Blog Archives

Brain Activity During Hypnotic Pain Relief

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The development of brain imaging techniques has increased interest in researching phenomena such as hypnosis and placebo effects, which were previously seen as purely psychological. A literature review of the research published between 1997 and 2012, regarding the use of functional brain imaging (fMRI or PET) to study pain relief neurophysiology, indicates that hypnosis causes activity changes in specific areas of the brain. The focus of the review was on acute produced nociceptive pain. Decreased pain ratings achieved by hypnosis are associated with activity changes in the pain network of the brain (thalamus, somatosensory cortex, insula, anterior cigulate cortex, and

Health Benefits of Hypnosis

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Below are some conditions that hypnotherapy can help, usually as part of a broader treatment plan. A typical course of hypnotherapy may require one to six visits. Once the practitioner has taught you how to access the trance state on your own, you can start using self-hypnosis on a regular basis to maintain or improve health. Gastrointestinal Disorders Several studies show that hypnotherapy can benefit people with IBS, whose symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits. In a 2003 study, 204 IBS patients attended 12 one hour hypnotherapy sessions. Seventy-one percent reported improvement in symptoms after the

Hypnosis Reduces Pain and Costs in Breast Cancer Surgery

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JNCI, August 28, 2007. 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 (2007) 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

Major Hospitals Use Trances for Fractures, Cancer, Burns, Speeding Surgery Recoveries

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Wall Street Journal October 7, 2003. Hypnosis, often misunderstood and almost always controversial, is increasingly being employed in mainstream medicine. Numerous scientific studies have emerged in recent years showing that the hypnotized mind can exert a real and powerful effect on the body. The new findings are leading major hospitals to try hypnosis to help relieve pain and speed recovery in a variety of illnesses. At the University of North Carolina, hypnosis is transforming the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, an often-intractable gastro-intestinal disorder, by helping patients to use their mind to quiet an unruly gut. Doctors at the University

Clinical Hypnosis Can Reduce Hot Flashes After Menopause, Baylor Study Shows

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Baylor University WACO Texas Oct. 31, 2012. Clinical hypnosis can effectively reduce hot flashes and associated symptoms among postmenopausal women, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Baylor University’s Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory. Hypnotic relaxation therapy reduced hot flashes by as much as 80 percent, and the findings also showed participants experienced improved quality of life and a lessening of anxiety and depression. The mind-body therapy study of 187 women over a five-week period measured both physical symptoms of hot flashes and women’s self-reporting of flashes. The women received weekly sessions of hypnosis by clinically trained therapists, and

Your Hidden Censor: What Your Mind Will Not Let You See

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Scientists probe the biases of “unconscious selective attention” – how the unconscious will screen out data you deem irrelevant, and have you focus on data that you want. The unconscious is a vast store of knowledge, habits, and associations that help process information efficiently rather than waiting in the queue for slower conscious thinking. To explain selective selectivity, the unconscious only allows into conscious awareness those things that fit your goals, perceptions and beliefs. The power of the unconscious is greatest when our attention is under the heaviest demands; in today’s multitasking world, we delegate ever more to the unconscious.

You won’t feel a thing…

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The Times September 12, 2005, London. Hypnosedation may reduce the need for general anaesthetic How amusing it is to see hypnotists make people cluck like chickens or bark like dogs. But while their art is seen by many as a form of entertainment, new research suggests that, medically, there may be a serious role for hypnosis. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) a team of neuroscientists at the University of Pittsburgh have seen hypnosis actually working on the brain. In a study to be published this year, a group of patients with the painful rheumatic condition fibromyalgia were hypnotised to

Hypnosis for invasive medical procedures: a randomised trial

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A Prospective, randomized trial described in The Lancet, Volume 355, Issue 9214, Pages 1486 – 1490, 29 April 2000, evaluated the effectiveness of hypnosis – termed “nonpharmacologic analgesia” – in easing pain and anxiety associated with undergoing minimally invasive surgical procedures such as angiograms and angioplasties (which require catheterization of arteries), nephrostomies (kidney drainage), and liver biopsies. The researchers randomly assigned 241 patients treated in a radiology unity at a university hospital to one of three groups: standard treatment, structured attention, and hypnosis (or self-hypnotic relaxation). The standard treatment group received care typical for the hospital, i.e., nurses did their

This Is Your Brain Under Hypnosis

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New York Times November 22, 2005. Hypnosis, with its long and checkered history in medicine and entertainment, is receiving some new respect from neuroscientists…. New research on hypnosis and suggestion is providing a new view into the cogs and wheels of normal brain function. One area that it may have illuminated is the processing of sensory data. Information from the eyes, ears and body is carried to primary sensory regions in the brain. From there, it is carried to so-called higher regions where interpretation occurs. For example, photons bouncing off a flower first reach the eye, where they are turned

21st Century Medicine: Clinical Evidence

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The following excerpts are from the book, 21st Century Medicine: Clinical Evidence For The Healing Power Of The Mind. “There is clinical and experimental evidence that the brain can start, influence, and stop biologic skin events.” (Stress and Psychoneuroimmunologic Factors in Dermatology–Dermatologic Clinics  Volume 23 • Number 4 • October 2005) In a 1964 edition of The British Medical Journal, (1:1145-1148)  doctors Fry, Mason and Pearson note in that “the mere act of hypnosis alone, without any specific suggestion, produced a reduction in skin reactivity.” “Over a six year period, 173 successive patients suffering from asthma were treated using self-hypnosis,

Statistics on the effectiveness of hypnosis

Here is a brief review of some of the research evidence on the effectiveness of hypnosis: Smoking Cessation 90.6% Success Rate for Smoking Cessation Using Hypnosis Of 43 consecutive patients undergoing this treatment protocol, 39 reported remaining abstinent from tobacco use at follow-up (6 months to 3 years post-treatment). This represents a 90.6% success rate using hypnosis. University of Washington School of Medicine, Depts. of Anesthesiology and Rehabilitation Medicine, Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2001 Jul;49(3):257-66. Barber J. 87% Reported Abstinence From Tobacco Use With Hypnosis A field study of 93 male and 93 female CMHC outpatients examined the facilitation

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