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Can hypnotherapy support you on your cancer journey?

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer or are currently undergoing treatment you’ll know that cancer can present you with a wide variety of symptoms and challenges; mental, emotional, physical and logistical.

Firstly, your thoughts may be focused on the diagnosis, the prognosis, the treatment, your friends and family, the side effects….it goes on. And emotionally you can find you go from one extreme to another…there can be fear, hope, panic, anxiety, anger, depression.

Physically you may experience a wide range of symptoms, from pain, general malaise, nausea and vomiting to fatigue and insomnia. And then there are the logistics – what do you do about work, how do you explain things to the children, how do you get to the hospital appointments?

What is hypnotherapy?

On its website, Cancer Research UK talks about the benefits of hypnotherapy when undergoing cancer treatment. Hypnotherapy is both safe and effective and can enable your body to feel deeply relaxed while your mind will be alert and focused.

During hypnosis we can speak to the subconscious part of the mind. It’s this part that stores all of our fears, worries, habits and unconscious behaviours that drive so much of what we do, think and feel without us realising it.

In hypnosis we can start to re-programme this part of your mind, resulting in powerful and lasting changes.

The research

On his website, Clinical Psychologist Dr David Godot says “One recent study of 20 terminally ill cancer patients allowed each patient to choose the symptom they would most like to address using hypnotherapy. As a result, 19 of those 20 patients reported dramatically improved quality of life, anxiety status, and ability to cope, as well as better sleep and more energy. The symptoms they successfully addressed during the course of the study included pain, fatigue, malaise, irritability, insomnia, nausea and vomiting, anticipatory nausea, food aversions, anxiety, depression, guilt, anger, hostility, frustration, isolation, reduced self-esteem, and helplessness. Additionally, significant cost savings were realized in the form of reduced need for medication and nursing (Peynovska, Fisher, Oliver, & Mathew, 2005).” (

The Cancer Research UK website cites a US study in 2007 which gave hypnotherapy to a group of women before they had breast surgery. The researchers found that hypnotherapy lowered the amount of pain, sickness, tiredness and upset that the women had afterwards. Another US study in 2006 found that hypnotherapy helped to lower anxiety and pain during a biopsy for suspected breast cancer. (

What can hypnotherapy help with?

Hypnotherapy can help with:

  • Pain

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Anxiety and worry

  • Fears or phobias relating to treatment

  • Pre and post surgery

  • Relaxation

  • Treatment of side effects

  • Eating issues

  • Hot flushes

  • Vertigo

  • Emotional wellbeing.

The beauty of hypnosis is that it can be tailored to your exact needs, wants and personality traits.

I am a qualified Coach and Clinical Hypnotherapist with additional training in Hypno-oncology. Find out more.

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