Hypnosis and Auto-Immune Disorders


There are a wide variety of auto-immune disorders with symptoms ranging from minor to severely debilitating and sometime life threatening. The image below gives an overview of what parts of the body can be affected.

autoimmune_attack_graphic

 

I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder about 17 years ago, I have Hashimoto’s Disease which is where my immune system attacks my thyroid gland. This has been managed by me asking 200mcg of Levo-Thyroxine since then. It does have a number of additional effects on my body because of the significance of the role of the thyroid gland, in conjunction with the pituitary gland. I understand all too well how an auto-immune disorder can impact your life and health and my own issues are far less than many other peoples so I consider myself very lucky in many respects.

I also personally know friends and family with auto-immune disorders and I work with many patients/clients struggling with the symptoms of a variety of auto-immune disorders, which made this a very relevant piece of research for me.

For those of you interested in the cellular make up of the immune system, here is a quick guide in a cellular organogram.

cellsindefenses75

I hope you find this review interesting, thought provoking and useful.

Study 1: Hypnosis Helps Auto-Immune Disorders – Five Case Studies
Mind-Body Hypnotic Imagery in the Treatment of Auto-Immune Disorders
http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1174128/mindbody_hypnotic_imagery_in_the_treatment_of_autoimmune_disorders/

Results: The author describes five cases where hypnosis was successfully used to help people suffering from auto-immune disorders.

Case One – Multiple Sclerosis
This client had a remitting/relapsing form of multiple sclerosis. She loved the sensation of cold water on her skin and chose the imagery of immersing her body in the cold water of a inland lake formed by the melting snows of surrounding mountains. Following the immersion in the cool and pure waters of the lake, she experienced herself (in the imagery) in a spa whereby she was receiving a healing and invigorating massage. Following the massage, she fell asleep and woke up feeling rejuvenated and much better. She practiced this exercise with self-hypnosis at home. It was suggested to re-label her immune system from being too aggressive to being confused and misguided. She liked that idea and set the goal of helping her immune system to learn how to tell the difference between cells and tissues that were part of her own body and those that were representing foreign pathogenic invaders (bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.) Imagery was used whereby all the cells and tissues in her body were tagged with the letters J. P. (the client’s initials), which meant that they were safe from being attacked by her immune system and that they were part of the organism in which the immune system resides. Only those organisms that were not tagged where fair game. In addition, she also learned to communicate with her own immune system cells letting them know they are part of a larger organism that is made up of many cells and tissues designed to keep the organism alive and in good health. J. P. was asked to write down the following phrase: “All for one and one for all, united we stand together in peaceful co-existence with respect and dignity for the sake of the whole”. She was asked to repeat it in her own mind in a state of formal hypnosis and also when she was out of formal hypnosis. Several months later, she reported continuing to stay in a remission, functioning well at home and at work.

Case Two – Rheumatoid Arthritis
R. J. was a 25 year-old single woman who had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis as a teenager. By the age of 25, she already had several relapses followed by spontaneous remissions. She learned to use self-hypnosis quickly and effectively focusing on the ocean beach scene imagery to achieve a state of calmness and activate me relaxation response. She loved to swim and went into detail describing her skills of floating in the waters of the ocean and swimming pool. She then described how much she enjoyed her brief sessions in the whirlpool right after a lap in the swimming pool of her gym. In hypnotic trance, she was asked to focus on the ocean beach scene imagery experiencing it with all five senses. This was done using interactive imagery whereby she verbalized her experiences on the ocean beach of her choice. Future focused imagery was then used. The focus was not only in achieving the experience of returning to optimal functioning of her physical mobility and other activities, but also on gaining a new sense of healthy balance in her life on a mind-body-spirit continuum. She was then asked to internalize these experiences with members of her family and friends, integrating the experience with all five senses (visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, and gustatory) as well as internalizing feelings of joy, love and mastery, having achieved a healthy balance of activities in day-to-day living. When she was guided out of the hypnotic state, she reported with a smile that she already felt better and that her joints felt more flexible, free and limber. She reported that she had to consciously think about the pain and focus on it to recognize if it was still present. Four weeks later, she came to the office for a follow up visit and stated with a smile on her face that she was now back in remission as pronounced by her rheumatologist. Her goal now was to stay in remission for “the rest of my life”. She was instructed to continue and practice self-hypnosis with guided imagery focused on activating the relaxation response on a daily basis. Follow up visits at 3 months, 6 months and 9 months later found her in a stable healthy remission, continuing to practice self hypnosis and guided imagery.

Case Three – Polymyositis / Dermatomyositis
V. C. wanted to reduce the pain, improve his functioning and help him to achieve remission since he was in an acute relapse. He was able to easily and quickly apply the skill of self-hypnosis using guided imagery of the ocean beach scene experiencing it with all five senses, incorporating and integrating it with his meditation-prayer practice. He expressed a strong desire to visit the Holy Land and specifically, immerse himself in the waters of the Jordan River as a way of renewing his overall health and faith on a mind-body-spirit dimension. It was decided to employ future focused guided imagery as a way of allowing him to experience and internalize his own prescription for healing and achieving a remission. In a state of self-hypnotic trance and meditation and with the use of guided imagery suggestions on all five senses, he experienced himself traveling to the Holy Land and visiting the sea of Galilee and the Jordan River. He then described his experience of immersing himself in the cool clear waters of the Jordan River. He described how his skin felt cool and calm, how the red blotches of swelling disappeared and his skin looked clean and healthy. When he came out of the water, he recited a special prayer of gratitude for allowing him to heal from his acute illness. He reported feeling a jolt of energy and strength going through his whole body and was able to walk with vigor, feeling renewed and reinvigorated with a sense of purpose and enthusiasm, seeing himself giving a presentation in his church (after he returned to his community in the USA) regarding his experiences of healing during his trip to the Holy Land. When he came out of his self-hypnotic trance, he reported feeling calm and relaxed. He was asked to write an essay about his experiences on his imaginary trip to the Holy Land and bring his written essay with him to the following session. A week later, as he read from the essay, he described his trip using the past tense implying that in his mind, this already happened. He also reported feeling an overall improvement in his physical health associated with a significant reduction of the skin rash and a decrease in his muscle and joint pain. Two months later, he reported with great satisfaction that he was pronounced by his rheumatologist to have achieved a full remission.

Case Four – Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
E. J. was suffering from a remitting-relapsing form of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). She requested help to reduce the acute symptoms of general muscle and joint pain, tiredness, and skin rash. She wanted to achieve a remission as soon as possible and learn to meditate on a regular basis so she could better effectively cope with the daily stresses in her life. She believed that stress in general was a factor in precipitating the acute relapse of her chronic disease – SLE. She quickly learned the use of self-hypnosis utilizing the ocean beach scene and activating the relaxation response. She stated that she knew exactly how the lupus had happened and brought in drawings with her, illustrating her immune system attacking the connective tissues in her body. The aggressive immune system antibodies were drawn as wild dogs that had transformed into wolf like creatures. She described them as wild animals that have gone astray, they have lost their discipline, they don’t listen anymore to orders from the immune system headquarters. She also had in her drawings white horses that were described as gentle but powerful. The horses represented the healthy side of her immune system. These horses had the ability to produce a powerful kick to any invading enemies in the form of bacteria or viruses but these horses would never hurt their own kind. They were able to identify what cells in the body were part of the self and should not be hurt, but rather protected. In a state of self-hypnotic trance, she said that she consulted with the chief horse about the situation and was told that the dog like aggressive creatures of the immune system were confused and actually unhealthy and that is why they were mistakenly attacking cells and tissues of the body. The alpha chief horse suggested a solution that would transform these wild dogs into healthy white horses and that the alpha horse knew exactly how this could be done. The suggestion was made to round up the herd of wild dogs into a special compound, at the end of the compound there was a gate which led to a river. The wild dogs would then be guided through the white rushing, cool waters of the river that ended up in a waterfall leading to an inland lake. In the process of swimming through the river and coming down the waterfall into the lake, these wild dogs would be transformed into white horses as the alpha horse was leading them through the process. As she was describing this she suddenly opened her eyes, took out her drawing papers and sat on the floor drawing out this process. She was drawing with crayons using color to depict the process of how this was about to happen. She later stated that she did not do the drawings, it was the alpha white horse that did it all. When asked if she believed if one of her hands did the drawing and that hand is part of her body, she stated that “I know this logically, but it doesn’t feel like I did it and I don’t fully remember drawing it…the alpha white horse did it”. She was then instructed to go home and practice her self-hypnosis integrating guided imagery for healing and recovery. The following session she came in reporting that the alpha white horse did it, but it got help from its mate and they did it as a team. However, she believed that not all the “wild and confused aggressive dogs” of her immune system were rounded up in this first attempt. Some of them were still running around doing their damaging aggressive acts. She stated that she was convinced that additional round ups would be necessary to complete the transformation of all the confused, aggressive “wild dogs” into “white and powerful horses”. She reported some improvement in her overall health and a significant reduction in the redness on her skin. This was specifically noticeable on her face. A month later in a follow up visit, she reported the successful completion of the transformation of her immune system now knowing to identify the difference between cells and tissues of her own body and those of invading pathogenic organisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.). This was accompanied by a significant improvement in her clinical state. Two months later, she was declared by her rheumatologist as having achieved a full remission.

Case Five – Autoimmune Pericarditis
M.G, had idiopathic pericarditis associated with chest pain and inflammation in the pericardial space with fluid accumulation that had to be aspirated. Since then she had two remissions and two relapses. About a year ago, she had additional laboratory tests and was told that her pericarditis was of autoimmune origin. Following a comprehensive interview and mental status examination, she communicated her desire to learn better ways to control stress, anxiety and worry in her life believing that they are responsible for precipitating her relapse symptoms. She learned the use of self- hypnosis quickly and was instructed to practice at home focused on guided imagery using the ocean beach scene and internalizing it with all five senses. She was able to experience an immediate relief of her anxieties and a reduction in her chest pain from a self-rated scale of 8 to 2 (on a scale of 1 to 10). This later allowed her to reduce the medications prescribed for pain control (Tylenol with codeine). In addition, her heart rate was also reduced from an average of a resting 96 beats per minute to a resting 72 per minute. In later sessions, she learned to internalize new images of healing her pericardium by changing (in imagery) the colors of inflammation from hot red to soft pink, which was associated in her mind with healthy normal tissues. In addition she also used imagery to reduce the inflammation in the pericardial space by visualizing the reduction of all the inflammation fluids. In later sessions, she learned how to “educate” her immune system to identify her body’s cells and tissues as “one of us” and therefore the immune system is to protect them and never attack them. Eight weeks after the beginning of her treatment with hypnotic imagery she was examined by her cardiologist and told that she again entered a remission. Six months later she was examined in a follow up visit and declared that she continued to do well and had no relapse symptoms. Nine months after the beginning of her treatment, she continued to be off prednisone and reported being free of pericarditis symptoms.

Notes: The immune system is designed to, among other functions, identify and destroy foreign invading organisms. However, when the immune system identifies the antigens on our own cells as antigens of foreign agents such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi, the immune system attacks these cells in attempt to destroy them with the purpose of protecting the integrity of our own living organism. The authors note that there are two types of T cells: T helper cells that help the B cells in producing antibodies that attack and destroy the invading padiogenic organisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.) and T suppresser cells that are designed to reign in the B cells and the T helper cells when they become too aggressive. It is postulated that one mechanism that operates in the development of autoimmune disorders involves an immune system that has lost its natural balance either by weakening of the T suppresser cells response or by an over production of B cells and T helper cells, which may be involved in producing antibodies that mistakenly attack the organism’s own cells and tissues, failing to identify them as part of its own self organism. When the immune system is confused, individuals are predisposed to autoimmune disorders.

The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 2007, vol. 50, no2, pp.157-170
By: M. S. Torem, Center for Mind-Body Medicine, North East Ohio Universities School of Medicine

Study 2: Alopecia Areata (an auto-immune disease that leads to loss of scalp hairs) and Hypnosis
Hypnotic Approaches for Alopecia Areata
http://www.beforeyoutakethatpill.com/2009/1/hypnosis.pdf

Results: Twelve out of 21 patients treated with hypnosis, including 4 with total loss of scalp hair, presented a significant hair growth. All patients presented a significant decrease in scores for anxiety and depression. Although the exact mechanism of hypnotic interventions has not been elucidated, the authors’ results demonstrate that hypnotic interventions may ameliorate the clinical outcome of patients with Alopecia Areata (AA) and may improve their psychological well-being.

Notes: Alopecia Areata (AA) is an autoimmune disease leading to loss of scalp hairs. The disease seems triggered by stress. Twenty-eight patients with extensive AA, all resistant to previous conventional treatment, were treated with hypnosis at the Academic Hospital UZ Brussel, Brussels, Belgium. This paper describes in detail the authors’ hypnotherapeutic approach combining symptom-oriented suggestions with suggestions to improve self-esteem. Hypnotic sessions were held every 2 or 3 weeks. All patients were asked to practice their self-hypnosis exercises at least twice a week. Hypnosis was introduced with suggestions of relaxation. After this hypnotic induction, patients were invited to imagine a place where they felt safe and secure. The following types of hypnotic suggestions were given. First, participants were offered a possible explanation of the origin of the AA. It was explained to them that in AA the affected hair follicles are mistakenly attacked by lymphocytes of their own immune system, resulting in an arrest of the hair growth. In a second step, different kinds of symptom-oriented suggestions were proposed for correcting this immune deviation. Patients received suggestions to imagine the healing effects of the sun on the skin of the scalp. They were asked to feel the rise in scalp temperature leading to vasodilatation of all blood vessels. A suggestion was given that fresh blood would flow to all hair follicles leading to a reduction of inflammation around the hair follicles. Participants were told that the land must be free from weeds before new plants can grow. New plants need water and sunlight. For this, patients were invited to imagine a garden and to garden in it. Suggestions were given to choose a big old tree and to imagine putting their arms around it and feeling its strength. It was suggested that patients imagine becoming a part of this tree and see or feel how their roots enter deeply in the ground to absorb everything that they need to grow as firmly and as big as the tree. They were invited to explore those ingredients in the ground that could help them (vitamins, minerals, water, but also self-acceptance, self-confidence) to develop such beautiful leaves as those in the big old tree. Patients were encouraged to find an additional personal metaphoric or symbolic image of their growing hairs. Patients were invited to explore all possible resources within their inner minds that could help them to heal their bodies. Next, the patients were asked to visualize, to feel, or to hear this healing energy and to direct it to their scalp. Finally, they were invited to imagine that this healing energy was able to ameliorate the immune deviation. They were asked to imagine the healing energy working on the hair follicles while stimulating the hair growth. It was suggested that patients direct healing energy to their own skin just by breathing in and out and by bringing loving kindness and acceptance to those regions of the skin that were inflamed and stressing them the most, such as their scalp. Many patients reported shame and embarrassment because of their hair loss. Some showed symptoms of social phobia or agoraphobic reactions (such as avoiding public places). In these patients, ego-strengthening suggestions were added to the symptom-oriented approach. They were asked to remember a past peak experience with regard to their self-esteem. Next, this feeling was used as an anchor. Patients were asked to imagine behaving with less shame to a specific stressful event or situation in the future.

Int’l Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Vol. 56, No. 3, March 2008: pp. 1-31
By: Ria Willemsen, Academic Hospital UZ Brussel, Brussels, Belgium (Dept. of Dermatology), Johan Vanderlinden University Psychiatric Center Kuleuven, Campus Kortenberg, and Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium

Hypnosis and Asthma


I hope that this review is useful for those in the medical profession that have not considered Hypnosis as a form of treatment for asthmatic patients as yet. It can be highly effective for some patients and the self hypnosis skills learned can be used to manage their emotional state in many other areas of their lives also.

As always I look forward to your feedback, comments, thoughts and opinions.

Asthma Full

Study 1: Hypnosis Superior to Breathing Exercises for Improving Asthma
Hypnosis for Asthma – A Controlled Trial
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1912142/pdf/brmedj02105-0025.pdf

Results: Results were judged by analyses based on the daily “score” of wheezing recorded in patients’ diaries, by the number of times bronchodilators were used, and by independent clinical assessors. The hypnosis group had improved by 59% compared to a 43% improvement among those who had only been taught the breathing exercises. The average number of times a bronchodilator was used diminished more in the hypnosis group than the control group.

Notes: Two hundred and fifty-two participants aged 10 to 60 (with paroxysmal attacks of wheezing or tight chest capable of relief by bronchodilators) were broken into two groups. One hundred and twenty-seven were given monthly hypnosis sessions for a year and taught to practice self-hypnosis every day and 125 (the control group) were taught a series of breathing exercises designed to bring on deep relaxation. When they were independently assessed at the end of the trial there was a statistically significant difference between the two groups. For the hypnosis group, an eye-thumb fixation induction was used. Suggestions were then given that, by daily self-hypnosis, a state of easing of tension would occur, and – as a result – breathing would become and remain free.

Br Med J 1968;4:71-76 (12 October), A Report to the Research Committee of the British Tuberculosis Association
By: Those participating in the field-work were Drs. Crocket, Davies, Kalnowski, MacDonald, Maher-Loughnan, McAllen, Morrison Smith, Bria Shaw, and Stewart. The investigation was coordinated by Dr. G. P. Maher-Loughnan at Colindale Hospital, London.

Study 2: Review of Studies Concludes that Hypnosis Helps Asthma Generally and Especially in Children
Hypnosis and Asthma: Critical Review
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10724294

Results: This report concluded that studies conducted to date have consistently demonstrated an effect of hypnosis with asthma. Existing data suggest that hypnosis efficacy is enhanced in subjects who are susceptible to the treatment modality (hypnosis), with experienced investigators, when administered over several sessions, and when reinforced by patient self-hypnosis. Children in particular appear to respond well to hypnosis as a tool for improving asthma symptoms.

Notes: This report analyzed numerous studies that were conducted on the effect of hypnosis on asthmatic patients.
Journal of Asthma, Volume 37, Issue 1 February 2000, pages 1-15
By: R. M. Hackman, J. S. Stern, M. E. Gershwin, University of California

Study 3: Review of Studies – Hypnosis Can Help Asthma Symptoms and Helps Manage Emotional States the Exacerbate Airway ObstructionEvidence-Based Hypnotherapy for Asthma: A Critical Review
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207140601177947?journalCode=nhyp20

Results: This review concludes that hypnosis is possibly efficacious for treatment of asthma symptom severity and illness-related behaviors and is efficacious for managing emotional states that exacerbate airway obstruction. Hypnosis is also possibly efficacious for decreasing airway obstruction and stabilizing airway hyper-responsiveness in some individuals.

Notes: This paper reviewed evidence primarily from controlled outcome studies on hypnosis for asthma.

International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 2007 April.55(2)220-49
By: Daniel Brown, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

Study 4: Hypnosis Reduces Asthmatics’ Hospital Stays, Drug Side Effects and Need for Drugs; also Improves Condition Generally
Chronic Asthma and Improvement with Relaxation Induced by Hypnotherapy
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1291881/pdf/jrsocmed00155-0023.pdf

Results: Sixteen chronic asthmatic patients inadequately controlled by drugs had, after one year of hypnotherapy, a drop – as a group – in hospital admissions from 44 in the year before starting hypnotherapy to 13 in the year after. Duration of hospital stay was reduced for 13 of the patients by hundreds of days; prednisolone was able to be withdrawn in 6 patients, reduced in 8 patients and increased in none. Adverse side effects of drugs were reduced. 62% of the patients reported improvement in their condition.

Notes: This study followed 16 asthmatics whose condition was not properly controlled by drugs. They were given hypnosis sessions at Southport General Infirmary in England. Instruction in self-hypnosis was given to induce relaxation daily for 5 to 15 minutes; if this was difficult for the participant, a tape recording was made to induce hypnosis. The asthmatics were told to use self-hypnosis/hypnosis at times of mild to moderate wheezing either alone or after use of an inhaler – but never in the event of a severe asthmatic attack.

J R Soc Med. 1988 Dec; 81(12) 701-4
By: J. B. Morrison, MD BSc Southport General Infirmary, Southport, Merseyside

Study 5: Hypnosis Helps Exercise-Induced Asthma
Hypnosis for Exercise-Induced Asthma
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6803633

Results: Exercising after hypnosis resulted in only a 15.9% decrease in forced expiratory volume (FEV1 – volume of air that can be forced out taking a deep breath for one second, an important measure of pulmonary function) compared with a larger 31.8% decrease on the control days when hypnosis was not used prior to exercise (p less than 0.001). Pretreatment with cromolyn along with hypnosis resulted in a 7.6% decrease in FEV1. The study concludes that hypnosis can alter the magnitude of a pathophysiologic process, namely, the bronchospasm after exercise in patients with asthma.

Notes: This study assessed the efficacy of hypnosis in helping exercise-induced asthma (EIA) in 10 stable asthmatics. The subjects ran on a treadmill while mouth breathing for 6 min on 5 different days. Pulmonary mechanics were measured before and after each challenge. Two control exercise challenges resulted in a reproducible decrease in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1). On 2 other days, saline or cromolyn by nebulization was given in a double-blind manner with the suggestion that these agents would prevent EIA.

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1982 Apr;125(4):392-5
By: Z. Ben-Zvi, W. A. Spohn, S. H. Young, M. Kattan

Study 6: Hypnosis Can Help Mild to Moderate Asthma Symptoms
Improvement in Bronchial Hyper-Responsiveness in Patient with Moderate Asthma after Treatment with a Hypnotic Technique: A Randomised Controlled Trial
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1341848/

Results: The 12 participants with asthma who responded well to hypnosis improved their bronchial hyper-responsiveness (as measured by the methacholine challenge test) by 74.9%. In addition to this, symptoms improved by 41% and as a group they reduced their use of bronchodilators by 26%. In contrast the 17 patient who formed the control group and 10 who were not that hypnotizable had no change. This study concluded that hypnosis was a very effective technique for asthmatics who were moderately to highly hypnotizable. While this technique does not eliminate bronchial hyper-responsiveness, it does provide a clinically useful and nontoxic adjuvant to drug treatment that might benefit about half of the asthmatic population. In subjective terms, the perception of control over the degree of bronchospasm, accompanied by diminished anxiety, often results in an enhanced feeling of health and confidence.

Notes: 39 adults who had mild to moderate asthma were graded on their hypnotizability. 12 who were moderately to highly hypnotizable and 10 who were much less hypnotizable were then enrolled in a 6 week hypnotherapy program. The purpose of the inhaled bronchial challenge test using methacholine is to determine how responsive (or irritable) airways are and to determine the severity of any asthma; in the test, one inhales a mist that contains different concentrations of methacholine. The hypnotic technique used in this study started with an introductory discussion, which combined an outline of the treatment procedures, a general description of hypnosis, and a hypnotic induction. This was followed by suggestions of progressive relaxation, ego enhancement, and a method of self hypnosis. The remaining five sessions began with a similar but shortened induction, followed by a progression of guided imageries. By the final two sessions symptoms of asthma could be rapidly produced and immediately resolved under the subject’s own control. Although hypnotherapy is unlikely to have adverse effects, successful treatment might alter the patient’s appreciation of the severity of the airways obstruction, leading to a delay in seeking appropriate emergency treatment. In the treatment group, care was taken to minimize this possibility by suggestions given during hypnosis of increased awareness of symptoms of asthma, attention to the need for appropriate action, and the avoidance of symptom denial.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1986 Nov 1;293(6555): 1129-32
By: T. C. Ewer, D. E. Stewart, Dept. of Respiratory Medicine and Psychological Medicine, Princess Margaret Hospital, Christchurch, New Zealand

Study 7: Hypnosis Helps Children with Asthma
Hypnotherapy in the treatment of bronchial asthma
http://www.researchgate.net/publication/22018848_Hypnotherapy_in_the_treatment_of_bronchial_asthma

Results: The average improvement for all subjects using hypnosis was greater than 50% above the baseline measurement as documented by spirometry, monitored dyspnea, wheezing and subjective ratings by the subjects. It is suggested that hypnotherapy may be an important tool in ameliorating asthma, improving ventilatory capacity and promoting relaxation without recourse to pharmacologic agents. One explanation offered is that hypnosis affects an automic response, thereby diminishing bronchospasm.

Notes: The efficacy of hypnotherapy in aborting acute asthmatic attacks was studied in 17 children ranging in age from six to 17. All had as their primary diagnosis bronchial asthma. Prior to hypnotic induction pulmonary function was assessed, then monitored in the immediate post hypnotic period and at two intervals thereafter.

Annals of Allergy 07/1975; 34(6):356-62
By: G. M. Aronoff, S. Aronoff, L. W. Peck

Hypnosis and Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia


dementia

incidence-of-alzheimers

I have seen first hand the effects of dementia on my grandmother, and it was horrendous to see the person I knew and loved fade away. In the last few months of her life, the occasions when she recognised me where less and less frequent and it was such a joy when the light was flicked back on and recognition of who I was flooded across her face. It was wonderful for both of us and in those moments she knew what was happening to her and she was completely lucid and aware, despite the tinge of sadness we made the most of these moments when I visited her. I used hypnosis with her to focus her on the many fun memories she had and also to help bring her back out of her delusions and sometimes, these delusions were upsetting for her, so I used hypnosis to distract and re-focus her attention onto positive, happy memories.

This is such a cruel disease that robs people of their identity, personality and soul and is equally traumatic for their families as they watch them fade away and much more research is needed to enable us to provide better treatment and care for those diagnosed.

Dementia-facts

Study 1: Hypnosis Can Improve Seven Aspects of Quality of Life for Individuals with Dementia
Alternative Approaches to Supporting Individuals With Dementia: Enhancing Quality of Life Through Hypnosis
http://dementiatherapyspecialists.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Alzheimers-Care-Today-article.pdf

Results: This pilot study explored the use of hypnosis to influence 7 aspects of quality of life in individuals with dementia: concentration, relaxation, motivation, activities of daily living, immediate memory, memory of significant events, and socialization. The results indicate that hypnosis has a beneficial impact on quality of life on both a short-term and long-term basis. Unlike the other study participants, the participants in the hypnosis group showed improvement in all 7 items – some of which were maintained over a period of time, such as 21 months or more.

The study authors hypothesize that perhaps an individual with dementia is aware of his or her gradual loss of abilities. That awareness leads to increased levels of anxiety and depression – which are known to involve active cognitive processing. Because the individual’s limited cognitive resources are being used up by anxiety and depression, even greater loss of memory, motivation and ability takes place. The authors further hypothesize that hypnosis may decrease an individual with dementia’s anxiety and depression (through positive suggestion and relaxation), which – in turn – may free up otherwise engaged resources so they are available for the individual to use to successfully accomplish cognitive tasks.

Notes: Eighteen participants were recruited from 2 care homes and were randomly allocated into 1 of 3 groups, the hypnosis group (HG), the discussion group (DG), and the treatment-as-usual group (TG). The HG received weekly individual sessions of hypnosis carried out in their single-occupancy bedrooms at their residential or nursing home. Each session lasted approximately 1 hour. Thus, over the 9-month period each HG participant received a total of 36 hours of hypnosis in 36 sessions. Prior to the first hypnosis session, each participant received 1-hour consultation and interview to customize the terminology used during the hypnosis sessions. This ensured that the language used was familiar and personalized for each participant and to ensure comprehension of suggestions that were to be used.

Participants were also introduced to the process of progressive muscle relaxation. Participants were induced into hypnosis in 3 phases:

(i) eye closure

(ii) progressive muscle relaxation, starting at the scalp and moving progressively down toward the feet

(iii) a permissive induction. Permissive inductions “ask” each participant to allow oneself to become more relaxed. After deepening, the HG participants were given direct suggestions relating to the 7 items described earlier, along with additional “CRC” suggestions (Calmness, Relaxation, and Confidence).

health-alzheimers

Examples of the statements are provided below.

  • At the end of this session, and between now and the next time I see you, you will feel more relaxed and at ease, more motivated to do the things you want to do.
  • You will have clarity of thought; you will be able to concentrate for longer periods of time.
  • You will have fewer concerns and less feelings of anxiousness.
  • Spending time with others will have meaning and you will want to spend time chatting with others.

For each of the 7 items, all participants were rated on a 7-point scale, assessed once at the start of the study period and then at weekly intervals.

Alzheimer’s Care Today 2007; 8(4):321-331
By: Simon Duff, Ph.D., is a chartered forensic psychologist and a trained hypnotherapist, working at the Division of Clinical Psychology, University of Liverpool, and the Mersey Forensic Psychology Service, Liverpool, United Kingdom. Daniel Nightingale, Ph.D., was first trained in social work, then as a registered nurse in learning disabilities before completing a doctorate in both learning disabilities and transitional shock. He is a trained hypnotherapist and head of dementia services at Southern Cross Healthcare, The Alton Centre, Northampton, United Kingdom.

The Positive Physical and Psychological Effects of ProArgi9 Plus: L-Arginine and Nitric Oxide


Proargi9+     Enhance Your Health With Synergy

We’ve known about the health benefits of nitric oxide for a long time, even before scientists were aware of its presence in the human body. Nitroglycerin, a drug that works on nitric oxide pathways, was adopted as a medical therapy for angina and high blood pressure in the 1880s, yet another century passed before we really understood how and why it worked.

The discovery of nitric oxide and its biological activities was so astounding that the 1998 Nobel Prize was awarded to the three pharmacologists who identified and furthered our understanding of this dynamic molecule and turned our understanding of the cause of cardiovascular disease upside down. Nitric Oxide performs a number of different tasks and has numerous benefits and I also want to explain how you can increase its production to improve numerous aspects of your own health.

Nitric Oxide’s Effects and Benefits
Nitric oxide is a key signalling molecule throughout the human body, without it we would die. It is produced by the endothelial cells lining the arteries, it penetrates the underlying smooth muscles and acts as a potent vasodilator that relaxes the arteries. Therefore, nitric oxide plays a critical role in blood pressure and overall circulation. It also keeps the endothelium in shape by curbing inflammation and oxidative stress.

Unfortunately, atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of heart disease and other vascular disorders, is characterised by endothelial dysfunction and a limited capacity to produce nitric oxide. It’s a vicious cycle. Diseased arteries can’t generate enough protective nitric oxide, and low nitric oxide levels set the stage for further damage, hypertension, and increased risk of cardiac events.

This explains why nitroglycerin is such an effective therapy for angina. It triggers nitric oxide production, which dilates narrowed coronary arteries, improving circulation and delivering much-needed oxygen to the heart muscle. Restoring nitric oxide availability also lowers blood pressure and helps treat erectile dysfunction. In fact, the popular erectile dysfunction drugs Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra work on nitric oxide pathways to increase blood flow to the penis and substantially improve erections.

How Nitric Oxide Helps
Additionally, this essential compound is generated in the brain, where it’s involved in neurotransmission. That’s why nitric oxide benefits also include protection against dementia and other neurodegenerative disorders. Nitric oxide is synthesised in the white blood cells as well and is used as a weapon against bacteria, fungi, parasites, and aberrant cancer cells.

In the gastrointestinal tract, it relaxes smooth muscle cells and helps regulate intestinal peristalsis and the secretion of mucus and gastric acid. Nitric oxide is also involved in insulin signalling, bone remodelling, respiratory function, ATP (energy) utilisation, and mitochondrial biogenesis, or the creation of new cellular “energy factories.” Since there are so many benefits of nitric oxide, it makes sense for all of us to boost our production of this essential compound.

Original source: http://www.drwhitaker.com/boost-nitric-oxide-levels-to-improve-health/

Goodbye Heart Disease, Diabetes and Strokes

The nitric oxide derived from L-Arginine is both directly and indirectly implicated in practically every cellular response and health condition imaginable, from the cardiovascular system to the immune system, and hormone function to nerve function. Although this is not an exhaustive list of possible applications for this amino acid, the following are the primary scientifically backed reasons that anyone, even healthy people, must consider adding L-Arginine to their health and wellness routine.

From a personal perspective, I have been taking ProArgi9 Plus for almost three years now and  began taking it as I had recently been diagnosed with a minor heart condition. Now almost three years on I hardly notice it at all, whereas previously it was very evident at numerous points through the day as my heart randomly tried to escape through my chest and caused shortness of breath and dizziness.

Also my father, who is now 70, has had heart trouble and been prescribed Warfarin etc and Statins. After about 12 months consistently taking ProArgi9 Plus he no longer requires Warfarin and has stopped taking the Statins. In combination with smaller food portions, healthier food, regular exercise of 20-30 minutes max, 5 times per week he is in better shape than he has been in quite a few years.

Proargi9+ & PDR

I am optimistic that the GMC will some day recognise the validity and efficacy of ProArgi9 Plus as has the AMA, because in the USA ProArgi9 Plus is the only non-pharmaceutical health supplement to be included in the Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) and GP’s there can prescribe it to their patients

  1. ProArgi9 Plus is one thousand times more powerful than any naturally occurring antioxidant in the body. L-Arginine`s antioxidant properties support various body systems and may protect against heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes, as well as slowing premature ageing. [1, 2 ]
  2. ProArgi9 Plus offers wide-ranging cardiovascular support, including controlling blood pressure [3, 4] and plaque formation. Nitric oxide keeps arteries relaxed and pliable for normal blood pressure, preventing hypertension and angina. [5]
  3. ProArgi9 Plus enhances memory, [6] particularly long-term memory, and may help to reverse the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. [7]
  4. ProArgi9 Plus boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which has anti-ageing properties. [8]
  5. ProArgi9 Plus enhances communication of messenger cells between nerves and the brain. [9]
  6. ProArgi9 Plus may help improve immune function [10] and fight bacterial infections. [11]
  7. ProArgi9 Plus may help in the treatment and prevention of diabetes since many disease complications, including poor circulation and blindness, are vascular in nature. L-Arginine is also found to regulate insulin secretion in the pancreas. [12,13]
  8. ProArgi9 Plus may inhibit the division and proliferation of cancer cells. [14,15]
  9. ProArgi9 Plus helps with cholesterol control by lowering serum and LDL cholesterol levels. [16]
  10. ProArgi9 Plus enhances male sexual performance by treating vascular erectile dysfunction (ED). [17]
  11. ProArgi9 Plus anticoagulant abilities reduce clotting to lower heart attack and stroke risk. [18]
  12. ProArgi9 Plus reduces pregnancy-related hypertension, a risk factor for both the expecting mother and the unborn child. [19]
  13. ProArgi9 Plus is useful in the treatment of asthma by opening pulmonary pathways for easier breathing and the treatment of lung disorders. [20, 21]
  14. ProArgi9 Plus relaxes hypertonic sphincter muscles, preventing and healing haemorrhoids. [22]
  15. ProArgi9 Plus boosts lean muscle mass and preserves bone density by encouraging HGH production, [23] which also leads to a reduction in fatty tissue. Because of these properties, it may be useful in weight management and strength training.
  16. ProArgi9 Plus can help offset cardiovascular and lung damage caused by tobacco use,[24] since nitric oxide levels in smokers are less than half of those found in nonsmokers. [25]
  17. ProArgi9 Plus helps to accelerate wound healing [26] and post-surgery recovery. [27] Research has shown it is useful in treating burn wounds [28] and stimulates wound healing in the elderly. [29]
  18. ProArgi9 Plus may be useful in enhancing athletic performance due to its ability to boost exercise tolerance, [30] its beneficial effect on the lungs, and its effect on HGH levels. Which helps with building lean muscle tissue.
  19. ProArgi9 Plus may be used to improve the function of the prostate. [31]
  20. ProArgi9 Plus may prevent and possibly reverse the effects of osteoporosis by positively affecting bone mass. [32]
  21. ProArgi9 Plus has been used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome [33} and to reduce the occurrence of ulcers, particularly stress-related, without affecting gastric acid production. [34,35]
  22. ProArgi9 Plus may improve renal function and slow the progression of renal disease and age-related chronic renal failure. [36,37] Arginine`s protective effect on the kidneys may also benefit those with diabetes.

Source References:

  1. Kochupurackal P, et al. Nitric oxide: an antioxidant and neuro-protector. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2002; 962:389-401.
  2. Kumar CA, Das UN. Lipid peroxides, antioxidants and nitric oxide in patients with pre-eclampsia and essential hypertension. Med Sci-Monitor. 2000 Sep-Oct; 6(5):901-7.
  3. Brown, M.D., Dengel, D.R., Supiano, M.A. Nitric Oxide Biomarkers are Associated with the Blood Pressure-Lowering Effects of Dietary Sodium Restriction in Older Hypertensives. Circulation (Abstract I). 1997; 96:I-539.
  4. Rosano, G.M.C., Tanina, G., Cerquetani, E., Leonardo, F., Pelliccia, F., Bonfigli, B., and Chierchia, F.L. L-arginine Improves Endothelial Function in Newly Diagnosed Hypertensives. The Journal of the American College of Cardiology (Supplement A). 1998; 31:262a
  5. Moncada, F., Palmer, R.M.J., Higgs, E.A. The Discovery of Nitric Oxide as the Endogenous Nitro vasodilator. Hypertension. 1988; 12:365-72.
  6. Pautler EL. The possible role and treatment of deficient microcirculation regulation in age-associated memory impairment. Med Hypotheses. 1994 Jun; 42(6):363-6.
  7. Tarkowski E, et al. Intrathecal release of nitric oxide in Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Dement Geriatric Cogn Disord. 2000 Nov-Dec; 11(6):322-6.
  8. Ghigo E, Arvat E, Gianotti L, et al. Hypothalamic growth hormone-insulin-like growth facto-1 axis across the human life span. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab.2000; 13 Suppl 6:1493-502.
  9. Fried R, Merrell WC. The Arginine Solution. New York, NY. Warner Books, 1999.
  10. Efron D, Barbul A. Role of arginine in immuno-nutrition. J Gastroentol. 2000; 35 Suppl 12:20-3..
  11. Korting GE, Smith SD, Wheeler MA, Weiss RM, Foster HE. A randomized double-blind study of oral L-arginine for treatment of interstitial cystitis. J Urol. 1999 Feb; 161(2):558-65.
  12. Piatti PM, Monti LD, Valsecchi G, et al. Long term oral L-arginine administration improves peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2001 May; 24(5):875-80.
  13. Mohan IK, Cas UN. Effects of L-arginine-nitric oxide system on chemical induced diabetes mellitus. Free Radic Biol Med. 1998 Nov 1; 25(7):757-65.
  14. Heys SD, et al. Dietary supplementation with L-arginine: Modulation of tumour infiltrating lymphocytes in patients with colorectal cancer. Br J Surg. 1997 Feb; 84(2):238-41.
  15. Brittenden J, et al. Dietary supplementation with L-arginine in patients with breast cancer (> 4cm.) receiving multi-modality treatment: report of a feasibility study. Br J Cancer. 1994 May; 69(5):918-21.
  16. Khedara A, Kawai Y Kayashita J Kato N. Feeding rats the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, L-N(omega) nitroarginine, elevates serum triglycerides and cholesterol and lowers hepatic fatty acid oxidation. J Nutr. 1996 Oct; 126(10):2563-7.
  17. Chen J, Wollman Y, Chernichovsky T, et al. Effect of high dose nitric oxide donor L-arginine in men with organic erectile dysfunction. BJU Int. 1999 Feb; 83(3):269-73.
  18. Wolf A, et al. Dietary L-arginine supplementation normalises platelet aggregation in hypercholesterolemic humans. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1997 Mar 1; 29(3):479.
  19. Podjarny, E., et al. Pregnancy-induced hypertension in rats with adriamycin nephropathy is associated with inadequate production of nitric oxide. Hypertension. 1997; 29:986-991.
  20. De Gouw HW, Verbruggen MB, Twiss IM, Sterk PJ. Effect of oral L-arginine on airway hyper-responsiveness to histamine in asthma. Thorax. 1999 Nov; 54(11):1033-5.
  21. De Gouw HW, Marshall-Partridge SJ, et al. Role of nitric oxide in the airway response to exercise in healthy and asthmatic subjects. J Appl Physiol. 2001 Feb; 90(2):586-92.
  22. Fried R, Merrell WC. The Arginine Solution. New York, New York. Warner Books, 1999. pp 4-5.
  23. Stevens BR, Godfrey MD, Kaminski TW, Braith RW. High intensity dynamic human muscle performance enhanced by a metabolic intervention. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Dec; 32(12):2102-8.
  24. Heitzer, T., Just, H., and Munzell, T. Antioxidant Vitamin C Improves Endothelium Function in Chronic Smokers. Circulation. 1996; 94:9.
  25. Zeiher, A.M., Schachinger, V., and Minners, J. Long-Term Cigarette Smoking Impairs Endothelium-Dependent Coronary Arterial Vasodilator Function. Circulation. 1995; 92:1094-1100.
  26. Barbul A, et al. Arginine enhances wound healing and lymphocyte immune responses in humans. Surgery. 1990 Aug; 108(2):331-6; discussion 336-7.
  27. Braga M, Gianotti L Raedelli G, et al. Perioperative immuno-nutrition in patients undergoing cancer surgery: results of a randomised double-blind phase 3 trial. Arch Surg. 1999 Apr; 134(4):428-33.
  28. De-Souza DA, Greene LJ. Pharmacological nutrition after burn injury. J of Nutri. 1998 May; 128(5):797-803.
  29. Kirk SJ, et al Arginine stimulates wound healing and immune function in elderly humans. Surgery. 1993 Aug; 114(2):155-9; discussion 160.
  30. Bednarz B, Wolk R, Chamiec T, et al. Effects of oral L-arginine supplementation on exercised induced QT dispersion and exercise tolerance in stable anginapectoris. Int J Cardiol. 2000 Sep 15; 75(2-3): 205-10.
  31. Aikawa K, Yokota T, et al. Endogenous nitric oxide-mediated relaxation and nitrinergic innervation in the rabbit prostate: the change with aging. Prostate. 2001 Jun 15; 48(1):40-6.
  32. Fini M, et al. Effect of l-lysine and L-arginine on primary osteoblast cultures from normal and osteopenic rats. Biomed Pharmacother. 2001 May; 55(4):213-21.
  33. Sahin AS, Atalik KE, Gunel E, Dogan N. Nonadrenergic, noncholinergic responses of the human colon smooth muscle and the role of K+channels in these responses. Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 2001 Jan-Feb; 23(1):13-7.
  34. Ohta Y, Nishida K., Protective effect of l-arginine against stress-induced gastric mucosal lesions in rats and its relation to nitric acid-mediated inhibition of neutrophil infiltration. Pharmacal Res. 2001 Jun; 43(6):535-41.
  35. Khattab MM, Gad MZ, Abdallah D. Protective role of nitric oxide in indo- methacin- induced gastric ulceration by a mechanism independent of gastric acid secretion. Pharmacol Res. 2001 May; 43(5):463-7.
  36. De Nicola L, Bellizzi V, Minutolo R, et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study of arginine supplementation in chronic renal failure. Kidney Int. 1999 Aug; 56(2):674-84.
  37. Reckelhoff JF, et al. Long-term dietary supplementation with L-arginine prevents age related reduction in renal function. Am J Physiol. 1997 Jun; 272(6 Pt 2):1768-74.

Hypnosis and Agoraphobia


What is Agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is a very complex phobia usually manifesting itself as a collection of inter-linked conditions.

For example many agoraphobics also fear being left alone (monophobia), dislike being in any situation where they feel trapped (exhibiting claustrophobia type tendencies) and fear travelling away from their ‘safe’ place, usually the home. Some agoraphobics find they can travel more easily if they have a trusted friend or family member accompanying them, however this can quickly lead to dependency on their carer.

The severity of agoraphobia varies enormously between sufferers from those who are housebound, even room-bound, to those who can travel specific distances within a defined boundary. It is not a fear of open spaces as many people think.

Agoraphobia image

See more at: AnxietyUK

As always I am very interested to hear other opinions and experiences around this subject.

Study 1: Case Study of Hypnotherapy for Agoraphobia
Agoraphobia: A case study in hypnotherapy
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207147108407147

Results: Based on the described case study, the author advocates a psychodynamically oriented rather than technique-centered approach to hypnotherapy to successfully treat agoraphobia.

Notes: A 58-year-old woman with a 43-year history of agoraphobia was treated with ego-supportive direct suggestion and hypnoanalytic techniques. Literature pertaining to etiological factors and treatment problems is cited. Pertinent details of the patient’s recent and past history are presented. The treatment plan, course of therapy, and outcome are discussed in the context of limited therapeutic goals and anticipated successful results.

International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Volume 19, Issue 1, 1971
By: Doris Gruenewald, Psychosomatic and Psychiatric Institute for Research and Training Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago

Study 2: Hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Induced Agoraphobia
Cognitive-Behavioral Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Irritable-Bowel-Syndrome-Induced Agoraphobia
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207140601177889?journalCode=nhyp20

Results: This research paper describes the etiology and treatment of irritable-bowel-syndrome (IBS)-induced agoraphobia. Cognitive, behavioral, and hypnotherapeutic techniques are integrated to provide an effective cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy (CBH) treatment for IBS-induced agoraphobia. This CBH approach for treating IBS-induced agoraphobia is described and clinical data are reported.

Notes: There are a number of clinical reports and a body of research on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Likewise, there exists research demonstrating the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in the treatment of IBS. However, until this research paper, little had been written about the integration of CBT and hypnotherapy in the treatment of IBS, and there had been a lack of clinical information about IBS-induced agoraphobia.

International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Vol. 55, Issue 2, 2007
By: William L. Golden, Private Practice, New York, New York, USA

Study 3: Review of Research on Hypnosis for Agoraphobia and Social Phobia
The Place of Hypnosis in Psychiatry Part 4: Its Application to the Treatment of Agoraphobia and Social Phobia
http://www.londonhypnotherapyuk.com/agoraphobia-social-phobia.asp

Results: This review of world-wide research and literature concludes that hypnosis is a powerful adjunct to therapy for agoraphobia and social phobia. The case studies presented here demonstrate that hypnosis has been highly effective in helping patients (1) to explore feared situations in a safe environment; (2) to reduce anxiety using desensitization; (3) to gain more control using anchoring, fantasy techniques and autogenic training; (4) to enhance coping strategies using ego strengthening and breathing techniques; and (5) to reduce affect using television screen imagery. Age regression (6) was also employed effectively to help a patient to address, and come to terms with, inner conflicts and traumatic events in early childhood. Finally, carefully-designed audio tapes were employed to encourage two patients to practice self hypnosis at home, and this had the effect of enhancing treatment outcome.

Notes: This paper is based on a world-wide search of the literature, and focuses on the use of hypnosis in the treatment of social phobia and agoraphobia. Hypnosis is employed as an adjunct to therapy: it is used to help patients to reduce cognitive and physical symptoms of anxiety, and provides them with more control in every day situations. The author reviews a range of treatment procedures that have been shown to be highly effective in the treatment of both social phobia and agoraphobia. An extensive search of the literature has uncovered seven studies which have used hypnosis in the treatment of agoraphobia: the first two studies (Gruenewald, 1971; Jackson & Elton, 1985) use a hypnoanalytic approach with age regression, the third and fourth studies (Schmidt, 1985; Hobbs, 1982) both use audio tapes, the fifth study (Mellinger, 1992) employs a hypnotically-augmented multidimensional approach, while the sixth study (Roddick, 1992) uses a fantasy technique to encourage cognitive re-structuring. Finally, the seventh paper (Milne, 1988), is useful in that the therapist employs a number of approaches in treatment including group therapy, ego strengthening and the gradual introduction of hypnosis from a process similar to meditation.

The text cited here is a pre-publication version of a paper published in the Australian Journal of Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis.
By: David Kraft, Harley Street, London, UK (PhD) (trained in psychotherapy at the National College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy, diploma in clinical psychology (Dip.Cl.Psy). In addition, he trained at the BST Foundation in London where he gained both the diploma in Clinical Hypnosis (DCHyp) and the Advanced Certificate in Clinical and Strategic Hypnosis (A.Cert.CSHyp). David is a member of the Hypnosis & Psychosomatic Medicine Section of the Royal Society of Medicine; he is also a member of the British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis (BSCAH))

Study 4: Use of Hypnosis to Counteract Resistance by a Client with Agoraphobia
Counteracting Resistance In Agoraphobia Using Hypnosis
http://www.londonhypnotherapyuk.com/agoraphobia-using-hypnosis.asp

Results: This research paper focuses on the treatment of agoraphobia and, specifically, on how hypnosis is employed in order to counteract resistance, thus reducing negative transference and providing the patient with the coping skills to become independent in the outside world. The author describes one case study in 1992 in which hypnotherapy was gradually introduced and used in stages; after 8 sessions, the client was able to drive herself to sessions and continued to make further progress.

Notes: The author describes how clients are often resistant to treatment for agoraphobia. Resistance takes on many forms. One case study is discussed in detail in which successful treatment consisted of the stages as shown below (Roddick, 1992). Note that the client in this case study had a particular aversion to being driven in a car and that these principles can be adapted to suit the needs of the patient. Stages: 1. Relaxing in the presence of the therapist; case history (approx. 4 sessions); 2. (a) Hypnosis is introduced using progressive muscle relaxation induction; (b) Experiencing special place imagery like a desert island beach; (c) Addressing the unconscious mind focusing on (i) the importance of practicing relaxation, (ii) being able to travel in a car, (iii) being able to eat and drink ‘as well as ever’; 3. (a) Direct suggestions of bringing the three parts together; (b) Ideomotor signalling used to ascertain whether the strategy has worked and was acceptable; (c) Re-integration of unconscious mind and conscious mind on the desert island beach; 4 (a) ‘Throwing out’ of negative thoughts; (b) Direct suggestions that the skills that the patient has learned in the special place can be utilized at any time. After 8 sessions of using this technique, the patient was able to drive herself to sessions and continued to make further progress thereafter.
This is a pre-publication version of the original research paper.
By: David Kraft, Harley Street, London, UK (PhD) (trained in psychotherapy at the National College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy, diploma in clinical psychology (Dip.Cl.Psy). In addition, trained at the BST Foundation in London where he gained both the diploma in Clinical Hypnosis (DCHyp) and the Advanced Certificate in Clinical and Strategic Hypnosis (A.Cert.CSHyp). Also a member of the Hypnosis & Psychosomatic Medicine Section of the Royal Society of Medicine; he is also a member of the British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis (BSCAH))

Study 5: Hypnotherapy for Panic Attacks
Rational self-directed hypnotherapy: a treatment for panic attacks
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2296917

Results: Results showed an increased sense of control, improved self-concept, elimination of pathological symptoms, and cessation of panic attacks.

Notes: A single-subject research design was employed to assess the efficacy of rational self-directed hypnotherapy in the treatment of panic attacks. Presenting symptoms were acute fear, dizziness, constricted throat, upset stomach, loss of appetite, loss of weight, insomnia, fear of doctors, and fear of returning to work. Treatment lasted 13 weeks plus a 2-week baseline and posttherapy period and a 6-month follow-up. Objective measurements (MMPI, TSCS, POMS) and self-report assessments (physiological symptoms and a subjective stress inventory) were implemented. Using hypnosis and guided imagery, the subject reviewed critical incidents identifying self-defeating components within a cognitive paradigm, revising and rehearsing these incidents.

Am J Clin Hypn. 1990 Jan;32(3):160-7
By: Der DF, Lewington P, Dept. of Counseling Psychology, University of British Columbia, USA

Study 6: Direct and Awake-Alert Hypnosis for Panic Disorders
Awake-Alert Hypnosis in the Treatment of Panic Disorder: A Case Study
http://www.asch.net/portals/0/journallibrary/articles/ajch-47/iglesias2.pdf

Results: A case study about an individual with a lifestyle-limiting panic disorder is discussed. At the start of therapy, the client was having panic attacks about three times a week – especially during outings for lunch engagements and dinner parties. Direct suggestions as well as a variant of awake-alert hypnosis were used. (Presumably, awake-alert hypnosis was encouraged to make it easier for the client to self-hypnotize with eyes open in the event she felt a panic attack starting.) After four weeks of three-times-a-week hypnosis, the intensity level of the panic attacks markedly decreased. Then, the client became able to thwart the development of episodes by applying the hypnotic procedure in the early phases of the panic process.

Notes: An eye-fixation induction was used and direct suggestions under hypnosis were first provided that the client would become immediately cognizant of any panic episodes at the earliest onset; it was emphasized in hypnosis that to the degree that she employed hypnosis at the earliest level of a panic episode, she would be successful in aborting the episode. After inducing hypnosis and eye-closure, the client was gradually conditioned to open her eyes while remaining in the hypnotic state. The client was conditioned to engender a disconnected and “woodsy” feeling all over her body. Suggestions were given that the client would feel as if an anesthetic agent had been injected yet it could be active and move about as necessary. The client was instructed that she would be able to induce awake-alert hypnosis over her entire body. The client was asked to imagine she was staring at fine glassware – and that at the slightest hint of discomfort she would immerse herself in the splendor of the glassware; the richness of the glass would offer the perfect sanctuary to feel protected—like an impenetrable fortress. The greater the discomfort, the deeper within the glass the client was told she would retreat. As a result, suggestions were given that her respirations would slow down, her stomach would unwind, etc. until she felt it was acceptable to disengage from the glass.

Am. Jrnl of Clinical Hypnosis, April 2005
By: Alex Iglesias (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) and Adam Iglesias (Florida Atlantic University)

Hypnosis and Smoking Cessation


Stop Smoking

As Stoptober has now started, the NHS Stop Smoking campaign, I am posting my research findings regarding hypnosis as a tool for Smoking Cessation. he research papers covered a variety of session types and formats and the overall consensus is that hypnosis is a highly effective treatment method for smoking cessation.

I have seen may clients for smoking cessation and it has varied from one to six sessions and although there is an element of physical addiction, the physical aspect lasts for a maximum of 72 hours, after this any cravings are purely psychological and linked to a variety of associations and beliefs about the connection to smoking in those associated environments and situations.

core beliefs

I am registered with the Complimentary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) and you can find my profile by clicking on the logo below.

92. CNHC Quality_Mark_web version

Study 1: Hypnosis for Smoking Most Effective Technique; Three Times More Effective than Nicotine Gum and Five Times More Effective than Willpower Alone
Smoking cessation A Meta-Analytic Comparison of the Effectiveness of Smoking Cessation Methods.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1387394
http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/apl/77/4/554/

Results: They found that among of all of the techniques used, hypnosis was the most effective. They found that a single session of hypnosis was three times more effective than the nicotine gum and five times more effective then willpower alone (willpower was 6%; nicotine gum was 10% and a single hypnosis session was 30%).

Notes: The Institute of Actuaries (in the US) commissioned the largest study ever done on smoking cessation. It statistically analysed the results of 633 smoking cessation studies involving 71,806 participants.

Journal of Applied Psychology. Vol 77(4), Aug 1992, 554-561
By: C. Viswesvaran, F. L. Schmidt, Department of Management and Organisations, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242

Study 2: Hypnosis and NLP to Quit Smoking
Freedom From Smoking: Integrating Hypnotic Methods and Rapid Smoking to Facilitate Smoking Cessation.
http://bscw.rediris.es/pub/bscw.cgi/d4584046/Barber-Freedom_from_smoking.pdf

Results: The researchers combined hypnosis with with NLP smoking cessation techniques and found that 39 subjects (90%) reported that they remained smoke-free 6 months after the treatment.. The 4 subjects that resumed smoking reported doing so in response to intolerable anxiety.

Notes: This study recruited 43 subjects who wished to quit smoking. The researchers combined hypnosis with with NLP smoking cessation techniques and found that 39 subjects (90%) reported that they remained smoke-free 6 months after the treatment. The following reasons are given for using hypnosis:

  • clarify and heighten patient’s awareness of his/her motivation to stop smoking
  • ego-strengthening to inspire new behaviour
  • ease the physical and mental effects of smoking withdrawal
  • encourage a general increase in daily activity
  • helping if smoking constitutes self-medication as a distraction from some unpleasant emotions.

Hypnotic suggestions were given that encourage the patient’s freedom to determine his/her behaviour rather than be compelled by smoking addiction. Also, just some of the hypnotic suggestions that were given:

  1. If you have any ambivalence at this time about stopping smoking, we will discuss it now and take the opportunity to meet any objections you might have to stopping smoking
  2. You are someone who used to smoke; there is no reason on earth that is sufficient to justify you ever picking up a cigarette again
  3. If your child or someone else you love has for some reason a really strong craving to eat poison, you wouldn’t let your child eat that poison, would you?
  4. You may be delighted by the creativity you may show in developing really interesting rationalisations to smoke, but you won’t take them seriously
  5. You may have a very brief, very peculiar, but interesting experience over the next several hours or days or even weeks – an image of looking back over your shoulder at the walls of a kind of prison that held you for some reason – a reason perhaps now forgotten – you are no longer a prisoner there. You may be able to hear or even feel the discomfort of other prisoners who are still there and you will feel compassion for them, but you also enjoy the clear air of your freedom
  6. You may be surprised at pride you feel having chosen to take care of yourself – to stand by what you know is right – and pride at having chosen to let this experience be calmer and more comfortable than you may have once expected
  7. You can enjoy the process of learning to live freely
  8. You no longer have to do something because someone else once convinced you that you must
  9. You can discover that any time you want to feel more comfortable, all you have to do is sit back in a chair or take a deep breath
  10. You can take comfort in knowing that if any feelings were bothering you, they no longer need to
  11. If you have cravings, that is natural – to miss the old habit – the difference now is that the craving will not be responded to in the old way – new responses will be discovered that will lead to more satisfying results
  12. Increased activity levels will be noticed – parking your car a little further away than usual and walking the extra distance – a renewed dedication to your favourite sport, etc
  13. This is not a short- term change – but for the rest of your life
  14. Increased fluid intake in response to any cravings – a pleasant full glass of water – you might be surprised how satisfying that can be

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2001 Jul;49(3):257-66
By: J. Baber, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington

Study 3: Smoking Cessation and Hypnosis: Three Sessions
Clinical Hypnosis for Smoking Cessation: Preliminary Results of a Three-Session Intervention.
http://bscw.rediris.es/pub/bscw.cgi/d4431440/Elkins-Clinical_hypnosis_smoking_cessation.pdf
http://www.belleruthnaparstek.com/smoking-cessation/clinical-hypnosis-for-smoking-cessation-preliminary-results-of-a-three-session-intervention.html

Results: At the end of the program 17 subjects (81%) reported that they had stopped smoking. A 12-month follow-up revealed that 10 of them (48%) remained smoke-free.

Notes: Twenty-one smokers who were referred to this study by their physicians for medical reasons, received three smoking cessation hypnosis sessions. All patients reported having failed in previous unassisted attempts to stop smoking. The clinical-treatment protocol included three sessions. The first session was the initial consultation and did not include a hypnotic induction. Sessions 2 and 3 involved individually adapted hypnotic suggestions and an individual therapeutic relationship with each patient. Each patient was also provided with a cassette tape recording of a hypnotic induction with direct suggestions for relaxation and a feeling of comfort. The patients were seen biweekly for treatment.

Hypnotic Suggestions: Absorption in relaxing imagery, a commitment to stop smoking, decreased craving for nicotine, posthypnotic suggestions, practice of self-hypnosis, and to visualise the positive benefits of smoking cessation. The induction was standardised, but the specific imagery for relaxation and the positive benefits for smoking cessation were individualised based upon the patient’s preference regarding such imagery. The suggestions may be summarised as follows:

1. Eye-focus induction. “Begin by focusing your attention on a spot on the wall. As you concentrate, begin to feel more relaxed. Concentrate intensely so that other things begin to fade into the background. As this occurs, noticing a relaxed and heavy feeling and allowing your eye-lids to close.”

2. Relaxation. “Noticing a ‘wave of relaxation” that begins at the top of your head and spreads across your forehead, face, neck, and shoulders. Every muscle and every fibre of your body is becoming more and more completely relaxed. More and more noticing a feeling of ‘letting go’ and becoming so deeply relaxed.”

3. Comfort. “. . . and as you become and remain more relaxed, finding a feeling of comfort. Feeling safe and secure. A peaceful feeling, calm and secure. Feeling so calm that nothing bothers or interferes with this feeling of comfort.”

4. Mental imagery for relaxation. “As you can hear my voice with a part of your mind, with another part going to a place where you feel safe and secure. A place where you become so deeply relaxed that you are able to respond to each suggestion just as you would like to, feeling everything you need to feel and to experience.” (Here individualised imagery is suggested, for example, suggestions for walking down a mountain path or along the beach, depending on the patients preference.)

5. Commitment for smoking cessation. “. . . and today becoming a nonsmoker, becoming free from nicotine and free from cigarettes. . . . You will not smoke cigarettes or use tobacco again. With each day that passes, your commitment to remain free from cigarettes will become stronger and each time you enter this relaxed state you will remember the reasons you want to stop smoking.” (Here individualised imagery is suggested consistent with the patient’s individual reasons for wanting to stop smoking, i.e., health, family, financial, etc.)

6. Dissociation from cravings. “As you enter an even deeper level of hypnosis, you may notice a floating sensation, less aware of your body, just floating in space. Your body floating in a feeling of comfort and your mind, just so aware of being in that pleasant place [individualised imagery for a pleasant place]. As your body floats, you will not be bothered by craving nicotine. Your mind blocks from conscious awareness any cravings and you can feel more detached from your body as you become more relaxed.”

7. Posthypnotic suggestions. “. . . and as you become and as you remain free from nicotine and free from cigarettes, you will find a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. You will find that, more and more, you are able to sleep very well, your sense of smell will improve, and your sense of taste will improve. You will not eat excessively and you will find an appropriate amount of food to be satisfying to you.”

8. Self-hypnosis. “Each time you practice self-hypnosis or listen to the tape recording that I will provide to you today, you will be able to enter a very deep state of relaxation, just as deep as you are today . . . and within this relaxed state, you will find a feeling of control. You will be able to become so deeply relaxed that you will become very comfortable, and you will be able to have a feeling of dissociation that keeps from conscious awareness any excessive craving for nicotine. Within this relaxed state, your commitment to remain free from cigarettes will become even stronger and you will find a kind of strength from your practice of self-hypnosis.”

9. Positive imagery for benefits of smoking cessation. “. . . now, seeing yourself in the future as a nonsmoker, free from nicotine and cigarettes. Notice all of the good things going on around you, how healthy you feel, and . . . [here, individualised imagery was introduced, depending on the patient’s perceived benefits from smoking cessation]. Seeing how well you are able to feel and you will not smoke, no matter if times become stressful or difficult. You will be able to remain calm and relaxed, both now and in the future.”

10. Alerting. “Returning to conscious alertness as a nonsmoker. Returning to conscious alertness in your own time and your own pace, in a way that just feels about right for you today. Feeling very good, normal, with good and normal sensations in every way as you return to full conscious alertness.”

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2004 , Jan;52(1):73-81
By: G. R. Elkins, M. H. Rajab, Texas A&M University’s Health Science Center

Study 4: Hypnosis to Quit Smoking for Medical Reasons
The Use of Hypnosis in Controlling Cigarette Smoking.
http://journals.lww.com/smajournalonline/Abstract/1968/09000/The_Use_of_Hypnosis_in_Controlling_Cigarette.23.aspx

Results: This early study (1968) found that the majority of people who want to quit smoking for medical reasons, were able to do so after having four hypnosis sessions.
Southern Medical Journal, 1968 Sep;61(9):999-1002
By: Crasilneck HB, (Ph.D.) , Hall JA. (Ph.D.)

Study 5: Hypnosis to Quit Smoking – One Session (Compared to Placebo and No Treatment)
Use of Single Session Hypnosis for Smoking Cessation.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3369332

Results: When they were followed-up at 4, 12, 24 and 48 weeks, the researchers found that significantly more members of the hypnosis group had quit smoking than the other two groups. They also found that among those still smoking, those who were in the hypnosis group were smoking significantly less than those in the other two groups.

Notes: This study involved 60 participants who were randomly assigned to one of three groups: one that received a placebo, one that received a single hypnosis session and one that received no treatment.

Addictive Behaviours, 1988, Vol. 13(2):205-208
By: J. M. Williams, D. Hall, Dept. of Human Resources, University of Scranton, PA

Study 6: Hypnosis to Quit Smoking – Hospitalised Patients (Compared to Nicotine Replacement Therapy and Going “Cold Turkey”)
Hypnotherapy For Smoking Cessation Sees Strong Results
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071022124741.htm

Results: Hospitalised patients who smoke may be more likely to quit smoking through the use of hypnotherapy than patients using other smoking cessation methods. This study shows that smoking patients who participated in one hypnotherapy session were more likely to be nonsmokers at 6 months compared with patients using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) alone or patients who quit “cold turkey.”

Notes: This study compared the quit rates of 67 smoking patients hospitalised with a cardiopulmonary diagnosis. All patients were approached about smoking cessation and all included in the study were patients who expressed a desire to quit smoking. At discharge, patients were divided into four groups based on their preferred method of smoking cessation treatment: hypnotherapy (n=14), NRT (n=19), NRT and hypnotherapy (n=18), and a group of controls who preferred to quit “cold turkey” (n=16). All patients received self-help brochures. The control group received brief counselling, but other groups received intensive counselling, free supply of NRT and/or a free hypnotherapy session within 7 days of discharge, as well as follow up telephone calls at 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 26 weeks after discharge. Patients receiving hypnotherapy also were taught to do self-hypnosis and were given tapes to play at the end of the session.

At 26 weeks after discharge, 50 percent of patients treated with hypnotherapy alone were nonsmokers, compared with 50 percent in the NRT/hypnotherapy group, 25 percent in the control group, and 15.78 percent in the NRT group. Patients admitted with a cardiac diagnosis were more likely to quit smoking at 26 weeks (45.5 percent) than patients admitted with a pulmonary diagnosis (15.63 percent).

The researchers note that hospitalisation is an important opportunity to intervene among patients who smoke.

This study as presented at Chest 2007, the 73rd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071022124741.htm Oct. 24, 2007
By: Faysal Hasan, MD, FCCP, North Shore Medical Centre, Salem, MADr. Hasan and colleagues from North Shore Medical Centre and Massachusetts General Hospital

Study 7: Hypnosis and Smoking Cessation in the Workplace – Hypnotherapy Accompanying a Smoke-Free Work Policy
Reducing smoking at the workplace: implementing a smoking ban and hypnotherapy.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7670901?dopt=Abstract

Results: Fifteen percent of survey respondents quit and remained continuously abstinent. A survey to assess attitudes toward the policy was conducted 1 year after policy implementation (n = 1256; response rate = 64%). Satisfaction was especially high among those reporting high compliance with the policy. These results suggest that hypnotherapy may be an attractive alternative smoking cessation method, particularly when used in conjunction with a smoke-free worksite policy that offers added incentive for smokers to think about quitting.

Notes: This study examines the impact of a smoke-free policy and the effectiveness of an accompanying hypnotherapy smoking cessation program. Participants in the 90-minute smoking cessation seminar were surveyed 12 months after the program was implemented (n = 2642; response rate = 76%). Seventy-one percent of the smokers participated in the hypnotherapy program.

J Occup Environ Med. 1995 Apr;37(4):453-60
By: G. Sorensen, B. Beder, C. R. Prible, J. Pinney, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts

Study 8: Smoking and Suggestions Given During Anaesthesia for Surgery
Reducing smoking. The effect of suggestion during general anaesthesia on postoperative smoking habits.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2044.1994.tb03368.x/abstract

Results: In a double-blind randomised trial, 122 female smokers undergoing elective surgery were allocated to receive one of two prerecorded messages while fully anaesthetised. The active message was designed to encourage them to give up smoking whilst the control message was the same voice counting numbers. No patient could recall hearing the tape. Patients were asked about their postoperative smoking behaviour one month later. Significantly more of those who had received the active tape had stopped or reduced their smoking (p < 0.01). This would suggest a level of preconscious processing of information.

Anaesthesia. 1994 Feb;49(2):126-8
Comment in: Anaesthesia. 1994 Oct;49(10):917-8
By: J. A. Hughes, L. D. Sanders, J. A. Dunne, J. Tarpey, M. D. Vickers, Department of Anaesthesia, Morriston Hospital, Swansea, West Glamorgan

Study 9: Smoking and Hypnosis: Single Session with Self-Hypnosis
Predictors of smoking abstinence following a single session restructuring intervention with self hypnosis.
http://bscw.rediris.es/pub/bscw.cgi/d4465008/Spiegel-Predictors_smoking_abstinence_self_hypnosis.pdf

Results: Fifty-two percent of the study group achieved complete smoking abstinence 1 week after the intervention; 23% maintained their abstinence for 2 years. Hypnotisability and having been previously able to quit smoking for at least a month significantly predicted the initiation of abstinence. Hypnotisability and living with a significant other person predicted 2- year maintenance of treatment response.

Notes: A consecutive series of 226 smokers referred for the smoking cessation program were treated with a single-session habit restructuring intervention involving self-hypnosis. They were then followed up for 2 years. Total abstinence from smoking after the intervention was the criterion for successful outcome.

Am J Psychiatry. 1993 Jul;150(7):1090-7
By: D. Spiegel, E. J. Frischholz, J. L. Fleiss, H. Spiegel, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA

Study 10: Smoking and Hypnosis: Factors for Success – Patient’s Own Reason to Quit, Maintaining Contact with Patient, Self-Hypnosis
Smoking and hypnosis: A systematic clinical approach
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207147008415930#preview

Results: 2 methods of helping cigarette smokers stop smoking were compared in treating a total of 181 patients. After 6 months, 60% of those treated with an active, personalised approach were not smoking. This approach emphasised: (a) the feedback, under hypnosis, of the patient’s own reasons for quitting, (b) maintaining contact with the patient by telephone, (c) use of meditation during hypnosis to obtain individualised motives, and (d) Sell-hypnosis. Only 25% of smokers were successfully treated by an earlier hypnotic procedure that did not systematically employ these features.

International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Volume 18, Issue 4, 1970
By: William Nulanda, Morton Prince Clinic for Hypnotherapy and Peter B. Field, Veterans Administration Hospital, Brooklyn & Morton Prince Clinic for Hypnotherapy

Study 11: Smoking and Hypnosis: Which Suggestions Work
Hypnotic Treatment of Smoking.
http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED240439&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED240439

Results: Results indicated that positive suggestions were more efficacious than negative. Treatment was most successful for subjects who did not see themselves as habitual smokers.

Notes: Prior studies of hypnotic treatment of smoking have reported abstinence rates of between 17 and 88 percent at six months, but few have investigated procedures or forms of suggestions. To compare the effectiveness of positive and negative hypnotic suggestions and self-hypnosis for cessation of smoking, 32 subjects were assigned to one of four treatment groups: (1) negative suggestions alone; (2) negative suggestions plus self-hypnosis; (3) positive suggestions alone; and (4) positive suggestions plus self-hypnosis. Subjects also completed a series of smoking history questionnaires; the Self-Efficacy for Smoking Avoidance Questionnaire, to assess expectations for smoking cessation; and the Horn-Waingrow Scale, used to delineate types of smokers. Treatment involved three 1-hour sessions, with those not abstinent at post-treatment or follow-up receiving three additional sessions. Outcome was assessed at post-treatment and 1, 2, 3, and 6 months following the final treatment session. Results indicated that positive suggestions were more efficacious than negative. Treatment was most successful for subjects who did not see themselves as habitual smokers. While ratings of self-efficacy at pre-test and following treatment were not predictive of later self-efficacy, subjects’ ratings at 1 month post-treatment were predictive of later self-efficacy ratings.

Summary of research presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (91st, Anaheim, CA, August 26-30, 1983)
By: Samuel A. Bastien, IV; Marc Kessler

Additional References:

NHS Stoptober Campaign

https://cnhcregister.org.uk/newsearch/index.cfm

Free Places in My Lifestyle Change and Weight Management Program


I’m offering 3 free places in the next group of my Lifestyle Change and Weight Management Program. This works in groups of ten which is fantastic for developing group support and motivation and also for sharing previous experiences as well as the new ones as you work through the 90 Day Program.

90 Day Programme includes the following:

1. 90 days worth of 100% natural health supplements (this is the only thing you pay for at wholesale price, everything else is completely free) and Nutritional advice based on your current BMR and identifying your Macro needs based on your personal goals

2. Food diary and individual review

3. Recipe guides with shopping ingredients based on your macros

3. Exercise and training advice (training is optional extra for 1 to 1 or small groups)

4. Private Facebook Group for constant mutual support and additional resources

5. Members only bonuses and discounts

6. Psychological support to overcome emotional issues and habit changing, belief change etc: 1-2-1 and group

7. Copy of my ebook: Brain2Body Lifestyle, Nutrition and Exercise Manual

8. Training in individual plans utilising the Goal Setting section of my book

9. Weekly planner template and training in how to use it effectively

10. 2 meetings each month to keep you focused, on track and motivated to achieving your personal best

11. 2 Group calls each month to keep you focused, on track and motivated to achieving your personal best

12. 24/7 SOS text support

13. 10 week email coaching course to help develop your mental strength and resilience

Addictions and Hypnosis


Addiction-300x232

This is a subject that is highly relevant to my work at the moment as I am involved in a pilot project in Aberdeenshire working with drug and alcohol addiction, so I have been re-reading these research papers again myself. There are many levels to addiction and also influence from and transference from other presenting issues in an addicts lifestyle that can complicate the recovery process.

So What is the difference between a habit and an addiction?

Addiction – there is a psychological/physical component; the person is unable to control the aspects of the addiction without help because of the mental or physical conditions involved.

Medical News Today wrote a great article about addiction.

People with an addiction do not have control over what they are doing, taking or using. Their addiction may reach a point at which it is harmful. Addictions do not only include physical things we consume, such as drugs or alcohol, but may include virtually anything, such abstract things as gambling to seemingly harmless products, such as chocolate – in other words, addiction may refer to a substance dependence (e.g. drug addiction) or behavioral addiction (e.g. gambling addiction).
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/addiction/

Habit – it is done by choice. The person with the habit can choose to stop, and will subsequently stop successfully if they want to. The psychological/physical component is not an issue as it is with an addiction.

This is a fascinating topic that I hope you will again find interesting reading in terms of the application of and the success in the use of hypnosis. 

Study 1: Hypnosis and Cocaine
Hypnosis For Cocaine Addiction Documented Case Study
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8259763

Notes: Hypnosis was successfully used to overcome a $500 (five grams) per day cocaine addiction. The subject was a female in her twenties. After approximately 8 months of addiction, she decided to use hypnosis in an attempt to overcome the addiction itself. Over the next 4 months, she used hypnosis three times a day and at the end of this period, her addiction was broken, and she has been drug free for the past 9 years. Hypnosis was the only intervention, and no support network of any kind was available.

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 1993 Oct;36(2):120-3
By: G. W. Handley, Ohio State University, Lima, OH USA 45804

Study 2: Hypnosis and Methadone
A comparative study of hypnotherapy and psychotherapy in the treatment of methadone addicts.
http://www.hypnosis-review-quarterly.com/drug-addiction-hypnosis-studies.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6486078

Notes: Significant differences were found on all measures. The experimental group had significantly less discomfort and illicit drug use, and a significantly greater amount of cessation. At six month follow up, 94% of the subjects in the experimental group who had achieved cessation remained narcotic free.

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 1984; 26(4): 273-9
By: A. J. Manganiello

Study 3: Hypnosis and Marijuana, Cocaine and Alcohol
Intensive Therapy: Utilizing Hypnosis in the Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders.
http://bscw.rediris.es/pub/bscw.cgi/d4584094/Potter-Intensive_therapy_Utilizing_hypnosis_substance_abuse_disorders.pdf

Results: All subjects were given 20 daily hypnosis sessions and then followed up a year later where it was found that using hypnosis in this fashion led to a 77% success rate.

Notes: This paper reports on 18 cases over a 7-year period where hypnosis was used to treat a variety of addictions. Fifteen cases involved alcohol, two involved cocaine and one involved marijuana. All subjects were given 20 daily hypnosis sessions and then followed up a year later where it was found that using hypnosis in this fashion led to a 77% success rate.
Tools: The following tools and suggestions are given for use in hypnosis;

(A) Direct Suggestion. Direct suggestion can be used for creating a positive expectancy. The therapist can also use direct suggestion to inspire confidence, commitment, motivation, and perseverance in the client to achieve the stated goals, as well as encourage the proper behavioral changes.

(B) Anchors. In hypnosis, anchoring happens when a posthypnotic suggestion is paired to a feeling state. Therefore, when an individual has a craving for the drug, the posthypnotic suggestion is used to bring about the anchored feelings

(C) Metaphors A metaphor used in therapy usually consists of a story that has a short metaphor embedded within. The whole story is not metaphoric, but captures the client’s attention so the metaphoric message can be subconsciously embedded. For example, Wallas’s (1985) “The Boy Who Lost His Way.” All metaphors are altered, paraphrased and structured to fit the individual’s situation in order to make a therapeutic impact. For example, for female clients “the boy” in the metaphor becomes a girl.

(D) Reframes. There may be many issues that arise while working with addictions that can be reframed. For example, the way a person views New Year’s Eve; or what it means to go fishing or boating. Any situation in which the client has consumed alcohol or used their drug of choice can be reframed to exclude the substance.

(E) Affect Bridge. The affect bridge (Watkins, 1971) is used with clients who have particular emotions associated with the use of drugs. By following the emotion through the affect bridge to the first time the client felt that particular emotion before using the drug, the client can become more aware of and break the connection with that emotion and the drug.

(F) Self-hypnosis Self-hypnosis is routinely taught to all clients. It is left up to the clients as to how they use it.

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, Jul 2004 vol.47(1) :21-28
By: G. Potter

Study 4: Self-Hypnosis for Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Self-Hypnosis Relapse Prevention Training With Chronic Drug/Alcohol Users: Effects on Self-Esteem, Affect. and Relapse.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15190730

Results: While the rate of relapse for all four groups was roughly the same (13%), those who were taught self-hypnosis and who listened to self-hypnosis recordings at home 3 to 5 times a week were more serene, had higher levels of self-esteem, and had greater control over anger and impulsive behavior.

Notes: This study recruited 261 veterans who were admitted into a residential program for substance abuse. The aim was to find out if self-hypnosis could help chronic abusers of drugs and alcohol improve their sense of self-esteem, control their emotions and prevent relapses. Participants were broken into four groups and were assessed before and after they entered the program and then again 7 weeks later.

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 2004 Apr;46(4):281-97
By: R. J. Pekala, R. Maurer, V. K. Kumar, N. C. Elliott, E. Masten, E. Moon, M. Salinger, Coatesville VA Medical Center, Coatesville, PA 19320-2096, USA

Study 5: Case Study – Hypnosis for Chemical Dependency (and future related Imagery)
Refraining of an Addiction via Hypnotherapy: A Case Presentation
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00029157.1991.10402944#preview

Notes: “A chemically dependent man was treated using hypnotherapy and related psychotherapeutic techniques The majority of the sessions focused on age regressing the patient to events correlating to drug and alcohol abuse. During these events I introduced myself via hypnosis as “the voice from the future” to redefine the events and extract the useful learnings. With a new-found positive self-image, the patient was hypnotically age progressed to review future scenes. In each scene he successfully abstained from drug and alcohol use. The patient remained drug and alcohol free during treatment and the 6-month and one-year follow-ups.”

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, Volume 33, Issue 4, 1991, pages 263-271
By: David J. Orman

Study 6: Hypnosis and Heroin
The use of hypnosis with an injecting heroin user: brief clinical description of a single case
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ch.69/abstract

Notes: This paper describes the use of hypnosis with an injecting heroin user. This client was finding it very difficult to keep to his methadone prescription and was frequently using heroin ‘on top’. He received three sessions of hypnosis in order to facilitate relaxation and visualization, and resolution of ambivalence concerning his drug use. The results suggest the client has responded well to treatment. Details both of the client and of the three hypnosis sessions are given and the outcome is discussed.

Contemporary Hypnosis, Volume 13, Issue 3, pages 198-201, October 1996
By: Bill Drysdale, Clinical Psychologist, Barnet Drug and Alcohol Service, Woodlands, Colindale Hospital, Colindale Avenue, London, NW9 SHG

Addiction-CyclesAdditional References:

http://www.mentalhealthy.co.uk/addiction

https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/addiction

http://www.actiononaddiction.org.uk/home.aspx

http://www.bps.org.uk/search/apachesolr_search/Addiction

PTSD and Hypnosis


Over the last year I have been conducting my own meta-analysis of the efficacy of hypnosis in the treatment of a wide variety of different conditions (47 in total) as you can see below.

Hypnosis Research Articles

With my area of expertise being PTSD and Trauma, I could not miss an opportunity to dig deeper into this field and as with all the other subjects, I found that hypnosis either outperformed other modalities or greatly enhanced their performance in the treatment of the illnesses and conditions listed in my research. The papers and articles referenced in the links are available for you to read at your leisure and make your own conclusions, however, in the course of my research I have reinforced and deepened my understanding and belief that hypnosis is a hugely powerful form of treatment for so many afflictions of the human mind, body and spirit.

Study 1: Hypnosis and Combat-Related Post Traumatic Stress Insomnia (Hypnosis As Effective or Better Than Ambien)

Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Chronic Combat-Related PTSD Patients Suffering From Insomnia: A Randomised, Zolpidem-Controlled Clinical Trial

http://www.medecine.ups-tlse.fr/du_diu/fichiers/ametepe/1212/PTSD_et_Insomnie.pdf
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207140802039672

Results: Those in the study given hypnotherapy had improvement in all sleep variables assessed: quality of sleep, total sleep time, number of awakenings during the night, ability to concentrate upon awakening and morning sleepiness. The hypnotherapy group had better quality of sleep, better concentration, and lower sleepiness than the group that received Zolpidem (a prescription insomnia medication sold under brand names such as Ambien). The hypnotherapy group and the group given Zolpidem had equal levels of improvement for total sleep time and number of awakenings.

Notes: This study evaluated the benefits of add-on hypnotherapy in patients with chronic PTSD who were suffering with chronic difficulties in initiating and maintaining sleep, night terrors, and nightmares. Thirty-two PTSD combat veteran patients treated by SSRI antidepressants and supportive psychotherapy were randomised to 2 groups: 15 patients in the first group received Zolpidem 10 mg nightly for 14 nights, and 17 patients in the hypnotherapy group were treated by symptom-oriented hypnotherapy, twice-a-week 1.5-hour sessions for 2 weeks. The hypnotherapy included age regression where participants imagined returning to earlier periods in which normal restorative sleep was present (for example, an exhausting day of games with friends during childhood). All patients completed the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form C, Beck Depression Inventory, Impact of Event Scale, and Visual Subjective Sleep Quality Questionnaire before and after treatment.

International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Vol. 56, Issue 3, 2008
By: Eitan Abramowitz, Yoram Borak, Irit Ben-Avit et Haim Y. Knobler, Israel Defense Forces, Mental Health Department, Israel

Study 2: Hypnosis for PTSD in Children Traumatized by Death of Close Relatives
Hypnotic Treatment of PTSD in Children Who Have Complicated Bereavement.

http://www.asch.net/portals/0/journallibrary/articles/ajch-48/iglesias.pdf

Results: Following the single session hypnosis, the mother reported significant improvements in her son’s skin with noticeable changes in itching, irritation, and swelling. The dermatologist was impressed with the child’s recent progress. According to the mother, at follow up, her daughter was feeling increasing relief from the abdominal discomfort. She was no longer debilitated by pain, which had narrowed her range of activities. Follow-up a month later was conducted by phone with the mother and she reported that both children had recovered completely from the debilitating somatisation (that is, the production of recurrent and multiple medical symptoms with no discernible organic cause) features. The children were no longer demonstrating intrusive morbid ideations of the course of their father’s death and were no longer experiencing obsessive preoccupations over the degree of terror and agony their father must have endured during the course of the traumatic events that led up to his death. The mother indicated that at this juncture both children were also able to reminisce about happy times with their father. The mother at this follow-up also reported the restart of grief in both children and assured us that her family would offer comfort for their mourning. (Note—It was suspected that the traumatisation/PTSD had been interfering with the children’s ability to complete normal grieving and move on, so this was a good sign.)

Notes: This paper reports on two cases where children were suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of the traumatic death of close relatives in rural Guatemala. The normal grieving process had been inhibited due to the horrific nature of these deaths and the children’s grief had become a pathological psychiatric disorder. Both children were only treated with a single session of hypnosis involving the Hypnotic Trauma Narrative (a protocol the authors developed specifically to help children deal with situations like this). There was a follow-up one week later and again after two months when the authors noted that the children’s symptoms had cleared and they were now beginning to grieve in a normal fashion.

The hypnotic induction consisted of simply asking the children to close their eyes. The following “Hypnotic Trauma Narrative” was then used: You’re old enough to know that when you look through telescope things that are far away look much closer. Important events in our lives can also be viewed as though you were looking through a telescope that brought them close to you. When you do that, you gain access to even the minutest details of the image that you are examining. At that point, you could see more than you need to see and could become stuck with certain images and unable to let them go. This can be overwhelming because the details that you seem stuck on are upsetting and hurtful. There is an alternative—you can turn the telescope around and view the same picture form the wide lens and then things can seem very, very far away. When that happens, you may not realise it, but many details of the image that you are examining get lost and are no longer available. Events that take place in life can be examined from either end of the telescope…. Now, I ask that you see yourself looking through the wide lens of a telescope at events that have taken place in your life, that need to be viewed from a less painful perspective, so that you can be well again. Look through the eye of your mind into the wide end of the telescope. This offers you the ability to see things in a far away, far away, far away space, place, and time.

By placing them far away, you’re able to see them in a more manageable fashion and elements of that image that used to upset you, are no longer so noticeable. Of course, horrible events in our lives do not simply disappear, but with the passage of time the details of the painful event get blurry, you start forgetting, and your mind makes room for current memories. Your mind is also capable of giving you a picture of yourself a week from today, a month from today, three months from today, and even a year from today…It’s fun to be able to look ahead and to get a glimpse of what our lives will be like in the future. As we now look ahead…. and I wonder if you are able to project ahead a week…. I wonder if you can move ahead a month or two or three, and I wonder if you are old enough to be able to see a year into the future. As you look ahead, no matter how far into the future, you find yourself able to accept all of the happy memories that you have not given yourself the opportunity to enjoy. As you put everything that is painful in its proper perspective, you grow and strengthen inside, as well as outside, and you become more mature and older. Also, any complaints that your body has been voicing that are no longer necessary can quietly follow in the same direction as the images that you are looking at through the wide lens of the telescope. As these complaints become a thing of the distant past, never to trouble you again, you become well and able to move ahead with the assignments that are appropriate for someone your age.

Am J Clin Hypn. 2005 Oct-2006 Jan;48(2-3):183-9
By: A. Iglesias, Virginia Commonwealth University

Study 3: Hypnosis for “Complex Trauma” PTSD (such as from childhood abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence)
Hypnosis For Complex Trauma Survivors: Four Case Studies

http://bscw.rediris.es/pub/bscw.cgi/d4438997/Poon-Hypnosis_complex_trauma_survivors.pdf

Results: Data from self-reports, observation and objective measures indicate a significant reduction in the trauma symptoms of these four subjects after hypnosis treatment.
Notes: This report describes the use of hypnosis to help four Chinese woman who were suffering from complex trauma. Two were victims of sexual abuse when they were children, the third had been raped and the fourth had been repeatedly battered by her husband. The hypnotic treatment involved three steps: “stabilisation, trauma processing, and integration.” Hypnosis was first used to help stabilise the victims. Then age regression techniques were used to help them to remember the traumatic events that led to their condition (and to begin to distance themselves from these memories). Finally, hypnosis was used to help them integrate and consolidate the gains they had made. When their treatment was finished they were all assessed by various self-reported and objective measurements. These all indicated that they experienced a significant reduction in their symptoms as a direct result of this hypnotic treatment. One key thing to note is that the researchers comment that adequate rapport and explanation about hypnosis must be provided before clients feel comfortable to use the tool, especially in survivors of childhood abuse who tend not to trust people easily.

Am J Clin Hypn. 2009 Jan;51(3):263-71
By: Maggie Wai-ling Poon, Clinical Psychologist, Social Welfare Dept. Hong Kong

Study 4: Hypnosis for PTSD in Immigrants who Escaped to America After Being Tortured, Raped and Abused
Indirect Ego-Strengthening in Treating PTSD in Immigrants from Central America.

http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1002/ch.227?locale=en

Results: This report focuses on the limitations of conventional therapy to help these individuals and it presents two ego-strengthening techniques involving indirect hypnosis that have proved helpful in treating this population.

Notes: As a result of civil war in Central America many refugees escaped to America suffering from PTSD as a result of being tortured, raped and abused.
Contemporary Hypnosis Vol. 18(3):135-144

By: G. Gafner, S. Benson, Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Tucson Arizona; Progressive Insurance Employee Assistance Program, Temple, Arizona

Please feel free to comment and discuss the findings and any experience you have had either personally with PTSD and Trauma or in treating people who are struggling with it, as I would love to hear about different experiences and view points.

A Look At the Link Between PTSD and Substance Abuse


Post Traumatic Stress is an extremely emotionally debilitating state resulting in intense anxiety, intrusive memories and vivid flashbacks that interfere with daily life.

Often individuals with Post Traumatic Stress turn to drugs and/or alcohol as a way to numb their emotional and psychological pain or to gain some measure of control in their lives. Unfortunately, chronic substance abuse creates a complicated Dual Diagnosis through the co-existence of a serious psychiatric disorder and an addictive disorder. Recovering from this Dual Diagnosis requires a careful exploration of the causes of Post Traumatic Stress, combined with treatment for drug or alcohol addiction.

What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

PTSD is a condition in which an individual experiences extremely high levels of stress and/or anxiety after witnessing or being involved in a traumatic event in which physical or psychological trauma that leaves the individual feeling powerless and out of control can lead to PTSD. The most common causes of the condition include:
• Military combat
• Violent assault
• Natural disasters
• Sexual assault
• Childhood abuse

The nightmares and flashbacks experienced with PTSD tend to be based around incidents that have never been fully resolved in the individual’s psyche. For example, a soldier who survived an ambush and his friends and colleagues died may well have flashbacks related to that incident as a way to work through unresolved guilt, anger and fear. A child who felt powerless while being sexually abused by an older relative might develop and grow up living with constant intrusive feelings of helplessness, guilt and revenge.
In women, sexual abuse is one of the most common causes of PTSD and addiction. Combat is another common reason for PTSD, especially in men and this will only continue to increase as a result of Iraq and Afghanistan. In Vietnam veterans seeking treatment for PTSD, between 60 and 80 percent also require treatment for substance abuse and in the UK veterans of the Falklands and Northern Ireland are now displaying signs and symptoms of PTSD, with a growing number living homeless and committing suicide. Many are struggling with alcohol and drug addictions that complicate their situation further. Veterans of WWII never received any form of treatment and still suffer 70 years on.

Symptoms of PTSD include nightmares, flashbacks, avoidance of situations, thoughts and anything related to the event, severe anxiety, sleeplessness, aggressive behaviour and often severe and aggressive mood swings. These symptoms can strike the individual at any time, mainly when that person is reminded of the events in question and this doesn’t have to be consciously reminded.

People who meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD and substance abuse often experience other serious disorders, such as:

  • Depression
  • Mood disorders
  • Panic/anxiety attacks
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic illness such as diabetes, liver disease or high blood pressure

The symptoms of PTSD can be divided into three main categories:

  • re-experiencing the traumatic incident
  • avoiding experiences that evoke memories of the incident
  • symptoms of hyper-arousal, such as irritability, anger or extreme anxiety. People who experience these symptoms for at least one month can potentially be diagnosed with PTSD. Alcoholism and drug abuse fall into the category of avoidance symptoms, as the person may use these substances to avoid intrusive/traumatic memories or to numb fear.

When alcohol or drugs are used to cope with PTSD symptoms, the symptoms become more severe. As a central nervous system depressant, alcohol worsens depression and anxiety and disrupts normal sleep patterns. Under the influence of alcohol, someone with PTSD is more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviour, such as driving under the influence, or to become aggressive and/or violent towards other people.

This is a significant reason why PTSD and substance abuse often lead to legal problems, incarceration, poverty, broken homes and chronic unemployment. Getting the right treatment for this Dual Diagnosis early on can make the difference between an individual leading a satisfying, healthy life, or, losing their relationship, their job, home etc.

PTSD and Addiction
Symptoms or PTSD can be extremely real, vivid and distressing and because they place such a huge amount of stress on the person, many people with PTSD feel unable to cope and turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of escaping a distressing, altered reality. Self-medication has led to very high percentages of PTSD suffers with alcohol dependence (over 50 percent) and drug dependence (over 30 percent).

A large part of the cycle is the endorphin withdrawal process, which plays a large part in the use of alcohol or drugs to control the symptoms of PTSD. When a person experiences a traumatic event, their brain produces endorphins — neurotransmitters that reduce pain and create a sense of well-being — as a way of coping with the stress of the experience. When that experience is over, their body experiences an endorphin withdrawal, which is very similar and has the same symptoms as the withdrawal from drugs or alcohol:
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Emotional distress
• Physical pain
• Increased cravings for alcohol or drugs

According to Alcohol Research & Health, many with PTSD will turn to alcohol as a means of replacing the feelings brought on by the brain’s naturally produced endorphins. However, the positive effects of alcohol are only temporary.

With an increased use of alcohol, the person can become chemically dependent on the drug and as such will need more alcohol or drugs to continue to produce those numbing effects that temporarily relieve their symptoms. Eventually, dependence can turn into addiction, which is characterised by compulsive use of the substance, tolerance to the drug and an insistence on abusing the drug in spite of its devastating effects. The use of alcohol to numb PTSD symptoms leads to a vicious cycle. Drinking alcohol worsens the fear and anxiety of PTSD, which leads to the release of endorphins. As the effects of the endorphins subside, the individual needs more alcohol to escape the nightmares and flashbacks of PTSD. Anti-addiction medications like naltrexone, an opioid antagonist, can block the positive effects of alcohol, breaking this destructive cycle. Naltrexone, buprenorphine, acamprosate and other anti-addiction drugs can be used in the treatment of PTSD and substance abuse to reduce the overwhelming cravings that lead to relapse.
Hypnosis has also proven highly effective in the treatment of PTSD in enabling a person to relax, calm their body and mind, remove cravings, strengthen ego and build confidence, as well as deal with traumatic memories.

Finding Specialised Treatment

Recovering from a Dual Diagnosis of PTSD and an addictive disorder demands intensive support from psychiatric and/or psychological professionals, family members and peers. People who are struggling with PTSD and a substance use disorder can be reluctant to seek treatment or even admit that they need it in the first instance. Many who experience PTSD live with intense guilt and shame caused as a result of the traumatic event and their addictive behaviour may be adding to their guilt, making it even harder to reach out and ask for help.

Once they enter a treatment programme, they may have trouble finding the motivation to use their recovery resources at their disposal unless they have support and encouragement from an integrated treatment team.

Those with a Dual Diagnosis such as PTSD and drug addiction need to work with mental health professionals and addiction experts who understand their special needs. Conventional rehab facilities are likely to be ill equipped to deal with the intense psychological problems brought on by PTSD and equally, a psychiatric facility may not have the counselling and detox programmes available that the individual needs in order to successfully overcome the addiction. What the Dual Diagnosis patient needs is integrated care, where recovery resources are centralised in a single facility, and all the professionals on the treatment team have dealt extensively with Dual Diagnoses in the past.

An integrated treatment plan for PTSD and substance abuse needs to include:

  • Individual psychotherapy/hypnotherapy to teach the client how to recognise and deal with their triggers that lead them towards substance abuse
  • Counselling sessions with other clients struggling with PTSD and substance abuse/addictive disorder
  • Couples/Family therapy and counselling to help strengthen and rebuild relationships and educate family members about the condition and how they can help
  • Help clients build their own support network outside of therapy
  • Discuss medication options as a last resort to get them through the initial early stages if their condition and symptoms are severe

Sources:

http://www.hawaii.edu/hivandaids/The%20Role%20of%20Uncontrollable%20Trauma%20in%20the%20Development%20of%20PTSD%20and%20Alcohol%20Addiction.pdf

http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-and-addiction/

http://www.bhevolution.org/public/perspectices_201203.page

http://www.bellwood.ca/programs/post-traumatic-stress/

http://www.recoveryconnection.org/addiction-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-treatment/

http://healthland.time.com/2012/08/15/how-ptsd-and-addiction-can-be-safely-treated-together/

http://alcoholrehab.com/drug-addiction/ptsd-substance-abuse/

http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/problems/ptsd_substance_abuse_veterans.asp

http://www.recoveryranch.com/articles/addiction-research/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-addiction-ptsd/

http://gsappweb.rutgers.edu/cstudents/readings/Summer/Heffernan_WorkingTrauma/brown_substance.pdf

http://www.combatstress.org.uk/medical-professionals/academic-publications/journal-publications/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4124907/

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/post-traumatic-stress-disorder.htm

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http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/ajp.153.3.369?journalCode=ajp

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http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/027273589290125R

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ajp.158.8.1184

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http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM198712243172604

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/ajp.149.5.664

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924977X03001779

http://psycnet.apa.org/books/10460/

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https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=MFyEg007YEIC&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=Combat+Stress+%2B+PTSD+%2B+Substance+Addiction&ots=ctPJqC2rSF&sig=iJPUmuMzIVOdZqBDMFX13PmKrvs#v=onepage&q=Combat%20Stress%20%2B%20PTSD%20%2B%20Substance%20Addiction&f=false

http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=495250