medical hypnosis communicate symptoms

Medical Hypnosis: Part II

Medical Hypnosis: Part II

This is Part II of a multi-part series on medical hypnosis (and NLP).In this series we’ll explore techniques and approaches that will help you help people with medical challenges. Here’s Medical Hypnosis: Part I.

It goes without saying (actually it doesn’t, or I wouldn’t be typing it here) that to work with medical issues you need to be working under the referral of a licensed health professional. Unless you are one yourself, of course.

I divide medical hypnosis techniques into three main technique categories; direct suggestion, metaphor and using symptoms as communication. We’ll talk about each of those approaches—for now let’s look at how we might approach using those technique categories. Here are some ideas about what you can do…

1) Symptom removal

2) Amelioration of side-effects

3) Cure

4) Improving issues related to the condition

5) Helping the client adjust to a new situation

Symptom Removal

Sometimes we’ll be going for symptom removal. As an example, pain is sometimes a symptom of cancer and we can help people who have cancer be more comfortable. Doctors can help us with what symptoms are safe to remove. Sometimes symptoms serve as warnings or protective mechanisms and help the client prevent damage. You wouldn’t want to remove the pain from a broken arm if it helps the client be aware of when he might be further damaging the arm! In that case, we might want to help the client transform that symptom in to a more pleasant warning. Depression can result from medical situations. We can help the client with that too!

Amelioration Of Side-Effects Of Treatment

Closely related to symptom removal is amelioration of side-effects. Medical treatments can have negative side-effects—and we may be able to help our clients by lessening those side-effects. In essence, the difference is that we’re helping relieve the symptoms of the treatment rather than the symptoms of the disease or condition. One symptom that pops to mind is nausea from chemotherapy. We can help relieve that.


Sometimes we just go straight for the cure. We can use techniques designed to cure a disease or condition. There’s a balance here on how far to go. Suggesting that a patient is cured of a disease that all doctors say will be fatal in a matter of days may raise false hopes. On the other hand, we don’t know the limits of what hypnosis and NLP can do. I’ve done work myself with good results on issues that, according to the clients, doctors said were intractable. And while the client is there in hypnosis or during an NLP technique, it might well make sense to go for it. I can’t tell you what to do. (Well, I can, I’ve just discovered it doesn’t work very well.)

Improving Issues Related To The Condition

Many diseases or conditions have related areas where we as hypnotherapists and NLP practitioners can help. For instance, weight, diet and exercise can tremendously affect the course of diabetes. We can help someone with diabetes lose weight, change their diet or exercise more regularly. Again, we need feedback from medical professionals on what is safe to do and what might be a good idea to do. And the docs can give us ideas in this area that we may not have thought of. Maybe an increase or decrease of circulation could help a disease or condition. Ask what would be helpful. Ask what the aim of treatments the doctor is prescribing are—maybe you can do the same without drugs or surgery.

Helping The Client Adjust

Sometimes medical conditions result in big life-changes for our clients. We can help the client adjust to those changes.

Take A Good Look

So, with each medical condition you encounter, it’s a good idea to look at each of these approaches. They can help open up treatment ideas you hadn’t before considered. And one more thing…

Direct Suggestion: The Fall Back Position

If you feel like you don’t know what technique to use at any time, you can always use direct suggestion. Hypnotize your client and suggest that symptoms disappear, that side-effects lessen or disappear, that the condition is gone, that they change whatever they need to change in their lives to get better and that they adjust wonderfully to have a life that has even more of the qualities they strive for.


Keith Livingston

About The Author:

Keith Livingston is the main instructor for Hypnosis 101. Keith has been studying hypnosis since he was a boy and doing hypnosis & NLP training since 1997.

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  1. Great advice as usual Keith. This same advice also applies to self. Now how do I know that to be true? Returned from a very long plane trip and sitting for a good week. My foot and ankle were a bit swollen so I went to the ‘Doc in a Box’ and was told to go to the ER immediately and I would not even be charged for that visit. Who’s gonna go to the ER with such a minor complaint? DUHH! I went home and made myself a lovely self-hypnosis tape and it worked wonders for two years. I really am a super hypnotherapist and a Licensed NLP Trainer and that proved it. For two years that ankle and foot were perfect. Then all Hell broke loose. I was in the ER, died twice, had two golf ball sized PE’s in my lungs and barely held on to life. Thankfully, we now have a new clot busting drug even though it is very, very dangerous. I escaped death by the invention of that new $6,000 one dose medication! Had I not dismissed the symptoms of a DVT (did not know what they were) and had it taken care of immediately I would have been perfectly fine within 6 months with cheap medication and not had a $30,000 hospital bill and not have been at death’s front door knocking. Let the licensed folks do their work and THEN you (or we) can do ours. That’s a win-win for everyone. Also reminds me a bit of Charles Tebbets. He was having cardiac arrest but wanted to finish teaching that particular hypnosis class so he covered up all the symptom with self-hypnosis quickly and he finished that class. By the time he got to the hospital he was DOA. I would NEVER do that for a client so why would we do it for selves!!

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