Researchers from Liverpool University have discovered that hypnosis can have significant benefit in helping to improve the quality of life for sufferers of dementia.
Forensic psychologist Dr Simon Duff compared the effects of hypnosis with mainstream healthcare treatments on people suffering from dementia, also investigating the impact of a form of group therapy.
Dr Duff's study was undertaken over a 9 month period with weekly sessions. The participants who attended the discussion group apparently stayed the same and the ones receiving normal treatment showed a 'small decline'.
However, according to the report, dementia sufferers receiving hypnosis therapy demonstrated improved levels of concentration, memory and socialization: relaxation and motivation were also found to have improved.
Quote from Craegmoor from Dr Duff:
"Participants given hypnosis therapy "showed real improvement across all of the areas" monitored by the research team".
The report implies that participants, on becoming aware of the onset of dementia may become anxious and depressed because of their gradual loss of cognitive ability - therefore - hypnosis - being the ideal relaxation method - can help the mind to concentrate on positive activity.
The reported figure of dementia sufferers living in the UK alone in 2008 is approximately 700,009; The Alzheimer's Society anticipate this figure to exceed one million by the year 2025. Each year 60,000 deaths are attributed to this condition which costs the UK approximately £17 billion per year.
In the journal 'Cancer' Dr Ted Gansler reported that studies have shown hypnosis and acupuncture can relieve symptoms of cancer - particularly alleviating the pain associated with this disease, yet few people actually make use of such therapies.
The report states that the majority of people surveyed by Dr Gansler turned instead to faith healing, prayer, nutritional supplements and relaxation - rather than seeking the benefits of hypnosis.
Apparently less than two per cent of cancer sufferers turn to hypnosis and acupuncture: 61.4 per cent chose spiritual practice - (according to research from the American Cancer Society)
If this is a genuine report then it warrants further research and investigation. Most hypnotherapists already know that this treatment is far superior to many others. The medical profession is now beginning to acknowledge the benefits of hypnosis - yet many people are still afraid of being hypnotized.
My thought on this is that bad publicity has helped to install fears of hypnosis with the public.
However, since practicing this wonderful form of therapy since 1994 and witnessing amazing changes in my clients' issues (and most importantly - no side effects from drugs, etc) hypnosis has to be the only way forward if we want to help,not only our clients, but ourselves.
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Antonia Harrison is the English Hypnotherapist in Belgium