If you’re wondering whether your child would be helped by hypnosis, this page is designed to provide you with some information to help make that decision. Certain issues are commonly helped with hypnosis for children, so the issue or problem you’re looking to take care of is one of the first things to think about. Hypnosis for children, or pediatric hypnosis, is commonly used for the following issues:
- Bedwetting or enuresis;
- Habits or tics such as thumb-sucking, hair-pulling, skin picking and so on;
- Sleep issues such as difficulty in sleeping, nightmares or night terrors;
- Fears such as fear of the dark;
- Self esteem issues stemming from all sorts of experiences, including bullying;
- Anxiety and stress;
- ADD/ADHD symptoms benefit from the increase in focus created by hypnotic processes;
- Autism Spectrum and Asperger’s, certain behaviors can be lessened or managed;
- Chronic conditions such as asthma;
- Chronic pain from conditions such as cancer or fibromyalgia, etc.
The University of Michigan Health System website states that “Hypnotherapy has been used to treat hundreds of behavior disorders, chronic diseases, and pain and discomfort” in children.
What ages are appropriate for hypnosis? In general, hypnosis is used in children from the age of 5 and up. The child needs to be old enough to engage in imaginative play and engage in play and gentle discussion with an adult that is not their parent. At ChangeWorks, we have seen children from the age of 6 on up. We see kids for the issues listed above, and more at ChangeWorks Hypnosis. As parents ourselves, we fully believe in using natural remedies first and only escalating to medication when behavioral changes and natural approaches fail to work.
Natural approaches work so often and are so easy to implement that it really does make sense first to see if behavioral changes, dietary changes and natural remedies such as hypnosis will resolve the issue and we encourage you to work with your doctor to give these methods a chance prior to prescribing medicine whenever possible and practical. Of course, any type of life threatening illness or acute situation must be seen by a medical doctor.
When my own daughter, Grace, was very little, we were concerned about autism because she stopped using language and started babbling. It turned out she has a condition called Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Basically, her hearing was fine, but her brain scrambled the signals so while she was babbling she thought she was repeating what she heard. Along with this came some other symptoms–she simply could NOT fall asleep until 1 or 2 am (we called her “party baby”) and she had some ADD like symptoms of hyperactivity. We took Grace to a pediatric specialist through the University of Minnesota, and he was trained in and used hypnosis! He was very helpful in getting us set up with the natural and behavioral-change methods that allowed her to start getting better. Paired with help from the school district’s Early Childhood Special Ed program, she has gotten better and better every year! This year she’s in 5th grade, and in the beginning of last year she was still reading below level but now she’s actually reading above level! With the guidance of the doctor from the U of M, and the help of the district, we’ve used hypnosis, behavioral change, dietary changes and she seems to be “outgrowing” her challenges. All without medication.
There are many childhood issues that hypnotherapy helps with, including ADD/ADHD, Asperger’s, allergies, asthma, fears such as fear of the dentist, and dyslexia. In a study on Dyslexia in 1975, Crasilneck and Hall showed that over 75% of dyslexic children can be helped with direct hypnosis. Following hypnotherapy that included suggestions for improving performance and pronunciation, recognition of words became automatic and more rapid. The results in this study were as good as, or slightly better than, those reported by special behavior modifiers.
What is done during pediatric hypnosis sessions? Basically, hypnosis at any age engages the imagination. Children enter the hypnotic state easily because they are so imaginative. Hypnosis looks different in children than adults, though, and you may see your hypnotized child moving about, eyes open, even drawing or playing during the session. Your child will also be taught to enter self hypnosis, at the appropriate time during the work, in a manner that is appropriate for their age. Depending on the age of the child, self hypnosis may be called by other words that are easier for them to understand and relate to. Learning self hypnosis to control one’s own feelings is a powerful self-esteem booster, at any age!
Is hypnosis right for your child? There’s no one thing that works for everyone, but here at ChangeWorks we encourage you to give the natural abilities of the mind and body to create health and healing a chance.
If your child is on the autism spectrum, click here to learn how hypnosis can help with Asperger’s and high functioning autism.
We encourage you to learn more about what pediatric hypnosis can do for your child. Give us a call at 952/356-0010 to schedule a consultation, and take a look at the links to helpful, qualified resources about hypnosis for children below: University of Michigan on Pediatric Hypnosis gives a good overview on the uses of hypnosis for children. Pediatrics Digest on hypnosis for children shows that 75% of children show improvement using hypnosis for various conditions.