ICARUS Online in the News


At the beginning of the week I was interviewed by a journalist from my local paper the Press and Jornal and talked about the work that me and David Bellamy are doing to help bring change to the military charities sector and also to speed up access to treatment for veterans, uniformed services & their immediate families.

Have a read and please share.

Thanks

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/aberdeenshire/1438690/turriff-based-ex-marine-sets-up-new-helpline-for-former-military-personnel/

Hypnosis and Fibromyalgia


This is quite topical at the moment as more and more research is being conducted into the cause and possible treatments for Fibromyalgia, which for many is significantly debilitating and affects every aspect of life.

Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body.

As well as widespread pain, people with fibromyalgia may also have:

  • increased sensitivity to pain
  • fatigue (extreme tiredness)
  • muscle stiffness
  • difficulty sleeping
  • problems with mental processes (known as “fibro-fog”) – such as problems with memory and concentration
  • headaches
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – a digestive condition that causes stomach pain and bloating

What causes fibromyalgia?

The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it’s thought to be related to abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain and changes in the way the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves) processes pain messages carried around the body.

It’s also suggested that some people are more likely to develop fibromyalgia because of genes inherited from their parents.

In many cases, the condition appears to be triggered by a physically or emotionally stressful event, such as:

  • an injury or infection
  • giving birth
  • having an operation
  • the breakdown of a relationship
  • the death of a loved one

Read more about the causes of fibromyalgia.

Who’s affected?

Anyone can develop fibromyalgia, although it affects around 7 times as many women as men.

The condition typically develops between the ages of 30 and 50, but can occur in people of any age, including children and the elderly.

It’s not clear exactly how many people are affected by fibromyalgia, although research has suggested it could be a relatively common condition.

Some estimates suggest nearly 1 in 20 people may be affected by fibromyalgia to some degree.

One of the main reasons it’s not clear how many people are affected is because fibromyalgia can be a difficult condition to diagnose.

There’s no specific test for the condition, and the symptoms can be similar to a number of other conditions.

How fibromyalgia is treated

Although there’s currently no cure for fibromyalgia, there are treatments to help relieve some of the symptoms and make the condition easier to live with.

Treatment tends to be a combination of:

  • medication – such as antidepressants and painkillers
  • talking therapies – such as hypnosis, CBT and counselling
  • lifestyle changes – such as exercise programmes and relaxation techniques

Exercise in particular has been found to have a number of important benefits for people with fibromyalgia, including helping to reduce pain.

Some mental illnesses such as Post Traumatic Stress, Depression and Anxiety are more prone to individuals developing symptoms of Fibromyalgia and you are happy to share your experiences of how it affects you, what you’ve tried in terms of treatment and what’s worked and hasn’t worked for you and why you think that is. All this may help someone who has been newly diagnosed and is struggling.

Original source:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/fibromyalgia/


Study 1: Hypnosis for Fibromyalgia Management and Related Sleep Problems
Hypnosis for Management of Fibromyalgia
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23153388

Results: Compared to the control, the hypnosis group reported better improvement on Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC) (p = .001 at M3, p = .01 at M6) and a significant improvement in sleep and Cognitive Strategy Questionnaire (CSQ) dramatisation subscale (both at M6). (The PGIC uses a 7-point Likert scale that varies from 1 “very much improved” to 7 “very much worse” to quantify patient global response to treatment. The PGIC is a standard assessment in clinical trials regarding fibromyalgia.)

Notes: This randomised, controlled trial contrasted the effects of 5 not-standardised sessions of hypnosis over 2 months in 59 women with fibromyalgia who were randomly assigned to treatment (n?=?30) or a wait-list control group (n?=?29). Patients in the treated group were encouraged to practice self-hypnosis. Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), MOS-Sleep Scale, Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI), Cognitive Strategy Questionnaire (CSQ), and Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC) were administered at baseline, 3 months (M3), and 6 months (M6) after inclusion.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2013 Jan;61(1):111-23
By: P. Picard, C. Jusseaume, M. Boutet, C. Dualé, A. Mulliez, B. Aublet-Cuvellier, CHU Clermont-Ferrand, Pain Clinic, France


Study 2: Meta-Analysis/Review of Research on Hypnosis and Fibromyalgia
Efficacy of hypnosis/guided imagery in fibromyalgia syndrome – a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2474/12/133

Results: Pain was assessed in all studies, sleep in two and fatigue and depressed mood in one study each by visual or numeric scales. Two studies reported that hypnosis was superior to controls in reducing sleep disturbances at final treatment. Two studies reported that hypnosis/guided imagery was superior to controls in reducing pain at follow-up. One study reported that hypnosis was superior to controls in reducing fatigue at final treatment and at follow-up. The researchers conclude that regular home training by audiotapes with hypnotic suggestions and guided imaginations could be useful, but that more study is needed.

Notes: The authors performed a systematic review with meta-analysis of the efficacy of hypnosis/guided imagery for fibromyalgia syndrome. Six controlled trials with 239 subjects were analysed. Four studies were conducted in Europe and one study each in USA and Mexico. Patients were recruited by registers of hospitals, referral (general practitioner, rheumatologist, departments of hospitals) and local self-help groups. Five studies were conducted in hospitals (university, district hospital) and one study in a general practitioner office.

Five studies offered hypnosis: Three studies with direct hypnosis of which one was combined with cognitive-behavioural therapy, two studies with indirect [Ericksonian] hypnosis). One study offered guided imagery. Four studies with hypnosis explicitly mentioned the use of mental images. All but one study used suggestions and/or images which were directly addressed to the pain experience. All studies used pain-related suggestions. The study with guided imagery used suggestions. Hypnosis/guided imagery were delivered in five studies as individual therapy and in one study as group therapy. Hypnosis/guided imagery were offered in five studies by face-to face (life), in one study by audiotapes. Three studies recommended daily training at home with audiotapes. The median number of sessions with a therapist was nine (range 7-12). The median of hypnosis/guided imagery delivered by a therapist was 390 (range 300-1080 min).

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2011, 12:133
By: Kathrin Bernardy, Department of Anaesthesiology, Intensive Care and Pain Therapy, Saarland University Hospital, Kirrberger Straße 100, D-66421 Homburg/Saar, Germany), Nicole Füber, Department of Differential Psychology and Psychodiagnostics, Saarland University, Im Stadwald, D-66123 Saarbrücken, Germany), Petra Klose (Department of Internal Medicine V (Integrative Medicine), University of Duisburg-Essen, Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Am Deimelsberg 34a, D-45276 Essen, Germany) and Winfried Häuser, Department of Internal Medicine I, Klinikum Saarbrücken, Winterberg 1, D-66119 Saarbrücken, Germany, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Technische Universität München, Ismaninger Straße 22, D-81675 München, Germany


Study 3: Hypnosis to Help Fibromyalgia Issues – Pain, Fatigue, Sleep and Global Assessment
Controlled trial of hypnotherapy in the treatment of refractory fibromyalgia.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2023202

Results: Compared with the patients in the physical therapy group, the patients in the hypnotherapy group showed a significantly better outcome with respect to their pain experience, fatigue on awakening, sleep pattern and global assessment at 12 and 24 weeks. At baseline most patients in both groups had strong feelings of somatic and psychic discomfort as measured by the Hopkins Symptom Checklist. These feelings showed a significant decrease in patients treated by hypnotherapy compared with physical therapy, but they remained abnormally strong in many cases. We conclude hypnotherapy may be useful in relieving symptoms in patients with refractory fibromyalgia.

Notes: In a controlled study, 40 patients with refractory fibromyalgia were randomly allocated to treatment with either hypnotherapy or physical therapy for 12 weeks with followup at 24 weeks.

J Rheumatol. 1991 Jan;18(1):72-5
Haanen HC, Hoenderdos HT, van Romunde LK, Hop WC, Mallee C, Terwiel JP, Hekster GB, (Department of Rheumatology, Sint Antonius Ziekenhuis, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands)


Study 4: Hypnosis When Added to Conventional Medical Treatment for Fibromyalgia
Hypnotic treatment synergizes the psychological treatment of fibromyalgia: a pilot study.
http://www.researchgate.net/publication/51400608_Hypnotic_treatment_synergizes_the_psychological_treatment_of_fibromyalgia_a_pilot_study

Results: The results suggest that psychological treatment produces greater symptom benefits than the conventional medical treatment only, especially when hypnosis is added. The study authors conclude that hypnosis may be a useful tool to help people with fibromyalgia manage their symptomatology.

Notes: This pilot study compared the efficacy for fibromyalgia of multimodal cognitive behavioural treatments, with and without hypnosis, with that of a purely pharmacological approach, with a multiple baseline N = 1 design. Six hospital patients were randomly assigned to the three experimental conditions.

The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis (impact factor: 0.53). 04/2008; 50(4):311-21
By: Consuelo Martínez-Valero, Antonio Castel, Antonio Capafons, José Sala, Begoña Espejo, Etzel Cardeña, Centro de Aplicaciones Psicológicas, Valencia, Spain


Study 5: Hypnosis to Control Fibromyalgia Pain
Fibromyalgia pain and its modulation by hypnotic and non-hypnotic suggestion: An fMRI analysis
http://www.academia.edu/180565/Fibromyalgia_pain_and_its_modulation_by_hypnotic_and_non-hypnotic_suggestion_An_fMRI_analysis

Results: Patients claimed significantly more control over their pain and reported greater pain reduction when hypnotised. Activation of the midbrain, cerebellum, thalamus, and mid-cingulate, primary and secondary sensory, inferior parietal, insula and prefrontal cortices correlated with reported changes in pain with hypnotic and non-hypnotic suggestion. These activations were of greater magnitude, however, when suggestions followed a hypnotic induction in the cerebellum, anterior mid-cingulate cortex, anterior and posterior insula and the inferior parietal cortex. Our results thus provide evidence for the greater efficacy of suggestion following a hypnotic induction. Pain relief was significantly greater when suggestion followed a hypnotic induction.

Notes: Suggestion following a hypnotic induction can readily modulate the subjective experience of pain. It is unclear whether suggestion without hypnosis is equally effective. To explore these and related questions, suggestions following a hypnotic induction and the same suggestions without a hypnotic induction were used during functional magnetic resonance imaging to increase and decrease the subjective experience of fibromyalgia pain. The patients were informed that hypnotic suggestions would be given to allow the dial to move up and down, producing a concomitant change in their fibromyalgia pain sensation. They were then hypnotised individually using an induction described in detail elsewhere (Whalley and Oakley, 2003). Following the hypnotic induction, patients were asked to bring the dial to mind and to notify the experimenter of its current position. Suggestions were given for the dial and the corresponding fibromyalgia pain sensation to be turned up as high as the patient could allow it to go, dial ratings were then recorded. Suggestions were then given to turn the dial down as low as possible and dial ratings were again recorded.

European Journal of Pain 13 (2009) 542–550
By: Stuart W.G. Derbyshire, Matthew G. Whalley, David A. Oakley, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK Department of Psychology, Hypnosis Unit, University College London

Mind-Body Matters Series Video #2: The Power of a Smile


Smiling is simple, it’s free, there’s no equipment needed yet we often overlook it’s value in terms of our physical and psychological health.

Smiling changes your physiology; posture, your body language. It reduces stress, it leads to laughter and makes you feel good because it stimulates the release of your feel good hormones. So do it and fake that smile to start with until it just happens.

I’ve put together this short little video to get you started, have fun with it and let me know how you get on.

 

 

Here’s a list of hormones that make you happy and a few other ideas to get you going.

Serotonin:
Serotonin is sometimes called the happiness hormone. Serotonin regulates the mood, prevents depression and makes you feel happy. Serotonin can be released by getting exposed to sunlight, by eating foods rich in carbohydrates and by exercising.

Endorphins:
Endorphins can make you feel good, reduce your anxiety and your sensitivity to pain. Endorphins are released by exercising.

Dopamine:
Dopamine helps you to feel mentally alert. The lack of it might cause lack of attention, lack of concentration and bad moods. Dopamine can be released by eating foods that are rich in protein.

Phenylethamine:
Phenylethamine is the hormone that results in the feelings we get in the early stages of a relationship. Cocoa beans contain Phenylethamine. eating chocolate might be helpful too.

Ghrelin:
Gherlin is a hormone that reduces stress and can help you become more relaxed. Ghrelin is released when we become hungry that’s why eating too much is not always a good idea. Just eat according to your body’s needs and never fill your stomach completely in order to maintain good Ghrelin levels.

Hypnosis and Childbirth


The following studies were conducted and highlight ways that hypnosis can be used and the clinical and scientific outcomes.


Study 1: Hypnosis Allows for Less Medication and Less Labor Pains
Hypnosis for Pain Relief in Labor And Childbirth: A Systematic Review.
http://bja.oxfordjournals.org/content/93/4/505.full.pdf

Results: Women who used hypnosis required significantly less pain medication. This study also found that women who used hypnosis reported having less severe labor pains.

Notes: This study reviewed a number of studies where hypnosis was used during pregnancy and childbirth.

British Journal of Anesthesia. 2004 Oct;93(4):505-11. Epub 2004 Jul 26
By: A. M. Cyna, G. L. McAuliffe, M. I. Andrew
Author Affiliations: 1 Department of Women’s Anesthesia, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia 5006, Australia. 2 Department of Anesthesia, Lyell McEwin Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


Study 2: Hypnosis – To Shorten Labor, Reduce medication to control pain or to lengthen pregnancy if expectant mother goes into labor too early
Evidence-Based Clinical Hypnosis in Obstetrics, Labor and Delivery, and Preterm Labor.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17558723

Results: The authors report that the use of hypnosis has been proven to shorten Stage 1 and 2 of labour, while also leading to a significant reduction in the use of medication to control the pain. The authors also note that hypnosis has been used to significantly prolong the length of pregnancy when an expectant mother goes into labour too early.

Notes: This paper reviews various academic studies conducted on the use of hypnosis in labour and delivery.

Int Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Vol. 55, No. 3, July 2007
By: D. Brown, D. C. Hammond, Private Practice, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


Study 3: Hypnosis – Infertility
Infertility and Pregnancy Loss: Hypnotic Interventions for Reproductive Challenges. Healing from within: The use of hypnosis in women’s health care (pp. 191-212)2000.
http://psycnet.apa.org/books/10377/009

Notes: This study reports on the use of hypnosis and imagery-based techniques to help women feel more empowered when dealing with miscarriages and infertility. Based on 15 years of experience in this field, the author concludes that hypnosis can really help at three points in the infertility process. First, it can bring a greater acceptance of the diagnosis. Second, it can help the patient cope more easily with infertility treatments. And third, it can help them to deal with any miscarriages.

By: Susan G. Mikesell


Study 4: Hypnosis – To Help Embryo Transfer at Fertility Clinic
Impact of Hypnosis During Embryo Transfer on the Outcome of In Vitro Fertilization-Embryo Transfer: A Case-Control Study.
http://www.nwmedicalhypnosis.com/documents/Impact%20of%20hypnosis%20during%20embryo%20transfer.pdf

Results: Those who received hypnosis had a 30.2% implantation rate compared with only 14.4% in the control group. This study concluded that not only did hypnosis help to double the rate of embryonic implantation, but it also helped to improve the subject’s attitude towards fertility treatment.

Notes: This study compared two groups of women undergoing embryo transfer (ET) at an Israeli fertility clinic. Ninety-eight women used hypnosis to help them during this process and 96 acted as the control group and followed the normal procedures. During the pre-hypnosis session, every patient was requested to choose a very pleasant life experience to relive. The hypnotic state was induced by the same hypnosis therapist using eye fixation, relaxation, and permissive and indirect suggestions. It was suggested that the patient compare the procedure of ET with the reception of long-awaited and very welcome guests. Only when the patient was thought to be at an adequate trance level (approx.. 10 minutes) was the ET procedure initiated. After ET, and previous to dehypnotization, the patient was given posthypnotic suggestions to produce calm, relaxation, and optimism for the future.

Fertility and Sterility. 2006 May
E. Levitas, A. Parmet, E. Lunenfeld, Y. Bentov, E. Burstein, M. Friger, G. Potashnik
Author Affiliations: a Fertility and IVF Unit, b Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Soroka University Medical Center, and c Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel


Study 5: Self-Hypnosis for Labor and Childbirth
Antenatal self-hypnosis for labour and childbirth: A pilot study
http://digital.library.adelaide.edu.au/dspace/handle/2440/23183

Results: Seventy-seven antenatal women consecutively taught self-hypnosis in preparation for childbirth were compared with 3,249 parity and gestational age matched controls. Of the women taught antenatal self-hypnosis, nulliparous parturients used fewer epidurals: 36% (18/50) compared with 53% (765/1436) of controls (RR 0.68 [95% CI 0.47-0.98]); and required less augmentation: 18% (9/50) vs 36% (523/1436) (RR 0.48 [95%CI 0.27-0.90]). Conclusions: Our clinical findings are consistent with recent meta-analyses showing beneficial outcomes associated with the use of hypnosis in childbirth.

Notes: The institute where this study took place had used antenatal training in self-hypnosis for over three years as a tool to provide relaxation, anxiolysis and analgesia for women in labor. To assess the effects of hypnotherapy, they prospectively collected data related to the use of hypnosis in preparation for childbirth, and compared the birth outcomes of women experiencing antenatal hypnosis with parity and gestational age matched controls. Methods: Prospective data about women taught self-hypnosis in preparation for childbirth were collected between August 2002 and August 2004. Birth outcome data of women using hypnosis were compared with routinely collected retrospective data from parity and gestational age matched women delivering after 37 weeks gestation during 2003.

Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, 2006; 34 (4):464-469
By: Allan Michael Cyna, Marion I. Andrew, Georgina L. McAuliffe


Study 6: Effect of Hypnosis on Labor and Birth Outcomes (focuses on pregnant adolescents)
The Effects of Hypnosis on the Labor Processes and Birth Outcomes of Pregnant Adolescents
http://www.fourseas.co.uk/chipreg/researchpregnancy.html
Submitted, revised, February 13, 2001. Journal of Family Practice
By: Alice A. Martin, PhD; Paul G. Schauble, PhD; Surekha H. Rai, PhD; R. Whit Curry Jr, MD, Gainesville, Florida

Results: When labor and delivery outcome measures were compared in the 2 groups, significant differences favoring the hypnosis intervention group were found in the number of complicated deliveries, surgical procedures, and length of hospital stay. Only one patient in the hypnosis group had a hospital stay of more than 2 days compared with 8 patients in the control group (P=.008). None of the 22 patients in the hypnosis group experienced surgical intervention compared with 12 of the 20 patients in the control group (P=.000). Twelve patients in the hypnosis group experienced complications compared with 17 in the control group (P=.047). Although consistently fewer patients in the hypnosis group used anesthesia (10 vs 14), Pitocin (2 vs 6), or postpartum medication (7 vs 11), and fewer had infants admitted to the NICU (1 vs 5), statistical analysis was non-significant. This study provides support for the use of hypnosis to aid in preparation of obstetric patients for labor and delivery. The reduction of complications, surgery, and hospital stay show direct medical benefit to mother and child and suggest the potential for a corresponding cost-saving benefit.

Notes: This study evaluated how childbirth preparation incorporating hypnotic techniques affected the labor processes and birth outcomes of pregnant adolescents. The study included 42 teenaged patients receiving prenatal treatment at a county public health department before their 24th week of pregnancy. They were randomly assigned to either a treatment group receiving a childbirth preparation protocol under hypnosis or a control group receiving supportive counseling. The hypnosis focused on the educational preparation of the patient while in hypnosis to create the expectation of a normal labor and delivery, develop a conditioned response of comfort and confidence, and facilitate an increased sense of control in achieving a healthy delivery. The subjects in the treatment group received a 4-session sequence of standard hypnotic interventions incorporating childbirth preparation information (in which they were instructed in the methods and benefits of focused relaxation and imagery to increase the likelihood of a safe and relatively pain-free delivery.) The sessions provided an opportunity to experience and practice hypnotic induction and deep relaxation. The suggestions directed toward the expectant mothers during the hypnotic state focused on the conceptualization of pregnancy and childbirth as a healthy natural process. Suggestions were also given to help the patient respond to possible complications, in the event they might occur. These suggestions were designed to increase the patient’s sense of trust in her physician and her confidence in her own ability to manage anxiety and discomfort. Hypnotic inductions also included ego-strengthening techniques and suggestions for a relatively discomfort-free delivery and suggestions for the application of the hypnotic techniques to other stressful periods in their lives. In each session the patients were given the opportunity to ask any questions of concern regarding the method or the pregnancy.


Study 7: Hypnosis to Help Achieve Uncomplicated Birth
Hypnosis to Facilitate Uncomplicated Birth
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00029157.2004.10403614#preview

Results: Women receiving prenatal hypnosis had significantly better outcomes than women who did not. Further assessment suggested that hypnosis worked by preventing negative emotional factors from leading to a complicated birth outcome. Attention only was associated with minimal differences in outcome over the no-contact group. Concludes that the routine prenatal use of hypnosis could improve obstetric outcome.

Notes: The purpose of this study was to determine if prenatal hypnosis could facilitate uncomplicated birth. Following a psychosocial assessment, 520 pregnant women in their first or second trimester of pregnancy were randomized to receiving prenatal hypnosis or attention-only groups. The goal of the hypnosis was to reduce fear of birth and parenthood; to reduce anxiety; to reduce stress; to identify specific fears that might complicate the labor process (addressing them whenever possible); and to prepare women for the experience of labor. The attention-only group was matched to a no-contact comparison group.

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, Volume 46, Issue 4, 2004, pages 299-312
By: Lewis E. Mehl-Madrona MD, PhDa, University of Arizona College of Medicine


Study 8: Self-Hypnosis for Pain Relief During Labor
The Effect of Hypnosis on Pain Relief During Labor and Childbirth in Iranian Pregnant Women

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207140802665435#preview

Results: Women described their feelings about hypnosis during labor as: a sense of relief and consolation, self-confidence, satisfaction, lack of suffering labor pain, changing the feeling of pain into one of pressure, a decrease in fear of natural childbirth, lack of tiredness, and lack of anxiety. They expressed increased concentration on the uterus and cervical muscle, awareness of all the stages of labor, and having “positive thoughts.” Births were perceived as being very satisfactory compared to their previous experiences.

Notes: This study describes the effect of hypnosis on pain relief during labor and childbirth. Using a qualitative approach, 6 pregnant women were trained to use self-hypnosis for labor. Outcomes were analyzed using Colaizzi’s procedure.

International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Volume 57, Issue 2, 2009 pages 174-183
By: Marzieh Abbasia, Fery Ghazia, Ann Barlow-Harrison, Middelsex University, Lond, United Kingdom
Mehrdad Sheikhvatanb, Medical Sciences/Univeristy of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Fatemeh Mohammadyaric, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

I hope you found this article interesting and useful and please feel free to share.

Simon Maryan

 

Hypnosis and Fear of Needles & Injections


Needle Phobia Facts

The Fear of Needles Has Many Names and It Is Very Real
Trypanophobia? If you’ve ever tried to search for “needle phobia” or “fear of injections,” you’ve probably come across some very odd and confusing terms, yet this condition is very real, and a whopping 20 percent of people have a fear of needles. There are a lot of risks associated with the fear of needles. It can prevent people from going to the doctor, getting routine blood tests, or following prescribed treatments. Modern medicine is making increased use of blood tests and injectable medications, and forgoing medical treatment because of a fear of needles puts people at a greater risk for illness and even death. For example, diabetics who skip glucose monitoring and insulin injections can put themselves in danger of serious complications.

HERE ARE THE SIX MEDICAL TERMS THAT ARE RELATED TO FEARING NEEDLES:

  1. Aichmophobia: an intense or morbid fear of sharp or pointed objects
  2. Algophobia: an intense or morbid fear of pain
  3. Belonephobia: an abnormal fear of sharp pointed objects, especially needles
  4. Enetophobia: a fear of pins
  5. Trypanophobia: a fear of injections
  6. Vaccinophobia: a fear of vaccines and vaccinations

OTHER IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT FEARING NEEDLES

Approximately 20 percent of the general population has some degree of fear associated with needles and injections. Traumatic experiences in childhood form the foundation of these fears—like seeing an older sibling cry when getting their shots.

As much as 10 percent of people suffer from a phobia called trypanophobia, which is a fear of needles and injections. Of those who have a fear of needles, at least 20 percent avoid medical treatment as a result.

The fear of needles is both a learned and an inherited condition. A fairly small number inherit a fear of needles, but most people acquire needle phobia around the age of four to six.

Below is my research into studies conducted using hypnosis to reduce or remove the fear of needles and injections.

Study 1: Hypnosis Assists to Enable Patients to Receive Essential Injections

Fear of injections: the value of hypnosis in facilitating clinical treatment
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ch.223/abstract

Results: Successful outcomes for the three patients described showed that hypnosis, adaptably adjoined with mainly behavioral and cognitive methods of counseling, can be of very great assistance in enabling patients to receive injections essential to treatment, and can usefully be made part of multidisciplinary team provision.

Notes: The present paper describes three patients with different problems who had high levels of fear or anxiety about receiving injections in botulinum toxin clinics. Individual differences in causes, history and personality made an integrated approach the logical choice.

Contemporary Hypnosis, Volume 18, Issue 2, Pages 100-106, June 2001
By: David Y. Medd


Study 2: Hypnosis Effective for Needle Phobia

Desensitization Using Meditation-Hypnosis to Control “Needle” Phobia in Two Dental Patients
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515441/pdf/anesthprog00099-0027.pdf

Results: The researchers conclude that these case studies are of interest for the following reasons: (1) They show the effectiveness of meditation-hypnosis for “needle” phobia. (2) Meditation-hypnosis is a rapid, effective antianxiety technique that can be used in systematic desensitization. (3) Even long-standing “needle” phobia cases can be effectively treated with this combined technique. (4) The meditation-hypnosis technique is helpful in generalization to other anxiety-induced situations.

Notes: Two case studies were conducted.

Case Study 1
Meditation-hypnosis was induced. Within a few minutes, the subject was deeply relaxed. At first, the patient exclaimed “I’m afraid” but after a few repetitions of her mantra (meditation word), she was again deeply relaxed. While the patient was meditating, the following items were presented and well tolerated: placement of dental towel; turning on of unit light; backward inclination of the dental chair; having the patient maintain an open mouth for thirty seconds; insertion of author’s (DM) index finger into floor of mouth; insertion of saliva ejector into same area; placement of author’s index finger over alveolar mucosa of upper right central incisor; placement of topical anesthetic into same site; and finally giving one-third of a capsule of local anesthesia into that same region. As the patient did so well, at this and at the following visit, other items were added including, running the ultra high speed contra angle in the vicinity of the tooth for fifteen seconds; releasing water spray into the mouth and aspirating it; maintaining an open mouth for fifteen minutes and finally running the contra-angle for a complete minute with water spray in the mouth. The patient was then able to go to her dentist for subsequent treatment.

Case Study 2
The patient was taught meditation-hypnosis and was able to achieve good relaxation within seven minutes. She was then instructed to practice the technique by herself at home. She stated that it helped her reduce her overall anxiety with good results. The patient did not return for more hypnosis, but she spoke the researchers by telephone. She said that she was able to go to her general dentist and have the local anesthetic injections for the tooth extractions. Dentures had been made and she was very pleased. The patient apologized for not making the final hypnosis appointment but she said that it was not necessary as the relaxation technique allowed her to have the necessary injections and dental work done.

Anaesthesia Progress, May/June 1983
By: Donald R. Morse D.D.S., M.A. (Biol.), M.A. (Psychol.), Bernard B. Cohen Ph.D. Professor and Research Director, Department of Endodontology, Temple University School of Dentistry, 3223 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, West Chester State College, West Chester, Pennsylvania


Study 3: Hypnosis for Needle Phobia of Child

Brief hypnosis for severe needle phobia using switch-wire imagery on a 5-year old.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17596226

Results: Following a 10-minute conversational hypnotic induction, the 5-year-old was able to use hypnotic switch-wire imagery to dissociate sensation and movement in all four limbs in turn. Two days later the boy experienced painless venepuncture without the use of topical local anesthetic cream. There was no movement in the ‘switched-off’ arm during i.v. cannula placement. This report adds to the increasing body of evidence that hypnosis represents a useful, additional tool that anesthetists may find valuable in everyday practice.

Notes: This was a case study of severe needle phobia in a 5-year-old boy who learned to utilize a self-hypnosis technique to facilitate intravenous (i.v.) cannula (a tube that can be inserted into the body, often for the delivery or removal of fluid or for the gathering of data) placement. He was diagnosed with Bruton’s disease at 5 months of age and required monthly intravenous infusions. The boy had received inhalational general anesthesia for i.v. cannulation on 58 occasions. Initially, this was because of difficult venous access but more recently because of severe distress and agitation when approached with a cannula. Oral premedication with midazolam or ketamine proved unsatisfactory and hypnotherapy was therefore considered.

Paediatr Anaesth. 2007 Aug;17(8):800-4
By: A. M. Cyna, D. Tomkins, T. Maddock, D. Barker, Department of Paediatric Anaesthesia, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Adelaide, SA, Australia


Study 4: Olfactory/Smell Hypnosis for Needle Phobia

Hypnotherapeutic olfactory conditioning (HOC): case studies of needle phobia, panic disorder, and combat-induced PTSD
http://thethrivingmind.com/blog/hypnotherapeutic-olfactory-conditioning-hoc-case-studies-of-needle-phobia-panic-disorder-and-combat-induced-ptsd/

Results: The authors present 3 cases, patients with needle phobia, panic disorder, and combat-induced PTSD who were successfully treated with the hypnotherapeutic olfactory conditioning HOC technique.

Notes: The authors developed a technique, which they call hypnotherapeutic olfactory conditioning (HOC), for exploiting the ability of scents to arouse potent emotional reactions. During hypnosis, the patient learns to associate pleasant scents with a sense of security and self-control. The patient can subsequently use this newfound association to overcome phobias and prevent panic attacks.

International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 57.2 (2009): 184-197
By: Eitan G. Abramowitz, Lichtenberg, Pesach, Hadassah Medical School, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Hypnosis and Pain


As a sufferer of chronic pain from various injuries over the years, the main being my left shoulder which is severely arthritic and having had 7 surgeries so far with the 8th planned for a few weeks time to fuse the joint. I am therefore acutely aware of how pain can interfere with everyday functioning both physically and mentally. I have been undertaking a meta analysis of research papers and projects for quite some time now and came across a number of studies which have shown that hypnosis can reduce the pain experienced during a variety of medical conditions including burn-wound debridement, [1] bone marrow aspirations, and childbirth.[2][3] The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis found that hypnosis relieved the pain of 75% of 933 subjects participating in 27 different experiments.[4]

Hypnosis is effective in reducing pain from[5] and coping with cancer [6] and other chronic conditions.[7]Nausea and other symptoms related to incurable diseases may also be managed with hypnosis.[8][9][10][11] Some practitioners have claimed hypnosis might help boost the immune system of people with cancer. However, according to the American Cancer Society, “available scientific evidence does not support the idea that hypnosis can influence the development or progression of cancer.”[12]

Hypnosis has been used as a pain relieving technique during dental surgery and related pain management regimens as well. Researchers like Jerjes and his team have reported that hypnosis can help even those patients who have acute to severe orodental pain.[13] Additionally, Meyerson and Uziel have suggested that hypnotic methods have been found to be highly fruitful for alleviating anxiety in patients suffering from severe dental phobia.[14]

For some psychologists who uphold the altered state theory of hypnosis, pain relief in response to hypnosis is said to be the result of the brain’s dual-processing functionality. This effect is obtained either through the process of selective attention or dissociation, in which both theories involve the presence of activity in pain receptive regions of the brain, and a difference in the processing of the stimuli by the hypnotised subject.[15]

The American Psychological Association published a study comparing the effects of hypnosis, ordinary suggestion and placebo in reducing pain. The study found that highly suggestible individuals experienced a greater reduction in pain from hypnosis compared with placebo, whereas less suggestible subjects experienced no pain reduction from hypnosis when compared with placebo. Ordinary non-hypnotic suggestion also caused reduction in pain compared to placebo, but was able to reduce pain in a wider range of subjects (both high and low suggestible) than hypnosis. The results showed that it is primarily the subject’s responsiveness to suggestion, whether within the context of hypnosis or not, that is the main determinant of causing reduction in pain.[16]

Study 1: Hypnosis and Pain – Review of Clinical Trials
Hypnotic Treatment of Chronic Pain
http://www.mirtharust.com/articles/Chronic_Pain.pdf

Notes: This paper reviewed various controlled trials involving the use of hypnosis to control pain. It concluded that hypnosis can provide a significantly greater reduction in pain than physical therapy, education, or the management of medications. It even found that the hypnotic treatment did not even have to be called ‘hypnosis’ for it to be effective.

J Behav Med. 2006 Jan 11;1-30 By: M. Jensen, D. R. Patterson
Author Affiliations: Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington. University of Washington Multidisciplinary Pain Centre, Box 356044, University of Washington Medical Centre, 1959 N.E. Pacific, Seattle, Washington, 98195-6044

Study 2: Hypnosis and Pain – Another Review of Studies
Pain Management: Hypnosis and Its Place in Modern Pain Management – Review Article.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17767210

Notes: This paper reviewed the various scientific studies that showed hypnosis was an effective treatment for pain management. It concluded that in spite of some of the “methodological flaws” involved in many of the studies, there was “sufficient clinical evidence of sufficient quality” to conclude that hypnosis is an effective treatment for chronic pain.
Niger Postgrad Med J. 2007 Sept;14(3):238-41 By: F. E. Amadasun, Department of Anaesthesiology, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria

Study 3: Hypnosis and Pain – Yet Another Review of Studies
A Meta-Analysis of Hypnotically Induced Analgesia: How Effective is Hypnosis?
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207140008410045#preview

This paper reviewed 18 studies conducted on the use of hypnosis to relieve pain over a two-decade period. It concluded that hypnosis provided an effective way to help people deal with pain because it had a “moderate to large hypnoanalgesic effect.” It further concluded that hypnosis should be more widely used in the treatment of pain.
International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Volume 48, Issue 2, 2000, pages 138-153 By: Guy H. Montgomerya, Katherine N. Duhamela, William H. Redda, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York

Study 4: Hypnosis – Alternative to Sedation for Surgery
Hypnosedation: A Valuable Alternative to Tradition Anaesthetic Techniques.Techniques.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10499382

Notes: This paper reports on the anecdotal use of hypnosis in over 1650 surgeries that were performed in the Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, at the University of Liège in Belgium. It confirmed that hypnosedation combined with local anaesthesia can be used as an alternative to more traditional means of sedation.
Acta Chir Belg. 1999; 99:141-146
M. E. Faymonville, M. Meurisse, J. Fissette, Dept. of Anaesthesia & Intensive Care, Univ. of Liega, Beligum

Study 5: Hypnosis for Pain During Plastic Surgery
Psychological Approaches During Conscious Sedation. Hypnosis Versus Stress Reducing Strategies: A Prospective Randomised Study.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9469526

Results: Not only did the group using hypnosis require significantly lower levels of midazolam and alfentanil than the control group; they reported experiencing significantly lower levels pain and anxiety; and a greater feeling of being in control during the entire process. Their vital signs were also found to be significantly more stable than those of the control group. This study suggests that hypnosis provides better perioperative pain and anxiety relief, allows for significant reductions in alfentanil and midazolam requirements, and improves patient satisfaction and surgical conditions as compared with conventional stress reducing strategies support in patients receiving conscious sedation for plastic surgery.

Notes: Sixty patients patients who were going to have plastic surgery using local anaesthetic and intravenous sedation (they could request midazolam and alfentanil if needed) were randomly placed into a control group where they were taught strategies for reducing stress, or into a group where they would receive hypnosis during the surgery. Their behaviour was monitored by a psychologist before, during, and after surgery where their levels of anxiety and pain, and feelings of being in control, were recorded.
Pain 1997, Dec;73(3)361-7
By: M. E. Faymonvillea, P. H. Mambourg, J. Jorisa, B. Vrijensc, J. Fissetted, A. Alberte, M. Lamyf

Study 6: Hypnosis for Pain – Angioplasty Procedure
Use of Hypnosis Before and During Angioplasty.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1951141

Results: This study found that the surgeons involved were able to keep the balloon inflated 25% longer with the hypnotised group. Forty-four percent of the control group also asked for more pain medication, compared with only 13% of the hypnotised group.

Notes: Thirty-two subjects were recruited for this study. Sixteen were randomly assigned to be in the control group and 16 were hypnotised before they underwent an angioplasty (a procedure where a balloon is inserted into a vein and then inflated to help open the vein while the patient remains conscious and aware).
Am J Clin Hypn. 1991 Jul;34(1):29-37
By: E. J. Weinstein, P. K. Au, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, USA

Study 7: Reason Why Hypnosis Alleviates Pain (not Because of release of Endorphins)
Naloxone Fails to Reverse Hypnotic Alleviation of Chronic Pain
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6415744

Notes: Some researchers had previously believed that the reason hypnosis helps to reduce chronic pain was that it caused the body to produce endorphins (our natural pain killers). To test this theory, 6 patients suffering from chronic pain (caused by peripheral nerve irritation) were taught self-hypnosis to reduce their feelings of pain. They were then randomly given either a saline solution (a placebo) or naloxone (a drug that is known to block the effects of endorphins) and were tested for pain at 5 minute intervals for an hour. If the analgesic effect of hypnosis was somehow caused by the internal production of endorphins, then naloxone would have caused the pain to return. However, the results of this study demonstrated that naloxone had no effect on the power of hypnosis to reduce pain. As a result, it was determined that endorphins are not involved in hypnotic pain control.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1983;81(2):140-3
By: D. Spiegel, L. H. Albert, Dept. of Psych., Stanford Univ.

Study 8: Hypnosis for Pain – Fibromyalgia
Functional Anatomy of Hypnotic Analgesia: A PET Study of Patients with Fibromyalgia.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10700332

Results: The subjects all reported experiencing less pain when they were in the state of hypnosis, then they did when they were in a state of rest. The researchers also found that there were significant differences in the way the blood flowed through the brain in these two states. They found that during hypnotically-induced analgesia the blood flow “was bilaterally increased in the orbitofrontal and subcallosial cingulate cortices, the right thalamus, and the left inferior parietal cortex, and was decreased bilaterally in the cingulate cortex.” This study proved that hypnosis leads to real physical changes in the brain.

Notes: In an attempt to understand what happens in the brain when a person is hypnotised and then given suggestions for pain relief, subjects were recruited who were suffering from the painful condition of fibromyalgia. PET (positron emission tomography) scans were then taken of their brains when they were resting and then when they were in a state of hypnotically-induced analgesia.
European Journal of Pain. Vol. 3(1) 1999; 7-12
By: G. Wik, H. Fischer, B. Bragée, B. Finer, M. Fredrikson, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Karolinska Institute and Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

Study 9: Hypnosis for Burn Pains
Hypnosis for the treatment of burn pain.
http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/1383302

Results: Only hypnotised subjects reported significant pain reductions relative to pretreatment baseline. This result was corroborated by nurse VAS ratings. Findings indicate that hypnosis is a viable adjunct treatment for burn pain.

Notes: The clinical utility of hypnosis for controlling pain during burn wound debridement was investigated. Thirty hospitalised burn patients and their nurses submitted visual analog scales (VAS) for pain during 2 consecutive daily wound debridements (the process of removing nonliving tissue from burns). On the 1st day, patients and nurses submitted baseline VAS ratings. Before the next day’s wound debridement, subjects received hypnosis, attention and information, or no treatment.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology [1992, 60(5):713-717
By: D. R. Patterson, J. J. Everett, G. L. Burns, J. A. Marvin, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle 98195

Study 10: Self-Hypnosis for Pain and Anxiety During Biopsy Outpatient Procedures
Adjunctive self-hypnotic relaxation for outpatient medical procedures: A prospective randomised trial with women undergoing large core breast biopsy
http://www.painjournalonline.com/article/S0304-3959(06)00393-9/abstract

Results: Women’s anxiety increased significantly in the standard group (logit slope=0.18, p<0.001), did not change in the empathy group (slope=-0.04, p=0.45), and decreased significantly in the hypnosis group (slope=-0.27, p<0.001). Pain increased significantly in all three groups (logit slopes: standard care=0.53, empathy=0.37, hypnosis=0.34; all p<0.001) though less steeply with hypnosis and empathy than standard care (p=0.024 and p=0.018, respectively). Room time and cost were not significantly different in an univariate ANOVA despite hypnosis and empathy requiring an additional professional: 46min/$161 for standard care, 43min/$163 for empathy, and 39min/$152 for hypnosis. We conclude that, while both structured empathy and hypnosis decrease procedural pain and anxiety, hypnosis provides more powerful anxiety relief without undue cost and thus appears attractive for outpatient pain management.

Notes: Medical procedures in outpatient settings have limited options of managing pain and anxiety pharmacologically. We therefore assessed whether this can be achieved by adjunct self-hypnotic relaxation in a common and particularly anxiety provoking procedure. Two hundred and thirty-six women referred for large core needle breast biopsy to an urban tertiary university-affiliated medical centre were prospectively randomised to receive standard care (n=76), structured empathic attention (n=82), or self-hypnotic relaxation (n=78) during their procedures. Patients’ self-ratings at 10min-intervals of pain and anxiety on 0-10 verbal analog scales with 0=no pain/anxiety at all, 10=worst pain/anxiety possible, were compared in an ordinal logistic regression model.
PAIN, Volume 126, Issue 1, Pages 155-164, 15 December 2006
By: Elvira V. Lang, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre/Harvard Medical School, Department of Radiology
Kevin S. Berbaum, Salomao Faintuch, Olga Hatsiopoulou, Noami Halsey, Xinyu Li, Michael L. Berbaum, Eleanor Laser, Janet Baum

Study 11: Hypnosis for HIV Neuropathic Pain
Hypnosis for Treatment of HIV Neuropathic Pain: A Preliminary Report
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pme.12074/abstract;jsessionid=FDE3EE6797A0D9728AC3692148843D74.d01t02

Results: Mean SFMPQ total pain scores were reduced from 17.8 to 13.2 (F[1, 35]?=?16.06, P?<?0.001). The reductions were stable throughout the 7-week post intervention period. At exit, 26 out of 36 (72%) had improved pain scores. Of the 26 who improved, mean pain reduction was 44%. Improvement was found irrespective of whether or not participants were taking pain medications. There was also evidence for positive changes in measures of affect and quality of life.

Notes: Painful HIV distal sensory polyneuropathy (HIV-DSP) is the most common nervous system disorder in HIV patients. The symptoms adversely affect patients’ quality of life and often diminish their capacity for independent self-care. No interventions have been shown to be consistently effective in treating the disorder. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether hypnosis could be a useful intervention in the management of painful HIV-DSP. Participants were 36 volunteers with HIV-DSP who received three weekly training sessions in self-hypnosis. Participants were followed for pain and its sequelae for 7 weeks prior to the intervention, and for 7 weeks post intervention. Participants remained on the same standard-of-care pain regimen for the entire 17 weeks of the protocol. The primary outcome measure was the Short Form McGill Pain Questionnaire scale (SFMPQ) total pain score. Other outcome measures assessed changes in affective state and quality of life.
Pain Medicine online version of journal published online April 8, 2013
By: David Dorfman PhD1,*, Mary Catherine George MM2, Julie Schnur PhD3, David M. Simpson MD2, George Davidson PhD2, Guy Montgomery PhD3
Author Information:

  1. Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA
  2. Department of Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA
  3. Department of Oncological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA

Additional References:

  1. Patterson, David R.; Questad, Kent A.; De Lateur, Barbara J. (1989). “Hypnotherapy as an adjunct to narcotic analgesia for the treatment of pain for burn debridement”. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 31 (3): 156–163.
  2. Mendoza, M. E.; Capafons, A. (2009). “Efficacy of clinical hypnosis: A summary of its empirical evidence” (PDF). Papeles del Psicólogo 30 (2): 98–116.
  3. Ewin, D.M. (2001). “The use of hypnosis in the treatment of cancer patients” (PDF). International Handbook of Clinical Hypnosis: 274–283.
  4. Nash, Michael R. “The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis”. Scientific American: July 2001
  5. Butler, B. (1954). “The use of hypnosis in the care of the cancer patient” (PDF). Cancer 7 (1): 1–14.
  6. Peynovska, R.; Fisher, J.; Oliver, D.; Matthew, V. M. (2003). “Efficacy of hypnotherapy as a supplement therapy in cancer intervention” (PDF). Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of The Royal College of Psychiatrists, 30 June – 3 July 2003.
  7. Nash, Michael R. “The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis”. Scientific American: July 2001
  8. Spiegel, D.; Moore, R. (1997). “Imagery and hypnosis in the treatment of cancer patients”. Oncology 11 (8): 1179–1195.
  9. Garrow, D.; Egede, L. E. (2006). “National patterns and correlates of complementary and alternative medicine use in adults with diabetes”. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 12 (9): 895–902.
  10. Mascot, C. (2004). “Hypnotherapy: A complementary therapy with broad applications”. Diabetes Self Management 21 (5): 15–18.
  11. Kwekkeboom, K.L.; Gretarsdottir, E. (2006). “Systematic review of relaxation interventions for pain”. Journal of Nursing Scholarship 38 (3): 269–277.
  12. “Hypnosis”. American Cancer Society. November 2008. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  13. Jerjes; et al. (2007). “Psychological intervention in acute dental pain: Review”. British Dental Journal 202.
  14. Meyerson, J.; Uziel, N. “Application of hypno-dissociative strategies during dental treatment of patients with severe dental phobia”. The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 63.
  15. Myers, David G. (2014). Psychology: Tenth Edition in Modules (10th ed.). Worth Publishers. pp. 112–13.
  16. “Hypnosis, suggestion, and placebo in the reduction of experimental pain” faqs.org

What is Consciousness?


I have been fascinated by the human mind for as long as I can remember and in particular, what constitutes consciousness and how does it vary? How does this create and alter our reality? What influences our consciousness and how? There are so many questions that grabbed me early on and lead me to self study at first and then fall into formal learning of the subject.

The study of consciousness can be quite hard work, be it from either psychological or philosophical perspectives. The scientific consideration of states of consciousness that differ from ordinary waking consciousness is a path filled with hazards and booby traps. Tart’s (1975) publication of States of Consciousness was a game changer of the application of the philosophy and the discipline of science itself to a topic too often treated as an outcast within psychological science: Altered states of consciousness. It was Tart who created this term and applied a rigorous discipline of study for many phenomena of consciousness. Although States of Consciousness is widely cited in authoritative studies of consciousness such as that by Farthing (1992), as well as in current examinations of hypnosis and meditation phenomena of consciousness (Holroyd, 2003), unfortunately, the original publication has been out of print. The current edition was produced to provide the need for access to the original work.

In the Introduction Tart describes his book as “transitional” in several ways. One is social. This is because concepts of consciousness (like those of science itself) are based on consensus. We are living in an age in which standards and mores are rapidly shifting, and the process of consensus (as well as its value) is being questioned. A second transition is within the field of psychology itself which has alternated from the study of mind to the study of behavior and may be returning to the study of mind again. Tart’s book may also represent a transition for the author in the sense that in it he reaches out as a theoretician instead of as an experimentalist.

In Chapter One Tart orients the reader to a systems approach to considering states of consciousness. he theorises the necessity of basic awareness and structure in what he calls “discrete states of consciousness (d-SoC)” and identifies processes that are necessary for their stabilisation. he also defines the “discrete altered states of consciousness (d-ASC)” which are different from various baselines of consciousness. Their differences can be identified via ten sub-systems that show variations in d-ASC’s. These are: (1) Exteroception; (2) Interoception; (3) Input-Processing; (4) Memory; (5) Subconscious; (6) Emotions; (7) Evaluation and Decision Making; (8) Space/Time Sense; (9) Sense of Identity; and (10) Motor Output. Tart explains how one transitions from a discrete state to consciousness to an altered state through an interaction of disrupting forces and patterning forces.

In Chapter Two he focuses on the components of Consciousness which are Awareness, Energy, and Structure, and painstakingly sets up experiential criteria for detecting an altered state of consciousness. he reminds the reader that many structures interact simultaneously in the human being. The third chapter is devoted to examining conservative and radical views of the mind, with the former dedicated to the proposition that all mental activity is generated by the brains activity, while the latter admits to other influences upon the brain that come from outside the organism. Tart, the scientist, tells us: “I do not like the radical view” (p. 32). The radical view of consciousness runs contrary to all of what has been considered rational in nineteenth and twentieth century empirical science. The scientist who questions it faces the risk of being discredited within the field. Chapter Four examines ordinary states of consciousness in great detail, and Chapter Five defines discrete states of consciousness, explores how they may be mapped, and ties them to Tart’s operational concepts of ego states.

In Chapter Six the author explains how states of consciousness are stabilised, and in Chapter Seven he examines the induction of the altered states of going to sleep, hypnosis, and meditation. A very lengthy Chapter Eight scrutinises each of the subsystems set up in Chapter One in great detail, and Chapter Nine treats the topic of individual differences. Tart regards their inadequate recognition as a methodological deficiency that has retarded the progress of psychological science.

In the tenth chapter the use of drugs to induce altered states of consciousness is introduced, and in Chapter Eleven the author concentrates in the observation of internal states and introduces his operational concept of the Observer. This Observer is not a hidden one at all. It sounds very much like the rational, observing ego, postulated by Sterba (1934), that arises in the development of a therapeutic alliance. The next chapter expands on the complexity of consciousness states by dealing with various Identity States and considering how important they can be as adaptive, stabilising factors for discrete states of consciousness and ultimately, for the organism. Chapter Thirteen re-visits the systems approach in greater depth and presents certain useful strategies such as merging two discrete states of consciousness.

In Chapter Fourteen the author introduces measurements of the depth of states of consciousness; in Chapter Fifteen, State Specific Communication, and in the final chapters of the book discusses State Specific Science, and Higher States of Consciousness.

It is in the Chapters Eighteen, Nineteen, and Twenty, which comprise section Two of this book, that the author speculates on the implications of the five basic principles held in common by Physics and Psychology. This leads to a serious consideration of how our beliefs may alter reality. Tart confronts us with the proposition, held by so many religions and spiritual practices, that ordinary consciousness is a state of illusion, and he asks whether there may be some way “out of it” for us; that is, some way to live within the conflicting worlds and paradigms of our states of consciousness without reducing our own sense of being to the limits of the ordinary states. he explains that the experiences of altered states of consciousness, the dismantling of some of our cherished structures, and the practice of non-attachment can be helpful. Tart ends this book with the statement of the challenge that Western psychology faces: “…to apply the immense power of science and our other spiritual traditions, East and West, to search for a way out” (p. 286).

Are there any drawbacks to this book? The fact that it is information dense and requires close reading and reflection will make this quite heavy reading for anyone looking for “sound bites for the mind.” However, this is not a book intended for those who are not serious students of states of consciousness. Tart has used both acronyms and diagrams in his attempts to convey his complex concepts. At times I found it more difficult to keep track of the acronyms than it would have been to simply see the words spelled out in full, and quite a challenge at times to decipher the diagrams over and above understanding the text itself.

The re-publication of this classic work fills a genuine need in the scientific community. We live in the world of alternative therapies and shifting paradigms. Tart offers genuine ways for studying consciousness. he weds rigorous science and good logic in a systematised examination of consciousness and altered states of consciousness that is now a standard reference in studies. Studies of Consciousness remains a seminal source for those who scientifically study altered states of consciousness such as hypnosis, meditative states, mystical experiences, sleep, dreaming, non-local phenomena, Ego State Therapy, dissociative phenomena, and peak performance. It is a fascinating read and is a must for anyone studying consciousness and the varying fields allied to it.

References

  • Farthing, G. W. (1992). The psychology of consciousness. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
  • Holroyd, J. (2003). The science of meditation and the state of hypnosis. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 46(2), 109-128.
  • Sterba, R.F. (1934). The fate of the ego in analytic therapy. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 15, 1 17-126
  • Tart, C. T. (1975). States of consciousness. New York: Dutton.

PTSD Treatment Research Project


As you may well know, I am a therapist, coach and trainer based up in the North east of Scotland and run a private clinic that specialises in trauma and PTSD. I have worked with people from all walks of life and helped them move beyond the PTSD and onto a happy and satisfying life again. PTSD is not restricted to purely the military, it affects anyone that has experienced one or more traumatic events regardless of who you are or what you do and the great thing is that it does not have to last forever, there are ways to resolve the trauma and live a normal life. It is through retraining your brain to process these memories differently that dissolves the physical and psychological symptoms that are caused by the psychological injury that results from the traumatic event/s.

I am now in the final stages of designing a PTSD Research Project up in Aberdeenshire to document the treatment method that I have been developing based on the outstanding work of various leaders in the fields of psychology, psychotherapy, NLP and Neuroscience. My ultimate aim is to have the project independently assessed and use the evidence to generate funding locally in order that the project can then be replicated around the region and help as many people as possible.

I am now starting to look for volunteers for this project and keen for a wide spectrum of volunteers from military and civilian populations. I am very keen for volunteers from all emergency services, however, if you or someone you know would like to participate and receive free treatment for existing PTSD, this needs to have been diagnosed, and I will need your permission to discuss this with your GP and mental health professional if you are currently in their care.

Please email me at simon@simonmaryan.com to arrange an initial meeting to assess whether your participation is beneficial for you or if there are any contraindications that could exclude you from the project.

I will update again when the project is ready to start and provide dates etc.

Simon

Black Friday Deals


black-friday-1173373

Good morning everyone,

I’m pretty sure that you’ve been inundated with offers all week in preparation for today and no doubt you will receive plenty more even after today has finished.

It can be overwhelming with the quantity that comes through and sometimes confusing and even annoying…trust me I know, I get them too!!

However, it is amazing the deals that you can pick up when you look around and sift through. 

The thing is we all have to do a lot off sifting through in life in general everyday and some of those decisions are small and some are potentially life changing, and it’s important to take a little time over those really important decisions and make sure that the decision you make feels right at the end of the day.

For me this is so important when deciding on what I choose for my own personal development, because I want to know that I’m getting as much bang for my buck as possible and that the investment is right for me.

So today, I am offering 50% off everything in my online shop until Midnight on Sunday 27th November 2016. That means you can choose from:

  • Coaching – in person or via Skype, Zoom or FaceTime 
  • Training courses – online and face to face
  • Hypnosis sessions – in person or via Skype, Zoom or FaceTime 
  • Books and pdf’s – download
  • Hypnosis audio tracks – download

There’s a fair bit to choose from so take your time to decide on what’s right for you and you can claim your 50% discount by using the following code at checkout: 2LIFVU16YABV

You can find the shop at this link  The Mind-Body Coach Shop 

So, have a fantastic day and a fun filled weekend and for all of you in the US have a brilliant Thanksgiving weekend with your family and friends.

Simon 🙂

Hypnosis and Claustrophobia


Claustrophobia is usually defined as the irrational fear of confined spaces. It can be rational to fear being trapped when circumstances carry genuine threat. However, in claustrophobia, people experience fear even when there is no obvious or realistic danger in a particular situation.

People who experience claustrophobia generally go out of their way to avoid a long list of confined spaces, including lifts, tunnels, tube trains, revolving doors, public toilets, MRI scanners, and even don’t like to wear crash helmets. Unfortunately, avoidance may reinforce the fear.

Claustrophobia may arise from a one-off trauma at any age, developed when the person was a child (for example growing up with one or more claustrophobic parents) or emerge as someone gets older. Around 10% of the population may experience claustrophobia during their lifetime.

Simple Self Diagnosis

If you can answer YES to most of the questions it is likely that you are affected by claustrophobia.

During the past 6 months, did any of the following make you feel anxious:

  • Being in a confined space such as being in a tunnel, on the underground etc.?
  • Being in crowded places?
  • Did you avoid being in any of the above situations?

Physical Symptoms

Panic attacks are common among people with claustrophobia. They can be very frightening and distressing and symptoms often occur without warning.
As well as overwhelming feelings of anxiety, a panic attack can also cause:

  • sweating
  • trembling
  • hot flushes or chills
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • a choking sensation
  • rapid heartbeat
  • chest pain or a feeling of tightness in the chest
  • a sensation of butterflies in the stomach
  • nausea
  • headaches and dizziness
  • feeling faint
  • numbness or pins and needles
  • dry mouth
  • a need to go to the toilet
  • ringing in your ears
  • feeling confused or disorientated

Psychological Symptoms
People with severe claustrophobia may also experience psychological symptoms such as:

  • fear of losing control
  • fear of fainting
  • feelings of dread
  • fear of dying

For many people, the aspect of embarrassment over their phobia is as debilitating as the the phobic condition itself. Some sufferers recognise that their fears are overblown and irrational, but cannot seem to stay in control. The reason for this is because phobias are rooted deep within the unconscious, which no amount of conscious effort can be fully effective in controlling. This makes treating phobias particularly challenging.

Claustrophobia is usually treated with anti-anxiety drugs or counseling. Hypnotherapy is an ideal, safe and non-invasive form of therapy with no harmful side effects. It works by pinpointing the root causes of fear in the unconscious to rapidly cure a phobia. In particular, a program that utilises Ericksonian hypnotherapy techniques and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) can be used to cure a phobia. This uses numerous hypnotic techniques to help people beat their fears.

The initial step in curing a phobia is helping the sufferer feel relaxed and anxiety-free. Hypnotherapy has long been used as a form of stress-reducing therapy, to help people clear their minds and focus deeply.

Conventional hypnosis techniques have used direct, post-hypnotic suggestions to help cure phobias. The disadvantage of the direct approach is that the mind tends to reject being merely “told” how to behave. Many people put up mental blocks and ignore suggestions. In today’s society, both children and adults are especially likely to ignore direct suggestions since we are mostly independent people who question authority.

Deep relaxation is the essence of the hypnotic state. Once in the relaxed state, instead of using direct post-hypnotic suggestions, a better approach known as systematic desensitisation can help extinguish a phobia through visual imagery.

Ericksonian hypnotherapy uses a more innovative approach than conventional techniques. It utilises indirect suggestions concealed in captivating stories and metaphors to interest the unconscious and convince it to adopt a desirable, phobia-free line of thinking. Due to the fact that indirect suggestions don’t need to be adapted to a single phobia like direct suggestions do, a single good Ericksonian hypnotherapy program will work to beat any phobia or even multiple phobias.

NLP, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, is an innovative form of therapy that many well trained hypnotherapists have begun to use. The best NLP technique for overcoming a phobia is called the Visual – Kinesthetic Disassociation, also referred to as the V/K. The V/K is recognised as the single session phobia cure, and for good reason. Phobic or panic reactions (attacks) occur because traumatic experiences are attached to and aggravated by mental images. With the V/K, the traumatic experiences are disconnected from the mental images – often in one simple session, and the fear is essentially extinguished.

Those fighting with claustrophobia can find relief with hypnotherapy. The combination of Ericksonian hypnosis therapy with NLP techniques will help all people beat their phobias. Hypnosis therapy has helped countless users feel safe and secure in situations where earlier, they would’ve suffered a breakdown. Hypnosis techniques have provided phenomenal benefits for people afflicted with phobias and continue to improve lives each and every day.

Study 1: Hypnosis and Claustrophobia in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs)

Hypnosis for management of claustrophobia in magnetic resonance imaging (Study developed at Hospital e Maternidade São Camilo Pompeia, São Paulo, SP, Brazil)
http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-39842010000100007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en

Results: Out of the sample, 18 (90%) patients were susceptible to the technique. Of the 16 hypnotizable subjects who were submitted to magnetic resonance imaging, 15 (93.8%) could complete the examination under hypnotic trance, with no sign of claustrophobia and without need of sedative drugs.

Conclusion: Hypnosis is an alternative to anesthetic sedation for claustrophobic patients who must undergo magnetic resonance imaging.

Notes: The objective was to evaluate the efficacy of hypnosis for management of claustrophobia in patients submitted to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Twenty claustrophobic patients referred for magnetic resonance imaging under sedation were submitted to hypnosis The patients susceptible to hypnosis were submitted to magnetic resonance imaging under hypnotic trance without using sedative drugs.

After hypnotic induction, the patients underwent ideosensory activities, with induction of vivid, pleasant visual and kinesthetic sensations (walk through a relaxing, safe and welcoming landscape) associated with a sensation of peace, tranquility and safety. After the establishment of the hypnogenic signal, the patients were dehypnotized for assessment of the depth and efficacy of the induced hypnotic trance. Subsequently, hypnosis was induced again, this time by means of the hypnogenic signal. In this second procedure (double induction technique), the patients were introduced to the different phases of the MRI examination which are resignified and associated with the relaxing sensation achieved in the previous ideosensory activity. On the occasion of the procedure, the patient was hypnotized with utilization of the hypnogenic signal in a preparation room, and taken on a wheelchair to the MRI equipment, being dehypnotized once the procedure was completed.

Radiologia Brasileira, Vol. 43, No. 1, São Paulo Jan./Feb. 2010
By: Luiz Guilherme Carneiro Velloso (Maternidade São Camilo Pompeia, São Paulo, SP, Brazil); Maria de Lourdes DupratII (Psychologist, Group of Medical Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy of Hospital e Maternidade São Camilo Pompeia, São Paulo, SP, Brazil); Ricardo Martins (Biomedical Scientist, Unit of Imaging Diagnosis – Hospital e Maternidade São Camilo Pompeia, São Paulo, SP, Brazil); Luiz Scoppetta (MD, Radiologist, Unit of Imaging Diagnosis – Hospital e Maternidade São Camilo Pompeia, São Paulo, SP, Brazil)

Study 2: More Hypnosis for MRI Procedures
Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Improved Patient Tolerance Utilizing Medical Hypnosis
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2270840

Results: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a medical procedure where patients are required to lie on their backs in a tight cylinder (with only a few inches of space between their face and the top of the chamber) for up to an hour. Between one and ten percent of patients experience feelings of panic and other claustrophobic reactions. Many are unable to complete the procedure. This study reports on how hypnosis was used to help ten claustrophobic patients successfully undergo this procedure.

Am J Clin Hypn. 1990 Oct;33(2):80-4
By: P. J. Friday, W. S. Kubal , Shadyside Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Study 3: More Hypnosis for MRI Procedures
Hypnosis Using a Communication Device to Increase Magnetic Resonance Imaging Tolerance with a Claustrophobic Patient.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9922650

The paper reports on the case of a woman who was unable to have an MRI because she was claustrophobic and panicked in such confined environments. She was then hypnotized twice and given post-hypnotic suggestions to increase her sense of comfort and relaxation and gain control over her body’s responses. She was then hypnotized through headphones when she entered the MRI unit where she was able to complete the procedure. This patient was successfully able to cope with this procedure and reported great satisfaction with treatment.

Mil Med. 1999 Jan;164(1):71-2
By: E. P. Simon, Clinical Psychology Department, Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, HI 96859, USA