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Medical Hypnosis

Medical hypnotherapy (Medicalnosis) "However, the same applies to hypnotherapy as to other forms of therapy," says Prof. Revenstorf, University of Tübingen (co-author of the study on recognition by the WBP), "it always depends on who applies it." A good, experienced hypnotherapist… strengthens their self-control and independence and focuses on their needs. In addition, they value that the patient has a sense of self-determination. 1

Hypnosis can be distinguished from other states of consciousness such as wakefulness, sleep, deep relaxation, or meditation through electroencephalography (EEG) and imaging techniques. A hypnotic trance is characterized by a series of physiological and psychological reactions, such as altered perception of time, selective amnesia, and age regression (reverting to remembering or experiencing an earlier stage of development), strong inward focus, and increased suggestibility, meaning an enhanced response to suggestions. In clinical situations, such as diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, emergencies, or communication of serious diagnoses involving high emotional involvement of patients, hypnotic phenomena can occur spontaneously. Suggestions work through verbal and nonverbal signals that interact with internal representations and strongly affect psychological and involuntary bodily processes. For example, skin blood flow or salivation cannot be influenced by rational and voluntary action but can be influenced by a suggestion like an image or a story. While the term "suggestion" in German language usage carries a manipulative meaning, in hypnosis it is understood as an offer or opening up possibilities in line with the English understanding of "I suggest." Contrary to common prejudices, hypnosis is not authoritarian, passive, or therapist-centered but rather a resource- and solution-oriented method that focuses on the patient's own potentials.2

  1. Medizinische Hypnotherapie: Noch nicht alle Indikationen entdeckt, Ärzteblatt, PP 3, Ausgabe März 2004, Seite 125

  2. Wirksamkeit, Sicherheit und Anwendungsmöglichkeiten medizinischer Hypnose, Dtsch Arztebl Int 2016; 113: 289-96; DOI:10.3238/arztebl.2016. 0289,,


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