Severe and prolonged forms of alopecia areata can have serious psychological effects that can lead to significant reductions in a persons quality of life. Long term symptoms in 21 participants with refractory alopecia areata were examined. Over a 6-month period, participants received 10 hypnotherapy sessions. Post-treatment, participants anxiety, amelioration of alexithymia, depression and mental well-being was evaluated. Results indicated there was a significant improvement throughout all areas which was also maintained up to 6 months after the treatment finished.
This study investigates the potential effectiveness of hypnotherapy in the reduction of preoperative anxiety. Seventy eight participants were randomly assigned into one of three treatment groups. The first group received standard hospital care. The second group received attention-control therapy consisting of listening and support without hypnotherapy. The third group received hypnotherapy treatment which included suggestions for well-being. Pre and post intervention anxiety was measured. A third anxiety measurement taken after entrance into the operating theatre, immediately prior to surgery.
Patients in the hypnosis group showerd significantly reduced levels of anxiety post-intervention compared to the other two control groups. The most dramatic differenced were seen between the three groups immediately prior to surgery. The hypnosis group recorded a 56% reduction in anxiety compared with baseline anxiety. The attention-control group showed a 10% increase in anxiety and the standard treatment control group showed 47% increase in anxiety. This study strongly supports the use of hypnosis in the prevention of preoperative anxiety.
This paper studied the effect of group hypnotherapy sessions on methadone patients who were still using street heroin. Ten patients were divided into two groups with five in each group. There was no control group. Both groups received hypnotherapy and urine test were used to assess the effectiveness of the treatment 6 and 24 months post treatment.
One patient did not complete treatment due to a major operation, the remaining 9 (90%) completed treatment. All patients (100%) completely stopped use of any street drugs and results remained stable for 6 months after end of treatment. Two years after end of intervention, 7 out of the 9 (78%) remained clean of use of heroin.
In this randomized trial 200 women, who were about to undergo excisional tumour biopsy or lumpectomy, were assigned into one of two groups. The first group received a brief psychologist-conducted hypnosis intervention. The second group received a single non-directed listening session with a psychologist.
Results showed patients in the hypnotherapy group required less sedatives and anaesthesia, during surgery than those who did not receive the treatment. Hypnosis was superior to attention control regarding propofol and lidocaine use; pain, nausea, fatigue, discomfort, and emotional upset at discharge. Furthermore, the hypnosis group spent less time in surgery resulting in lower hospital costs than the control group.
Key Strategies in Treatment of Drug Addiction with Hypnotherapy
The author of this paper proposes that hypnotherapy can be used to effectively treat drug addiction when five key factors are present. These are:
1) The willingness and motivation to participate.
2) The patient must be under constant supervision,
3) The drug supply must be completely abolished
4) Extensive hypno-analysis must be done to reveal significant neurosis and direct suggestion for cessation must be given.
5) The patient must be seen a set minimum period of time so that relapse is unlikely.
Rational self-directed hypnotherapy treatment was used for a single-subject who suffered from panic attacks. Experienced symptoms ranged from acute fear and upset stomach, to loss of weight, appetite, and fear of going to work. Guided imagery through hypnosis was used to relive incidents where self-defeating behaviours and attitudes were present. The subject rehearsed these incidents and applied a revised response, resulting in greater sense of control, extinction of symptoms and cease of panic attacks.
In this study 84 participants suffering depression were treated with either hypnosis combined with cognitive-behavioural therapy or cognitive behavioural therapy alone. All participants showed improvement but those who received hypnotherapy showed a 5-8% greater improvement in their depression and anxiety over those receiving cognitive behaviour therapy. This difference persisted in 6-month and 12-month follow up testing.
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disease which results in loss of hair from the scalp. Previous studies have shown it is often triggered by psychological stress. In this study 21 patients, who had not responded to conventional treatment, were selected for hypnotic treatment. A hypnotherapeutic approach combining symptom-orientated suggestions with suggestions for improved self-esteem was employed. After treatment, 12 of the 24 patients experienced significant hair regrowth. This included 4 patients with total scalp loss. Furthermore, hypnotherapy was shown to significantly reduce scores in anxiety and depression.
Eighteen adolescents with cancer were trained in self-hypnosis techniques to reduce the discomfort and anxiety associated with bone marrow aspirations, lumbar punctures, and chemotherapeutic injections. Two patients rejected the hypnotherapy. The other sixteen recorded significant reductions in pain, discomfort, distress and anxiety.
This study investigated the effect of hypnotherapy on sixteen patients suffering from chronic asthma. All sixteen were having their asthma controlled by drugs however this drug therapy was proving inadequate as all needed to make occasional hospital visits. Hypnotherapy reduced the number of hospital visits by 70%. The duration of the hospital stay and the amount of drugs required were also significantly reduced. Patients reported an overall improvement in their condition however lung function tests of air flows did not support these observations.