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Rose Ferguson, C. Ht.
Hypnosis For the Caregiver
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Hypnosis For the Caregiver

Hypnosis For the Caregiver

A caregiver is anyone who routinely assists another person, such as an elderly parent, a child with special needs, or a partner with a chronic illness. Although caring for a loved one can be rewarding, the physical and psychological demands of this role often contribute to serious health issues. Studies have shown that caregivers experience similar symptoms as those diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder, including exhaustion, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and a compromised immune system.

The emotions we experience when caring for a loved one intensify the physical toll this work takes on our bodies. In addition, caregivers often ignore their own needs because they feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities. Some caregivers also find it difficult to set healthy boundaries or ask for help. These factors can lead to caregiver burnout, or caregiver stress syndrome.

Caregiver burnout is a state of mental, emotional, and physical distress that feels insurmountable and drains both body and mind. To combat burnout, caregivers must prioritize their physical and mental well-being. We can use hypnosis to help us cope with many stressors linked to caregiving. For example, caring for a loved one often disrupts our sleep, which leads to an elevation in stress hormones, including cortisol. Skipping meals or relying on convenience foods negatively impacts our nutrition, which also raises our cortisol levels. Increased cortisol further impacts sleep, and lack of sleep exacerbates other health issues. Hypnosis allows us to develop and strengthen strategies for improving sleep and managing stress because reinforcing these techniques in the hypnotic state allows them to become automatic responses.

Caregivers can also use self hypnosis to manage stress and take a “mental vacation” from their daily responsibilities. Self hypnosis is easy to learn and can be practiced in spare moments. Sometimes caregivers experience frustration when caring for someone who is unable to voice their appreciation for all the caregiver provides. With self hypnosis, a caregiver can visualize their loved one expressing gratitude or revisit positive memories they shared, and this visualization can help restore the caregiver’s sense of self and well-being.

Those receiving care can also benefit from hypnosis directly. The elderly, the chronically ill, and those with special needs can all use hypnosis to manage pain, improve sleep, reduce stress, build self-confidence, and achieve other goals. A qualified hypnotist can answer your questions about how hypnosis can help you and your loved ones.

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