Hypnosis relieves senior pain


Image from original link at longevitytimes.com

Everyone has heard the anecdotes: hypnotized subjects walking on coals without pain or injury, subjects raising blisters on their arms without physical cause. Stories, which may be true, but are rightfully questioned by the skeptical; after all, magician David Blaine’s needle-through-the-bicep trick has been well debunked. At the same time, peer-reviewed research shows that hypnosis can reduce many kinds of pain, including that from “burns, cancer, invasive medical procedures, headaches, musculoskeletal conditions, irritable bowel syndrome, and fibromyalgia”—and it is especially useful for the long term control of chronic pain. Furthermore, it has no negative side-effects (evidence suggests that it may have beneficial side-effects!) and requires no equipment and relatively little training. Some of the suspicion directed at hypnosis may be because it seems too good to be true.

Doubts about hypnosis in general may be due to its sensationalized presentation in stage shows and movies, where subjects rarely remember or have any control over their experiences—and the understandable fear that it could be abused. In reality, at least in medical hypnosis, the subject never loses consciousness, control, or memory. A patient can arouse themselves at any time. Those (such as this author) who have used self-hypnosis testify that trance is, on the contrary, an entirely empowering experience. As the popular health guru Dr. Andrew Weil quips, “all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.” Which is one of the best reasons to extend its medical application; the best kind of healing is self-healing.

A new study of hypnosis for pain reduction among hospitalized elderly patients, published in BioMed Central Geriatrics, is the first to focus on patients with a mean age over 69. The study sought to establish the feasibility of hypnosis for both short- and long-term reduction of chronic pain among the “very old” (the subjects had a mean age of 80), suffering, variously, from chronic back pain, neuropathic pain, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and accompanying depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and reduced quality of life. The identification of non-pharmacological treatments for this age group is especially urgent since these conditions are typically treated with drugs that carry an increased risk of “adverse side-effects and intoxication in elderly adults.”

In the randomized and controlled study, one group received hypnosis for pain reduction, and the other massage treatments, for three once-a-week sessions of 30 minutes each. Patients responded to standard medical questionnaires rating pain and mood before and after each therapy session and several times after discharge, until the 12th week. 23 hypnosis patients (88% of the original group) and 17 (63%) of the massage group completed the study. One of the results that intrigued this author is that all five of the patients who refused to complete the study belonged to the massage group. The study’s authors do not point out this discrepancy, but it seems highly suggestive of the advantage of hypnosis over more physically invasive treatments.

The study had the following positive outcomes:

  • Chronic pain was significantly reduced after each session (for both groups).
  • The pain reduction by hypnosis lasted longer than for the massage group, agreeing with other studies showing that hypnosis can allow for the reduction of daily pain medication for a variety of conditions.
  • The hypnosis had a positive effect on mood—a very significant reduction in depression–not reported by the massage group. The study’s authors speculate that this was due to both the post-hypnotic suggestions included in the therapy and to the empowering effect of activating the patients’ own internal resources for controlling their pain.

One mixed result was that by 12 weeks after discharge, there was no significant difference in pain intensity or mood between the two groups. Only three of the 23 hypnosis patients carried out the suggestions for self-hypnosis after leaving the hospital. Strangely, it did not occur to the study authors to send the patients home with self-hypnosis recordings, so this short-coming seems predictable and easily remedied!

The other major short-coming of the study was its brevity—only three sessions per group. Previous studies on younger groups used at least six sessions, and anything less than eight is considered “brief” by medical hypnosis experts. However, such a number of sessions is difficult to secure for patients in this age group, especially considering current pressures to discharge patients as soon as possible.

Hypnosis Relieves Senior Pain

Nevertheless, the study confirmed both the feasibility and benefits of hypnotic treatments for chronic pain among those for whom non-pharmacological treatments are most urgently sought. Moreover, it confirmed that hypnosis reduces depression even when that is not the focus of the intervention, and suggests that the empowerment of patients to control their own pain is a significant advantage of hypnotic techniques over other treatments.

It seems a long road from the patient-as-object paradigm to full recognition of the mind’s healing potential and the great desirability of empowering people for self-healing. Hypnosis, as potentially the cheapest, most direct, and most natural of self-healing practices, promises a happier and healthier future for many as we reduce our dependence on dangerous drugs and the depressing fallacy that health and comfort must be bought at great cost.

To read from original link at longevitytimes.com, please click here.

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National Theatre star Olivia Colman underwent hypnotherapy to overcome stage fright


Image from original link. Olivia Colman in Mosquitoes at the National Theatre. Photo: Tristram Kenton

Olivia Colman has revealed that she underwent cognitive hypnotherapy to combat stage fright before her first public performance in Mosquitoes at the National Theatre.

The actor, whose theatre credits include Hay Fever and England People Very Nice, admitted to developing a fear of performing on stage in her current role.

At a live discussion recorded at the National Theatre earlier this month, she said: “I had to have cognitive hypnotherapy before my first night because I was so terrified.”

In the podcast, Colman also explained the experience of stepping out in front of an audience. She said: “It’s a two-way deal, I’m going to do this thing and its quite scary, you’re going to be really kind and listen, and hopefully you’re going to enjoy it.”

The BAFTA award-winning actress also contrasted her preparation for the show with that of her co-star Olivia Williams. She said that while “Willy [Olivia Williams] is having a chat and a coffee, I’m back there squeezing my knuckles and going through the things of [chanting] circle of love, circle of love, breathe out love”.

The production of Lucy Kirkwood’s Mosquitoes at the NT’s Dorfman Theatre closes today, September 28.

In a recent BBC interview, National Theatre director Rufus Norris mentioned having had to convince Colman back to the NT.

He said: “Since [2009] I’ve been trying to woo her back into the theatre, I had a coffee with her not long ago and managed to trick her into stepping back over the line.”

by Roda Musa

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The impostor syndrome

Hypnosis provides a safe and secure context for practicing the coping strategies listed below. Learn more about hypnosis by reading the pages of this blog or contact us directly for more specific information.



The philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote: “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.” Whether on a local or global level, the problems we face require the best people to step up. But many hold back because they feel that luck rather than ability lies behind their successes, and dread that sooner or later some person or event will expose them for the fraud that deep down they believe themselves to be. Far from being a realistic self-assessment, the impostor syndrome mind-trap prevents people from believing in themselves, to the detriment of us all.

As a life coach, I work with people who sense they have more personal and professional potential but feel blocked from fulfilling it. For some, hearing about impostor syndrome for the first time is a revelation. They realise that, far from it being their own shameful secret, it is a recognised phenomenon, first identified in 1978 by psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes.

According to some estimates, up to 70% of successful people have experienced impostor syndrome, including Maya Angelou, Albert Einstein, and Meryl Streep. Unlike other forms of anxiety that sap confidence, the syndrome’s insidious nature means that external success heightens rather than soothes the effects, as sufferers believe they are only ramping up the confidence trick they are playing on everyone.

First, know that it’s not entirely your fault; evolution is partly responsible. We are all the descendants of worriers. Any strain of homo sapiens who were not would have died out millennia ago. Survival of the fittest means all humans live with degrees of anxiety – including the kind that can cause impostor syndrome.

Second, your culture will also have an effect. As a coach, I have noticed that British clients are less inclined to own success for fear of being labelled arrogant, compared with Americans. Women and people from minority populations also experience impostor syndrome more, due to cultural inequities.

Third, as children our emotional need to belong often leads us to downplay our abilities as a survival strategy, believing we are more acceptable when we fit in rather than stand out. This can linger into adulthood where it harms rather than helps us. But while we may not be sole authors of our anxious tendencies, we do have responsibility to do something about it so that we can serve ourselves and the world better.

Next time you fear being exposed as a fraud, name it for what it is – impostor syndrome. Notice the cascade of bodily sensations and automatic thoughts. Perhaps your stomach flips or heart pounds. What are the scripts that your mind starts running? They will be the same ones again and again, which makes them easier to spot: “I’m useless and people will know”, for instance. Remind yourself that this is not reality, just your perception of it. To name impostor syndrome is to start to sense control over it and recognise that it is a complex condition that you can – with practise – overcome.

Give each inner script a character so you can recognise who is speaking when they pipe up: “the judge” or “the perfectionist”, for instance. They are mechanisms of your subconscious running the same program as when you were a child, working to keep you in your comfort zone where you feel you can manage and be accepted. They often show up when you are taking on more responsibility, challenges and risks.

Talk back to them, thank them for services rendered and instruct them that they are surplus to requirements. In parallel, tone up your connection to your inner allies: the inner psychological sub-personalities of your brain’s executive function who encourage and coach you. Name them too: “the sage” or “the inner leader”. Though it might feel odd, you are externalising your negative thoughts and tapping into your inner wisdom, clarity, courage and compassion.

Have the courage to be imperfect. Our increasing impatience with ourselves seriously depletes our ability to recognise that we are works-in-progress, moving along learning curves all the time. We tend to freeze the frame when we feel nervous, make a mistake or have to sweat to achieve something, and then we damn ourselves for not being up to the job.

Finally, take some time to clarify your values. When you know what you stand for, you know what you uniquely have to offer so you won’t pretend you are something you are not, just to get along. Impostor syndrome can be a gift if you use it to create more helpful, mindful, less toxically stressful ways of living. When people share with others who know how they feel, the sense of isolation and shame falls away, and self-awareness, connection and empathy grow. Then we can step forward.

By Fiona Buckland, Tuesday 19 September 2017

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Brain Activity and Functional Connectivity Associated with Hypnosis


Volume 27
Issue 8

August 2017

Hypnosis has proven clinical utility, yet changes in brain activity underlying the hypnotic state have not yet been fully identified. Previous research suggests that hypnosis is associated with decreased default mode network (DMN) activity and that high hypnotizability is associated with greater functional connectivity between the executive control network (ECN) and the salience network (SN). We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate activity and functional connectivity among these three networks in hypnosis. We selected 57 of 545 healthy subjects with very high or low hypnotizability using two hypnotizability scales. All subjects underwent four conditions in the scanner: rest, memory retrieval, and two different hypnosis experiences guided by standard pre-recorded instructions in counterbalanced order. Seeds for the ECN, SN, and DMN were left and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), respectively. During hypnosis there was reduced activity in the dACC, increased functional connectivity between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC;ECN) and the insula in the SN, and reduced connectivity between the ECN (DLPFC) and the DMN (PCC). These changes in neural activity underlie the focused attention, enhanced somatic and emotional control, and lack of self-consciousness that characterizes hypnosis.

Cerebral Cortex, Volume 27, Issue 8, 1 August 2017, Pages 4083–4093,https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhw220
27 July 2016
Tracked via the BSCH
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Science of hypnosis BBC documentary

Youtube, published on 12th of June 2016

1 hour long documentary


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The fabulous powers of hypnosis

Please click here to view the video with English subtitles.

Very popular for anesthesia and pain treatment, hypnosis is now also used to defeat phobias, depression and addictions. Investigating the therapeutic virtues of this astonishing practice.

Long considered a deception worthy of salon manipulators, hypnosis is experiencing a renewed interest in the medical profession, especially since many scientific studies prove its effectiveness, especially as a method of anesthesia and treatment of pain. A growing number of hospitals are using hypnotherapy during deliveries or surgeries to divert the patient from stress and to alleviate postoperative pain and even inflammatory reactions. Because hypnosis “reprograms” our perception of reality. Cerebral imaging reveals that the person submitting to this altered experience of consciousness first sees the activity of his brain reduced to a state of relaxation, which makes it available to suggestion. During this second phase,

The Mysteries of the Brain

Treatment of addictions, phobias or traumas … Through interviews with scientists, doctors and patients, this documentary offers an exciting overview of the therapeutic perspectives of hypnosis. An experience of semi-consciousness that once again testifies to the mysteries and power of our brain, which “sees what it believes.” Today, high-performance athletes also use this technique to better control their mind and increase their performance. But the film also warns against the drift in the matter, the very success of the method exposing our hypervulnerability.

To watch the video from the original link at arte.TV please click here .

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Treating fear with hypnosis


Image from original link at star2.com

Many people associate hypnosis with dubious magicians who lure people onto the stage and cause them to do something embarrassing in the name of entertainment. However, hypnosis can also be used in psychotherapy and medicine.

“In a medical context, hypnosis actually works just like it does on the stage,” says Professor Dirk Revenstorf of the Milton Erickson Society for Clinical Hypnosis.

However, in therapy, it is not aimed at achieving obedience. “The patient’s free will is not compromised,” Prof Revenstorf says.

Phobias, sleep disorders and burnout, for example, can be treated with the help of hypnosis.

Prof Revenstorf cites the example of one patient who was afraid of flying. He encouraged her to focus on a memory where she had been in a situation that was dangerous, but in which she did not feel afraid.

In a trance, the woman returned to a memory where, as a child, she had gone down a bumpy road on the handlebars of her father’s bicycle and had still felt totally safe. In the trance, she managed to transfer that feeling of being safe to the situation inside a plane.

“During hypnosis, the patient attains a childlike, naive state in which they open themselves up to things that usually happen to them irrationally,” Prof Revenstorf explains. This makes hypnosis a very effective tool in the realm of psychotherapy.

However, it requires a particularly trusting relationship between therapist and patient, he notes. The patient should only trust doctors and psychotherapists who have trained as hypnotherapists and are properly certified as such. – dpa
Read more at http://www.star2.com/health/wellness/2017/09/06/treating-fear-with-hypnosis/#P6UYPTvIL8QmDg3P.99

Published by http://www.star2.com. To read from original link please click here.


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