One of the things that pains me the most as a wellness practitioner is to see the number of people who take advantage of the misfortune of others who are in a vulnerable state; those people who prey on suffering, giving false hope and empty promises. They claim to care and understand, but they really only care about how much money they can bilk to fill their bank account with.
I will cut right to the chase...if you ever see anyone claiming hypnosis is a miracle cure or magic pill of some sort, it simply is not true. The idea that hypnosis can cure anything is an untruth perpetuated by people trying to take advantage of those in physical or emotional pain under the guise that they are there to help. After all, who wouldn't be at least somewhat tempted by someone offering what appears to be guaranteed relief?
I am honestly embarrassed to share the same professional designation with those who attempt to sell books or other products and services by making such bold claims. Despite what they tell you, hypnotists are not faith healers. You are not going to arrive to your appointment paralyzed and in a wheelchair then walk out on your own two feet, nor are you going to arrive with stage 4 cancer and leave in remission. A hypnotist can't magically restore lost senses, cure diseases, or reverse injuries.
That being said, there are amazing and often unexplained physical changes that can happen in the body as a result of changing thoughts and beliefs in the mind, but it involves more than just snapping fingers and making the issue disappear. There is an extremely powerful connection between the mind and body that has been demonstrated time and again in patients who have been told they would never walk again but did, or patients diagnosed with a terminal illness who managed to recover and lead long lives. On a perhaps less profound level, there are hypochondriacs who bring about physical symptoms by thinking about them, the direct link between stress and life-threatening diseases, the physical symptoms associated with mental disorders such as anxiety and depression, and mental illnesses that can be brought on or exacerbated by dealing with chronic pain or illness day in and day out.
As long as you have faith that your mind and body can work together to heal yourself, you and your hypnotherapist can accomplish great things together. Through hypnosis you can better manage pain; overcome fears and phobias; change unhealthy beliefs and behaviours or
undesirable habits and feelings; work through emotional challenges to experience emotional healing; improve personal development; and yes, even experience amazing physical changes that even medicine struggles to understand. However, you have to actively participate in the process (your hypnotist can't do all the work), you need to be committed to change, and you must be patient because healing will not happen overnight. It might me a very long process.
Perhaps most important is to have realistic expectations, particularly with physical ailments. For most diseases and conditions, hypnosis benefits by helping alleviate symptoms and providing mental and emotional support. For example, it will not in and of itself cure cancer. However, it can help cancer patients relax and better cope with their pain and treatments. Hypnotherapy can help manage the fear, depression, and anxiety that is common with a cancer diagnosis; it can help patients cope with the pain associated with some forms of cancer; or it can help reduce or eliminate chemotherapy side-effects such as nausea and fatigue.
Because the odds of remission and/or long-term treatment success are often thought to be linked to a patient's outlook and commitment to getting well, where hypnosis can really shine and may appear to "cure" is that it can help patients stay positive and focused on beating the disease/injury, giving them the hope, courage, motivation, and endurance to fight for their health, giving their body a longer time to heal, and it can help get their mind and body working together to heal itself. I won't go into details here, but the internet abounds with wonderful articles on the almost miraculous recovery of people thanks to the mind-body connection.
While hypnosis may not cure every disease, illness, injury or discomfort, it can sure help at least manage many symptoms and help with the mental and emotional aspect of illness, disease, and injury. Because it is non-invasive and safe, it certainly doesn't hurt to try.
Disclaimer: Hypnosis is a complementary therapy. It should never be used in place of advanced treatments in conventional medicine, as administered by a professional healthcare provider. In layman's terms, don't stop going to your doctor because you think you can cure your stage 4 cancer with hypnosis alone!