Hypnotherapy and the Control of Pain and Symptom Relief in Patients Undergoing Breast Cancer Surgery

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.

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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.

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Hypnotherapy & Panic Attacks

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.

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Hypnosis Combined with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

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.

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Hypnosis and the Reduction of Acute Pain and Anxiety in Adolescents undergoing Cancer Related Treatments.

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.

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Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Chronic Asthma

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.

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Relaxation Strategies for Patients During Dermatologic Surgery

Patients can often become stressed or anxious prior to skin surgery. This stress can create procedural issues such as postponement or cancellation or surgery.  Other issues include fainting, abnormal changes in blood flow and severe emotional disturbance.

This paper investigates a number of different strategies for reducing preoperative anxiety. These include slower breathing, biofeedback, progressive muscular relaxation, guided imagery, hypnosis, meditation and music. The advantages of hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis recordings over other strategies are discussed.

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Reducing Pain Among Women With Metastatic Breast Cancer and Temporomandibular Disorder

There are two separate studies in this review paper. The first study tests whether a year-long weekly group intervention including hypnosis can reduce cancer pain among women with metastatic breast cancer.

One hundred and twenty four metastatic breast cancer patients were randomly assigned into two groups. Both groups met weekly for a one year in duration. The intervention group received training in hypnosis and self-hypnosis at the end of each session whereas the control group did not. The researchers observed that the benefit of therapy plus hypnosis was that, on average, it helped patients avoid the increases in pain experienced by patients who did not receive hypnotherapy in their treatment.

In the second study forty women with Temporomandibular Disorder were randomly assigned to either a hypnosis intervention group or a relaxation control group. Both groups received four individual 1-hour sessions with take-home compact disc and instructions to practice during the week.

The researchers found that both the relaxation group and the hypnosis group realized significant reductions in the number of painful muscle palpation sites and pain on palpation, the number of awakenings at night, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) symptoms. However, only the hypnosis group significantly reduced the daily pain ratings and increased the use of critical coping strategies.

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Hypnosis, Rumination, and Depression

This paper provides examples of techniques and approaches which can potentially enhance the treatment gains of cognitive behaviour al therapy by combining them with hypnotherapy .

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Hypnosis and Upper Digestive Function and Disease

This study investigates the ability of hypnosis to modulate upper digestive motor and secretory function. The effectiveness of hypnotherapy in the treatment upper bowel disease is also discussed.

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