Studies have shown that children, especially those of five and older can respond better to hypnosis than most adults- because children are more imaginative than adults.

Children can be formally hypnotized from about the age of three years, when they have a good understanding of language. Although it is likely that hypnosis can occur at earlier ages and is induced in non verbal ways, such as with a soothing tone.

Most problems known to affect children are bed wetting, thumb sucking, pain, tension respiratory distress and anxiety.

It would be foolish to think that although children are born innocent that they are therefore not susceptible to problems. The events in life and the way those events are perceived and represented to oneself can cause disturbance to the adult mind can be equally tempestuous to children. These may include rapid changes to their life within a very short span of time, a number of interactive problems with their peers or the teachers in school as well as issues with the changes to their own body’s as they grow and develop. These are sometimes coupled by some sort of unusual fears, such as fear of the dark, ghosts, injections or some other kind of anxiety. It is common for children to be embarrassed by these strange habits and consequently retreat or become withdrawn. These symptoms could be aggravated further if the child is subjected to any sort of abusive behaviour.

Because certain elements of a child’s understanding are not as fully developed as adults, it can be easy for them to believe that they are a direct cause for things that go wrong. If they see their parents fighting with each other, they may think that they are responsible for this, and consider themselves to be guilty. Add to that, the continuous streaming of the advertisements, news, TV programs and movies that either show violence and obscenity, or create the illusion that happiness comes from being rich and famous or emphasise the importance of a skinny body or the need to keep ageing at bay; also exerts a great pressure on their young minds. These problems can lead to various symptoms in children and cause them to have unrealistic expectations of what life has to offer.

Often parents place more emphasis on academic studies in favour of play and the school curriculum also leaves very little space for the children to use their imaginations. Hypnosis is simply an alternative way of activating the imagination in which the conscious mind can communicate with its subconscious counterpart. Using adventurous stories and magic, imagery, imaginative games and dolls work wonders with children and can allow them to express emotions and discuss problems in indirect ways whilst allowing a valuable opportunity for healing.

By Gemma Bailey