Friday, July 30, 2010

Hypnotherapy For Smoking Cessation Sees Strong Results

ScienceDaily (Oct. 24, 2007) — Hospitalized patients who smoke may be more likely to quit smoking through the use of hypnotherapy than patients using other smoking cessation methods. A new study*  shows that smoking patients who participated in one hypnotherapy session were more likely to be nonsmokers at 6 months compared with patients using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) alone or patients who quit "cold turkey". The study also shows that patients admitted to the hospital with a cardiac diagnosis are three times more likely to quit smoking at 6 months than patients admitted with a pulmonary diagnosis. 

"Our results showed that hypnotherapy resulted in higher quit rates compared with NRT alone," said Faysal Hasan, MD, FCCP, North Shore Medical Center, Salem, MA. "Hypnotherapy appears to be quite effective and a good modality to incorporate into a smoking cessation program after hospital discharge."

Dr. Hasan and colleagues from North Shore Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital compared the quit rates of 67 smoking patients hospitalized with a cardiopulmonary diagnosis. All patients were approached about smoking cessation and all included in the study were patients who expressed a desire to quit smoking.

At discharge, patients were divided into four groups based on their preferred method of smoking cessation treatment: hypnotherapy (n=14), NRT (n=19), NRT and hypnotherapy (n=18), and a group of controls who preferred to quit "cold turkey" (n=16). All patients received self-help brochures. The control group received brief counseling, but other groups received intensive counseling, free supply of NRT and/or a free hypnotherapy session within 7 days of discharge, as well as follow up telephone calls at 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 26 weeks after discharge. Patients receiving hypnotherapy also were taught to do self-hypnosis and were given tapes to play at the end of the session.

At 26 weeks after discharge, 50 percent of patients treated with hypnotherapy alone were nonsmokers, compared with 50 percent in the NRT/hypnotherapy group, 25 percent in the control group, and 15.78 percent in the NRT group. Patients admitted with a cardiac diagnosis were more likely to quit smoking at 26 weeks (45.5 percent) than patients admitted with a pulmonary diagnosis (15.63 percent). 
"Patients admitted with coronary symptoms may have experienced 'fear and doom' and decided to alter a major health risk to their disease when approached about smoking cessation," said Dr. Hasan. "In contrast, pulmonary patients admitted for another exacerbation may not have felt the same threat. They likely felt they can live for another day and continue the smoking habit." 

The researchers note that hospitalization is an important opportunity to intervene among patients who smoke.
"Doctors and other health personnel should use this occasion to firmly recommend smoking cessation and emphasize the impact of smoking on their disease process and hospital admission," said Dr. Hasan. "Pulmonologists, in particular, should make a stronger case and more passionate message to their patients, and efforts should be coordinated with counseling."
"As physicians, we are constantly reviewing new approaches for smoking cessation and revisiting existing approaches to confirm their effectiveness," said Alvin V. Thomas, MD, FCCP, President of the American College of Chest Physicians. "The results of this study and many others confirm that using a multimodality approach to smoking cessation is optimal for success."

This study as presented at Chest 2007, the 73rd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians. 


The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by American College of Chest Physicians, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Additional Resources:
For additional information on how hypnotherapy can support you in your desire to stop smoking, please contact Susan Gallaher at the Inner Awareness Hypnosis Center.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hypnotherapy Eases Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms, Expert Says

ScienceDaily (Mar. 18, 2010) — Hypnotherapy seems to be very effective for easing the distressing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and in a goodly proportion of cases, clears up symptoms altogether, reveal experts during a wide ranging discussion of the condition in a Frontline Gastroenterology podcast.

Excluding certain foodstuffs may help alleviate symptoms, but usually only for a while, says Professor Roland Valori, editor of Frontline Gastroenterology. That's because dietary measures don't tackle the root cause of the symptoms -- an overly sensitised gut. One of the best ways to do that is to use hypnotherapy, he says.

His experience of using hypnotherapy in the first 100 IBS patients treated with it showed that it significantly improved symptoms in nine out of 10 of them. It stopped symptoms altogether in four out of 10, while the remainder said they felt more in control of their symptoms. "To be frank, I have never looked back," he says.

Another option for patients is probiotics, which can be very effective, says Professor Quigley of the University of Cork, Ireland, and past president of the World Gastroenterology Organisation.

But given the current regulations for food products making medicinal claims, patients are not really in a position to know which ones might work best.

Probiotic products need to contain the specific live strain and species of bacteria they claim to contain; maintain viability throughout their shelf-life; and be backed up by good quality clinical trial evidence, he says.

Doctors have tended to diagnose IBS when they couldn't find any other cause for the symptoms, making it something of a "wastebasket diagnosis," he says. It is "extremely important" to get away from that and recognise that IBS is a constellation of symptoms in its own right.

And he points out that while anxiety and depression worsen IBS symptoms, not all patients with IBS will be anxious and depressed. None the less, it is important to take into account the way in which the brain and gut can interact to increase the severity and impact of symptoms.

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gastric Band Hypnotherapy as Effective as Surgery for the Obese

Apr 17, 2010 Grace Joubarne 

The European hypnotherapy technique "gastric band fitting" successfully facilitates weight loss in the obese without the cost and side effects of surgery.

While the basic concept of using hypnotic techniques to reduce the size of the stomach has been around for many years, hypnotherapists Marion and Martin Shirran, of the Elite Clinics in Spain, formally developed and trademarked their technique after an obese client quipped “If only a person could be hypnotized to believe they had a gastric band…” Now, this virtual procedure is gaining favor around the world under several trademarks.

Dangers of Actual Gastric Band Surgery
A surgically implanted gastric band is usually reserved for those classified as "obese" and who demonstrate a body mass index (BMI) over 30. It reduces the size of the stomach, thus the patient feels fuller after eating smaller portions of food.

The surgery has several significant drawbacks:
• The surgery is expensive; hospitalization is required;
• Gastric band surgery is considered a "last gasp" option because of fatalities;
• There is a possibility of complications and side effects of prescribed drugs during recovery.

Why Gastric Band Hypnotherapy Works
Researchers and scientists all over the world have conceded that the "mind/body connection" holds the key to wellness, achievement and personal development. The technique of using the subconscious mind to imagine a gastric band around the neck of the stomach as a "reality" has been showing great results (Maclean, 2010, Bruce, 2010). Certainly it is entirely safe, very cost-effective and has none of the side-effects and dangers of surgical gastric band fitting.

Standard weight management hypnotherapy involves hypnosis, direct suggestion and dietary changes. Gastric band hypnotherapy adds the imagination of the actual surgical procedures, including later "adjustments" to the virtual "band" tightness. As well, the mind is convinced the stomach has become smaller and thus clients feel full more quickly. By eating less and adhering to a healthy lifestyle, weight dissolves permanently.

How Gastric Band Hypnotherapy Works
Essentially gastric band hypnotherapy treatment has evolved to combine cognitive behavior therapy, hypnotherapy, guided imagery and nutritional counseling, with variations in methodology from practitioner to practitioner. The procedure of gastric band surgery is explained to the client during an in-depth and detailed intake session and before the client is hypnotized. Typically the emotional root-cause of the over-eating issue is dissolved using standard hypnotherapeutic techniques, including regression.

Typically, clients are hypnotized over four to five sessions and eventually guided to imagine, in detail, that they are having gastric band surgery: Surgery-free Weight Loss Solution for the Obese.

A European hypnotherapy technique, "gastric mind band," uses the mind to facilitated weight loss in obese people by guiding them to imagine the gastric band procedure:

1. Over the first three to four sessions, depending upon the client’s readiness and the practitioner’s preferences, the client is guided to imagine the overall preparation and procedures involved in the placement or fitting of a band around the upper part of their stomach.
2. At the fourth to fifth session, the client imagines that the band is actually “fitted” into place at the upper part of their stomach.
3. Positive and direct suggestions are given for weight loss, meal portion and quality of diet throughout the hypnotherapy process; the client is assisted to develop a new and more productive relationship with food.
4. The client is typically asked to listen to a reinforcement CD regularly until the desired weight and diet control is permanently achieved.
5. After 28-30 days the client is hypnotized and guided to imagine the band being "adjusted" and reinforcement for positive dietary and exercise changes is also repeated.
6. Dietary and lifestyle changes are also "suggested" in hypnosis and reinforcement CDs are utilized for continuing support as indicated.

Some practitioners such as Jagi Egnell in British Columbia, Canada, work with nutritionists to further empower and support their clients, while others actually create the hospital smells to further reinforce, for the subconscious mind, the "reality" of the surgery. Some practitioners orchestrate the entire "surgery" ensuring the client fasts before the "fitting" and have someone pick up the client after the "virtual fitting."

Practitioner Bryan Knight of Montreal points out the importance of doing a detailed interview to ensure the procedure is not used on those with issues such bulimia. Practitioners interviewed for this article have indicated that gastric band hypnotherapy is not indicated for those with thyroid problems, not qualified as obese, not fully committed or for those who do not have medical clearance.

John Maclean of the UK has developed the Hypno-Band technique, which utilizes cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to analyze client behavior and habits, and hypnotherapy to dissolve the emotional and psychological reasons for over-eating and to provide a "mechanism" to allow the client to eat less and feel full more quickly.

Dr. Bob Bruce of the UK, offers his weight management program "Virtualgastroband" in two parts where he employs a number of techniques including hypnotic suggestion. Part 1 can be taken on either a one-to-one or group session basis and includes the setting of a weight-loss goal. Part 2 can only be carried out effectively on an individual basis and after a full psychological evaluation of the client’s mental attitude and commitment toward the process and satisfaction of the agreed weight loss goal set in Part 1.

A companion article on hypnosis gastric band fitting "Gastric Band Hypnotherapy May be the Solution for Obesity" provides information on where to access this treatment.

Bruce,B., Virtualgastroband 2007, Virtualgastroband Ltd, UK
Egnell,J., (2010) Innervisions Hypnotherapy Clinic, BC, Canada
Knight, B. (2010) Hypnosis Depot, Montreal, PQ, Canada
Maclean, J., Hypno-Band 2009, Newwave Hypnotherapy, UK
Wolchansky, K., (2007) Edn Hypnotherapy, Edmonton, AB Canada

Saturday, July 24, 2010

How Does Hypnotherapy Reduce Stress and Anxiety?

Unfortunately, anxiety and stress seem to show up like unwelcome guests in nearly everyone’s lives. It can come from our jobs, our homes, our relationships or any other situation. The way we react to stress dictates how it affects us and unfortunately, many of us let it overwhelm us.

As much as we try not to let stress and anxiety affect our relationships with others, it often does. We may be rude to co-workers or short with our spouses, even snap at our children. This type of behavior makes us feel worse, raising our stress levels and compounding the problem.

Hypnosis can break that vicious cycle by giving us the tools we need to turn stress and anxiety to our advantage instead of allowing it to overwhelm us. A hypnotherapist can provide a door of communication with the subconscious mind, that part of our brain that drives our desires and actions.

A good example of a subconscious reaction is meeting a person and automatically disliking them even though they are well liked by everyone else. Although we don’t know why we dislike that person, it is probably because they inadvertently tripped a memory recollection in the subconscious—perhaps a gesture or facial expression reminded us of a negative or painful experience that our conscious mind has forgotten.

The subconscious is made up of memories and reactions to those memories that aren’t readily available to our conscious mind. A dog that frightened you as a child may be responsible for your aversion to dogs as an adult. There is no logical reason for the fear but if you could access your subconscious memories you would recognize that it came from an unpleasant experience.

Hypnosis puts you in touch with your subconscious and allows you to insert new instruction through suggestions. For instance, if you feel stress or anxiety every time you get on the freeway your therapist can suggest that the freeway is perfectly safe and pleasant. He or she can suggest the traffic jams are a good opportunity to listen to music or an audio book. The situation can be turned into a relaxing advantage through a few positive suggestions to the subconscious.

A hypnotherapist doesn’t help you deal with stress by turning you into an incurable optimist or anything else that changes your personality. He or she merely gives you options to deal with anxiety and stress in such a way that those options will come to mind before anything else. You will be able to deal with everyday stress in a positive rather than a negative manner.

Hypnosis will not make you invulnerable to stress and anxiety but your subconscious will then deal with it in different ways. You may even find it relaxing but it will no longer impact your life, your job and your relationships in a negative way.

For more information about how hypnotherapy can help to reduce stress and anxiety, please contact Susan Gallaher at Inner Awareness Hypnosis.

Article Source:

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hypnosis Reduces Pain and Costs in Breast Cancer Surgery

The use of hypnosis prior to breast cancer surgery reduced the amount of anesthesia administered during the operation, the level of pain reported afterwards, and the time and cost of the procedure, according to a study published online August 28 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Breast cancer surgery patients often suffer side effects such as pain, nausea, and fatigue during and after their operation. These complications can lengthen their hospital stay, lead to hospital readmission, or require additional medications all of which increase medical costs. Several previous studies have suggested that hypnosis may reduce pain, recovery time, and the need for medications after surgery.

Guy Montgomery, Ph.D., of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and colleagues conducted a clinical trial to examine the effects of hypnosis when it is given within one hour before surgery. Two hundred women were randomly assigned to either 15 minutes of hypnosis by a psychologist or a control session in which they spoke with a psychologist. The researchers then compared the use of pain medications and sedatives during surgery, as well as the levels of pain and other side effects reported afterwards.

The hypnosis session began with suggestions for relaxation and pleasant visual imagery. The patients were also given suggestions on how to reduce pain, nausea, and fatigue, and instructions on how to use hypnosis on their own. 

Patients in the hypnosis group required less anesthesia than patients in the control group. They also reported less pain, nausea, fatigue, discomfort, and emotional upset after surgery. They spent less time in surgery (almost 11 minutes less), and their surgical costs were reduced by about $773 per patient, mainly due to the time savings. 

Together, the combination of potential improvements in symptom burden for the hundreds of thousands of women facing breast cancer surgery each year and the economic benefit for institutions argues persuasively for the more widespread application of brief presurgical hypnosis, the authors write. 

In an accompanying editorial, David Spiegel, M.D., of the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, Calif., describes the history of hypnosis in medicine and the evidence for why hypnosis could reduce pain. 

It has taken us a century and a half to rediscover the fact that the mind has something to do with pain and can be a powerful tool in controlling it. It is now abundantly clear that we can retrain the brain to reduce pain: float rather than fight, Spiegel writes.

Article: Dana Paravati, newsroom specialist, Mount Sinai Medical Center,, (212) 241-9200
Editorial: David Spiegel,, (650) 723 6421

Article: Montgomery GH, Bovbjerg DH, Schnur JB, David D, Goldfarb A, et al. A Randomized Clinical Trial of a Brief Hypnosis Intervention to Control Side Effects in Breast Surgery Patients. J Natl Cancer Inst 2007; 99:1304-1312
Editorial: Spiegel D. The Mind Prepared: Hypnosis in Surgery. J Natl Cancer Inst 2007; 99:1280-1281

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute is published by Oxford University Press and is not affiliated with the National Cancer Institute. Attribution to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute is requested in all news coverage. Visit the Journal online at

Medical News: Hypnosis Before Surgery Dulls Pain Later - in Pain Management, Pain Management from MedPage Today

Medical News: Hypnosis Before Surgery Dulls Pain Later - in Pain Management, Pain Management from MedPage Today

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hypnosis Can Relieve Symptoms in Children With Respiratory Diseases

ScienceDaily (Feb. 13, 2010) — Hypnosis has potential therapeutic value in children with respiratory disorders for alleviating symptoms such as habit cough or unexplained sensations of difficulty breathing and for lessening a child's discomfort during medical procedures. Proper utilization of hypnosis as an adjunct to conventional treatment and its ability to use the mind-body connection to bring about physiological changes are explored in a provocative paper in Pediatric Asthma, Allergy & Immunology, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The paper is available free online.

Ran D. Anbar, MD, Professor of Pediatrics at SUNY Upstate Medical University, in Syracuse, NY, recommends hypnosis as a treatment option when a child's respiratory symptoms appear to have a psychological component. In his paper, "Adding Hypnosis to the Therapeutic Toolbox of Pediatric Respiratory Care," Dr. Anbar points to symptoms such as difficulty taking a breath, a disruptive cough, hyperventilation, noise on inspiration such as a gasp or squeak, and difficulty swallowing despite normal lung function as possible indications for the use of hypnosis to supplement medical therapy. Symptoms that are absent during sleep, can be associated with a particular activity or location, or are linked to or triggered by an emotional response may be particularly responsive to hypnosis.

Published data support the benefit of hypnosis in children with respiratory disorders with a large mind-body component such as vocal cord dysfunction and habit cough. Hypnosis can also help lessen sensations of difficulty breathing and anxiety in other respiratory diseases such as cystic fibrosis and asthma. Hypnosis is also a valuable tool for easing a child's anxiety and helping patients control their response to discomfort.

Dr. Anbar cautions that hypnosis should not be attempted or considered for use by someone who is not a health care provider and has not received appropriate training in the technique.

"Dr. Anbar has added hypnosis to our therapeutic toolbox. When breathing problems have a large mind-body component, resolution with hypnosis can dramatically reduce the need for expensive testing and medications," says Harold Farber, MD, MSPH, Editor of Pediatric Asthma, Allergy Immunology, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Section of Pulmonology, at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.

Story Source: The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Journal Reference: Anbar et al. Adding Hypnosis to the Therapeutic Toolbox of Pediatric Respiratory Care. Pediatric Asthma Allergy Immunology, 2010; 100204180550001 DOI: 10.1089/pai.2009.0025

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Israeli Study Proves Hypnosis Can Double IVF Success Rate

By David Brinn August 22, 2004

If Israeli professor Eliahu Levitas has his way, women undergoing IVF treatment will all have the benefit of a hypnotist at their bedside.

According to Levitas’s team from Soroka Hospital in Beersheva, hypnosis can double the success of IVF treatment. Levitas’s study of 185 women found that 28% of women in the group who were hypnotized became pregnant, compared with 14% of those who were not.

6.1 million American women and their partners experience infertility, according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. Of those about 5% choose in-vitro fertilization treatment.

IVF is a method of assisted reproduction in which the man’s sperm and the woman’s egg (oocyte) are combined in a laboratory dish, where fertilization occurs. The resulting embryo is then transferred to the uterus to develop naturally. Usually, two to four embryos are transferred with each cycle.

According to the latest statistics, the success rate for IVF is similar to the 20% chance that a healthy, reproductively normal couple has of achieving a pregnancy that results in a live born baby in any given month. IVF was successfully used for the first time in the United States in 1981. Since then, more than 114,000 babies in the US have been born as a result of the technique.

The Israeli study - the first of its kind - was presented last month by Levitas to the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Berlin. According to Levitas, the findings will be published shortly in an American medical journal.

The Israeli researchers were looking to see if hypnosis could make the embryo transfer stage of IVF more successful.

“We gave hypnosis to a group of our patients during the most stressful part of IVF treatment - the transferring of embryos into the uterus,” Levitas told ISRAEL21c. “It’s a crucial point of the treatment, and the point in which the embryos comes in contact with the womb of the woman. It all builds up to that special moment, which is not very painful but is very stressful.”

According to Levitas, that stress can cause complications during the transfer that can put the procedure at risk.

“Studies have been done before which claim that during this short period, there’s so much stress in the woman’s body that it may induce contractions, albeit tiny ones, which may interrupt or even expel the embryos from the uterus at the same moment we’re introducing them,” he said.

“Other techniques have been employed like relaxants and tranquilizers, but nothing has worked well. On the other hand, hypnosis has been known for many years for producing central relaxation, and has even been used before surgical interventions to calm patients,” said Levitas.

Women undergoing IVF were assessed to see if they were suitable to be hypnotized.

“Those women that were interested signed a consent form and underwent hypnosis by Soroka’s Dr. Aldo Parmet, a gyncelogist who’s licensed to perform hypnosis. All the patients were interviewed prior and Dr. Parmet established which patients where more likely to be hypnotized,” said Levitas.

Eighty-nine women were then given hypnosis while their embryos were implanted. Some underwent more than one cycle of IVF treatment. Ninety-six other women underwent embryo transfers without hypnosis. All received one cycle each.

The results showed that the hypnotized women resulted in double the amount of pregnancies of those that weren’t hypnotized.

“Performing embryo transfer under hypnosis may significantly contribute to an increased clinical pregnancy rate,” Levitas told the conference in Berlin.

Given logistical and financial constraints, Levitas sees no reason why hypnotism shouldn’t be an option for all woman undergoing IVF treatment, and he hopes the publication of the Soroka study will raise enough interest to spark continued investigations of the approach.

“The bottom line is I think it’s a good thing, it will work. Patients should be given the option if the facilities are available.”

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Study: Self-hypnosis is powerful pain-fighting tool

Women living with breast cancer -- and others dealing with pain caused by serious illness -- may find a fresh pathway to feeling better, thanks to new research by a social worker at the University at Buffalo.

Combined with group psychotherapy sessions, self-hypnosis in breast cancer patients dealing with pain helped the women control their pain levels much better over time, the research showed. Their pain increased "significantly less," in fact.

The study, led in part by Lisa D. Butler, an associate professor in UB's School of Social Work, showed that self-hypnosis sessions by women with metastatic breast cancer -- a serious form of the illness, in which the cancer has spread beyond its original site -- combined with the group psychotherapy helped the cancer patients control pain over a period of time, compared with women who did not use the technique. Self-hypnosis means a state of focused alertness, awareness and concentration, combined with relaxation.

That result offers intriguing insights into the ways that cancer pain and pain from other illnesses might be handled in the future, said Butler, who came to UB in 2009 from Stanford University.

"Cancer, particularly that's metastatic, can be extremely painful," Butler said. "A good part of pain is not just experiencing it, but anticipating it. Fear makes it worse. This is giving women a tool to manage it.

The 125 women who participated in the long-term study organized by Stanford researchers learned simple techniques, such as visualization, for self-hypnosis, Butler said. Some women were then asked to use the technique to treat themselves in brief sessions, and to report on pain.
The results of the treatments, which were coupled with group therapy and compared with the experiences of women who did not use the techniques, was that the hypnosis and therapy allowed the women to be able to control their pain level -- meaning it did not increase over time.The recurrence of pain episodes, and their duration, did not appear to be changed by the tools, the study showed.
The techniques of hypnosis might work for women in Western New York with cancer, or men or women dealing with pain and suffering related to health, Butler said.

Interested residents can ask their doctors for referrals to pain clinics, where the techniques can be taught, she said. "You learn the techniques, and then you can do it yourself," Butler said. Women with cancer and others with painful illness should also consider the benefits of group psychotherapy sessions, Butler said.

"Getting into a group counseling setting is one of the most powerful tools for dealing with cancer," she said. "When you're dealing with cancer, it has a huge impact on your life. It's very, very worrisome. It's this outlet to process what you are going through."
Groups may be found by asking at your doctor's office, as well as at local cancer organizations and Gilda's Club, Butler said.

Monday, July 19, 2010

"Cool" Imagery Lowers Hot Flashes Through Hypnotherapy

ScienceDaily (July 14, 2010) — With an estimated 85 percent of women experiencing hot flashes as they approach menopause, researchers are concentrating on finding effective treatments that do not include hormonal or other pharmaceutical therapies. Now, a new Baylor University study has shown that women who specifically pictured images associated with coolness during hypnotherapy had a dramatic decrease in hot flashes.

The results appear in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis.

"This is an interesting finding because it begins to shed light on what is it, specifically, about hypnotic relaxation therapy that reduces the hot flashes," said Dr. Gary Elkins, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor's College of Arts and Sciences, who has conducted several studies on hypnotic relaxation therapy. "The finding may indicate that areas of the brain activated by imagery may be identical to those activated by actual perceived events. Consequently, it may be that while a woman suffering hot flashes imagines a cool place, she also feels cool rather than the heat of a hot flash."

While a previous Baylor study has shown that hot flashes can be reduced by up to 68 percent in breast cancer survivors by utilizing hypnotic relaxation therapy, the specific mental imagery used by women for reduction of hot flashes is a new finding.

The Baylor researchers surveyed the 51 breast cancer survivors who participated in a hypnosis intervention study for the treatment of their hot flashes. Participants were asked to identify their own personal preferences for mental imagery for reduction of hot flashes prior to each session. Some participants described actual places they had visited, while other described generalized imagery they preferred.

The results show:

• All participants showed a preference for images associated with coolness, while none used imagery associated with warmth. In fact, when a participant used mental imagery associated with a warm fire, she became relaxed, however the hot flashes did not decrease.

• The most common themes utilized by the participants included cool mountains, water, air or wind, snow, trees, leaves and forests.

• Of the themes, 27 percent of participants visualized water associated with coolness such as a cool waterfall or rain shower. 17.6 percent pictured cool air or wind and 16.2 percent pictured cool mountains. 11.5 percent visualized a cool forest or leaves and 6.8 percent pictured snow. 20.9 percent pictured other things like a cool movie theater or frost on a winter morning.

"These findings really give guidance to what women respond to," Elkins said. "This study supports the idea that the most effective images are those that are generated by the participant themselves, in relation to their own perceptions and life experiences."

Story Source: The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Baylor University, via Newswise.

Smoking mind over smoking matter: Surprising new study shows cigarette cravings result from habit, not addiction

Smoking mind over smoking matter: Surprising new study shows cigarette cravings result from habit, not addiction

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hypnosis Shown to Reduce Symptoms of Dementia

A scientist at the University of Liverpool has found that hypnosis can slow down the impacts of dementia and improve quality of life for those living with the condition.

Forensic psychologist, Dr Simon Duff, investigated the effects of hypnosis on people living with dementia and compared the treatment to mainstream health-care methods. He also looked at how hypnosis compared to a type of group therapy in which participants were encouraged to discuss news and current affairs.

They found that people living with dementia who had received hypnosis therapy showed an improvement in concentration, memory and socialisation compared to the other two treatment groups. Relaxation, motivation and daily living activities also improved with the use of hypnosis.

Dr Duff said: "Over a nine month period of weekly sessions, it became clear that the participants attending the discussion group remained the same throughout. The group who received 'treatment as usual' showed a small decline over the assessment period, yet those having regular hypnosis sessions showed real improvement across all of the areas that we looked at.

"Participants who are aware of the onset of dementia may become depressed and anxious at their gradual loss of cognitive ability and so hypnosis - which is a tool for relaxation - can really help the mind concentrate on positive activity like socialisation."

Further research will now take place to establish whether hypnosis maintains its effects on dementia as the illness progresses, over longer periods of time.

Dr Dan Nightingale, co-author of the research and leading dementia consultant at the Abacus Clinic in Newark, added: "Evidence to date has shown that we can enhance the quality of life for people living with dementia through the correct use of hypnosis. We have now developed a course for clinicians who wish to incorporate hypnosis into health care plans."

  -- The seven areas used to measure quality of life were concentration, relaxation, motivation, activities of daily living, immediate memory, memory of significant life events and socialisation. These were chosen as the main factors for patients with dementia by health workers.

-- The University of Liverpool is a member of the Russell Group of leading research-intensive institutions in the UK. It attracts collaborative and contract research commissions from a wide range of national and international organisations valued at more than £108 million annually.

The University of Liverpool

Source: Medical News Today July 29, 2008

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mayo Clinic Review of Prior Studies: Hypnosis in Contemporary Medicine

A review study of over a hundred clinical studies of hypnosis for medical procedures documents that hypnosis is beneficial for allergy, anesthesia for pain, anesthesia for surgery, warts, dermatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers, abdominal surgery, healing from injury or surgery, hemophilia, hypertension, headaches, childbirth, asthma, smoking cessation, fibromyalgia, impotence, and urinary incontinence. “Many important trials reviewed here have helped to establish the role of hypnosis in contemporary medicine. These trials have established the utility and efficacy of hypnosis for several medical conditions, either alone or as part of the treatment regimen,” writes Stewart, JH, Department of Internal Medicine and Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Jacksonville, FL. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 2005;80:511-524 (PDF article)

See the bibliography of the above Mayo Clinic study for information on over 140 medical studies utilizing hypnosis. (pp.11-14 of PDF article)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Evidence That Hypnosis Works

There are a lot of conflicting opinions on the validity of hypnosis as a form of therapy. However scientific studies appear to have fallen firmly in the camp of hypnosis not only being a legitimate form of treatment but also highly effective.

There are a lot of conflicting opinions on the validity of hypnosis as a form of therapy. However scientific studies appear to have fallen firmly in the camp of hypnosis not only being a legitimate form of treatment but also highly effective.

Content Source: Bukisa - The Evidence That Hypnosis Works