self confidence is more than just believing in you. Using self confidence techniques means that you will be able to gain respect for yourself and your abilities that allows you to take risks in life and put one foot in front of the other daily. You can build the number of self confidence techniques you can use with hypnotherapy, and by reading self improvement articles and books.

Where Does Self Confidence Fit in Our Lives?

For many, self confidence and self esteem are troublesome adversaries that people feel the need to overcome. Maybe you are one of them. You may wake up everyday convinced that you are going to fail. You may think about your last big test that you didn't do as well on as you would have liked. Alternatively, you may think of the time you broke the copier at work or other perhaps seemingly trivial events. Many of us base our current state of self esteem on how we performed in the past. The problem with that though is that we tend to focus on what we have done badly in the past, not what we have done well.

However, a lack of self confidence can do more harm than just draining you of your can-do attitude. With low self esteem, you may find yourself giving in to bad habits. You may have trouble losing weight, and you may build phobias around your life and much more. Thus, changing your level of self confidence by applying new techniques will help you in all of the aspects of your life.

What Self Confidence Techniques Can You Apply?

So how do you fix it for yourself? How do you re-build your self confidence to a level that makes you wake up everyday ready to tackle the world? There are many techniques including counseling, self-help books etc. A better, newer and more successful way though is using self confidence techniques that use hypnotherapy. As the name suggests, hypnotherapy uses hypnosis as a therapeutic tool to help you refresh and re-work the attitudes you have about yourself. The goal is to rid your mind of the bad, negative thoughts that you have about your abilities, and thoughts that have been constructed from the negative.

What Is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a state of being for a person. It involves a constricted focus and a state of deep relaxation. The focus occurs with the ideas presented by the hypnotist. The goal is to change the state of consciousness so that the left-hand methodical side of the brain is tamed while the creative right-side is brought forward. The goal is to draw out the subconscious to a place where deep rooted behavior can be changed. So that means you will be empowered to apply self confidence techniques and improve your own self esteem. It's actually an easy and very successful process.
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Hypnotherapy / Unexplained Infertility and Hypnotherapy
« Last post by Graham on 21 October, 2008, 10:32:15 PM »
By Lyta Humpreys

Most experts define unexplained infertility as not being able to become pregnant after a year or two of trying to have a baby. In order to become pregnant a woman must release an egg from one of her ovaries, and the egg must go through a fallopian tube towards the uterus. A man's sperm must fertilize the egg along the way. And the fertilized egg must attach to the inside of the uterus. Infertility can result from problems that interfere with any of these steps.

Roughly about 1 in 6 of all couples seek specialist help because of difficulty conceiving. Many couples who have been trying to conceive for only a year or two are normal, and will conceive without help. But there are some who will have a real cause and will need to be investigated.

Infertility in men is caused due to problems in producing sperm like producing too few sperm or none at all or even due to sluggish sperm movement. In rare cases, infertility in men is caused by a genetic disease such as cystic fibrosis or a chromosomal abnormality. Sometimes problems start due to illness or injury.

The number and quality of a man's sperm can be affected by his health and lifestyle, such as alcohol, drugs, toxins, smoking cigarettes, medication, radiation and chemotherapy and age.

There are many causes of infertility in women. Understanding the causes are obviously the key and there are a host of problems that can cause infertility in women. It is usually due to anovulation (the absence of ovulation), uterine abnormalities, blocked fallopian tubes, or immunological causes. Infertility in women has also been linked to aging, a history of pelvic inflammatory disease, and certain lifestyle behaviours as well as problems with intercourse and incompatibility between the sperm and the secretions at the neck of the womb (cervical hostility).

If you think you have fertility issues, the basic tests can be done by your GP, Doctors can also help you prepare your body for a healthy baby, and they can answer questions on fertility and give you advice on conceiving. If the tests given by your GP give no pointers to a specific cause, then it is sensible to ask to see a specialist

Infertility can be treated with surgery, medicine, assisted reproductive technology or artificial insemination. Quite often these are combined for effective treatment. Around 65% of couples who are treated for infertility are able to go on and have a baby.

There are a number of reasons that can affect fertility in any couple's attempt to have a successful pregnancy. If all health factors have been successfully ruled out, then stress can be the main contributor to an inability to conceive and have a successful birth. The stress of trying to become pregnant builds on the pre-existing stress of not getting pregnant, which often leads to guilt, self doubt and negative self talk.

Hypnotherapy for unexplained infertility is becoming one of the most sought after complementary approaches in fertility today. It's a course of 4 sessions developed by the HypnoBirthing Practitioner Lynsi Eastburn in the US. This programme helps women to conceive naturally and provides hypnotherapeutic support to women who are finding it difficult to conceive, and also who are undergoing IVF and other medical procedures. Doctors have recommended this process. It is much more than just visualisation; it's also a precise, powerful programme that supports the entire fertility process for excellent results.

Hypnotherapy for unexplained infertility is a specific form of hypnotherapy (HypnoFertility) originally developed in the USA which has become a very successful and popular method of helping couples conceive naturally. Studies have shown that HypnoFertility can increase your chances of achieving a natural conception by as much as 50%. It works by focusing on and addressing any emotional problems associated with being pregnant or becoming a parent, and deals with all the related stress.

The mind has great power over the body, which is constantly influenced by our emotions, thoughts and beliefs. Our thoughts and beliefs can affect our bodies even showing themselves physically. We are able to change physical symptoms by how we feel. There are many factors responsible for infertility, one being how our emotions can affect the hormonal system, which in turn controls ovulation and pregnancy.

There are a number of very good complementary treatments that can help with unexplained infertility; Hypnotherapy, Acupuncture, Herbal Remedies and Homeopathic Medicine.

There you have it, some solutions for the problem of unexplained infertility that you may have never considered as solutions for getting pregnant. Breathe a little easier and use these tips to take action.

Thousands of people suffer from unexplained infertility every year. If you have recently been diagnosed, improve your chances of having a baby using Lyta Humphris' skills and experience at www.hypnospot.co.uk.
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Press articles / Nail biting
« Last post by Paul Howard on 16 April, 2008, 05:13:51 PM »
The word 'hypnotist' brings to mind visions of a starry-eyed freak clucking like a chicken, or an old-fashioned pocket watch swinging to and fro.

With those exact expectations I set off to a hypnotherapy session, only to be shocked out of my ignorance by a truly insightful therapy technique.

Hypnotism is often commercialised by individuals that use it to manipulate behaviour for entertainment value, but it is a powerful tool when used correctly by hypnotherapists that deal with mental health to - as in my case - get to the root of a behavioural, or psychological, issue.

The behavioural problem I wanted to address with hypnotherapy was nail-biting ñ something I've been doing involuntarily for as long as I can remember. That was until, compliments of hypnotherapy, I was taken much further down memory lane than I thought possible. But more about that laterÖ

So what is hypnotherapy?
Patients are usually "talked" into a state of highly focused, suggestible attentiveness where they are able to clear away mental "clutter" and focus on whatever problem is concerning them. In most cases, practitioners teach patients self-hypnosis techniques that they can use at home.

Patients do not relinquish self-control.

"Actually, from a clinical perspective, that's the opposite of what we do with people," he explained. "People come to see us to develop greater willpower and have more self-control, more confidence in themselves. You don't help that by taking it away."

Experts stress that hypnotherapy is really performed by the patient; the practitioner merely acting as a 'guide' that navigates the process.

Using electroencephalograms [EEG] and other methods, science is beginning to determine what happens to the hypnotised brain. "We're getting to the point where we can see that the hypnotic brain looks different from the resting or sleeping brain," Oster said. Hypnotised individuals are usually physically at ease, with lowered blood pressure and heart rates, while feeling fully awake and mentally attentive.

What it helps for
Studies have shown hypnosis can be a useful adjunct therapy against many ills, including:

Gastrointestinal problems. "For irritable bowel syndrome, especially, hypnosis has been demonstrated to be about 80 percent effective in reducing or eliminating symptoms.

Pain. "It's been clearly helpful there for hundreds of years," Dr David Spiegel, an expert on hypnotherapy and a professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Stanford University in California said. In many cases, patients with chronic pain use self-hypnosis techniques to "turn down" pain, like lowering the volume on a radio. Spiegel said patients can also use the technique to help get through invasive or painful medical procedures, such as dentistry or even cardiac catheterisation.

Weight loss. "There's some pretty good research that says hypnosis is helpful," Oster said. "It seems to help people stay focused on their goals."
How does it feel?
There are different methods of getting the patient into a state of hypnosis, and therapists use the technique most suitable to the patient and his or her circumstances.

Contrary to belief, you do actually know what is going on around you while in a state of hypnosis. In my case, my body felt completely relaxed - like a limp ragdoll ñ practically incapable of movement. I could hear music playing, a little water fountain bubbling, and of course the therapist's voice instructing and guiding me.

Although my body felt practically asleep, my mind was clear and focussed. Almost like a spotlight focussed on a small area - everything around it is forgotten, irrelevant and unnecessary ñ all its power and attention concentrated on a small area of importance.

And that, in my understanding, is exactly what hypnosis is: a state of higher awareness, where everyday distractions are dimmed and attention is concentrated on a specific subject or issue. (This intense concentration is quite taxing on the mind and, after about two hours in this state, I was utterly exhausted.)

What happens?
The therapist used a technique called regression on me - a process employed to recollect old memories - to hopefully get to the experience in my childhood that caused me to start biting my nails.

Although most people's first memories are from the age of 2- or 3-years-old, psychologists believe that the mind absorbs every experience you ever had - even as far back as the womb. Regression enables you to tap into those deeply buried memories, and with the guidance of a trained professional, deal with whatever negative effects were caused by this experience.

So the journey began. Slowly she took me back a couple of years at a time, recalling experiences of importance from the various life stages. I experienced more than just 'remembering', I also had a sense of being back there again ñ dÈj‡ vu, if you like.

This, as you can imagine, has the potential to open up a nasty can of worms should a person have had some traumatic experiences ñ especially experiences that may have been suppressed by the psyche and now surface for the very first time. (That's why it is imperative to visit a trained and registered hypnotherapist, should you decide to take the hypnotherapy route.)

Luckily my therapist lead me on a safe passage back in time until we reached, what we assume, was the root of my nail-biting habit.

Once 'there' I re-experienced the scene (which, I might add, was quite emotional for me). The experience evoked a lot of fear (of punishment) and guilt in the mind of a 2-year-old, who, at that tender age, was not able to put the events into perspective.

Then the therapist introduced my 30-year-old self into the scenario to try and make sense of it all. The older and wiser self could admit that all 2-year-olds probably make the same mistake, and that similar events (but completely unrelated to this specific incident) were actually not my small-self's doing at all.

Such an experience will, theoretically, help one shed the burden (in this case guilt) that has been deeply rooted in the psyche, ultimately removing the cause of the behavioural pattern (in this case nail-biting).

The verdict
One week after undergoing the therapy and I have not bitten my nails again. I've wanted to, and in fact just talking about it makes me want to do it right now. But I suspect that's just the force of habit, because every time I lift my hand to my mouth an inner voice tells me: "you don't have to anymore", and I lower it againÖ

Obviously my case is a very good example of what hypnotherapy is capable of doing, but experiences vary from individual to individual.

In fact, testimonials from others who have undergone hypnotherapy claim that they did not have such a powerful experience as the one I have described, while others believe they cannot be hypnotised at all.
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Press articles / Study Shows Hypnosis Is Beneficial in the Treatment of Pain
« Last post by Paul Howard on 02 April, 2008, 08:07:27 AM »
(NaturalNews) According to my own research, I have found that hypnotherapy is very helpful in treating patients who are experiencing pain. Over the years I have had many clients walk into my office suffering from various types of pain. Oftentimes, they come to my office as a last resort because medicine is not helping them.

Another reason why pain patients come into my office is because they donít want to have to go on prescription pain killers. Prescription drugs can have an addictive effect on people and this side effect should be avoided when possible. Also, prescription medication is often used to cover up the pain, not treat the cause so that it develops a dependency. Dependency on prescription drugs is expensive and sometimes unnecessary.

In a research study in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, researchers tested to see whether hypnotic suggestibility played a role in treating pain patients. Hypnotic suggestibility is the rate in which the patient under hypnosis is actively involved in what the hypnotherapist is telling them. Being highly suggestible in relation to hypnosis means that one is taking in a large amount of what the hypnotherapist is saying.

In the study, 188 participants were randomly divided into six groups. The six groups included distraction, cognitive-behavioral package, hypnotic cognitive-behavioral package, hypnotic analgesia suggestion, placebo control, or no-treatment control conditions.

The study showed that there was a direct correlation between hypnotic suggestibility and the hypnotic interventions. The participants in the hypnotic cognitive-behavioral group and hypnotic analgesia suggestion group who were highly suggestible saw the greatest reduction in pain.

The study also pointed out that response to hypnotherapy is a trait. Some people are more suggestible than others and thus are going to react more favorably to treatment. Although the results do not mean that everyone is going to benefit from hypnosis, it shows that those who are highly suggestible will most likely benefit through hypnosis treatment.

In my practice, I have had great success treating patients who have pain. I get great satisfaction by helping these people because I feel that hypnotherapy can greatly improve their quality of life.

Source:

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, v74 n2 p253-262 Apr 2006


About the author
Steve G. Jones, M.Ed. has been practicing hypnotherapy since the 1980s. He is the author of 22 books on Hypnotherapy. Steve is a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists, American Board of Hypnotherapy, president of the American Alliance of Hypnotists, on the board of directors of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Lung Association, and director of the Steve G. Jones School of Clinical Hypnotherapy.
Steve G. Jones, M.Ed. is a board certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Florida (1994), a master's degree in education from Armstrong Atlantic State University (2007), and is currently working on a doctorate in education, Ed.D., at Georgia Southern University. Learn more at:
http://www.betterlivingwithhypnosis.com/

###
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Press articles / Hypnosis Eases Breast Cancer Surgery Pain
« Last post by Paul Howard on 21 March, 2008, 08:35:48 AM »

Source - The Daily Telegraph

Hypnosis Eases Breast Cancer Surgery Pain
WOMEN who underwent hypnosis before breast cancer surgery needed less anesthesia and had fewer side effects than women who got counselling instead, US researchers said today. "This is a randomised clinical trial of 200 patients that really showed beneficial effects for patients," said Guy Montgomery of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. "It really works well."

While hypnosis was used to control the pain of amputations in India more than 150 years ago, its use is still not routine. "It has this baggage," Mr Montgomery said.

The hypnosis used in the study was not of the spinning watch variety popularised by carnival side shows. One hour prior to breast cancer surgery, 100 women underwent hypnosis for 15 minutes and the rest had 15 minutes of counselling with a psychologist.

Those who received hypnosis needed less anesthesia during the operation, reported less pain afterward and their procedures took less time. They spent 11 minutes less in surgery, amounting to $US773 ($935.78) per patient in reduced surgical costs, according to the study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute .

Mr Montgomery said patients first needed to be debunked of any misconceptions. "We're not going to make you cluck like a chicken or sing like Madonna," he told patients. "Hypnosis is not mind control. It's more like focused attention."

Women in the study were directed to think of a relaxed place, often a beach scene. "At the end, we make suggestions for reduced pain," he said. Mr Montgomery said the point was to set expectations for reduced pain. "It's not magic. But it will make you feel better," he said.

In a commentary in the same journal, Dr David Spiegel of Stanford University School of Medicine wrote, "You have to pay attention to pain for it to hurt, and it is entirely possible to substantially alter pain perception during surgical procedures by inducing hypnotic relaxation".

Mr Montgomery, who has been analysing the effect of hypnosis on pain for years, plans to study it in other cancers and hopes to see it more broadly used.
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