Hypnosis is underutilized in cancer care

Sadly, hypnosis is underutilized in cancer care. While there is conclusive evidence for the effectiveness of hypnosis in managing cancer-related symptoms, including pain, nausea, and anxiety, it is still underutilized in clinical practice.

One possible reason for this underutilization is the lack of knowledge and understanding among healthcare professionals about the benefits and application of hypnosis. Many healthcare providers may not be aware of the research supporting the use of hypnosis for cancer-related symptoms or may not have received training in hypnosis techniques.


Increase awareness and education

Another reason may be the limited availability of hypnosis services in some healthcare settings. Patients may not have access to trained hypnotherapists or may not be offered hypnosis as an option for symptom management.

Additionally, there may be misconceptions or stigma surrounding the use of hypnosis, which can deter patients and healthcare providers from considering it as a viable treatment option.

Overall, it is important to increase awareness and education about the benefits and appropriate use of hypnosis for cancer-related symptoms. This can help to ensure that patients receive the best possible care and have access to all available treatment options.

If you or someone you love is living with cancer, hypnosis can help. I offer online hypnosis for cancer sessions for individuals and their families who are affected by cancer. Give me a call at (760) 219-8079 or send me an email. No matter where you may live, together we can create hypnosis sessions to meet your needs.

Hypnosis in Cancer Care

Clearly, hypnosis has been shown in a number of studies to reduce the distress of children and adults with cancer undergoing a variety of stressful procedures and treatments. These studies have been conducted by a number of investigators using various experimental designs. Apart from its proven efficacy in actual symptom management hypnosis has several other attractive features. It is safe and does not produce adverse effects or drug interactions. Patients enjoy the hypnotic experience. They obtain relief without destructive or unpleasant effects. There is no reduction of normal function or mental capacity and no development of tolerance to the hypnotic effect. It is a skill that individuals can easily learn, that provides a personal sense of mastery and control over their problems and that counters feelings of helplessness and powerlessness. An additional benefit is that hypnosis can be generalized to many circumstances. The person who learns hypnosis for management of pain or nausea and vomiting may apply their skills to lessen the distress of insomnia and anxiety, to address dysphagia for pills or to enhance their performance in their favourite sport. For a clinician, hypnosis is an opportunity to be inventive, spontaneous and playful and to build a stronger therapeutic relationship with a patient while providing symptom relief (Liossi, 1999).

Patients with cancer and particularly children would benefit tremendously from the wider application of hypnosis in oncology centres. In terms of clinical practice, the optimal control of patients’ symptoms requires an integrated psychological and medical approach. Hypnosis is well suited to become an integral part of a comprehensive multidisciplinary cancer treatment approach.
Read Hypnosis in Cancer Care

Christina Liossi

University of Southampton, UK

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