Hypnosis for Children

There are many children’s problems that hypnotherapy can help with. And, the great thing is that children are usually excellent hypnotic subjects. They have such wonderful imaginations that you can induce the hypnotic state easily and rapidly by getting them, for example, to imagine taking off in a space craft or taking part in their favorite television program or movie.

A surprisingly large percentage of childhood complaints stem from unresolved emotional issues. Many children, for example, who suffer from Bronchial Asthma are anxiety-ridden, lack confidence and are dependent on one or both of their parents to an extreme degree. There may be physical factors that are directly implicated, but often the parent is told that the child will “grow out of it”. More likely the child (and maybe even the parent) simply matures enough to resolve the emotional issues that triggered the problem in the first place.   

Allergies are another problem suffered by children, and allergic reactions are often associated with stress. There can be a whole host of stressful events in a child’s life such as relations with siblings, school, dependency on a parent, fear of interaction with peer groups, and aggression towards one or both parents sometimes arising from a past traumatic event. You may have heard about an experiment carried out on children whose allergen was flower pollen. In hypnosis they were asked to smell a rose in a sealed glass jar, whereupon they immediately had an asthmatic attack. Subsequently under therapy they were instructed in ways to control, and then stop altogether, having asthmatic attacks, principally through the use of self-hypnosis.

Nail biting, stuttering, various kinds of habitual spasms, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), can all be addressed by hypnosis.

In a study on Dyslexia in 1975, Crasilneck and Hall showed that over 75% of dyslexic children can be helped with direct hypnosis. Following hypnotherapy that included suggestions for improving performance and pronunciation, recognition of words became automatic and more rapid. The results in this study were as good as, or slightly better than, those reported by special behavior modifiers.

Nocturnal Enuresis, or bed wetting, is particularly distressing to both child and parents. There are a number of possible physical causes that need to be checked out by a doctor. Equally there are a number of psychogenic factors that may play a role such as loss of a mother, sibling rivalry, emotional immaturity due to over-protection etc.

Hypnotherapy can also help other behavior disorders such as thumb sucking and examination anxiety.

And with hypnosis, there are no side effects.

Here is a list of children’s problems hypnosis is known to be able to help:

  • Bed Wetting
  • Nail Biting
  • Weight Reduction
  • Sugars
  • Nightmares
  • Stress
  • Enjoying Life
  • Fears & Phobias
  • Pain Control
  • Surviving a Divorce
  • Don’t Start Smoking
  • Conduct at Home
  • Conduct at School
  • Improved Grades
  • Improved Reading
  • Improved Writing
  • Test Anxieties
  • School Illness
  • Stuttering
  • Speak More Slowly
  • Overcoming Loudness
  • Stopping Lying
  • Stopping Stealing
  • Sports Improvement
  • Improved Coordination and sporting performance


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Hypnosis and Asthma

As early as 1968 the British Medical Journal published details of a study conducted for the Research Committee of the British Tuberculosis Association*

The study was an investigation of hypnosis in asthma among patients aged 10 to 60 years with paroxysmal attacks of wheezing or tight chest capable of relief by bronchodilators.

“Independent clinical assessors considered the asthma to be “much better” in 59% of the hypnosis group and in 43% of the control group, the difference being significant There was little difference between the sexes. Physicians with previous experience of hypnosis obtained significantly better results than did those without such experience.”

In the more than forty years since then, there have been many more studies confirming that hypnotherapy is an extremely valuable tool in helping with asthma.

In particular, most asthmatics can be quite easily taught a simple self hypnosis technique that they can use to help them remain calm at the onset of symptoms. This state of calmness can often avert a full asthmatic attack.

As the study group’s age range (10 – 60 years), shows, this is true both for adults and children.

You can read the complete study here

* Hypnosis for Asthma – a Controlled Trial. A Report to the Research Committee of the British Tuberculosis Association Br Med J. 1968 October 12; 4(5623): 71–76

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Hypnotherapy and Exam Anxiety

A study published in the Delhi Psychiatry Journal in October 2011, compared the examination performance of ten children using a standardised anxiety testing instrument pre and post hypnotherapy intervention.

Summarised,  the results were:

Results: Pre test anxiety scores ranged from 80-92% among all the children while post test anxiety scores dropped to a range of 60-68 %. The pre test academic
scores ranged 50-57% while post intervention scores increased by 10-15%. Further, anxiety symptoms of forgetting before the exam, excessive nervousness, sweating during and before the exam, going blank after seeing the paper were all controlled/eliminated after hypnotherapy and these were observed by the teachers, parents and the children themselves.

Conclusion: These results indicated that hypnotherapy as treatment intervention proved to be effective in reducing exam anxiety and improving scholastic performance among children.”

This is one of several studies showing how, particularly for children prone to pre-exam nervous tension, hypnotherapy is highly effective and in most cases results in measurably improved scholastic outcomes as well as markedly reduced physical and emotional symptoms of anxiety in both adults and children.

You can read the full study here


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Adolescent Stress Linked to Severe Adult Mental Illness, Mouse Study Suggests

A study conducted at John Hopkins University has identified a link between juvenile stress and later onset of mental illness

“We have discovered a mechanism for how environmental factors, such as stress hormones, can affect the brain’s physiology and bring about mental illness,” says study leader Akira Sawa, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Our children have much to deal with that earlier generations didn’t.

Some concerns, like war, famine and natural disasters, have always been with us, but for kids today, these events are in their faces all day long; on TV, on the computer, on the tablet, on the big news screen in the city.

Pre-teens obsess about their waistlines and many tiny Australians today are well aware of the Sandy Hook school massacre in the US.

Children usually respond well to hypnosis, which is a totally side effect free way of combating the excess stress in their lives. They often can quite easily become competent at self hypnosis.

These various sources of additional stress in young lives can affect childrens’  behaviour, relationships and academic performance.

And now it appears that there may possibly be long term effects on their mental health as well.

To read the entire report in Science Daily, click here

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