stress management

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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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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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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A Pilot Study of Hypnosis in the Treatment of Patients with Psoriasis

Background: The use of psychological therapies for patients with psoriasis has been proposed based on observations that the severity of their disease may correlate with emotional stress. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the effect of hypnosis as a treatment modality for patients with psoriasis. Methods: We performed a 3-month randomised, single-blind, controlled trial of the use of hypnosis in adults with stable, chronic, plaque-type psoriasis. Highly or moderately hypnotizable subjects were randomised to receive either hypnosis with active suggestions of improvement (5 patients) or neutral hypnosis with no mention of their disease process (6 patients). After this period, the study was unblinded, and all the patients were treated for an additional 3 months with hypnosis with active suggestions of improvement. Results: Highly hypnotizable subjects showed significantly greater improvement than did moderately hypnotizable subjects, independent of treatment group assignment (active suggestion or neutral hypnosis). Conclusion: Although this study included a very limited number of patients, the results suggest that hypnosis may be a useful therapeutic modality for highly hypnotizable subjects with psoriasis, and merits further testing in a larger patient population.

Research shows that the brain causes our skin to respond to hypnotic suggestion       types_erythrodermic-3

In a classic experiment, Japanese doctors Ikemi and Nakagawa hypnotised volunteers and told them that a leaf applied to their skin was a toxic plant, such as a poison ivy. The plant was harmless but the subjects’ skin became red and irritated. The same experimenters applied the real toxic plant to other subjects’ skin after telling them it was innocuous. The expected biological reaction of irritation did not take place.

 In 1928, Drs. Heilig and Hoff of the University of Vienna used hypnosis to alleviate outbreaks of oral herpes (cold sores). In a separate experiment, they could also trigger new outbreaks in these patients by reminding them, under hypnosis, of the painful events that had triggered them originally (such as a death in the family) and of the itching and tingling that usually come just before the sores appear.

Drs. Kaneko and Takaishi of the Osaka University Medical School used a similar procedure with hives. Fourteen of the twenty-seven patients they treated made complete or near-complete recoveries; only five reported no benefit. They too could bring the symptoms back with hypnosis, either by suggesting skin irritation directly or by bringing to mind situations that aroused anger. Additionally, two dozen scientific reports, including several large-scale studies, describe successfully treating warts by using hypnosis. In recent years, many more researchers have effectively applied these techniques to a wide variety of symptoms and conditions. Rather than dividing illness into “emotional” or “psychosomatic” and “physical,” we need to think of emotions as a factor in all skin problems.

Research About Psoriasis and Hypnosis Vol. 68, No. 4, 1999 A Pilot Study of Hypnosis in the Treatment of Patients with Psoriasis Francisco Tausk, S. Elizabeth Whitmore

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Hypnosis and stress

stressThe physical symptoms of anxiety and stress can be quite detrimental to one’s health. Unfortunately, many people may be so stressed that they do not realize the extent of it or the impact the stress and anxiety is having on their health. In some cases, the more stress or anxiety an individual experiences the less able they are to recognize it. Quite frequently in these situations the individual may have even become so accustomed to their level of stress, and the physical symptoms it produces, that they feel it is normal. Due to the fact that some people may not be aware of their emotional response to stress and anxiety they may need to rely on physical manifestations to identify it. This makes taking the time to learn about the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety an important step. Tuning into the symptoms of stress and anxiety can help you to identify potential triggers in your life and in turn help you to better manage them and alleviate the stress and anxiety in your life.

It is important to be aware that the physical symptoms of anxiety and stress can vary from one person to the next. Some symptoms may be more serious than others and can even be life threatening. It should be noted that one symptom on its own may not necessarily indicate the presence of stress or anxiety; however, where there are multiple symptoms this is a strong indication there is stress or anxiety present. Some symptoms you experience may be short-term while others may be long-term symptoms. Short-term symptoms include the following:

• Cold hands and feet

• Dry mouth

• Rapid breathing

• Increased heart beat

• Increased sweating

• Nausea

• Diarrhea

Generally these short term side effects appear when the body is responding to a perceived threat. This is the body’s way of helping you prepare to either stay and fight the threatening situation or flee from it; a response commonly known as fight or flight. While this rush of adrenaline and emotions can be helpful in a truly threatening situation, it can have negative impacts during times when there is no immediate danger.

Over time these physical symptoms can damage your self-confidence, disrupt the quality of your life and reduce the pleasure you get from your work. In addition, when the body is exposed to these physical symptoms over a long period of time your health can actually start to decline. Long term side effects of stress and anxiety include:

• Sexual disorders

• Changes in appetite

• Insomnia

• Frequent illness

• Back pain

• Asthma

• Headaches

• Digestive problems

• Lethargy

• Restlessness

• Depression

• Irritability

Hypnosis has a long tradition of being one of the most effective tools in combating stress.

Certain events may cause high levels of stress in conjunction with past experiences. A skilled hypnotherapist, using hypnosis, can work at the subconscious level to deal with underlying past experience/s that may be inducing high levels of stress when dealing with otherwise innocuous events.

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Hypnotherapy and Health

To assess the influence of a hypnotic intervention on cellular immune function during a commonplace stressful event, the authors selected 33 medical and dental students on the basis of hypnotic susceptibility. Initial blood samples were obtained during a lower stress period, and a second sample was drawn 3 days before the first major exam of the term. Half of the participants were randomly assigned to hypnotic —relaxation training in the interval between samples. Participants in the hypnotic group were, on average, protected from the stress-related decrements that were observed in control participants’ proliferative responses to 2 mitogens, percentages of CD3+ and CD4± T-lymphocytes, and interleukin 1 production by peripheral blood leukocytes. More frequent hypnotic—relaxation practice was associated with higher percentages of CD3+ and CD4± T-lymphocytes. These data provide encouraging evidence that interventions may reduce the immunological dysregulation associated with acute stressors.

This is the abstract from a paper entitled “Hypnosis as a Modulator of Cellular Immune Deregulation During Acute Stress”*  by Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser, Phillip T. Marucha, Cathie Atkinson, and Ronald Glaser, Ohio State University and published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

What it’s telling us is that when hypnosis is used to help deal with excessively stressful situations, we can see the positive effect of the hypnosis on a number of markers for immune system efficiency.

In other words, using hypnotherapy to manage excessive levels of stress is good for our health, both emotionally and physically.

And we can measure it.

You can read the entire paper here.

* Hypnosis as a Modulator of Cellular Immune Deregulation During Acute Stress”*  by Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser, Phillip T. Marucha, Cathie Atkinson, and Ronald Glaser, Ohio StateJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology  2001, Vol. 69, No. 4,674-682

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Hypnotherapy and Panic Attacks

A panic attack is an episode of extreme anxiety, with high levels of fear or discomfort, which can come upon you quite suddenly and usually has its peak within 10 minutes. During the attack, several of the following symptoms will be present.
• Palpitations, pounding heart, or rapid heart rate
• Sweating
• Trembling and shaking
• Shortness of breath,sensations of choking or smothering
• Chest pain or discomfort
• Abdominal distress or nausea
• Dizziness, light-headedness, feeling faint or unsteady
• Feelings of unreality (derealisation), or being detached from
• Fears of losing control or going crazy
• Fear of dying
• Numbness or tingling.

A surprising number of us experience panic attacks; some on a regular basis. They’re horrible to go through and can leave us feeling exhausted and  unable to deal with the world around us.

Because panic attacks are a normal subconscious process gone awry, hypnotherapy is an excellent tool for getting rid of them.

Hypnosis works at the subconscious level, which is precisely from where panic attacks originate.

I see many clients suffering from panic attacks and a combination of hypnosis and EFT is extremely effective in eliminating them.

Click to go to the Conditions Page for Hypnotherapy for Panic Attacks

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Hypnotherapy in medicine The subconscious approach to healing

“Hypnosis makes no claim that it can cure physical illness. Hypnosis simply has the ability to stimulate the human mind to it’s fullest potential to cure the body. Each person’s mind has the ability to make the condition better or worse. Depending on the given strength of that person’s mind and how advanced the medical condition is the expected outcomes will change.

For example, doctors and others have seen people give up and die quickly thereafter. Doctors and others have also seen people fight and survive much longer than expected. It has also been observed that some people recover completely.

We generally accept today that humans use about 5% of their brain day. That is simply referred to as the conscious mind. The subconscious mind makes up the remaining 95%. Everything other than cognitive thought is subconscious. This includes the regulation of hormones, body temperature, pain management, blood flow, and other functions that can be manipulated with modern medicine. Antibiotics and antiviral medicines are excluded because they deal with foreign organisms.

In short medicines that effect how people feel only mimic what hypnosis does naturally. However the manual administration of medicine may exceed the body’s natural ability to produce it on it’s own.

Unlike administration of medicines, there are no side effects with hypnotherapy because nothing is being introduced into the body.”

This is a quote from a wide ranging paper that John Krukowski C.H. presented to the Science Department at the Ministry of Public Health in Bangkok, Thailand in 2006. It discusses how hypnotherapy is effective in assisting the healing of many illnesses, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Fibromyalgia, Hypertension, Multiple Sclerosis and Pain Management.
John also touches on Hypnooncology, mentioning a programme called “I CAN”, at the La Grange Memorial Hospital in La Grange Illinios.

To read the complete presentation, Click Here

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Hypnotherapy and Stress Management

We feel Stress when we react to events; the stuff going on around us, some of which might affect us in both positive and negative ways.

It’s the body’s way of preparing to meet challenges with focus, strength, stamina, and heightened alertness. Our bodies often react this way even when what we’re anticipating we expect to be a good thing.

These things going on in our lives that induce a stress reaction are called stressors, and they cover a whole range of situations — everything from outright physical danger to making a class presentation or taking a semester’s worth of your toughest subject. Even going through customs on our way to an overseas vacation can induce stress, even when we know we have done nothing wrong.

The human body responds to stressors by activating the nervous system and specific hormones. The hypothalamus signals the adrenal glands to produce more of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol and release them into the bloodstream. These hormones speed up heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and metabolism. Blood vessels open wider to let more blood flow to large muscle groups, putting our muscles on alert. Pupils dilate to improve vision. The liver releases some of its stored glucose to increase the body’s energy. And sweat is produced to cool the body. All of these physical changes prepare a person to react quickly and effectively to handle the pressure of the moment.

Click here to read a very useful, easy to read, information sheet created by Austin Gastro in Texas, (USA) with tips on how to handle the stress in our lives, and how hypnosis can be a powerful tool in reducing the negative effects of too much stress.

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