Hypnotherapy Medical Conditions
The Health and Education Authority confirms the medical credibility and scientific validity of Hypnotherapy for medical conditions such as:
Allergies & Asthma
When feeling an attack coming on, or even if one has already started, you will be able to place yourself in a state of calm relaxation, slowly driving away the symptoms by counting to 50, letting your body relax each time you exhale, and letting go.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a chronic disorder that occurs in at least 25% of the general population, with twice as many females affected as males. Gut directed hypnosis gives the client the means to control the muscles of the gut, thus reducing or eliminating the symptoms (pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, wind, nausea etc.) by preventing the bowel from going into spasm. Recent clinical studies have shown that hypnotherapy patients for IBS show dramatic improvements, and rarely suffer from relapses. The National Institute of Health and Clinical Guidance recommends the NHS should consider referring patients for hypnotherapy if their irritable bowel is persistent and has failed to respond to simple prescribed medicine.
“No more battles in my gut. No more obstructions. I feel free!” J.M. Surrey
Migraine and Tension Headaches
Migraine results from abnormally swollen blood vessels in the scalp. Using hypnosis, Anderson, Basker, and Dalton (1975) obtained complete remission with 10 of 23 patients. Visualisation is often used to clear and calm the arteries in the head and so achieve a state of comfort.
Tension-type headaches are often called stress headaches and are the result of emotional or physical stressors. Hypnotherapy provides help on many levels, not only by treating symptoms or immediate triggers, but also by resolving the underlying cause and its source. Very often events from the past, (ranging from early childhood to our adult lives) are the reason for physical tension in the body and associated pain
Misophonia (also called Selective Sound Sensitivity Syndrome or “4S”) is a recognised condition in which the sufferer may develop a hypersensitivity to everyday noises, most commonly other people’s eating and breathing sounds. This decreased sound tolerance can produce reactions ranging from fear, panic, the desire to flee, or even the desire to do serious harm to someone. People with this condition often end up alienating the people they are closest to. Children have difficulty attending school, family meals and other functions; they can become anxious and depressed.
I am honoured to be one of the few trained Sequent Repatterning Therapists (SRT) in the UK. Until Chris Pearson developed the SRT training for misophonia, hypnotherapy had been broadly ineffective or had provided only short-term relief. Misophonia has generally been treated as a phobia by many therapists. Because of the physical reflex of misophonia, it has been impossible for individuals with misophonia to ignore or not respond to trigger stimuli. Actually, the misophonic person is responding to the combination of the sound and the physical sensation caused by the physical reflex. We can ignore sounds, but we cannot ignore the physical jolt or sensation of the reflex.
Sequent Repattering Therapy (SRT) is generally effective because it allows a person to feel the physical sensation of the misophonic reflex while not having the emotional response. The context of a physical sensation can have a great effect on the emotional response. If a nurse in the doctor’s office sticks you with a needle, you can stay completely calm. But if a person walks up to you and sticks you with a straight pin, then we can almost guarantee that you will have a strong emotional response. SRT builds a strong calming response over a series of sessions and then teaches the patient to respond to the physical sensation with the calming response rather than anger. As shown below, SRT disconnects the emotional response from the physical reflex and creates a positive emotional response to the physical reflex.
Sequent Repatterning for Misophonia
The SRT treatment is a series of five treatment steps that usually require up to eight hypnotherapy sessions. Steps one, two, and three build the emotional stability and strength of the individual, and develops a calm reflex. Step four disconnects the emotional misophonic response from the physical reflex and replaces it with the calm reflex. Because almost all misophonic individuals have the same physical reflex for all of their triggers, this step reduces the emotional response for all triggers. Step five of the process works to disconnect the physical reflex from the trigger stimulus. This step requires addressing each trigger individually.
In 2013, Chris Pearson treated fifteen patients using SRT. Patients reported their misophonia severity score from one to ten as a “Subjective Units of Distress” (SUD), with one being non-existent to ten being very severe. Nine had a large reduction in the severity of their misophonia; rating one to three after treatment. Four patients had moderate improvement, with a SUD rating of four to six after treatment (and at least a three point reduction). One person dropped out of treatment and another did not respond to the treatment. In May, 2015, follow-up data was obtained on eleven of the thirteen individuals who responded to treatment. Of these, six had maintained their improvement, four had a decline but still had meaningful improvement, and one with moderate improvement had relapsed. Each had been asked to perform a daily calming exercise several times a day, which took less than a minute each time. Of those doing the daily calming exercise, five of six were maintaining the improvement and one had a decline in improvement.
SRT treatment can be provided by internet video-chat, so SRT is an option for anyone with a good internet connection. We are at an early phase of developing this treatment, but the results of the individuals treated in 2013 make us hopeful that this treatment may provide meaningful improvement to many individuals with misophonia. So far we have not identified any limitations for the applicability of SRT hypnotherapy treatment for misophonia. It has been used to successfully treat individuals as young as ten years of age.
Successful SRT treatment can be accomplished by completing the first four of five steps. This disconnects the miso-emotional response from the physical reflex. A small percentage of individuals respond to the final step of SRT treatment and actually stop having the physical reflex response to triggers. Still, reducing the misophonic severity from moderate to mild or severe to mild is a significant positive benefit for anyone with misophonia.
Tinnitus is the perception of an uncomfortable , often distressing sound (in one or both ears). Our ears recognize sounds, but our brain actually hears them. In the case of tinnitus the sound is generated within the individual; it is the side effect of normal, compensatory action by the auditory (hearing) system which is trying to restore balance, reorganize the way sound is heard, and provide the best possible hearing.
Tinnitus is not a disease, and often can be neutral. Tinnitus presents a problem only when it becomes associated with something negative or unpleasant. In this case it activates the limbic (emotional) system and the “fight or flight” response of the autonomic nervous system. The consequences of this response to the sufferer may affect their attentional dimensions (concentration, focus, listening, reading), their social dimensions (reluctance or refusal to join social gatherings) and their emotional dimensions (sleep disturbances, stress, irritability, anxiety, depression).
There are solutions to tinnitus. It can be “habituated” so there is neither the unrelenting perception of it, nor a reaction/emotional response to it. Working with a combination of sound therapy, counselling and behavioural programs, clients are helped to interpret sensory input in a comfortable way, and reverse inappropriate beliefs and reactions.
“I was truly surprised how quickly, with your expert help, my tinnitus problem was relieved. I now focus on more pleasant sounds, especially in the early hours, and in this testimonial I highly recommend you method to anyone suffering from this unpleasant condition.” L.A. Greece
Detrusor Instability is the second most common cause of female incontinence. When the bladder is unstable the detrusor (bladder) muscle contracts involuntarily (and sometimes without warning) before the bladder is full. The most common symptoms are urgency and frequency of urination. Hypnotherapy can be an effective treatment when the unstable bladder is of psychosomatic origin and the patient’s symptoms have evolved as a result of an emotive or psychological disturbance. (see Australian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Vol.35, No. 1, 2007, 54-62)