Hypnosis as Surgery: Finding Your Minimum Effective Dose

Note: All content on this site is provided for informational and educational purposes only, and is not an alternative for qualified medical or mental health care. As Hypnotists, we are not qualified to diagnose or treat mental health disorders.

One of the analogies I’ve come up with to compare hypnosis to therapy, is that of surgery versus a topical treatment.

Some medical conditions can be treated in a variety of ways, either externally or internally. Surgery is often faster, but it is also more invasive.

Of course, with hypnosis, especially the Hypnosis Assisted Healing modality that we practice, you are essentially doing the surgery on yourself, as opposed to having it done to you.

But still, it is invasive. And so we have a general principle of doing the least amount of intervention needed to get the results we need. If we’re working to resolve an emotional block, we’ll first try to resolve it “here and now” before attempting to regress to, say, a childhood memory where it might stem from.

This being the human condition we’re talking about, it’s not always clear what the right level of intervention is, and it can often vary from person to person and situation to situation. Some people will freely engage in past life regression as a form of understanding themselves more deeply. Other hypnotists will argue that regression is rarely necessary to help people move past both issues.

We take a middle-ground approach to this, frequently engaging in analytical regression forms of hypnosis, but limiting ourselves to when it seems the client needs it.

There is a concept in medicine called “minimum effective dose”, which recognizes that doing more of something doesn’t always lead to better results, and can sometimes even be detrimental. Sometimes it’s ok to move past an issue without fully understanding every aspect of it. We are too complicated to ever completely understand ourselves, and making peace with t hat can itself be a sign of maturity.

Hypnosis can be intense. You might choose not to schedule too many “surgeries” back to back and give yourself time to relax. And along the way you’ll keep on striving to maintain a general healthy lifestyle and have regular check ins with your GP/Family Doctor (your therapist, in this analogy) consulting with them about when you should see a specialist when necessary.

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