I read with both amusement and concern Eddie Jimenez's column about his insomnia. The compassion comes because as he noted, it is a problem found within about 15% of the general population. But psychology can easily address insomnia in about six weeks of weekly sessions. Research shows this includes a reduction in medication usage for the majority of those treated.
The concern comes when Mr. Jimenez notes using a stage hypnotist's relaxation CD. If you have a medical problem, isn't taking yourself to an entertainer for a medical problem a little like taking your car in to be fixed by an accountant instead of a mechanic? Why not visit a health professional trained in hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a great tool, and has many health applications. Hypnosis can treat anxiety, depression, smoking, irritable bowel syndrome and many other problems.
The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis has a national referral center at their Web site, www.asch.net. On the Web site anyone can find a local health professional, whether a physician, nurse, dentist or psychologist, who is both licensed and has expertise in applying hypnosis to clinical problems, such as insomnia. Check it out; you'll sleep better!
Laura A. Geiger, PsyD