Research - Hypnotherapy
Sexual Health for Women With Hot Flashes Is Improved by Hypnotic Relaxation Therapy
Hypnotic relaxation therapy improves sexual health in postmenopausal women who have moderate to severe hot flashes, according to Baylor University researchers who presented their findings at the American Psychological Association's recent annual meeting.The study, which examined sexual comfort, sexual satisfaction and sexual pleasure, is a first step toward a safe and effective alternative toward hormone replacement therapy, which carries associated risks of cancer and heart disease, said Gary Elkins, Ph.D., director of Baylor's Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory and a professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences.
The conclusion was based on a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. For the research, 187 women were randomly assigned to receive either five weekly sessions of hypnotic relaxation therapy or supportive counseling, said lead researcher Aimee Johnson, a doctoral student in psychology and neuroscience at Baylor University.
Led by researchers at Baylor's Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory, all study sessions were conducted by master's-level therapists trained in clinical hypnosis. Participants in the hypnotic relaxation therapy group received a hypnotic induction followed by suggestions for relaxation, coolness and mental imagery. Participants who received sessions of supportive counseling discussed their symptoms with a trained therapist but did not receive any hypnosis.
Women completed questionnaires at the beginning of the study, at the end of treatment and at a 12-week follow-up. They also were asked to complete a self-report questionnaire assessing the extent to which hot flashes interfered with sexual intimacy. The decrease in estrogen that accompanies menopause is associated with hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain and vaginal dryness, discomfort or pain.
"The most common complaints are being too tired, anxiety, depression, hot flashes and the fear of close contact," Elkins said. Because warmth that comes from closeness can trigger a hot flash, some women grow to fear intimacy, he said.
At treatment's end, women who had received hypnotic relaxation therapy reported significantly higher sexual satisfaction and pleasure, as well as less discomfort. This improvement also was seen at the 12-week follow-up assessment.
"Women's sexual health improved, whether because of sleeping better, less stress or fewer hot flashes, or perhaps other unknown mechanisms," Elkins said.
Researchers noted that postmenopausal sexual health can be affected by factors other than hot flashes, among them fatigue, self-esteem, a partner's health, relationship quality and a lack of interest by either or both partners.
For many women -- among them those who have had breast cancer -- hormone replacement therapy is not an option for menopause-related symptoms. Estrogen, for example, has been associated with more rapid growth of breast cancer.
Previous research by Elkins has shown that clinical hypnosis can effectively reduce hot flashes and associated symptoms among postmenopausal women, including a lessening of anxiety and depression
Source : Newswise
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Hypnosis Should Be Offered to Patients With IBS, Swedish Research Suggests
Hypnotherapy helps fight IBS symptoms. These are the findings of a thesis from Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden which proposes implementing this treatment method into the care of severe sufferers of this common disease.
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is an very common stomach disease that manifests as abdominal pain and discomfort, disturbed bowel movements, abdominal swelling and bloating. Recent studies indicate that 10-15 percent of all Swedes suffer from IBS to varying degrees. Yet researchers still do not know what causes the condition and no effective treatment is available for those suffering from most severe symptoms.
Studies at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, show that psychological treatment using hypnosis may offer effective, lasting relief. The studies are part of a thesis which concludes that hypnotherapy should be used in clinical care of patients with severe IBS.
"We have four different studies showing that hypnotherapy helps treat IBS, even when the treatment is not provided by highly specialized hypnotherapy centers. The treatment improves gastrointestinal symptoms and quality of life, and patient satisfaction is very high. The method also makes efficient use of health care resources," says Perjohan Lindfors, doctoral student at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.
Source : ScienceDaily
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Hypnosis for hot flashes: results from a randomized clinical trial and future directions
G Elkins*, W Fisher, A Johnson
From International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health 2012 Portland, Oregon, USA. 15-18 May 2012
Hot flashes are a significant clinical problem for many women. Currently there are limited options to hormone replacement therapy as non-hormonal pharmacological agents are associated with only modest activity and many adverse side effects. Hypnosis is one mind-body therapy that seems particularly promising for treating hot flashes and was investigated in the present study. This study examined the efficacy of hypnosis in reducing both self-reported and physiologically determined hot flash frequency and severity among post-menopausal women.
One-hundred and seventy post-menopausal women with moderate to severe hot flashes were randomly assigned to either a 5-session hypnosis intervention or a 5-session structured-attention control condition. All sessions were provided consistent with a treatment manual and all therapists were trained to criteria for consistency and treatment fidelity. Primary outcome measures were selfreported hot flash frequency and severity (determined via daily diaries) and physiologically monitored hot flashes (determined via sternal skin conductance). Physiological assessment of hot flashes were made using 24-hour recordings of sternal skin conductance. Measures were obtained at baseline, at the end of the five weeks intervention, and at 12 week follow-up.
Results demonstrated that hot flash scores (self-report of frequency and severity of hot flashes) for the participants that received the therapist delivered hypnosis intervention decreased by approximately 70% at 5 weeks and continued to decline to approximately 80% at the 12 week follow-up. Physiologically assessed hot flashes demonstrated a 50% reduction at 5 weeks and approximately 60% reduction at 12 weeks for participants in the therapist delivered hypnosis condition.
To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate a clinically significant reduction in physiologically measured
hot flashes using a hypnosis intervention. This study has important implications for women experiencing hot flashes who are contraindicated for hormone replacement therapy.
Source : BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12(Suppl 1):O57
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