Is Hypnosis for Addiction Effective?

Is Hypnosis for Addiction Effective?


Many people have begun to turn to hypnosis for addiction recovery and treatment. There is still some argument about whether hypnosis really works, though. During a typical hypnosis addiction recovery treatment, the person being treated descends into a deep meditative state during which his or her subconscious mind is trained to dislike the substance that he or she is addicted to. Research shows that people who are better able to relax completely and accept suggestions from the hypnotist have the best success rates when it comes to addiction recovery.

Hypnosis has been used to treat several different kinds of addictions. It is probably most popularly known as a recovery method for smokers who want to quit the habit. Hypnosis has been used to treat almost every kind of addiction that is recognizable, however. People who want to stop drinking, gambling, or using drugs have turned to hypnosis to help them overcome their addictive behavior in a more soothing manner. As with all addiction treatments, the patient needs to believe that there is something wrong before hypnosis can help solve the problem.

There are several methods for hypnosis treatment. Some people use mantras or special prayers to lull themselves into the deep trance necessary for accessing the subconscious mind. Others rely on doctors to guide them through the hypnosis process. What happens during hypnosis is that the person’s conscious mind relaxes until it no longer interferes with the subconscious. Suggestions are placed in the subconscious that redirect a person’s desires so that they will not feel the addictive pull of the substance they are trying to recover from anymore. When the patient wakes up, they do not usually remember what was said during the session. It is like waking up from a deep, peaceful sleep.

Unfortunately, hypnosis is not effective for everyone. For a person to be truly receptive to hypnosis treatment, that person needs to feel open to the process and believe that it can be helpful. Much of the work of hypnosis involves the patient’s willingness to cooperate and allow themselves to be relaxed enough to receive the messages in their subconscious mind. Doubt and mental barriers can make it impossible for hypnotic suggestions to reach deeply enough to make a difference. The person being hypnotized needs to want the therapy to be successful in order to achieve the greatest benefit from hypnosis.

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The permanence of hypnosis is debatable. There are some patients who only need one or two suggestive sessions in order to recover from their addictive behaviors, while others need to continue using hypnosis on a periodic basis for the rest of their lives. There is no scientific explanation for why hypnosis works more permanently for one patient and not another. The good news is that once a person has submitted fully to hypnosis and it has begun to work, it will be easier and easier for that person to slip into a hypnotic state. In some cases, the person can use a word or a gesture to control their addiction without having to undergo hypnosis very often at all.

Some forms of hypnosis that are meant to help a person recover from an addiction are meant to be self-administered. These include deep meditation with audio recordings that continuously remind the subconscious to avoid the addictive substance. Self hypnosis requires more discipline to achieve success because there is no one helping the person through the process. It can be more difficult and require more hypnosis sessions to recover when someone is relying on themselves alone. As with most addiction recovery treatments, the best results happen when the recovery includes input from other people.

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