Hypnotherapy placebo effect therapy most probably acts via, placebo effects/auto suggestion mechanisms.
Anaesthesiologists have been practicing some form of suggestion therapy even in their day-to-day preoperative visits on the eve of surgery. Even a 5-minute preoperative visit will reduce anxiety of patient significantly.
Hypnotherapy placebo effect or what was called mesmerism was described in late 18th century by Franz Anton Mesmer and defined as “an altered state of mind”.
Hypnotherapy placebo effect is any mental state, induced by physiologic, psychologic or pharmacologic maneuvers or agents, which can be recognized subjectively by the individual himself (or by an observer of the individual) as representing sufficient deviation in subjective experience or psychologic functioning from certain general norms for that individual during alert and waking consciousness.
There are three schools of hypnosis: (a) Directive, (b) Ericksonian, (c) Permissive
Permissive: Subject and hypnotist are equally engaged and they rely on patient’s inner resources and try to expand the coping capacities.
Directive and Ericksonian are not very popular as they are more authoritative or more use of metaphors and suggestions are needed.
The permissive method in hypnotherapy placebo effect consists of four parts: (1) Induction of trance, (2) Deepening the trance, (3) Exploration of hypnosis, (4) Termination (back to normal).
The proposed positive effects of hypnotherapy placebo effect are:
1. Emotional support
2. When necessary, to help with acceptance of diagnosis.
3. To diminish fear of specified treatments like radiotherapy, blocks, chemotherapy.
4. To relieve or eliminate symptoms such as Jain, itching, insomnia, nausea, dysphoria, sickness associated with therapy.
5. Relief of phantom limb pain.