Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often associated with those who have seen active duty in the military. Of course, this is due to some of the things military personnel witness in active duty. Unfortunately, PTSD isn’t something that’s confined only to the military. Anyone can suffer from PTSD at any age. A person can get PTSD as part of any traumatic situation that life sometimes brings about.
Often, someone with PTSD won’t talk about their difficulties, even if the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are obvious to others (i.e. nightmares, intrusive thoughts from the past, etc.), increasingly negative attitudes about life and self, irritable or aggressive behavior or avoidance.
If you are someone that suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, research has shown that hypnosis can be helpful in the short and long-term. In a study, two tests were conducted: Test one included 36 patients who took part in hypnosis to deal with PTSD. In test two, 30 patients used typical talk therapy. For both tests, each group showed big improvement immediately after treatment based on PTSD checklist (PCL) scores. However, only the group that used hypnosis showed similar results in the long-term1. In a meta-study (an analysis of several studies on hypnosis and PTSD), it was noted that hypnosis appears to be effective in alleviating PTSD symptoms2.
If you’d like to hear more about how hypnosis can help with PTSD, please call 210-325-1567
1 Barabasz and Barabasz, J Trauma Treat 2013, S4 http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2167-1222.S4-006
2 A Meta-Analysis for the Efficacy of Hypnotherapy in Alleviating PTSD Symptoms, Tudor-Ștefan Rotaru & Andrei Rusu, Pages 116-136 | Received 30 Oct 2013, Accepted 09 Apr 2015, Published online: 24 Nov 2015
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a condition that affects almost half of all adults in the US. Anyone who has high blood pressure, if uncontrolled, is at risk for heart disease and stroke, the leading causes of death in the country. In 2017, it was estimated that only 1 in 4 adults with high blood pressure had their condition under control.
Studies have shown that hypnosis can be a natural way to help reduce high blood pressure. In one such study, groups of patients with hypertension were developed. One group took part in muscle relaxation and hypnosis, one medicated group also took part in muscle relaxation and hypnosis while the third received no treatment. The results showed significant lowering of both systolic and diastolic pressures in both the no drug and drug groups receiving treatment. Hypertensive levels were reduced thru muscular relaxation and completely eliminated during hypnosis. Instruction was given in self-relaxation and self-hypnosis to promote continuation of beneficial effects beyond hospitalization1.
Another study investigated the effectiveness of hypnosis in reducing mild hypertension. Thirty participants were randomly assigned to hypnosis (8-sessions) while another group received no treatment. Results showed that hypnosis is effective in reducing blood pressure in the short term but also in the middle and long terms2.
If you have high blood pressure and you’d like to try a natural way to control it, call 210-325-1567 to start.
- The Use of Relaxation and Hypnosis in Lowering High Blood Pressure, Herdis L. Deabler Ph.D.,Edward Fidel B.S.,Robert L. Dillenkoffer M.D. &S. Thomas Elder Ph.D., Pages 75-83 | Published online: 20 Sep 2011
- Effectiveness of Hypnosis in Reducing Mild Essential Hypertension: A One-Year Follow-Up, Marie-Claire Gay, Pages 67-83 | Received 01 Jan 2006, Published online: 29 Oct 2010
While the world grapples with the current COVID-19 pandemic, there has been progress with confirmed COVID-19 patients using a modality common to hypnosis.
As confirmed patients must be treated in isolation due to the highly infectious nature of the coronavirus, patient anxiety and sleep disturbance increased significantly after going into isolation. Furthermore, drugs to assist patients with sleep can inhibit the respiratory system and worsen the condition. In an effort to determine how to combat these effects, a study was conducted in which one group of patients received 30 minutes of progressive muscle relaxation daily in addition to their routine care and treatment while a second group of patients only received their normal routine care and treatment. The patients who took part in progressive muscle relaxation reported sleeping much better with greatly decreased anxiety1. This only naturally leads to better overall mindset of the patient and potentially better outcomes in combination with normal patient care.
Progressive muscle relaxation is commonly used in hypnosis. If you’re having trouble dealing with the pandemic, whether it be anxiety, stress, etc., hypnosis may help you navigate these tough times. If you’d like to learn more, call 210-325-1567. Online sessions are available.
1 Effects of progressive muscle relaxation on anxiety and sleep quality in patients with COVID-19, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, Volume 39, May 2020, Kai Liu, Ying Chen, Duozhi Wu, Ruzheng Lin, Zaisheng Wang, Liqing Pan
Do you suffer from anxiety? If so, you’re not alone. The National Institute of Medical Health estimates that over 19% of the population in the US (over 60 million people!) has had an anxiety disorder in the past year.
If you’re unsure whether you have anxiety, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).
These feelings of anxiety and panic may interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control, are out of proportion to the actual danger and can last a long time. Someone with an anxiety disorder may avoid places or situations to prevent these feelings. Symptoms may start during childhood or the teen years and continue into adulthood.
Examples of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder (social phobia), specific phobias and separation anxiety disorder.
Whatever form of anxiety you have, hypnosis can be helpful in dealing with anxiety. In fact, studies have shown this to be true. In particular, one study has shown that hypnosis is an effective treatment for anxiety including state anxiety (e.g., prior to tests, surgery and medical procedures) and anxiety-related disorders, such as headaches and irritable bowel syndrome1. Another study of 217 patients that were diagnosed with clinical anxiety, showed that following the hypnotic intervention 160 (74%) were no longer clinically anxious. A further 51 patients (23.5%) inproved but remained in the dysfunctional range, and only 6 patients failed to show any reduction in their Hospital Anxiety and Depression scores after therapy2.
Left untreated, anxiety can affect performance, relationships and overall well-being. If you’d like to learn more about how hypnosis can help, please call 210-325-1567.
1 D Corydon Hammond, Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, Pages 263-273, Published online: 09 Jan 2014
2 L Brann, J Owens, A Williamson, The Handbook of Contemporary Clinical Hypnosis: Theory and Practice, Wiley-Blackwell 2015
Are you experiencing depression or do you suffer from some or all of the symptoms of depression such as;
- trouble focusing or concentrating
- loss of interest in pleasurable or fun activities?
If so, you’re not alone. Major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. In fact, it’s estimated that over 16 million adults (6.7%) have had at least one major depressive episode in any given year. For some individuals, major depression can result in severe impairments that interfere with or limit one’s ability to carry out major life activities. In children and adolescents, depression may cause low self-esteem and guilt, poor concentration, and frequent absence from school. Depression may be difficult to spot in older adults.
Depression is very treatable. But, only about half of all Americans who are diagnosed with depression in a given year get treatment. Those who do seek treatment wait months or years to get help.
There are a number of causes of depression, each with a differing affect on our psyche.
However, if you suffer from depression, recent studies suggest hypnosis is a very effective way of alleviating the symptoms of depression. In an examination of data from a number of independent studies, these studies indicated the average participant receiving hypnosis showed more improvement than about 76% of control participants. Furthermore, other studies showed that after lengthy follow-up, the average participant treated with hypnosis showed more improvement than about 51% of control participants1.
If you want help, don’t delay in calling San Antonio Medical Hypnosis at 210-325-1567 to get the help you deserve.
1 A Meta-Analysis of Hypnotic Interventions for Depression Symptoms: High Hopes for Hypnosis?, Leonard S. Milling, Keara E. Valentine, Hannah S. McCarley & Lindsey M. LoStimolo, Published online: 11 Jan 2019
Do you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
Do you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? The increased intensity of modern life and the experiences in combat situations have brought on enormous stress and have led many people to develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Hypnosis is one of the treatment methods available to professionals and has been proven to provide fast, reliable results in multiple studies.
A physical or emotional event can result in trauma which produces a sudden discontinuity in cognitive and emotional experience that often persists after the trauma is over. This may result in symptoms such as psychogenic amnesia, intrusive reliving of the event as if it were recurring, numbing of responsiveness, and hypersensitivity to stimuli. Furthermore, dissociative symptoms (i.e. memory loss that may involve people, places, or events, the feeling of being physically detached from the body, as if watching a movie of oneself, emotional detachment, lack of sense of self, consequences of dissociation, such as relationship struggles, loss of jobs, anxiety, depression, and thoughts of self-harm) during and soon after traumatic experience predict later PTSD. Hypnosis can be especially helpful as hypnosis provides controlled access to memories that may otherwise be kept out of consciousness. New uses of hypnosis in the psychotherapy of PTSD victims involve coupling access to the dissociated traumatic memories with positive restructuring of those memories. Hypnosis can be used to help patients face and bear a traumatic experience by embedding it in a new context, acknowledging helplessness during the event, and yet linking that experience with remoralizing memories such as efforts at self-protection, shared affection with friends who were killed, or the ability to control the environment at other times.
In this way, hypnosis can be used to provide controlled access to memories that are then placed into a broader perspective. Patients can be taught self-hypnosis techniques that allow them to work through traumatic memories and thereby reduce spontaneous unbidden intrusive recollections.
If you would like help in dealing with PTSD, call (210) 325-1567.
Hypnosis can help relieve your pain!
In a previous blog on this site (Hypnosis Can be Effective in Managing Pain), it is mentioned that hypnosis can be helpful in reducing patients’ pain and anxiety during surgery, prior to chemotherapy treatments for cancer patients and alleviating chronic tension headaches.
If fact, hypnosis is likely to be effective for most people suffering from diverse forms of pain. While hypnosis is typically used as a procedure to facilitate other types of therapies and treatments, evidence for the effectiveness of hypnosis to decrease sensitivity to pain – known as hypno-analgesia – has been supplemented by well-controlled experiments. In their 2003 review of controlled clinical studies, Dr. D. R. Patterson and fellow psychologist Mark Jensen, PhD, found that hypno-analgesia is associated with significant reductions in: ratings of pain, need for analgesics or sedation, nausea and vomiting, and length of stay in hospitals. Hypnosis has also been associated with better overall outcome after medical treatment and greater physiological stability. Surgeons and other health providers have reported significantly higher degrees of satisfaction with their patients treated with hypnosis than with their other patients.
Hypno-analgesia is likely to decrease acute and chronic pain in most individuals, and to save them money in surgical procedures. Hypnotic analgesia has been used successfully in a number of interventions in many clinics, hospitals, and burn care centers, and dental offices. For acute pain, it has proven effective in interventional radiology, various surgical procedures (e.g., appendectomies, tumor excisions), the treatment of burns (dressing changes and the painful removal of dead or contaminated skin tissue), child-birth labor pain, bone marrow aspiration pain, and pain related to dental work, especially so with children. Chronic pain conditions for which hypnosis has been used successfully include, among others, headache, backache, fibromyalgia, carcinoma-related pain, temporal mandibular disorder pain, and mixed chronic pain.
If you’re having trouble with acute or chronic pain, call (210) 325-1567.
Hypnosis for the Relief and Control of Pain, American Psychological Association, July 2, 2004
Does the thought of going to the dentist scare you? If so, you are not alone. While everyone agrees oral health is extremely important, the main problem encountered during routine dental treatment is anxiety and fear called dental phobia. Even a medical treatment of the oral region under local anesthesia procedures is a cause for irregular visits in dental clinics, which, in consequence, may lead to an increase more severe forms of dental diseases. Clinical hypnosis can be a non-invasive therapeutic option to increase treatment comfort both for the patients and dentists.
Hypnotic dentistry or Hypnodontics, is defined as the art and science of using hypnosis to induce comfortable and painfree dental visits. Hypnosis is used to reduce stress caused by anxiety and fear or dental phobia and induce anesthesia so that less medication is used. Hard to manage or on co-operative patients and pediatrics often present the majority of problems the dentist encounters in their daily routine. They take extra time and require special consideration by the dentist and the assisting staff. There are multiple reasons why such patients are fearful, tense, nervous and anxious before, during, and even after the dental visit. These patients will complain of extreme anxiety prior to a simple check-up and repeatedly request tranquilizers to help them cope up with the stress. Hypnosis can easily alleviate the tension, nervousness and unreasonable fear of pain often exhibited by these patients. Hypnosis has also been known to be beneficial in elimination or reduction of bruxism (i.e. teeth grinding). The hypnotherapist should meet with this type of dental patient two or three days prior to the scheduled dental appointment. Hypnosis may be used independently or as an additional option with other forms of treatment for best results.1
- Hypnodontics: Role of hypnosis in oral health; Mamta Malik1, Pruthvi Raj H V, RajKumar Maurya, Sanjeev Laller, Chandresh Shukl, Ravinder S Saini,International Journal of Recent Trends in Science And Technology, September 2016, pp 188-190
Trouble with Headaches?
Migraine headache is a type of headache with signs and symptoms of sensitivity to light, smells, or sounds, eye pain, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. Triggers for migraine include foods, stress, and oversleeping.
Migraine imposes major personal and social costs upon individuals and society . In an Australian study on the cost of migraine, Parry (1993) found that 68,000 work days, 33,200 school/university days, and 167,300 days of reduced activity were lost to migraine and other headaches . That same study also revealed that, while migraine sufferers do not always seek medical help, there were some 566,000 reported visits to doctors, specialists, and hospital clinics for the complaint . An American study found that headache is one of the 10 most common complaints presented to physicians, accounting for more than 18 million outpatient visits per year (Osterhaus, Townsend, Gandek, & Ware, 1994) . In particular, migraines account for substantial morbidity and cost, resulting in an estimated 3 million bed days each month, and lost labour cost ranging from $6 .5 billion to $17 billion per annum . The pain, duration and frequency of migraine can be debilitating.
Studies show hypnosis can be effective in reducing chronic headaches
Given the considerable costs, both to the community in lost work, and to the individual in pain and personal and economic expense, finding appropriate treatments for migraine is of importance . Studies show hypnosis can be effective in treating frequent headaches:
- One study investigated a psychological intervention involving a single group session and participation (using a pre-recorded audio tape) with self-hypnosis, relaxation, and vascular manipulation . The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of an hypnotic intervention on the duration, frequency, and severity of migraines . It was expected that a successful treatment impacting positively on migraine duration, frequency, and severity may also result in a reduction in the amount of migraine medication required by subjects .
- The final selection of 32 volunteers was made on the basis of specified selection criteria, and the signing of a participation consent form . The selection criteria included the requirements that participants be clinically diagnosed migraine sufferers, that they experience at least two migraines per month, and that they would not undergo any other drug-free migraine treatment in the course of this study.
- The data shows that the hypnotic intervention resulted in reductions in the duration, frequency and severity of migraines . Post-treatment duration of migraine was significantly shorter than pre-treatment duration (t (24) = 5 .74, p < 0 .0005) . Post-treatment frequency of migraine was significantly lower than pre-treatment.
Australian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis Vol . 27, No . 1, 1999, 54–61., AN HYPNOTIC INTERVENTION FOR MIGRAINE CONTROL, Gordon J. Emmerson Victoria University of Technology, Melbourne.
Another study notes evidence is that shows hypnosis has been an effective treatment for recurrent headaches in children. Two adolescents with continuing chronic daily headaches were taught self-hypnosis through careful attention to individual strengths and finding the hypnotic elements within the clinical encounters. Self-reports of intensity, frequency, and duration of headaches described substantial benefit from learning and practicing self-hypnosis after little to no benefit from pharmacologic and other nonpharmacologic therapies. These results and analogous success with several other adolescents with chronic daily headache support the further use of self-hypnosis training for this condition. As a self-regulation technique that is quickly and easily learned by most young people, self-hypnosis training holds considerable promise for effectively treating and perhaps preventing chronic daily headaches in children and adolescents.
Daniel P. Kohen (2011) Chronic Daily Headache: Helping Adolescents Help Themselves With Self-Hypnosis, American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 54:1, 32-46
Do you have IBS? Try hypnosis.
If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), the gastrointestinal disorder characterized by abdominal pain, distension, and altered bowel habits, you know that there remains a significant lack of effective medical treatments for IBS. However, a number of studies have shown that hypnosis, in conjunction with normal visits to your medical doctor, can be beneficial in helping you deal with this disorder. One study concluded that hypnosis consistently produces significant results and improves the main symptoms of IBS in the majority of patients, as well as positively affecting non-colonic symptoms. When evaluated according to the efficacy guidelines of the Clinical Psychology Division of American Psychological Association, the use of hypnosis with IBS qualifies for the highest level of acceptance as being both efficacious and specific (“Hypnosis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Review of Efficacy and Mechanism of Action”, Tan, Hammond & Gurrala, American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, September 2011). Another study noted that “Hypnosis is the psychological treatment approach most frequently reported to have a demonstrable therapeutic impact on IBS symptoms” (“Hypnosis Treatment for Severe Irritable Bowel Syndrome Investigation of Mechanism and Effects on Symptoms”, Olafur Palsson, PsyD, Marsha J. Turner, MS, David A. Johnson, MD, Charles K. Burnett, PhD, MPH, and William E. Whitehead, PhD, Digestive Diseases and Sciences, Vol. 47, No. 11 (November 2002)). These reflect just a small sample of studies that show hypnosis as a viable treatment.
If you’d like to get help with your IBS, call 210-325-1567.
Hypnosis Can Be Effective in Managing Pain
Pain that persists for longer than 6 months is referred to as chronic pain. Does this sound familiar? Unrelieved chronic pain can cause considerable suffering, physical limitations, and emotional distress. Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons for seeking medical care but often persists despite treatment with analgesics and physical therapies. For example, epidemiologic studies indicate that approximately 11% to 45% of individuals in the United States experience chronic back pain, patients with advanced cancer often suffer persistent pain, and chronic pain is the most common reason for the use of complementary and alternative therapies (Astin, Journal of the American Medical Association, 1998).
Interest in hypnosis for pain management has increased with evidence that hypnosis can reduce pain (and costs) associated with medical procedures (Lang et al., 2000), and there are now an adequate number of controlled studies of hypnosis to draw meaningful conclusions from the literature regarding chronic pain (Jensen & Patterson, Journal of Behavioral Medicine,. 2006; Montgomery, DuHamel, & Redd, International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 2000; Patterson & Jensen, Psychological Bulletin, 2003). Hypnosis in the treatment of chronic pain generally typically involves a hypnotic induction with suggestions for relaxation and comfort. Posthypnotic suggestions may be given for reduced pain that can continue beyond the session or that the patient can quickly and easily create a state of comfort using a cue (i.e., taking a deep breath and exhaling as eye lids close). The focus of hypnosis in the treatment of chronic pain also often involves teaching the patient self-hypnosis or providing tape recordings of hypnosis sessions that can be used to reduce pain on a daily basis outside the sessions. Some people experience an immediate reduction in pain severity following hypnosis treatment, whereas others can obtain reduction in pain with repeated practice of self-hypnosis or hypnosis sessions. Additional studies have shown:
- SURGERY: Hypnosis given during surgical radiology not only diminishes patients’ pain and anxiety, but also shortens surgical time and reduces complications from the procedure. (Lancet, 2000)
- CANCER: Many cancer patients suffer nausea and vomiting not only after chemotherapy, but before treatment. In a study of 16 subjects who normally experienced these symptoms, hypnosis alleviated prechemotherapy sickness in ail of them. (Oncology, 2000)
- IMMUNITY: Hypnosis seems to significantly raise the activity of B-cells and T-cells–both key to immune response–in highly hypnotizable subjects. (American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis,1998)
- PAIN: In 169 patients, self-hypnosis was largely successful in alleviating chronic tension headaches. (International Journal of Clinical Experimental Hypnosis, 2000)
However, this is just a small sample of how hypnosis can help with pain control.
If you’d like to get more control over your pain or would like to learn more, call 210-325-1567.
Suffering from Depression in San Antonio?
Early last year (March 2017), the World Health Organization (WHO) released a powerful statement from its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, declaring depression “the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide.” WHO estimates that more than 300 million people worldwide are now suffering a diagnosable depression. This reflects an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015.
In today’s environment, a number of factors contribute to the notion that depression is far more a social problem than a medical one. The rapid rise of depression in just a few years reflects the chaotic world we live in, evidenced by our individual and collective higher levels of distress in many life arenas.
Hypnosis is an effective tool for teaching numerous beneficial skills which do notcreate a dependence on medications, such as effective coping skills, problem solving
skills, social skills, behavioral skills, and even basic relaxation skills whichcan help alleviate sleep disturbance. It can also help people achieve a happier mood and decrease or dispel the pessimistic and negative thoughts that general accompany depression. These are all skills that are well established as essential to recovery from depression.
Medicalizing depression has done a great disservice to people by misleading them into thinking the problem is in their neurochemistry rather than their circumstances and their depressing perspectives about their circumstances. The scientific evidence has grown exponentially in recent years that makes it clear we need to do much more to help people than drug them with medications of questionable safety and efficacy.
If you are suffering from depression, hypnosis may be provide a safe, effective and non-pharmaceutical way to deal with the issue. To get help, call 210-325-1567.
April 7th is World Health Day. Last year, WHO highlighted its “Depression: Let’s Talk” campaign and began its one-year global campaign encouraging people to begin to talk openly about their depression and start to get the help they need.