Medical Hypnotherapy: The Unique Ability of the Subconscious Mind

During a recent sit-down with a good friend, I told her about some bad dental bridge work on a lower left molar some fifteen-plus years ago that left me with a consistent, never-ending pressure and a stinging, gnawing sensation in the tooth. I explained that even though I’d seen many dentists, visited my MD, and consulted some good chiropractors, none of these great professionals were able to definitively diagnose the cause. For the most part, they could only guess that it might be a damaged nerve. But to this date, I’ve not found any solution! My continual hunt for answers has been not only expensive but very discouraging.

Then my friend volunteered that she’d experienced a similar dental issue, but she was able to resolve it with medical hypnotherapy. She explained how this technique also restored her husband from a long-standing asthma condition and helped her recover from an ongoing knee problem! Their combined issues weren’t corrected with one session, but after several sessions they were finally resolved. And they haven’t returned!

 After that conversation, I was obviously interested in knowing more. What follows is some of my own research into medical hypnotherapy. I also talk about a few of the more interesting subjects that came up during my interview with the same medical hypnotherapist who helped my friend, David Thomson of Columbine Hypnotherapy, LLC.

David Thomson is a practicing hypnotherapist with twelve years of experience who practices in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Within the United States, only a few people are trained in advanced medical hypnotherapy techniques. Thomson has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Louisville at Kentucky and a Masters in Systems Engineering from Regis University in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Utilizing his education and twenty-one years in the Marine Corps, he conducts advanced medical hypnotherapy sessions from his office in Colorado Springs. He can be reached at

How Thomson Describes What He Does

Medical hypnotherapy is a specialized field that focuses on the mind-body connection. This is when your subconscious mind communicates with you about how a disease or mental condition got its start. Armed with this information, Thomson helps people mentally reverse or neutralize the cause of potential diseases or mental disorders.

Though this technique doesn’t work for everyone, it helps many people recover from diseases or mental conditions that don’t offer formal treatments, and it does so without drugs or surgery. Thomson isn’t a doctor. He doesn’t perform surgery, prescribe drugs, or make diagnoses. He just helps people help themselves. And from this, miraculous things may sometimes happen.

 Thomson’s first book will be published sometime in late 2017 or early 2018. It covers thirty-nine cases where medical hypnotherapy helped people recover from physical diseases or mental conditions that were thought untreatable. The book also discusses cancer, diabetes, strokes, genetic and autoimmune disorders, and more. Last but not least, Thomson explains how people can be successful at healing themselves. You can read this interesting article on David Thomson at the Colorado Springs Gazette.

 The Ancient Use of Medical Hypnosis in the Healing Arts

“Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness that has been in use for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians used altered states of consciousness in their sleep temples for healing. It is a very ancient healing method. Hippocrates, the father of medicine (460–377 BC), recognized the power of the subconscious mind. He maintained that our feelings and emotions arise in the brain, and that the brain controls our body.

“Many ancient peoples (American Indian, Africa, India, Asia, and the East) have long been able to enter into the subconscious state at will.

“Some of the key figures in the more recent history of hypnosis:

  • Dr. Franz Anton Mesmer (1720–1792) – the first man to systematically use an altered state of consciousness (hypnosis) for curative purposes.
  • Dr. James Braid (1795–1860) – responsible for naming this state ‘hypnotism’ (from Hypnos, the Greek God of sleep). He realized that hypnotism wasn’t sleep at all and tried to rename it. However, as his books on the subject had already been published in so many languages, he wasn’t successful.
  • Dr. Hyppolyte Bernhiem (1837–1919) – his contribution to hypnosis was in emphasizing the role of suggestion.
  • Dr. Emile Couè (1857–1926) – his work lead to the modern understanding of the laws of suggestion. According to Couè, it is not necessarily the suggestion given to the person that produces the results; rather it is how the suggestion is received.

 “In other words, if the client does not accept the hypnotic suggestion, nothing happens. The person needs to accept the suggestion as his or her own.

 “So any suggestion must be appropriate and congruent with what the person desires to change.

 “In the twentieth century, two figures stand out:

  • Dr Milton Erickson – a doctor who used hypnotherapy with thousands of clients, often with remarkable effects. He used metaphor or stories to deliver suggestion.
  • Dave Elman – trained doctors and dentists in the use of hypnosis and hypnotherapy in the United States. Elman developed and taught fast and easy methods for going into hypnosis.

 “In more recent times, hypnosis has been used by many professionals: doctors, dentists, counsellors, midwives, coaches, psychologists, teachers, police, first emergency responders, osteopaths, natural therapists, as well as hypnotherapists and others in assisting their clients.”
—“Origins of Hypnosis,” The New Zealand Association of Professional Hypnotherapists

Personal note: During our interview, Thomson suggested that the phrase “altered state” (from the first paragraph above) is generally associated with a drugged state of mind. He clarified that in his therapy, the state of the mind is in no way altered. Rather, it’s highly focused deep concentration, which is our normal state of mind when we’re otherwise concentrating on a particular task or thought. In medical hypnotherapy, clients experience a much higher state of focus or concentration, which allows them to change a condition to the positive.

 Can I Use Self-Hypnosis to Accomplish the Same Thing?

Thomson states the following: “Self-hypnosis is primarily used for minor issues, where the person only needs to address a single issue. The subconscious mind will only react on the last conscious thought the person has before going into a focused state. Therefore, it can only be used for simple tasks. Interactive hypnotherapy with a regular practitioner can cover many different mental conditions in a very short period of time. This is the difference between self-hypnosis and medical hypnotherapy.”

Six Suggestions Before You Try Medical Hypnotherapy

  1. Ask your medical doctor or holistic practitioner to work with your hypnotherapist. As I understand it, David Thomson does this frequently with his clients’ doctors and/or practitioners.
  2. Get a medical diagnosis of your condition. Your sessions may be more productive if your medical hypnotherapist can address your condition from a fact-based diagnosis rather than self-reported symptoms that can sometimes be misleading.
  3. If you know a friend or other person you trust who has had this type of therapy, talk to them about their experience and results, and ask for a reference.
  4. Do your research and take any necessary precautions. Hypnosis can sometimes cause an “abreaction,” which is described as an outburst of strong emotion resulting from dealing with some past trauma. Abreactions may be rare occurrences, but you should be aware of them and make certain that your medical hypnotherapist knows how to handle them.
  5. Read any documents you are asked to sign carefully, and get a copy for your records.
  6. Look for a therapist who has been properly trained and is certified in medical hypnotherapy. Be prepared with any questions you may have at your first appointment.

 Can Nutrition and Relaxation Help Us Cope with Unresolved Health Problems?

Since my training is on the nutritional side of most health issues, I can tell you that learning how to really relax by eating those special foods and taking whole food supplements is a crucial part of coping with any serious health conditions we encounter.

Hopefully, we will all find that one special doctor, therapist, or holistic practitioner who can take us to the next level in our quest for wellness. In the meantime, allow me to suggest a few relaxing and comforting ways to bring about a deeper sense of well-being and, in some instances, perhaps even a spontaneous healing. A relaxed body and mind may make the session with your medical hypnotherapist more fruitful.

For maximum relaxation, I suggest you start by reading my blog post “Relaxation: The Cure-All Vitamin,” which, in part, reads as follows:  In one of my favorite books, Release from Nervous Tension, noted neuropsychiatric physician Dr. David Fink indicates that real relaxation and healing is only accomplished when the body is allowed to ‘let go.’ This is his term for a unique type of progressive physical relaxation that he developed while working with thousands of veterans and other patients. In his explanation of the interaction between the cerebrum and the hypothalamus (our emotional center), Dr. Fink explains the body must be allowed to release its emotional tensions daily.”

 My Favorite Calming Food

 Raw milk: Unique in its composition of calming foods, raw milk contains tryptophan, which allows for an increase of serotonin. Serotonin is known to cause feelings of pleasure, calmness, and well being. Raw milk also contains essential probiotics that make it easily digestible.

I especially like slightly warmed raw milk (about 70°F) with 1½ to 2 teaspoons Calcium Lactate Powder and 3 to 4 Cataplex F tablets (as noted below) before going to bed. It’s truly a super relaxer!

 Cold milk is also a great way to satiate your thirst, according to Sally Fallon Morrell. It’s rich in calcium, which also creates calmness. Read more about raw milk in my blog post “Raw Milk Awakening.”

My Favorite Calming Whole Food Supplements

Calcium Lactate PowderCalcium Lactate Powder by Standard Process and Cataplex F (which is synergetic with calcium and allows it to nourish the tissue) are by far my two favorite and essential whole food supplements. Both calcium and magnesium in the right proportions are crucial for proper absorption, and this particular supplement, Calcium Lactate Powder, combines both calcium and magnesium in the exact proportions. Take a closer at this vital information in my blog post “Let’s Take a Closer Look at Calcium.”

Afterthoughts from the Traditional Cook
The ripples hypnotize
in synchronized patterns of tossed pebbles,
slowly finding that life is not a dream,
lying alone in the mire
Circular motions now distant,
touching an eroding shoreline still asleep,
weeping of moments lost
then slipping away
Fading into the deep
endless flow of hopes and wishes,
only to disappear
with little importance
—“Ripples,” written by Jack at Hello Poetry

Note from Maria: I am a Certified Natural Health Professional, CNHP, not a medical doctor. I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat, or claim to prevent, mitigate, or cure any human diseases. Please see your medical doctor prior to following any recommendations I make in my blogs or on my website.

Images from iStock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz (main image), TheaDesign (panic calm sign), AntonioGuillem (man on the couch). 

Maria Atwood, CNHP

Maria Atwood is a semiretired Certified Natural Health Professional and Weston A. Price Chapter Leader in Colorado Springs, CO. Visit her website at Also check out Maria’s Cook Your Way to Wellness DVD (also available as an e-learning course) and be sure to follow her Tips from the Traditional Cook blog.
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1 thoughts on “Medical Hypnotherapy: The Unique Ability of the Subconscious Mind

  1. Vickster Taylor-McNally says:

    Wow. If I wasn’t a stronger person or someone who hadn’t toughened over the years to arrogant mental health professionals, I’d be really hurt right now.

    In my personal experience over many years, I’ve found that psychiatrists are often the quirkiest, most judge mental people. (Though the psychiatrist I have now is down to earth and awesome, but that’s rare.). I just got out of an introductory session with a hypnotherapist, but his arrogance, attitude, judgement ness and rigidity (trying to put everything in neat little boxes, putting labels on things, not able to see people that function differently as valid and worth respect) was just like many of the psychiatrists I’ve seen over the years.

    (And I’ve seen lots of specialists over the years with my various symptoms: neurologists, rheumatologists, GPS, therapists, endocrinologists, etc—lots of neurologists but psychiatrists are the only ones that I’ve had problems with. They are just overly simplistic rigid thinkers.

    We had to end our session early. He was very insulting to me, judged me and called me names like being “too over sensitive.” He didn’t like how I stuck up for myself when he said inappropriate things. He compared me to other patients who’d experienced suicide by loved ones. I’ve never met such a blunt, insensitive mental health professional. He said he’d never met anyone like me snd that’s probably b/c I have the balls to call people out when they do inappropriate things like name call a patient with things like “over sensitive” and repeating 3-4 times how odd my depression and trauma over my moms death in my home was. I asked him what his point was to keep making that point. I said, “yes, I’m screwed up. That’s why I’m here. Can we move on?” I’m just shocked at a mental health professional would need to keep name calling and not just listen.

    He didn’t even know what the acronym TBI stood for. I’ve never met a mental health professional that didn’t know what that was.

    And he said he was a cop and saw many suicides so I shouldn’t have been so traumatized by my mother’s death in my home.

    After 10 minutes, I told him that if he couldn’t stop name calling and not understanding why someone would be traumatized for a long time by a mothers completed suicide in their own home and if he couldn’t stop saying insensitive things, then maybe we couldn’t work together.

    He couldn’t stop his negative behavior so we ended the session early after 15 minutes. I’m just in shock. What a prick.

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