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Hypnotherapy used to help treat pain, addiction

MURRAY, Utah (News4Utah) - Hypnosis is easy to dismiss, but some patients who suffer from chronic pain, opioid dependency and insomnia say they have felt relief from those ailments by using mind over matter.

Jolene Shields, a Certified Medical Hypnotherapist explains, “It's a wonderful process of deep relaxation.”

Sharon Parks, 62,  is being put under hypnosis by Shields. Before hypnotherapy, life for Parks was grim. Several ruptured discs left Parks with chronic pain and daily migraines.  “Living from pain med to pain med,” she says. 

Shields explains that in hypnosis, the patient is given an image or suggestion to focus on, utilizing their subconscious to create change in the body. “Here's the magic,” says Shields, “...Under deep relaxation, the brain releases endorphins and serotonin which are 200 times stronger than morphine you get by IV in the hospital."

Margaret Rasmussen is another one of these hypnosis success stories; she suffered from insomnia for decades. 

“When I go to bed at night my brain would go into high gear,” says Rasmussen. Those sleepless nights, along with chronic pain and being her husband's caretaker, put a great deal of stress on her, but after two treatments she was sleeping eight hours a night.

“It felt so good,” Rasmussen says. She believes it cured her insomnia.

For many, hypnotherapy is serious science. Some believe it can hold the power over pain.

“Hypnosis is a very strong piece of any addicts program to have a new coping skill...” says Shields. In fact, it’s what got her through her own bout with addiction years ago, after a car crash left her with nerve damage.  

“I was absolutely convinced it transformed my life,” says Shields. Now, she is transforming the lives of her patients through the very method that got her through the pain.  

Both Parks and Rasmussen listen to their recorded session with Shields twice a day.

A study out of Whittier College shows adding hypnotherapy roughly doubled the chance of success for long-term recovery from addiction.

So what's holding people back? Insurance doesn't cover hypnotherapy, but flex spending can help pay for the costs.  Every day Shields spends time talking with medical experts about the benefits of her therapy.
  
If you decide to try hypnotherapy, make sure you go to someone qualified. Shields says hypnotherapy should be used to supplement withdrawal treatment while the patient is monitored by a doctor.

For more information on Shields’ Hypnotherapy clinic, click here.


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