It happens to us all
Growing older is another stage in the adventure that is life. It can herald the opportunity for new experiences and freedom from the shackles of a job one might not have enjoyed or found fulfilling. It can provide the space to enjoy time with family and friends.
It can also be the moment when people start to let go of some of those words, thoughts or deeds which have become their standard response to a variety of situations over the years purely because they were ‘expected’ or because the person feared upsetting others or disrupting the social norms.
It may be that as one accumulates more and more birthdays, so perhaps it becomes clearer as to what is important. This could be virtually anything, however more often than not it includes the love and companionship of a partner and time with friends and family.
There is another side to ageing however. It can bring a time of increased illness and interaction with the healthcare system or anxiety about ill health and other matters. It can also be a time of financial stress and a time when it is difficult to let go of past issues and prejudices. Obviously all of these can inhibit enjoyment of life and the sense of fulfilment.
Hypnotherapy for older people
So where does hypnotherapy fit in with all this?
Hypnotherapy is not commonly associated with being sought out by, or suggested for, those who might be termed as ’seniors’.
I wonder why that is? Personally I have worked successfully with many clients in their 60’s and 70’s. In keeping with many individuals of all ages, I suspect that there are older people who do not consider hypnosis as a viable therapy purely through ignorance, prejudice or even fear. In addition I suspect that it is not proposed as an intervention because it is considered that they are too set in their ways to change or would not be prepared to accept something so ‘different’.
Clearly anyone of any age who is fearful or unaware of the possibilities of hypnosis is unlikely to seek it out as a therapy. However there are many problem areas common to all ages which can benefit from hypnotherapy. These might include depression, sleep disorder, anxiety, phobia, smoking addiction and alcohol problems as well as to improve eating habits.
In addition, the trance phenomenon can be very valuable in releasing individuals from their past trauma, unhelpful beliefs and grudges. For older people this can be particularly beneficial in enabling them to live happier, more fulfilled lives as they can get rid of the rigid thoughts or behaviours which have become more and more ingrained and limiting over the years and which cannot be easily or quickly changed ‘consciously’.
Seniors also tend to have more worries about real or potential illness, have a greater propensity to suffer from increased chronic conditions and often require greater levels of medical care.
Hypnotherapy can help to bring about a more positive state of mind and a reduced level of anxiety leading to improved quality of life.
Hypnosis and self hypnosis are well known to be effective for pain management and can be effective in helping patients cope with pain from cancer and other conditions such as osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia as well as contributing to countering the uncomfortable effects resulting from chemotherapy.
For those who are about to undergo surgery, hypnosis can reduce the level of apprehension and fear experienced by the patient and for those who are recovering from it can accelerate healing and reduce post-operative reactions.
Hypnotherapy can increase relaxation for those affected by cardiovascular issues and strokes and some studies have also suggested that hypnotherapy can help dementia sufferers where results have indicated that it can have a positive impact on the patient’s quality of life.
In summary, ageing will naturally bring about many changes to physical and/or mental function and processes.
Some of these will be relatively easy to cope with, whilst others can cause more harm and be more troublesome. In addition, they often complicate other health issues and how they are treated.
Obviously hypnotherapy is not a cure-all or a panacea for all ills. If used appropriately however it can aid relaxation and pain management and reduce anxiety.
This can help older people deal with long term emotional or psychological problems which are holding them back from living a full and gratifying life.
If you have accumulated lots of birthdays and would like to explore whether hypnotherapy could help you, why not seek out a suitably qualified and insured hypnotherapist and explore what is possible with them, or if you know someone who might benefit why not suggest it (gently!) to them.
Old dogs can learn new tricks!