(The information in this image is from "Brain correlates of hypnotic paralysis-a resting-state fMRI study")
Hypnotherapy is a popular choice for those who wish to relieve themselves from issues such as chronic doubt or anxiety, but many people don't realize that it can also be utilized medically.
The crux of what hypnosis is involves calming the noise of the busy everyday brain in order to get to the ancient brain; this is our subconscious, a brain that can be manipulated and told what to do. This deeper part of ourselves controls things that we cannot control consciously, and if we tell it to lessen certain things, like pain, it will be able to do so. It has been proven in numerous studies that a client's brain undergoes measurable changes when they are put in a hypnotic state.
In the case of cancer patients, receiving hypnotherapy along with the anesthetics they would normally take has been proven to lessen their pain by a significant amount. Many of these patients may even require less anesthetic as a result. Aside from pain, hypnotherapy can help with the sheer anxiety of going into surgery.
What makes hypnotherapy so useful in these situations is its ability to be effective in a short period of time. A patient may spend a simple 10 minutes before their surgery talking to their hypnotherapist, and during that time their anxiety may decrease by half. Hypnotherapy can indeed function like a fast acting medication, although there are no side effects included!
In addition to cancer, diseases like irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, or even a dependence on a particular drug may be treated in a similar fashion. It all has to do with unlocking the secrets of the brain and using those to our advantage. This may manifest by instructing the powerful subconscious to wean the body off of a substance, or --as stated previously-- lessen pain. Many individuals have experienced success in managing conditions of all types with the help of a hypnotherapist.
Hypnotherapy is an incredibly useful and effective supplementary treatment, but it is not meant to take the place of one's existing medical treatments. If you would like to read a scholarly article on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy in helping treat cancer patients, here is the link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3755455/