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Hypnosis for physical disorders? Patients say it works

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Richard Bergh [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Bad digestion, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis — all painful conditions with one thing in common: They can be treated with hypnosis.

At Mount Sinai Health System, psychologist hypnotherapists are in demand, with patients waiting months for their seven-session treatments, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The effects from seven hypnotic sessions can last more than a year but only half of patients benefit from them.

The results are considered so successful that seven other research hospitals are adding hypnotherapy.

About one-third of patients aren’t sold on the idea, therapists say, since it has a sort of Las Vegas reputation that doesn’t sound serious.

Experts say they believe hypnotherapy works especially in gastrointestinal disorders where signs of serious disease are missing. They theorize the brain becomes distracted from the messages coming from the gut. That makes the feeling seem less intense.

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