Hypnotherapy for Alopecia

A study showing clinical evidence for the effetiveness of hypnotherapy for alopecia

Alopecia areata (AA) is an autoimmune disease leading to loss of scalp hairs. The disease seems triggered by stress. Data on the possibility of using hypnotherapy in the treatment of AA are very limited.

In one study, twenty-eight patients with extensive AA, all refractory to previous conventional treatment, (which means that previous treatments didn’t work), were treated with hypnosis at the Academic Hospital UZ Brussel, Brussels, Belgium. This paper describes in detail the authors’ hypnotherapeutic approach combining symptom-oriented suggestions with suggestions to improve self-esteem. Twelve out of 21 patients, including 4 with total loss of scalp hair, presented a significant hair growth. All patients presented a significant decrease in scores for anxiety and depression. Although the exact mechanism of hypnotic interventions has not been elucidated, the authors’ results demonstrate that hypnotic interventions may ameliorate the clinical outcome of patients with AA and may improve their psychological well-being.

PMID: 18569142
DOI: 10.1080/00207140802041942
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Keira Knightley Reveals Hypnotherapy Helped Treat Her Panic Attacks

More and more celebrities are opening up the mental health conversation, revealing their own personal struggles—and Keira Knightley is the latest star to share her struggle with anxiety. The Colette star confessed to the Hollywood Reporter that she suffered a debilitating mental breakdown in 2007, and as a result was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Knightley attributes her breakdown to the pressure and attention that came with fame, adding that the paparazzi exasperated the situation. “It was big money to get pictures of women falling apart,” Knightley told the Hollywood Reporter during their Awards Chatter podcast in reference to Britney Spears’s breakdown.

Eventually, her overwhelming anxiety built up and it took a serious toll on her. “I did have a mental breakdown at 22, so I did take a year off there and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder because of all that stuff,” she said.

To help her treat her PTSD and panic attacks on the red carpet, Knightley credits hypnotherapy. “I actually did hypnotherapy so that I could stand on the red carpet at the BAFTAs and not have a panic attack,” she confessed. “The hypnotherapy worked because I did stand there and I didn’t have a panic attack.”

But what exactly is this form of therapy—and how does it work? Here’s what you should know.

Hypnotherapy is different from traditional talk therapy in that it puts you in a trance-like state to help you gain better control over your anxiety. According to the Mayo Clinic, hypnotherapy is usually done with a therapist repeating certain words or mental images to a patient.

“Hypnotherapy works to build walls around the patient’s central system and to develop a lens to see the world in a less threatening light,” psychotherapist Paul Hokemeyer, PhD, explains to Prevention.

While there are several modalities of hypnotherapy, Dr. Hokemeyer believes the one likely used with Knightley would involve a combination of deep relaxation and cognitive restructuring.
“By inducing a state of deep relaxation, through breath work, guided meditation, or yoga practice, the clinician gains access to the patient’s subconscious thoughts,” Dr. Hokemeyer explains. For example, meditating can help relax by forcing you to focus on using your breath. It can also help you see your fears and anxieties not as threats, but as opportunities to grow and make you stronger. “The work would also enable them to re-evaluate their own perceptions, correcting any distortions and strengthening their agency and resilience,” Dr. Hokemeyer says.

The benefits of hypnotherapy aren’t immediate, and half the battle is trusting your therapist and being patient with the process. To be truly effective, you need to find the right hypnotherapist who can address your needs.

Dr. Hokemeyer says hypnotherapy generally takes at least four sessions or a month of preliminary work with your therapist. That preliminary work involves finding a therapist you can trust, actually undergoing the hypnosis treatments, and implementing those changes to your everyday life.


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Hypnotherapy for Gambling Addiction

With more and more people gambling and with online gambling outlets increasing, there are more reported cases of Gambling Addiction then ever before.

Gambling problems can manifest themselves in many different ways. Some problem gamblers will have all of the signs of their gambling problem and some others may only have one. Gambling addiction affects players of all different forms of gambling.

The most important thing to remember is just because their life is not horrible because of their gambling does not mean there is not a problem; many people can have serious gambling addictions and still hold down a job and other may think averything is fine.

Many addicts will stop socializing with anyone not into their addiction, so if suddenly someone you know cuts out all their friends from their life and starts to isolate themselves this can be a sign.

We now know that there are many contributing factors to gambling addiction. For example, the sensations experienced during a gambling episode may trigger the release of hormones into the brain that actually give a feeling of wellbeing – during that moment.

Past experiences that may have been long forgotten at the consious level are often a hidden driver leading towards excessive gambling behavior.

Because these experiences lie buried in the subconsious, no amount of talking can resolve the probelm.

However, because hypnosis works at the subconscious level,  it can be highly effective in resolving these long forgotten issues.

As a Clinical Hypnotherapist with nearly thirty years experience, I see many gambling addicts at my practice in Highgate Hill in Brisbane.

It does take effort, but if a gambler wants to control the addiction it can be done.

I have helped many gamblers retake control of their lives.

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Clinical Hypnosis, an Effective Mind–Body Modality for Adolescents with Behavioral and Physical Complaints

* Mind–body medicine is a system of health practices that includes meditation/relaxation training, guided imagery, hypnosis, biofeedback, yoga, art/music therapy, prayer, t’ai chi, and psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy. Clinical hypnosis is an important mind–body tool that serves as an adjunct to conventional medical care for the adolescent patient.
Clinical hypnosis specifically uses self-directed therapeutic suggestions to cultivate the imagination and facilitate the mind–body connection, leading to positive emotional and physical well-being. There are many similarities between clinical hypnosis and other mind–body/self-regulatory modalities such as visual imagery, mindfulness meditation, yoga, and biofeedback that incorporate experiential learning and mechanisms for change. They may be viewed as subtypes of the hypnotic experience and share the common experience of trance as the entrée into self-empowered change in physiologic and psychological states. Clinical hypnosis can be used by health care providers to teach adolescents coping skills to deal with a wide variety of conditions such as chronic headaches, recurrent abdominal pain, anxiety, depression, grief and bereavement, phobias, anger, family stressors, sleep disorders, or enuresis. Clinical vignettes are given to help illustrate the effectiveness of hypnosis in adolescents. Read On

* Anju Sawni 1,* and Cora Collette Breuner 2
1 Department of Pediatrics, Hurley Children’s Hospital/Hurley Medical Center, Michigan State University
College of Human Medicine, Flint, MI 48503, USA
2 Department of Pediatrics, Adolescent Medicine Division and Department of Orthopedics and Sports
Medicine, Seattle Children’s Hospital, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105, USA;
* Correspondence: Asawni1@hurleymc.com; Tel.: +1-810-262-9283 (ext. 5); Fax: +1-810-810-262-9736
Academic Editor: Hilary McClafferty
Received: 2 February 2017; Accepted: 20 March 2017; Published: 24 March 2017

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“The mind/body dualism proposed by Descartes allowed physicians to investigate and experiment with the body while minimizing concern that its manipulation affected the mind and soul. This philosophy made medical practice acceptable to theologians of that time, and it persists in much of modern medicine. However, as Braid wrote about hypnosis 150 years
ago, “The . . . phenomena . . . point to the importance of combining the study of psychology with that of physiology, and vice versa. I believe the attempt made to study these two branches of science so much apart from each other, has been a great hindrance to the successful study of either

Given our evolving understanding of the mechanisms that underlie psychophysiologic phenomena, it is time for clinicians to recognize that patients may benefit from study and treatment of both mind and body, regardless of whether the presenting complaint appears to be the result of psychological or physical causes. Clinical hypnosis provides us a tool with which to engage the mind to benefit the entire person.”

This is the final section of a very interesting paper published by Dr Ran D. Anbar, MD, in the Journal of Paediatrics, October 2006, that talks about the changes occurring in how science see the relationship between mind and body, and how hypnosis sits precisely at the nexus.

As such, and although it has been recognised as a, “legitimate medical tool by the British Medical Society in 1955 and by the American Medical Association in 1958”, it is only now being seen as playing an increasingly important role in the treatment of both psychological and physiological problems.

The paper outlines criteria the profession must meet in order to achieve its full potential.

You can read the entire paper here

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Hypnosis, an Effective Aid to Weight Loss

Hypnosis is a highly effective method for weight management whereby you are helped to open up a new channel of communication with your body and your mind, through your mind. With the help of a qualified clinical hypnosis practitioner, you are guided into a state of focused concentration and mental and physical relaxation in which your suggestibility is heightened and your imagination is stimulated. In this state, the part of your mind that controls your habits (i.e., your subconscious mind) is more receptive to constructive suggestions for changing your eating and exercise habits, and improving your self-care.

You are not only helped to experience this heightened state of suggestibility and relaxed, focused concentration in the office, but also on your own at home. This is accomplished by making you a recording on your phone that you are encouraged to listen to at least once a day at home. By repeatedly listening to your hypnotist’s suggestions over and over again, the messages get through to your subsconscious control centre in your brain. This helps to re-program your eating and exercise habits, your body image, and your self image. You are also taught how to harness the power of self-hypnosis so that you can enter this state of focused concentration on your own to meditate on your goals and your new self image.

Hypnosis is also a tool for uncovering and discovering underlying, unconscious emotional factors that cause you to overeat or make poor food choices when you are stressed, anxious, bored, depressed, and so forth. Once these emotional eating factors are made conscious, the hypnosis tool is then used to help you change them to more positive motivators so you can make better choices under stress.

The largest obstacle in weight loss is its long-term retention, or the maintenance of weight loss. With that said, it is my clinical experience that maintenance is promoted when a person who is committed to following through with a weight maintenance program has the proper tools to help him or her cope with their anxiety and their other emotions.  The proper tools include: emotion regulation skills, self-control skills, motivational skills, and knowledge about diet, nutrition, and exercise.  Hypnosis, self-hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral skills provide the best resource tools in this regard based on the research and my own clinical experience.

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Hypnosis for Performance Anxiety

Performance anxiety is a common problem among both amateur and professional performers.

It occurs much more often among those who already tend to be anxious, and can best be understood as a kind of social phobia.

While some form of tension is important for a dynamic live performance, negative self talk and a sense of panic or impending disaster can spoil the experience for the performer and the audience.

A study of students an an American University School of music found that 21% reported “Marked distress”, while another 40% experienced “Moderate distress”.

Reported symptoms included flushing, quavering voice, nausea and dizziness.

Several studies have shown that hypnotherapy is an effective treatment.

A 1993 study using a two session hypnotherapy procedure that combined success imagery with rational-emotional therapy, (removing beliefs such as the notion that anything short of perfection is unacceptable), resulted in a marked reduciton, in most cases elimination of symptoms.

performance-anxiety-300x291A follow up study paired music students according to their scores on a performance anxiety questionaire and assigned one of each pair to hypnotherapy and the other to a control group.

Two sessions one week apart were used, involving pleasant visual imagery and verbal suggestions that linked these images to increased mental control.

The hypnotherapy group showed a significant reduction in performance anxiety when evaluated immediately after treatment and again six months after treatment, indicating that the benefits are long lasting.

Other studies have shown similar results in the fields of sports and public speaking.

If you suffer from performance anxiety but are concerned that medication may take the edge off your performance then you might like to try hypnotherapy, as it is a proven effective treatment with zero side effects.



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The Effectiveness of Hypnosis Intervention in Alleviating Postpartum Psychological Symptoms

This study shows how hypnosis can be very helpful in the treatment of PostPartum Depression.

Psychological symptoms, particularly postpartum depression, may impair women’s well-being after childbirth. Mind-body treatments such as hypnosis are available to help prepare women to maintain or improve their well-being postpartum. The aims of the present study are to determine the effectiveness of a hypnosis intervention in alleviating psychological symptoms (stressanxiety, and depression) and the symptoms of postpartum depression. A quasi-experimental design was utilized in this study. The experimental group participants (n = 28) received a hypnosis intervention at weeks 16, 20, 28, and 36 of their pregnancies. Participants in the control group (n = 28) received routine prenatal care. The final data collection, occurring at two months postpartum, included 16 women from the experimental group and 11 women from the control group. The Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21) was used to measure psychological symptoms, and postpartum depression was assessed using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). The results at two months postpartum showed that the experimental group had significantly lower postpartum anxiety than the control group (M = 2.88 versus M = 38.36, p = .023). Similarly, the experimental group had significantly lower postpartum depressive symptoms than the control group (M = 1.25 versus M = 6.73, p < .002). Group differences in postpartum stress symptoms were not significant (p = .363). Finally, the results indicated that the experimental group experienced reduced postpartum depression when compared to the control group (M = 5.69 versus M = 10.64, p < .001). Thus, hypnosis conducted during pregnancy may promote improvements in psychological well-being postpartum.

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SKYPE HYPNOTHERAPY FOR IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME: Effectiveness and Comparison with Face-to-Face Treatment.

Gut-focused hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome but is not widely available. This STUDY assessed whether providing hypnotherapy by Skype might partially overcome this problem. Using a 50-point or more reduction in the IBS Symptom Severity Score as the primary outcome measure, 65% of subjects responded to Skype hypnotherapy with all other outcomes significantly improving. The primary outcome figure for face-to-face hypnotherapy was 76%. When other outcome scores for Skype and face-to-face treatment were compared, the mean changes were these: symptom severity (-94.1 vs. -129.2), noncolonic score (-52.3 vs. -64.8), quality of life (+56.4 vs. +66.2), anxiety (-3.3 vs. -3.0), depression (-1.7 vs. -2.5), and a 30% or more pain reduction (44% vs. 62%). Skype hypnotherapy is effective but slightly less so than face-to-face treatment. However, many patients would have been unable to access treatment without the Skype option.



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Hypnosis for Surgery

Several Studies in recent years have shown, hypnosis to be a valuable adjunct to surgery and other hospital procedures


In one study, Montgomery and colleagues tested the effectiveness of a 15-minute pre-surgery hypnosis session versus an empathic listening session in a clinical trial with 200 breast cancer patients. In a 2007 article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (Vol. 99, No. 17), the team reported that patients who received hypnosis reported less post-surgical pain, nausea, fatigue and discomfort. The study also found that the hospital saved $772 per patient in the hypnosis group, mainly due to reduced surgical time. Patients who were hypnotized required less of the analgesic lidocaine and the sedative propofol during surgery.

In a 2009 article in Health Psychology (Vol. 28, No. 3), Montgomery and colleagues reported on another study, which found that a combination of hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral therapy could reduce fatigue for breast cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. Pre-treatment hypnotherapy has been shown to be beneficial in association with many medical procedures.

Research has also shown the benefits of hypnosis for burn victims. In a 2007 report in Rehabilitation Psychology (Vol. 52, No. 3), Shelley Wiechman Askay, PhD, David R. Patterson, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Washington Medical School found that hypnosis before wound debridements significantly reduced pain reported by patients on one pain rating questionnaire.

There is steadily increasing evidence that hypnotherapy can be a valuable adjunct to a wide range of medical and surgical procedures.

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