Hypnosis and Cancer: Benefits of Hypnosis in Therapeutic Cancer Care


Hypnosis is a legitimate procedure that has been used medically for many years to help patients with a variety of ailments and issues. Hypnosis is now widely accepted as a form of treatment for those with cancer, particularly the more aggressive forms such as mesothelioma and metastatic breast cancer.

Even though it does not cure actual cancer, hypnosis has been proven effective in reducing the symptoms caused by these horrific diseases and alleviating the stress that accompanies many of the traditional forms of cancer treatment.

In one study by the National Institute of Health (NIH), breast cancer patients who received hypnosis prior to surgery experienced reduced nausea, pain and discomfort as well as decreased trauma and fatigue. Additionally, according to the NIH, children who had cancer were provided hypnosis treatments and subsequently had reduced distress and pain from their traditional treatments.

For reasons as yet unknown, hypnosis has been shown to increase the levels of immunoglobulin in healthy individuals, as well as increase the activity levels of white blood cells and provide increased tolerance to pain. Hypnosis has also proven efficacious in alleviating migraines.

A patient’s mesothelioma prognosis may be improved by the addition of hypnotic therapy to their treatment regimen. Although hypnosis does not claim to cure the disease of cancer, there is evidence that it reduces stress and provides an increased feeling of control over one’s life. This has been shown to increase the quality of life for cancer patients, as well as contribute to their longevity.

Particularly for those who have been diagnosed with terminal cancer, quality of life can be improved by utilising hypnosis; the Mayo Clinic recommends hypnosis to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, nausea, vomiting and pain that can be side effects of traditional medicine.

Not all individuals are able to be hypnotised and there are varying levels of the hypnotic state. Some individuals are able to be more deeply entranced than others although this does not seem to affect the positive outcomes of hypnosis for therapeutic cancer therapy.

Some individuals can be trained to hypnotise themselves, which is called auto-hypnosis or self-hypnosis. This can be particularly beneficial for those in traditional, ongoing cancer treatments.

Although there are usually no side effects associated with hypnosis, some individuals may become emotionally distressed when hypnotised; therefore it is not recommended for these individuals. Also, those individuals with certain mental illnesses should avoid hypnosis. It should also not be used as a substitute for traditional treatment of cancer. Otherwise, hypnosis has not been shown to have any deleterious side effects in therapeutic cancer treatment.