Self Hypnosis and Clinical Hypnotherapy CDs & MP3 Downloads

High quality, professional and powerful hypnotherapy sessions!


Phobia Hypnotherapy

Five Ways in Which Hypnotherapy can Assist Cancer Patients

By Judith E. Pearson, Ph.D.

In 1978 Richard Bloch, co-founder of H&R Block, was diagnosed with cancer. The prognosis was that he would be dead in three months. After two years of aggressive therapy he recovered. Wanting to make a difference in the lives of others struggling with cancer, he sold his interest in H&R Block and founded The Cancer Hotline in 1980, and the Block Cancer Support Center in 1986. He sponsored a national computer database, the Physician's Data Query, with the latest research and treatment protocols for every known form of cancer. Today this database is operated by the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

Richard and his wife, Annette, wrote Fighting Cancer, a book offering self-help advice. Their second book, A Guide for Cancer Supporters1, is for family and friends of those who have cancer. Both books offer inspiration and hope, encouraging cancer patients to fight to live, instead of waiting to die. These books also recommend that cancer patients supplement medical interventions with psychotherapy, guided imagery, and clinical hypnotherapy. In the 1970's the use of such therapies in the treatment of disease was almost unheard of and to suggest such an idea bordered on heresy. Three decades later, supplemental therapies such as hypnotherapy, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, nutritional counseling, and neuro-feedback are widely considered as essentials in the holistic approach to health and the treatment of disease.

This article speaks directly to the role of hypnotherapy in treating cancer patients. Hypnotherapy was approved by the American Medical Association in 1958 as a viable adjunct to other medical treatment. Hypnotherapy is a psychological treatment that combines trance-inducing methods and relaxation with story-telling, guided imagery, and direct and indirect suggestions that guide the listener toward changes in behavior, emotions, thinking, and physical responses. Here are five ways in which hypnotherapy can help people cope with cancer.

1. Relaxation

With the diagnosis of cancer come fears of dreadful possibilities: painful medical procedures, the side-effects of medication, the possibility of physical suffering, a shortened life span, curtailed activities, and changes in relationships. Panic and anxiety are natural and understandable responses to such fears, many of which are logical and realistic. However, panic and anxiety may only increase the symptoms and interfere with those activities that are still doable and worthwhile.

Hypnotherapy is a means of relaxation that helps one stay focused and mindful of the moment, relaxed enough to enjoy the simple pleasures that life still offers. Sleep is especially difficult with so many worries. Hypnotherapy can often induce the deep relaxation and pleasant imagery that allows a restorative night of sleep.

2. Pain Management

With cancer, there are three sources of physical pain: The pain of the cancer's damage to the body, the pain of medical procedures, and the pain of muscle tension that often accompanies fear or emotional distress. Pain is generally a warning to the body to take action and muscle tension is the body's natural, fight-or-flight response to a perceived threat. When muscle tension leads to action that reduces or eliminates pain (i.e., you quickly remove your hand from a hot stove) then the tension serves a purpose. When the tension only exacerbates the pain, then the tension is not helping.

Hypnotherapy teaches a host of pain management methods that generally divert the mind's attention elsewhere. Pain decreases when we pay less attention to it. Hypnotherapy uses relaxation, focusing exercises, and guided imagery to take the mind away from pain, thus reducing tension. A hypnotherapist will often use images and stories to suggest different ways to think about pain. For example, if a client says the pain feels like a red-hot, burning coal, the hypnotherapy session may include a short story about firemen dowsing a fire with cold water, until the fire goes away, and then a clean-up crew arrives to clear away the debris and repair the damage. Through training in self-hypnosis, cancer patients can eventually learn how to turn pain off, or at least ignore it with increasing effectiveness.

3. Manage Fears of Medical Procedures

Let's face it. Despite the best efforts of medical teams, clinical and hospital procedures are not fun. Surgical processes, treatments and exams are often painful, annoying, uncomfortable, and inconvenient. At times they can reduce one's sense of dignity, privacy, and personal control. Medical procedures are especially daunting to people who associate medical processes with traumatic and painful experiences of the past and fears of what the future can hold. Some people actually develop phobias for white coats, the smell of antiseptics, or the sight of a hypodermic needle.

Hypnotherapy employs several methods to alleviate the effects of trauma and reduce fears and phobias. These desensitization methods work by pairing a state of detachment, confidence, and relaxation, with memories or images of traumatic or fear-producing events, while reminding the listener that those experiences are over and done.

4. Recovery From Surgery

There are several studies in which hypnotherapy has been shown to reduce bleeding and swelling during surgery, as well as to minimize discomfort or nausea following surgery or chemotherapy. Surgical incisions can heal more quickly with hypnotic suggestions. In many cases hypnosis may help surgery patients cope with pain and sleep well, so they require less post-surgery medication. Some hospitals now employ hypno-anesthesiologists as part of the surgical team, for those patients who are allergic to or highly intolerant of chemical anesthesia agents.

5. Enhanced Health and Healing

Numerous authors have spoken about the benefits of guided imagery to help cancer patients achieve healing, stronger immunity, and remission. In guided imagery, the client relaxes while the therapist describes stories and images of healing sanctuaries, healing beams of light, fountains of life, guardian angels or spiritual entities, and visions of future recovery and return to normal activity. Skeptics dismiss positive results as the placebo effect or a fluke. Perhaps they take too lightly the manner in which the brain transmits chemical messages, via the neurological pathways, that activate the body's own healing responses.

In 1978, Stephanie Matthews-Simonton, O. Carl Simonton, and James Creighton, wrote the ground-breaking book, Getting Well Again (Bantam Books, 1984), a self-help guide for cancer patients. They told cancer patients that beliefs and attitudes play an important role in pain management and recovery. They described the value of mental relaxation and imagery. They also provided case studies in which cancer patients achieved improvement and, at times, remission, by visualizing and drawing pictures of their cancer cells being destroyed by armies of protective cells dispatched by the immune system. Patients often chose metaphoric images for these protective cells; pacman cartoon characters, knights on horseback, or toothy sharks. Amazingly, many of these pictures characterized the manner in which Natural Killer cells actually attack and destroy individual cancer cells.

In the field of psychoneuroimmunology (the study of the role of psychological processes in the treatment of disease), there are numerous recently-published books available to hypnotherapists who want to improve their skills in working with cancer patients. One is Guided Imagery (Crown House, 2000) by Rubin Battino, Adjunct Professor at Wright State University in the Department of Human Services, and President of the Milton H. Erickson Society at Dayton, Ohio. In addition to his academic duties he is a group facilitator for cancer patients at the The Charlie Brown Exceptional Patient Support Group in Dayton, Ohio.


Hypnosis can prove a viable part of a cancer treatment regimen. Additionally, a hypnotherapist can help the client adapt behavioral changes, such as smoking cessation, that contribute to improved health. Insurance companies now reimburse psychotherapy sessions conducted by licensed mental health practitioners who incorporate hypnotherapy, relaxation training, and guided imagery into their clinical skills. Many clinics now offer support groups for these purposes as well.

Cancer patients have more tools at their disposal than ever before, with the ability to assemble a virtual team of practitioners drawn from traditional and non-traditional disciplines. Today's doctors are more interested in treating the whole person, not just the disease. We've come a long way in medical care, not just in having advanced drugs and technologies, but also in our attitudes about the mind-body aspects of illness and health. We now know that a will to live, like that displayed by Richard Bloch and so many others, often imparts the strength to endure and outstrips all that medicine can accomplish.

Judith E. Pearson, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist, counselor and life coach with a private practice, Motivational Strategies, Inc., in Springfield, Virginia. She specializes in solution-oriented therapies, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy. She is the executive director of the National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists ( She recently published The Weight, Hypnotherapy, and You Weight Reduction Program: An NLP and Hypnotherapy Practitioner's Manual released by Crown House Ltd of Wales. Her web site is

Posted: 03/21/2007

Bookmark and Share

This article provided by The International Hypnosis Research Institute.

Enter your email address to subscribe to the IHRI Newsletter.

Overcome Loneliness

Overcome Loneliness! This hypnosis session will address possible feelings of low confidence or self-esteem that keep you from meeting new people. You’ll start to feel more accepting of yourself & find new ways to meet and get to know people.

Do Away With Jealousy

Release Jealousy To Discover Deeper Relationships Of Trust!This hypnosis session will teach you take back control of your imagination so that you use it for positive visualization, rather than negative suspicions.

Allergies Away

Hypnosis is extremely effective in eliminating allergies.You will be guided through a gentle process of desensitization from allergies&reframe negative feelings associated with allergies!

Articles from the blog

Treatment for stress

Without stress we would have very little motivation. We are constantly assessing the balance between our capabilities and perceived difficulties of the challenges that we face every day. When we are inspired, we are motivated to show that our capabilities clearly outweigh the obstacles in front of us. However, even if we are successful, prolonged periods of stress can have its toll. This is why we need to achieve as much balance in life as possible. On the other hand, there are times that the things that stress us may seem to exceed our capabilities to handle them. Likewise, this adds to the...

Getting Away from a Chewing Tobacco Habit

During my military career and while living in the southeast United States frequently I have come upon people who are addicted to dipping snuff or having a piece of chewing tobacco in their mouths. It seems to have become a habit that is encouraged in certain cultures. While there are some that are proud of their habit and feel that the little circle that a tobacco can makes in the back pocket of their jeans is a status symbol, still most people find the habit rather disgusting. Even many addicted users admit this as well.

Unlike smokers, those that chew or sniff tobacco products...

What is bullying?

Recently the topics of bullying in bullies have received considerable attention in the press. This is surprising as this phenomenon has been with us since the dawn of mankind and will continue to be with us until civilization evolves sufficiently. Despite its popularity as a topic for discussion, I am frustrated as the speakers and writers rarely adequately define it. However, for the adverse effects of bullying to be adequately treated, it is imperative that it be looked at in its basic form.

Bullying is a form of instinctual dominance play. It can be seen in any form of pack...
  Popular Titles
1. Maximize Self Confidence
2. Smoking NO MORE!
3. Enhances Body Image- Weight Loss
4. Manage Anger
5. Eliminate Depression


Free Daily Hypnosis Sessions

Specializing in Hypnosis CDs, Hypnosis MP3s, Hypnotherapy CDs, and Hypnosis Downloads since 1992

Follow tbrunson on Twitter

  Self-Help Categories

  Clinical Series
We have over 40 individual session titles including anxieites, phobias, and medical-topics.
Clinical Sessions List

  Free Newsletter
Join Dr. Tim Brunson's mailing list for the latest on new hypnosis products, hypnosis articles, and truly hypnotic special offers.

Your email:

Please note: Our list is 100% spam free! We respect your privacy.

Visit my blog

Payments are processed by The International Hypnosis Research Institute, LLC.


Hypnosis CDs | Hypnosis MP3 | Hypnosis Downloads

Number of Visitors: 4858644 Last Date Visit: 07/17/19