Hypnosis RevelationsApril 6, 2012 Written by JP [Font too small?]
Clinical hypnosis is quickly making inroads into the mainstream of medicine. Thankfully, it’s no longer being viewed as the exclusive domain of esoteric healers or second rate magicians. This is due, in large part, to a growing body of scientific trials that have been conducted at prestigious centers of learning throughout the world. The findings of these recent inquiries are beginning to reveal the true potential of this mind-body modality.
Like many other alternative practices, hypnosis is best applied as a complementary therapy. When used in conjunction with allopathic and holistic treatments, it has been shown to benefit a wide variety of conditions and diseases. A case in point is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a disorder that manifests as symptoms ranging from abdominal bloating and pain to constipation and diarrhea. Researchers based in Sweden are now convinced that adding hypnotherapy, 1 hour/week for a total of 12 weeks, to conventional care optimizes IBS treatment outcomes. Proof positive of this assertion can be found in no less than three studies published over the past year. The conclusions of the trials inform that hypnosis is capable of alleviating symptoms in over 40% of IBS patients. Perhaps even more impressive is that up 85% of those who benefit from hypnotherapy report continued symptom abatement up to 7 years after the initial treatment. This is partially due to the patients’ willingness to continue employing hypnosis as part of their overall wellness routine. In real world terms, this results in an approximately 70% reduction in health care resources used to address bowel and stomach issues.
Pain management is perhaps the most common application for clinical hypnotherapy. A current investigation conducted at the University of Florida confirms what has long been claimed and suspected: hypnosis reliably decreases short term “pain intensity and pain unpleasantness”. However, it exacts these benefits without modulating key factors that are believed to be involved in pain perception, such as cortisol, a stress hormone, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, a proinflammatory protein. This mystery begs for additional clarification and study into the underlying mechanisms involved. Nevertheless, what is not in question is hypnotherapy’s ability to manage pain of all sorts in a safe manner, even in chronic conditions including fibromyalgia, multiple bone fractures and tension-type headaches. In fact, when recently comparing hypnotic relaxation vs. amitriptyline, a prescription headache medication, researchers concluded that hypnosis was preferable in terms of both efficacy and tolerability.
What is most encouraging about the future prospects of hypnotherapy is that scientists are now willing to apply it in a broader way than ever before. For instance, this past month, a paper in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis describes how self-hypnosis training can be used to reduce fatigue, pain intensity and sleep problems in breast cancer survivors and women currently undergoing breast cancer treatment. Another avenue of hope was recently introduced by an experiment that determined that being in a hypnotic state significantly increases blood flow to the brain as assessed by transcranial doppler sonography. Improvements in cerebral blood flow may be of value to countless seniors and even younger patients with compromised cardiovascular and circulatory function.
Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!
To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:
Study 1 – Hypnosis Provides Effective Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome … (link)
Study 2 – Effects of Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy on IBS in Different Clinical … (link)
Study 3 – Long-Term Effects of Hypnotherapy in Patients with Refractory Irritable … (link)
Study 5 – Experimental Pain Ratings and Reactivity of Cortisol and Soluble Tumor … (link)
Study 6 – Multicomponent Cognitive-Behavioral Group Therapy With Hypnosis for … (link)
Study 7 – Virtual Reality Hypnosis Pain Control in the Treatment of Multiple … (link)
Study 8 – Hypnotic Relaxation Vs Amitriptyline for Tension-Type Headache … (link)
Study 9 – Hypnosis for Symptom Management in Women With Breast Cancer … (link)
Study 10 – Cerebral Blood Flow Evaluation During the Hypnotic State With … (link)
Hypnotherapy Reduces Pain Intensity and Perception
Source: Pain Med. 2012 Jan;13(1):29-44. (link)
Tags: Headache, Hypnosis, IBS
Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Mental Health