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Hypnosis and Health Insurance — saving money and time

Question:

I was talking to a friend and she said she was paying half as much for hypnosis than she did last year because her insurance now covers some of it.  Is that true?

Answer:

Yes, it’s true.  One of the things that’s a real benefit with the Affordable Care Act is its awareness that covering sickness is only half the battle; you have to promote Wellness if you want to reduce disease, increase productivity, and allow people to live happier and longer lives.  Plus, with fewer people ill or suffering, less money is spent on all forms of medicine and therapy not to mention how much money is added to the economy when people make it to work more often in more positive moods.

Before January 2014, some insurance companies would reimburse clients Hypnotherapist for things like smoking cessation, weight loss, etc.  But they didn’t have to unless there was a Wellness Program to sign up for or if a company decided to have one.  However, with the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies have to give some level of reimbursement for Wellness.  This includes Hypnotherapy, Massage, and other alternate therapies like Naturopathy.

This is what I’ve been doing for my clients.  So far the usual amount reimbursed is 50%.  

I give my clients a receipt that says:

•The state’s code number for hypnosis (in California it’s 90880).
•A list of the reasons the client is seeing the Hypnotherapist (It should look like “Wellness:  Weight Loss, Sleep Disorder, Smoking Cessation, Anxiety, Stress Relief, Agoraphobia, etc.).
•The dates the client saw the Hypnotherapist and how much they paid.

The client should be given two copies, one to send to their insurance company and one to keep.  How much a person will be reimbursed depends on their health insurance company and program.

However, I am not putting myself out as the expert on this.  I’m located in California and I do know how Wellness is covered in the Affordable Care Act here, but I do not know exactly how it works anywhere else.

I would suggest that everyone call their insurance company to find out how the new law is helping them in this and other ways.

Hypnosis has been show to be the shortest-term therapy available and thus saves time and money.  Now, with reimbursement, seeing a Hypnotherapist is more cost-effective than ever.

 

 

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What Does Hypnosis Feel Like?

Question:

What does being hypnotized feel like?

Answer:

Every human being has gone into hypnosis regularly since they were born.  Hypnosis is that state that begins approximately thirty minutes before you fall asleep and that you can go back into for thirty minutes after you wake up.  You also enter it when you’re absorbed in reading or watching a movie or TV.  It’s that completely relaxed and comfortable state in which you become less connected to the outer world and begin moving towards that vagueness that precedes sleep.

Your body is as deeply relaxed as your mind.  Sometimes you feel like you’re floating; sometimes you don’t feel anything at all.  One client describes it as a “dream-like state of mind.”  Others talk about being very calm and that, sometimes, it’s almost like an out-of-body experience – except that you always know exactly where you are and feel absolutely safe and secure.  Others just feel relaxed and nothing unusual.   These people are often not sure they’ve even been under hypnosis — until I remind them that their hand rose off the table simply because I suggested it did or they saw the images we developed with peculiar visual, auditory, and emotional clarity.

But, even in the deepest state of hypnosis, you can always hear everything the hypnotherapist says and talk with her or him.  You can even have your eyes open.  If they choose, a person can come out of the state at any time.  But most people enjoy the whole hypnotherapeutic process so much that they rarely do.

So What is a Suggestion, Anyway?

Question:

Every time I hear people talking about how effective hypnosis is, they mention the power of suggestion.  You mention it in your articles, but have never really defined it.

Answer:

In a normal day, everyone gets suggestions all the time such as when someone tells you what route to drive or which shirt to buy.  It’s an idea given to you by someone else that you receive and consider consciously.  Usually their effectiveness depends on the knowledgeability of the other person.  If they know the area better, you’re more likely to travel as per their suggestion.  But, even if they are only as familiar with the place as you are, just hearing a suggestion gives it power.  It goes to the forefront of your mind and overshadows your other ideas.  However, if that suggestion is different from what your subconscious is comfortable with, then when someone tells you to take a route that involves going through a neighborhood you have negative associations with, your subconscious isn’t going to let you take it no matter how much faster it is or more logical.

But there is one time when the subconscious mind is very open to absorbing suggestions — during hypnosis.  Hypnosis occurs during the thirty minutes before a person falls asleep.  You may have heard in school that what you study just before you go to sleep is what you’ll remember best.  This is because during hypnosis, the critical facilities in your conscious mind, such as logic and reasoning, are already only half aware of what’s going on and are no longer filtering out new, potentially uncomfortable, thoughts and ideas.

A hypnotherapist is skilled at coming up with words and images that “speak” to their client.  The idea that a person’s hand can become so light that it will defy gravity and float up into the air seems impossible consciously, but to the subconscious anything is possible.  If a person is not in hypnosis, logic and reason will tell them that their hand is not getting lighter; however, when under hypnosis, the subconscious mind pays more attention to the voice of the hypnotherapist than the physical reality. Therefore, they will believe that their arm is becoming lighter.  If a person is visual, one might concentrate on the image of the hand rising or playing in the breeze.  Auditory people are encouraged to hear the air lift their hand.  Kinesthetically oriented people are told to feel the air lift their hand.  In nearly every case, the hand will rise.

It’s never just the power of suggestion that affects people, it’s how a suggestion is given and when.  When created by a skilled hypnotherapist, the results can be profound and life changing.

What are the advantages in using hypnosis instead of medication for insomnia?

Question:

I’ve never had trouble sleeping in my life until we recently had a major shake-up where I work.  But even though things have pretty much calmed down, I still can’t seem to get more than four hours of sleep a night.  Half my friends say I should try hypnosis while the others say I should just see a doctor but I’m a little uncomfortable taking pills for what may be a long time.

Answer:

The main differences between hypnosis and medication is that hypnosis itself puts you in the state that occurs naturally starting about 30 minutes before you fall asleep.   That alone starts preparing your body for returning to your normal sleep pattern.  Your hypnotherapist will usually make suggestions and give you relaxation techniques that you will use that evening to put yourself back in hypnosis and your brain will start regaining its natural ability to quickly move from hypnosis to regular sleep with all the necessary stages of sleep.

Usually the process takes less than 4-8 sessions, especially if the problem began after something that temporarily changed a person’s routine.  Your case sounds very similar with a break in your your normal pattern and now you’re having difficulty getting back to your natural schedule.  This often occurs frequently after the holidays.

Doctors have to be very careful when prescribing sleep drugs.   No matter what other side-effect(s) they might have, all sleep medications can cause psychological dependence.

The newest type of drug imitates the actions of the brain hormone melatonin which is what normally regulates your sleep/wake cycle.  It may take as long as 10 days to become fully effective.  Side effects rarely occur, but they include the possibility of doing activities while quasi-asleep like driving, eating, and making phone calls at night and having no memory of them in the morning.  Mental changes can occur as well such as agitation, anxiety, nightmares, and other changes in your usual thoughts, mood, or behavior.

Older medications contain selective Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).  GABA receptors work in the brain and affect levels of alertness.  These  are directed specifically at the receptor thought to affect sleep.  Side effects include memory problems and activities like sleep driving and sleepwalking.

Often people will use an over-the-counter allergy medicine.  Most contain diphenhydramine that works on the body’s histamines, which are what create cold and allergy symptoms.  Diphenhydramine also has a sedating effect, hence its use in sleep.  While it is efficacious with mild, infrequent insomnia, all histamines are known for creating morning grogginess.  Other side effects can include difficulty urinating and confusion or delirium.

While hypnosis’ greatest advantage may be that it has no side effects, because hypnosis has returned your brain to his normal sleep/wake cycle, you will continue your normal sleep schedule while, sometimes, stopping a sleep medication means that your sleeping problems may return.

What Is Hypnotherapy?

QUESTION:

Hi Susan!  I just saw a show at my college where a hypnotist made people do silly things on stage.  Is that what hypnotherapy is all about?

ANSWER:

While both put people in the state of hypnosis, they are very different.  On stage, the hypnotist looks for people who like to perform and gives them a chance to let themselves go — even if they don’t remember it later.  Hypnotherapy, however, is all about reaching goals.  The suggestions I would give you would be to help change behaviors you don’t like, such as not exercising enough or getting panic attacks.   Other uses for hypnotherapy are to prepare you for specific events from tests to any medical procedure.  Everything is done in the comfort of my office.  The only other similarity between stage hypnosis and hypnotherapy is that both are fun.  During hypnotherapy we find strengths you never knew you had and new ways to enjoy your life.  All without making you quack like a duck.