Salem Hypnosis Article at Empowered Within – Hypnosis and Cancer: A Method for using Hypnotism with Persons Living with Cancer Examination for Fellow of the National Guild of Hypnotists
The Rev. C. Scot Giles, D.Min.
Board Certified Chaplain, Association of Professional Chaplains
Board Certified Hypnotist, Certified Instructor, National Guild of Hypnotists
Copyright © C. Scot Giles 2003, All Rights Reserved Except as Assigned
This essay is an overview of the model of Complementary Medical Hypnotism I employ in my professional work. As I have come to be well-known as a hospital and medically-based practitioner I frequently receive requests for information about my work, especially research findings that support it. This essay submitted for my Fellow examination in the National Guild of Hypnotists contains that information, and I hope the Guild will feel free to distribute it.
The specific hypnotic techniques I employ are described in the official certification curriculum for medical hypnotism that I wrote for the National Guild of Hypnotists. This curriculum has been revised several times in the light of new research and I plan to keep it current. This essay is a more personal account of the assumptions that lie behind this curriculum and a further elaboration of how I use these methods in practical hypnotic work and the overall theory that guides the hypnotism.
While I see many clients in individual sessions each week, much of my work is done in a group setting. This essay explains the design of my group programs and shares the outcomes data for the program based at La Grange Memorial Hospital since 1991. This program is called I Can Act Now (ICAN) and was the first medically approved, hospital based program in American for the hypnotic treatment of cancer.
1. My private medical hypnotism work is based on a model similar to the one described here, although the design of a private session is necessarily different from the design of a group program. I also offer several free clinics for cancer patients. These clinics use the format described in this essay, although they are larger groups with an attendance of twenty-five participants each, and meet monthly. Much of my approach is rooted in the thinking of Bernie Siegel, MD. This approach is often called
the Exceptional Cancer Patients Model. While Dr. Siegel does not practice hypnotism, his philosophical approach colors my own thinking.
In the early 1980s, when I was struggling with a life-changing medical condition, Dr. Siegel’s thinking was the key to my own recovery. I suffer from an inherited cardio-vascular condition and I have a relatively severe case of it. Two decades ago the medication I needed to take for this condition began to cause debilitating cluster migraine headaches. My own physicians could find no alternative, but in his 1978 best selling book, Love, Medicine and Miracles, Dr. Siegel had suggested that it might be possible to use the power of the mind to enhance the effect of medication. A copy of the brochure used to hold this program out to the public is attached to this essay as an appendix. I corresponded with him and he encouraged me to try the technique, which has since come to be known as “hypnotic medication potentiation” in the Guild Medical Curriculum. Using self-hypnosis I was able to increase my body’s utilization of the necessary drug so that I achieved the same effect I had received, but from a lower dose. This reduction in dosage was sufficient to drop below the threshold that triggered the headaches.
Encouraged by this success, and having already been trained in hypnotism, I began to look for other opportunities to use the hypnotic arts and sciences to enhance healing. I was a parish minister at the time, and nine women in my congregation with breast cancer came to me to ask if I would help them with the side-effects of their treatment. All their physicians approved and I did the work, very much making the techniques up as I went along. All nine did much better than anyone expected
them to do, and the physicians wanted to send other patients. In time Counseling Ministries, Incorporated, a Chicago-area group practice in pastoral care and counseling, learned of my work and invited me to join and practice medical hypnotism on a full-time basis.
Salem hypnosis article at Empowered Within