Hypnosis is frequently used in team sports and individual sports. There is clear evidence that using hypnosis can enhance sports performance, endurance, strength, perceptual accuracy, sensory acuity, learning capacity, mental stamina, injury healing and pain control.
With the implementation of hypnosis, there are dramatic improvements in muscle strength and endurance, however, it is not only by hypnotic suggestion, but also the positive expectation and motivation the individual holds. By mentally rehearsing a skill, or imagining having increased strength, for example, produces favorable results in the person’s performance. The person displays being stronger and more capable in their task. With the hypnotic suggestions and positive self belief there are improvements in muscle strength, muscle memory, and focus. The athlete must also learn self-hypnosis for maximizing function and eliminating pain. By incorporating self-hypnosis and the elicitation of the relaxation response, the athlete acquires more self control and more resiliency. The genuine performance enrichment is to be tailored to the individual as it relates to their sport and circumstance.
Hypnosis has been used in major surgeries and treating chronic and acute pain since the early 1800’s. It has been medically and scientifically studied and proven to block pain, regulate pain and enhance human performance. Evidence shows it is an effective and valuable tool for people suffering from diverse forms of pain. Hypnoanalgesia alleviates the sensory and/or affective components of the pain experience. Additionally, hypnoanalgesia is found to aid in a better overall outcome and physiologically stability after an injury, surgery, or any medical treatment. Hypnotic analgesia can be mediated by self-distraction, stress inoculation, reinterpretation, imaginative transformation of stimulus, dissociation, and other tension management techniques. Dissociation produces an amnesia like barrier that diminishes the awareness of pain. The pain is still registered as a physiological stimulus, however, the pain is not consciously felt.
Chronic pain, which continues beyond the given time to recover from an injury, can be treated with hypnosis using a comprehensive strategy that targets other aspects of the actual pain. The hypnotist may use therapies to increase behaviors that foster agility, well-being, functional activity, positive self talk, restoring range of motion and proper body mechanics. Hypnoanalgesia may be applied as a cohesive force in providing a holistic approach to reducing the debilitating affects of pain and fatigue in performance.