In the April 29, 2000 edition of the scholarly medical journal, the Lancet, Dr. Elvira Lang of Harvard University published her study of clinical trials using hypnosis before surgery. People who had been hypnotized prior to surgery needed less pain medication, left the operating room sooner, and had more stable vital signs during their operation.
A study of children with trichotillomania appeared in the medical journal, Acta Paediatrica, 88 (4) pp. 407-410. Children who were hypnotized to stop pulling their hair remained able to refrain from doing so for 16 months, after just a few hypnotic sessions. The authors, H. Cohen, A. Barzilal, and E. Lahat at the Pediatric Ambulatory Center, in Petach Tikva, Israel, suggest that doctors consider hypnosis and not medication as the primary treatment for compulsive hair
Patients with migraine headaches had a group hypnosis session and then were given pre-recorded self-hypnosis tapes to take home. On the self-hypnosis tapes they were given imagery of wearing a helmet that was very cold because it had freezer coils inside it. They were also taught how to relax themselves using hypnosis. Before joining this research study all the patients agreed to keep written records for three months. During those three months they listed every migraine they had and how long it lasted, how severe it was, and how much medication they needed. For three months the patients listened to their hypnosis tapes, which put them into a hypnotic state. At the end of three months the data from the first three months was compared to the data of the three months during which they used self-hypnosis. During those last three months: The headaches occurred less often. When the headaches did appear they went away quicker. The headaches were less severe, Medication use was cut in half Hypnosis is an effective treatment for migraine headaches More information about this study can be obtained from Dr. Gordon Emmerson, Psychology Department, Victoria University of Technology, PO Box 14428 MCMC, Melbourne, Victoria 8001, Australia
Before having dental surgery patients listened to a 20 minute hypnosis audio tape. The tape put them into a hypnotic state and then told them that during the procedure they would be able to control bleeding from their gums, they would heal rapidly, and would easily cope with pain. Patients were told to listen to their tape every day for one week prior to the surgery. The dental surgeon performed similar operations on patients who listened to the tape and patients who were not given a tape. The dentist did not know which patients had tapes and which did not. After the surgery it was determined that patients who had been hypnotically prepared experienced less anxiety, and needed much less pain medication. This study proves that a properly designed audio tape can be an effective intervention. This study was conducted by Bjorn Enqviast, DDS, in Stockholm, Sweden.
Fifty patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome were asked to fill out questionnaires about their symptoms. Half of the patients were hypnotized and half were not. After a few months new questionnaires determined that the patients who had been hypnotized had less abdominal pain, less bloating, less nausea, less gas pain, and fewer backaches. Additionally, the hypnotized patients said they felt more in control of their lives and did not call in sick as often as they did before having the hypnosis. Also, they did not need to visit their doctors as often as they did before the hypnosis. The patients in the study who did not receive hypnosis did not show these improvements. This study proves that hypnosis not only relieves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, but also improves quality of life for those patients. This study was conducted by Dr. Whorwell, University Hospital of South Manchester, in the United Kingdom.
Research was done to determine the effectiveness of hypnosis in treating trichotillomania, compulsive hair pulling, in children. The children were hypnotized and then taught self-hypnosis so they could re-hypnotize themselves at home on a daily basis. The children who had trichotillomania without depression recovered well. Those who had depression were only partially successful. This study was done by Dr. Daniel Kohen, University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
(This next study replicated the results of a previous, similar research study) Patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome were treated with hypnosis. Eighty two percent of the patients improved. Patients were less anxious, had less abdominal pain, less bloating, less constipation and less gas. Even those patients who were not very hypnotizable had good results. Hypnosis is an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. For more information please contact: Dr. Edward Blanchard, Center for Stress and Anxiety Disorders, 1535 Western Avenue, Albany, NY 12203
Patients suffering from psoriasis were hypnotized and some patients had quite an improvement. The patients who improved were those who were very hypnotizable. Those who were moderately hypnotizable did not improve. Hypnosis may be useful with psoriasis patients who are very hypnotizable. Contact Dr. Francisco Tausk, Department of Dermatology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 601 N. Caroline St., Baltimore, MD 21287
Pregnant women who begin to go into labor long before their ninth month are said to have preterm labor. Patients who had preterm labor were hypnotized and given suggestions to keep their cervix firm and hard to hold the baby in the uterus. Hypnosis was continued until the contractions stopped. Patients were seen for hypnosis two or three times each day and then given audio tapes to play several times a day. Seventy percent of the hypnotized patients were able to prolong their pregnancies. Only twenty percent of the women who were not hypnotized were able to prolong their pregnancies. Hypnosis can help prevent premature births. Dr. Donald Brown, Nova Scotia, Canada, can be reached at: Dcbrown@is.dal.ca.
Hypnosis has been used to help bereaved people get through mourning. In this article a widow is treated with hypnosis. Hypnotic relaxation is recommended for the first stages of grief, then supportive suggestions, and finally a new way to look at her relationship with her husband is recommended. All the above is done with the aid of hypnosis, and then the patient is hypnotized to strengthen her ego and look toward the future. Hypnosis is an effective tool in bereavement counseling. Dr. Gary Elkins is the author of this paper. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prior to surgery twenty six children were hypnotized and twenty six others, who were the same age and having the same surgery, were not hypnotized. The hypnosis group was taught self-hypnosis (guided imagery) and given the hypnotic suggestion that they would recover easily and quickly. After all the children were recovered it was determined that those who had been hypnotized had less pain, needed fewer pain killers, and went home days earlier than those in the non-hypnosis group. Also, those in the hypnosis group were calm, while those in the other group were anxious, even after the surgery. This study was done by Sally Lambert at the Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.
Patients who were healthy, but had a broken bone in their foot, were recruited from an orthopedic emergency room. They all received regular orthopedic care, but half of them were given hypnosis, too. The hypnosis consisted of individual sessions and a hypnosis audio tape to be played at home. After 9 weeks, x-rays and clinical assessments of the foot showed that the patients who were hypnotized were healing faster. The hypnotized patients had improved ankle mobility, an easier time walking down stairs, and had a decreased need for painkillers. Hypnosis can be used to enhance fracture healing. This study is from: C.S.Ginandes, Dept. of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA
Severely burned patients were hypnotized to feel less pain, in addition to receiving their regular dosages of morphine and other pain medications. The patients who most benefited from hypnosis were those who were in the most pain. Hypnosis worked best when it was administered by the hypnotist and didn’t work as well when the patient was told to rely on self-hypnosis.Hypnosis is an effective adjunct to treatment in burn patients. This study was done by Dr. David Patterson at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington.