Henry Ford said that when things aren’t going your way, it helps to remember that airplanes take off against the wind, and not with it.

In other words, life might be a struggle at times, but if you stick with it things are bound to pick up.

If you’re suffering from a chronic illness, however, that might not seem to be the case.

“Chronic” refers to a condition needing ongoing medical treatment. It usually lasts for more than 12 months and limits one or potentially more than one physical activity.

Hypnosis for chronic illness offers you a complementary treatment that has been proven to provide relief for whatever type of chronic health issue might be affecting you.

Why does that matter? Because the evidence suggests that 4 out of 5 people in the United States suffer from a chronic illness, costing American employers millions of dollars every single year.

Chronic disorders can include conditions such as arthritis, cancer, back pain, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), heart disease, depression and various other mental health illnesses, to name a few.

What a lot of these conditions have in common is that they attack the immune system, causing great pain and resulting in extreme stress and anxiety.

This stress and anxiety can make the pain feel even worse because they make the sensations more noticeable and pronounced.

Hypnosis is the ideal solution for chronic illness support because it is designed first and foremost to help you relax and to relieve stress and anxiety.

Once you’re in a hypnotic trance, your hypnotherapist will offer hypnotic suggestions that get taken up by your unconscious mind.

These suggestions have been shown to help boost your immune system, giving you the strength you need to fight off infection and manage pain more efficiently.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how hypnosis, and particularly hypnotherapy, can help anyone suffering from a chronic condition.

Understanding The Role Of Hypnotherapy In Supporting Individuals With Chronic Illnesses

hypnotherapy for chronic illness

Hypnotherapy, sometimes known as clinical hypnosis, refers to the use of hypnosis in a therapeutic setting.

Where chronic conditions are concerned, the basic idea is to manage them as effectively as possible. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes how hypnotherapy should be used for this type of palliative care, noting that it should:

  • Help to provide relief from pain and distress
  • Help patients live as normal a life as possible
  • Help to enhance the patient’s quality of life
  • Be used as part of a treatment regime appropriate to the condition

The WHO adds that hypnotherapy might be utilized to focus on relieving specific symptoms such as pain, fatigue, nausea, difficulty sleeping, shortness of breath, anxiety and gastrointestinal issues.

A paper published on the PubMed site notes that hypnosis interventions consistently turn out to be more effective at managing pain than other nonhypnotic interventions.

They further state that these results rely to some extent on the use of self-hypnosis to keep pain under control.

Hypnosis has a long and distinguished track record of helping people overcome a wide range of issues, such as:

  • Excess stress and anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • IBS
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Depression
  • Allergies

It works on physical and psychological symptoms equally as well and is even more powerful when combined with other treatments such as CBT and NLP.

So how does hypnotherapy do all of these things?

Hypnotherapy To Alleviate Pain, Discomfort & Psychological Distress

For chronic illnesses, a hypnotherapist will tailor sessions to meet the needs of the individual.

The truth is that pain brings with it a certain amount of discomfort, and the longer that goes on the more it affects you psychologically. So by helping you manage the pain, hypnotherapy will also indirectly benefit your mental health as well.

Pain is basically your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. The way you perceive the pain has to do with how your brain responds to it.

Things get even trickier when you realize that everyone experiences pain in their own unique way. Here’s a rough guide to what your brain does in response to pain:

  1. It senses where on your body you’ve been injured
  2. It conveys how unpleasant the pain is
  3. It tries to figure out ways to avoid the pain

Hypnotherapy is the perfect solution to this type of problem because it specifically works on the mind-body connection. It helps you undergo deep and refreshing relaxation (of your body) while planting suggestions (in your mind) that work to ease or eliminate the painful sensations.

That being the case, hypnotherapy sessions would be tailor-made to suit the individual, but would also likely include a few common aspects, such as the focus on total relaxation and the piling on of helpful suggestions.

Most hypnosis sessions follow a standard format of induction, change work and exit. Suggestions would be made during the change work phase where your hypnotherapist might also include other techniques such as:


hypnotherapy for chronic illness

These are positive statements you repeat over and over to yourself to discourage any negative thinking or negative self-talk. They are usually stated in the present tense as the following examples show:

  • I am managing my pain
  • I am able to relax deeply
  • I am in control of the pain
  • I am more than my pain


These are images you create by using your imagination to conjure up visions inside your head. For pain relief they might be a special place or scene that you find soothing such as a beautiful sunset, a walk on the beach, or anything calming and peaceful.

One such visualization technique is called Dynamic Mental Imagery (DMI), which is a hypnotic journey to find symbols appropriate to the issue you’re dealing with, in this case pain management. Your unconscious mind responds particularly well to symbols, making this a great way to influence how your mind responds to pain.

It’s also been reported that hypnosis combined with visualization can actually boost your immune system, and the more you practice it, the better your immune response becomes.

These techniques will be incorporated into your hypnotherapy sessions. Your therapist might recommend that you listen to hypnosis audio tapes to keep you topped up between sessions.

They could also teach you self-hypnosis so that you’d be able to stay calm and relaxed as and when required if things got too much for you to handle on a day-to-day basis.

The beauty of self-hypnosis is that you can practice it anywhere and at any time provided you have a quiet space and 10 or 15 minutes when you won’t be disturbed.

Check out the article highlighted below to find out how just how easy it is to hypnotize yourself using self-hypnosis:

How To Hypnotize Yourself: Discover The Easy 6-Step Self Hypnosis Formula

Case Studies Proving How Hypnotherapy Improves Quality Of Life

The more research you explore, the more obvious it becomes that hypnosis and hypnotherapy can be applied to almost any issue you might have. They’ve been used to benefit people suffering with chronic pain, trauma, sleep disorders, and dozens of other conditions that could disrupt your everyday life.

As one website reports, people undergoing hypnosis are 50% more likely to be able to handle painful stimuli. This is because hypnosis is able to switch off pain signals in the brain.

Another study found that hypnosis was able to reduce the perception of pain for people suffering from gastrointestinal conditions.

Hypnosis has been proven to be effective at relieving depression, a mental health disorder that seriously affects a person’s quality of life. As well as reducing the symptoms of depression, hypnosis provides patients with various skills and tactics to help make daily living more bearable, such as:

  • Helping to develop relevant coping strategies
  • Helping to change the way patients think about depression
  • Helping to reframe situations that might trigger depression

Even the most basic hypnosis session can act as a stress reliever, since the usual hypnosis induction is designed to facilitate the deepest relaxation possible. Remember that stress is a major problem for many people, which can include anything from OCD to panic attacks to PTSD.

Studies show that hypnosis is an effective technique to help people undergoing cancer treatment. This applies to all parts of the treatment, including periods before, during and after, as well as any surgery that might be necessary.

Hypnotherapists have also started branching out into the use of virtual reality headsets, which has proven particularly effective for the treatment of stress-related conditions and phobias.

You can also see how virtual reality headsets would make visualization exercises more exciting and realistic, especially useful perhaps for people who find it difficult to picture images in their mind.

Hypnotherapy is becoming more widely accepted as a complementary treatment for a wide range of conditions, partly because it is so effective, partly because it is inexpensive and partly because it quickly and efficiently makes patients feel relaxed and comfortable in a range of quite serious and often risky situations.


Hypnosis is a powerful technique for helping people deal with pain and make chronic illnesses more manageable.

Another benefit of hypnosis is that it can be used as a stand-alone treatment or it can be combined with other forms of therapy, offering both therapists and patients the best overall chance for success.

4 out of 5 people in the US suffer from a chronic condition which costs employees millions every year and seriously damages the economy.

Many chronic illnesses are made worse by stress and anxiety contributing to additional pain and discomfort. Hypnosis is the ideal type of treatment because it encourages deep relaxation and the relief of stress.

By helping patients manage their pain and associated symptoms, hypnotherapy gives them the chance to live as normal a life as possible while simultaneously boosting their quality of life.

Research suggests that hypnotherapy in combination with other forms of therapy can provide sufferers of chronic illness with the best possible chance of success at managing their conditions.

One of the reasons why hypnosis is so helpful with chronic illnesses is the fact that it communicates directly with your unconscious mind.

It’s your brain that identifies pain and sends signal to the rest of your body. Hypnosis can help minimize the sensations of pain to make coping with it a little bit easier.

Another advantage that hypnotherapy has over other treatments is the fact that it can be tailored to suit the needs of the individual. As well as focusing on deep relaxation and using suggestions, your therapist will probably include other techniques such as:

  • Affirmations
  • Visualizations

They might also teach you self-hypnosis so you can keep yourself topped up between sessions.

Chronic illness can have a hugely detrimental impact on your mental health. Using the power of hypnosis, your therapist can help you:

  • Come up with some suitable coping strategies
  • Change the way you think about your illness
  • Reframe situations that trigger your condition

Hypnotherapy works perfectly well on its own and is even more effective when combined with other forms of treatment, ideal for tackling physical symptoms of a chronic condition as well as the psychological issues that might arise from it.

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Source: Hypnosis Training Academy