WHAT IS HYPNOSIS?
The American Psychological Association Division of Psychological
Hypnosis provides the following definition. Hypnosis is a procedure
during which a health professional or researcher suggests that
a client, patient, or a subject experience changes in sensations,
perceptions, thoughts, or behavior. The hypnotic context is generally
established by an induction procedure. Although there are many
different hypnotic inductions, most include suggestions for relaxation,
calmness, and well-being. Instructions to imagine or think about
pleasant experiences are also commonly included in hypnotic inductions.
People respond to hypnosis in different ways. Some descibe their
experience as an altered state of consciousness. Others describe
hypnosis as a normal state of focused attention, in which they
feel very calm and relaxed. Regardless of how and to what degree
they respond, most people describe the experience as very pleasant.
Some people are very responsive to hypnotic suggestions and others
are less responsive. A person's ability to experience hypnotic
suggestions can be inhibited by fears and concerns arising from
common misconceptions. Contrary to some depictions of hypnosis
in books, movies or on television, people who have been hypnotized
do not lose control over their behavior. They typically remain
aware of who they are and where they are, and unless amnesia
has been specifically suggested, they usually remember what transpired
during hypnosis. Hypnosis makes it easier for people to experience
suggestions, but it does not force them to have these experiences.
Executive committee of the Amercian Psychological Assocaiton
Division of Psychological Hypnosis(1993, Fall).
VISITING THE DENTIST IS ENTRANCING!
Clinical Hypnosis plays a vital
role in every dental practitioner's interaction with patients.
The frightened patient walking into the dental treatment room
is most certainly in a trance state. The dentist with training
in medical hypnosis can transform that intense sense of powerlessness
and fright to a state of inner calm and comfort. Probably the
greatest benefit of medical hypnosis to the dentist is the ability
to recognize the patient's state of consciousness and apply verbal
and non-verbal hypnotic strategies to promote patient comfort
and enhance healing.
Medical hypnosis has been actively utilized in the dental setting
for the past sixty years. Official recognition of the modality
was established when the book "Hypnodontics" by Aaron
Moss, D.D.S. was published in 1950. In 1958 the American Medical
Association recognized hypnosis and recommended that it be taught
in medical and dental schools.
In addition to the management of dental phobia, medical hypnotic
strategies are also very useful in modifying harmful oral habits
such as bruxism, finger sucking, nail biting, and hyperactive
Offering thepatient hypnotically positive ideas and suggestions
makes the difference between the fight-flight-bite response and
the cool, calm and relaxed dental experience.